Russell Cellular Connections | Spring 2021

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STILL FAMILY Though a pandemic has altered the state of the world, our commitment to customers and the RC family has not. Learn how we plan to not only survive but thrive together.

#RC Cares Products RC Cares Products are a special line of PopSockets and Tech Wipes that are sold in our retail locations. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of these products fund outreach projects and further the culture of giving back to the communities in which our stores are located.

By the numbers: • From March 1 - December 31, 2020, a total of 274 RC Cares projects were completed. • Through these projects, Russell Cellular invested $200,849 in our communities to support frontline workers, teachers, families and individuals in need who faced even tougher situations brought on by COVID-19.

Photos by TK Photographer

4125 Wilson Creek Marketplace Rd., Battlefield, MO 417-886-7542,




Visit our social media sites to learn about the latest developments from Russell Cellular. And for the latest RC Cares news be sure to follow the main Russell Cellular feeds. FACEBOOK.COM/RUSSELLCELLULAROFFICIAL LINKEDIN.COM/COMPANY/RUSSELLCELLULAR @RUSSELL_CELLULAR RUSSELLCELLULAR.COM







Touchless is here to stay. Even when life

When RC stores got busy, some custom-


Achieving a perfect score is no small task.


RC sets a target of 100 points per month

returns to normal after COVID-19, RC

ers had a hard time reaching sales team

on the Sales Scoreboard. Hit the sales tar-

and Verizon will keep the recently rolled

members. RC decided it was time to fix

get in all 6 KPI’s, and you get a perfect

out touchless protocols. Why? Because

that, so it launched the new Customer

score. Now imagine doing that every sin-

as it turns out, after months of fine tuning

Service Department in the Solution Center

gle month. In 2020, only 1 store achieved

the process and gathering team member

in Battlefield, Missouri. Now, a customer

100 points each month, and only 44 team

feedback, touchless has ended up bene-

can talk with a member of the Customer

members got a perfect score each month.

fiting the RC team and customers, so now

Service Department and get the support

Meet six store managers on that list of 44.

it’s part of the wireless experience.

they were looking for.



16 / INBOX

John Kilgore has been with RC for seven years, and now he’s sharing advice for other managers.

Two RC Store Managers share tips on connecting with customers.

This issue, we answer questions about how the RC marketing team can make life easier for stores.

12/ COMMUNICATION 6 / RC CARES When Shana Turner got bad news, she never dreamed the team would step up like this.

5 / Q&A


Meet Saher Samine—the top DSM from 2020 and a perfect score winner. He’s the first person in RC history to accomplish both.

When poverty hit a school in Georgia, this RC store helped out.

5 / HELPING HANDS Levi Kulenkamp’s job is to spread the word about RC Cares, so he knows the heart the RC team has. But he never thought he’d be the one needing support.



With Zoom and Teams here to stay, Kurt Reinhart shares how these tools are impacting the RC team.

17 / PLUGGED IN Customers are using Revv to share their feedback.




Sarah Rogers is on a mission to build RC’s brand.

Have a question about how RC has evolved? Talk with Darin Wray—an RC vet of more than two decades.

Janine Wilson had to find a better work-life balance once COVID hit. Here’s how she pulled it off.



10 / PILLAR TALK Customer feedback is key, and we have tips on how to use surveys to help you grow your sales numbers.

A quick look at how Salesforce has increased leads and sales.

It’s time to honor top performers, perfect scores and everyone who is absolutely rocking at RC. Photos Courtesy of Russell Cellular

BY THE NUMBERS This issue has plenty to celebrate including several heartfelt donations by RC stores that wanted to give back to their communities. Here are some of our favorite numbers in this issue.


DOLLARS These two RC leaders used RC Cares to raise more than $7,000 for a team member in need.




This RC store started an RC Cares project for a local school that quickly caught the attention of the community.


Thanks to Salesforce, RC has sold more than 19,000 upgrades. And that’s just the start of how the platform has helped RC increase leads and sales.




KYM What I love most about this magazine is that it shines a spotlight on the good our team is doing around the country. As our business grew from a few stores scattered across the Midwest to 600+ stores across the country, my biggest concern was that we would start to feel disconnected from each other. Our entire leadership team has worked diligently to keep the RC family feeling alive even as Russell Cellular grew far beyond our original dream. Jeff and I are so very proud of how our team continues to embrace change and keep our most important objectives in clear view. While the wireless industry continues to evolve, our mission remains the same…Providing the best wireless experience to every customer every time. We succeed at that mission by staying true to our roots and the core values that define us regardless of the new challenges we face. This issue, like every issue, is dedicated first and foremost to our front-line sales team. Each one of you are dedicat-

ed to serving your customers, caring for your teammates and making a positive impact on your community. Together you are making a difference every day, and making the world a better place. I know I speak on behalf of the entire leadership team and home office support team when I say that it is a privilege and an honor to support your efforts each and every day. Encouraging and uplifting each other gives our lives greater meaning and gives the tasks we perform worth. Thank you all for showing that we are #BetterTogether!



NEW TEAM MEMBERS RC hopes to add 40 new team members to the new Solution Center by mid-2021.

LEARN MORE / 30 Photos courtesy Russell Cellular, by Brandon Alms and Creative Focus Photography

For this issue of the magazine, we headed to one of the RC stores in Springfield, Missouri, to shoot the cover. We wanted to capture the customer perspective of what it's like to complete transactions through the new touchless retail system, and RC Store Manager Russell Rathke was kind enough to walk us through a transaction.





WORKING TOGETHER FOR SUCCESS As a Top Regional Director, John Kilgore works to inspire others to find the will to win. BY KAREN BLISS It’s been almost seven years since John Kilgore






Regional Director after the company he worked for was acquired by RC. Less than four months later, the number of RC stores in John’s region grew drastically from 12 to more than 35. Since then, RC has continued to grow and evolve, and John has been one of the RC leaders at the front of that growth. The company’s continued success is part of why he’s stuck around, but he’s also still here because he loves the job. He says he loves the company culture at RC and how it empowers his peers, leaders and the executive team to stay connected and work well together. “After being a part of the wireless industry for 22 years, I have learned a good culture is something that is


very hard to find,” John says.

Regional Director John Kilgore says his team's success is in part due to collaboration and teamwork.

As a top Regional Director, John leads a team of nine districts, which includes 58 stores with more than 200 team members.

each other and that trusts the feedback,

“Each of the nine leaders that oversee those

advice and lessons everyone has to share.

districts have unique personalities and

He says that’s what he enjoys most about

leadership styles,” he says. “They want

working for RC—being part of a team that’s

to be the best of the best and are highly

always learning from each other. “I really

competitive. At the same time, they all have

appreciate the opportunity to share best

the heart to lift one another up when one

practices and areas of opportunity with

is struggling and have the humility to reach

those around me, and at the same time

out to each other for advice. I am fortunate

learn new ideas from those same individ-

to be surrounded by the group of people I

uals that I can apply in so many different

have all around me throughout the region.

areas of my life,” he says. “The group of

They make it very easy to lead.”

people within our team love to help others

Of course, John’s job isn’t always about

get better and win. And, that goes for the

leadership. With a team of 200+ people,

team members as well as the communities

John is also learning. He says it all goes

we serve. It’s the collaboration that makes

back to being part of a group that supports

it all successful.”



LESSONS LEARNED 1. Take the opportunity to get suggestions from team members. Even Regional Directors value the feedback. 2. Stay aware of the realities of the people on the frontlines. As a leader, you have to learn what motivates your team. 3. Big targets and goals can be overwhelming. Reduce those down to basic behaviors and find a starting point. 4. Leaders need to set an example. You have to lead from the front so others can see what that looks like.

Photo by Brad Zweerink




As an RC Cares Outreach Specialist for As the top District Sales

Russell Cellular, Levi Kulenkamp sees the

Manager for 2020,

company’s community outreach firsthand.

Saher Samine shares

But RC’s philanthropy struck a different

tips on how to connect

chord in his personal life not once, but

with customers and

twice during his wife’s two-year fight with

handle stress.

breast cancer.







RC: How do you provide great customer service

Employee Emergency Fund (EEF) is two-fold.

when you have to socially distance or work with customers who are shopping online?

As an RC Cares Outreach Specialist, he coor-

S.S.: The No. 1 thing is making sure we let them

dinates philanthropy across RC’s 600+ stores. But the EEF became more personal when

THE POWER OF LOVE Levi Kulenkamp and his wife Melissa turned to the EEF when they needed support.

know this is for their safety. For customers who are not as digitally savvy, we have to take time to follow up. That might be a follow up call or an email. It’s crucial to make sure we took care of their issues.

cancer. Melissa, were preparing to travel to Illinois to

two years of treatment together, Levi says

RC: What are some techniques you use to handle

spend Thanksgiving with their families. A week

cancer became an “ever-present reality” that

stress on the job?

before the trip, Melissa discovered a lump she

didn’t take a vacation. “You don’t get to take

hadn’t noticed before. Levi and Melissa made

a weekend and say ‘Okay, well, we’re taking

the tough choice not to tell their relatives at

some time off from cancer this weekend. Or

that time. “We knew if we said anything to our

we need a couple of nights away from can-

family, they were going to have a million ques-

cer,’” Levi says. “There is not a part of your life

RC: How do you motivate your team?

tions, and we did not have a million answers

that cancer does not touch.”

S.S.: I ask them for their updates. What are their goals; why are they here? It empowers them.

to give them,” Levi says. breast cancer, Levi says they felt “a false

help as soon as they were needed. Melissa’s

RC: What motivates you to be a top performer?

sense of security.” After a handful of visits to

parents even moved from Illinois to live in a

the doctors, the couple got the diagnosis that

camper, so they could help with things like

would bring their world screeching to a halt.

housekeeping and provide emotional support.

S.S.: I break down issues into small pieces and fix each issue separately. Also, time management plays a role in this. My day is planned, and the first three hours of my day is dedicated to my team.

S.S.: I always wanted to prove I could be the best. But there’s tons of competition at RC, and I always have a plan that focuses on the team. We faced tough times, and stores had to close because employees got sick, but the key is resilience.

Kulenkamp’s wife was diagnosed with breast In November 2018, Levi and his wife,

With no other symptoms pointing to

Not only was the lump cancerous, but it had already metastasized to other parts

As the couple walked through the next

Levi says leaders and team members at RC checked in on them and were ready to

“She was surrounded by love,” Levi says. After two years, cancer had taken its

of Melissa’s body. The stage four diagnosis

toll, and Melissa passed away December 28,

meant surgery was not an option, and the

2020. The sobering reality of her memorial

RC: How did you celebrate when you learned that you got a perfect score, and were the top DSM?

only other direction was to start chemothera-

was at the forefront of Levi’s mind. For the

S.S.: I took time to celebrate with my team. People

py and radiation treatments.

second time, EEF assistance eased Levi’s

really care about each other, and they’ve built friendships. In some Zoom calls, it’s so quiet it’s awkward, but with my team, I have to stop them from talking.

attend Melissa’s appointments, and as che-

RC: You’re starting with a new district in Fairfax. How does it feel to be starting with a new team? S.S.: It was emotional, but it’s also exciting because now I have a new goal, and I have to meet this goal now with a whole new team. Photos courtesy Saher Samine and Levi Kulenkamp

Levi was burning through vacation time to

financial burden and gave him the space to focus on what was important.

motherapy and radiation left her exhausted,

“The Employee Emergency Fund (EEF)

she was unable to work. The EEF funds they

was such a blessing to me because it helped

received helped keep them afloat. “It helped

alleviate many of the financial stresses that

us make it through a month where we were in

can come with a situation like this,” Levi says.

a really tight spot, and it could not have come

“It helped me to focus on the matter of laying

at a better time,” Levi says.

her to rest and gave me space to grieve.” RUSSELLCELLULAR.COM




FRIENDS LIKE THESE Singer Joe Cocker said it best, “We all get by with a little help from our friends.” So when District Sales Managers Cody Griffin and Jason Foster found out their friend Shana Turner had breast cancer, they stepped up to help her family in one of their greatest times of need. BY JESSICA HAMMER The friendship between Cody Griffin and Shana Turner began nearly a decade ago when Cody started working for Russell Cellular. Jason Foster later trained with them in the Cookeville, Tennessee, store, and while

UNEXPECTED HURDLES When Shana Turner learned she had breast cancer, her RC team helped.

they no longer work the same shift day in and day out, all three say they talk once a week, if

she sent me a text very, very early, which was

because he always takes care of his team. He

not more.

odd for her,” Cody says. “And it was like, ‘Call

reassured me from day one that I was going to

Their bond meant that Cody immediately

me when you get a chance; it’s important.’

be okay, and that he had my back to help me

noticed Shana’s odd behavior when he next

And I knew when I got a message like that

through work. And that just meant a lot to me.”

visited her store. “Conversations would be

from her, something was up.”

Cody’s encouragement was just the start.

short and sweet,” Cody says. “She would

Cody called Shana right away to get the

He quickly teamed up with Jason and the two

just have emotional outbursts when I would

news—she had breast cancer. For the first time

brainstormed ways to raise money to help

walk in the back room, and she would be

in Cody’s life, someone he was extremely close

cover the costly treatments Shana would

back there, just crying.” Despite Shana’s

to had cancer. While Shana tried to convince her

be receiving. Just 11 days later, they hit the

assurances that nothing was wrong, Cody

friend this was a season they would get through

ground running. It was an emotional moment

says he wasn’t totally convinced. Finally, he

together, she was overwhelmed knowing what

for Shana when Cody told her what he had in

got the text message that confirmed he was

was coming in her near future. “I was scared,”

mind, and she’s still grateful for the impact the

right and something was indeed going on.

she says. “I didn’t want something to happen to

help had on her family.

“I was up early, I was getting my day ready

my job, and so I dreaded calling Cody, but in my

“When he called me and asked for my

to watch some football, have a good day, and

heart, I also knew that he would take care of me

permission to start an RC Cares project



In District Sales Manager Britney Copeland’s part of southern Georgia, community is the thread that stitches residents together. In Coffee County specifically, poverty affects many, so a local school stocked a store with food, clothing and toiletries to help those in

LOCAL HEROES The Georgia residents amassed a life changing amount of food and supplies for those in need.



need. Copeland’s team joined in to do an RC Cares project. BY JESSICA HAMMER

Satilla Elementary is in Coffee County, Georgia—an area known for a high poverty rate. To help residents with basic needs, Satilla Elementary set up a “store” stocked with basics including snacks and toiletries. When Britney and her team learned about the store, they knew they wanted to help. Britney and her team talked with administrators and teachers at Satilla to find out what needs RC could meet. They found out the community’s food need was the largest and demand was starting to outpace donations. In addition to

Photos by Creative Focus Photography and courtesy Russell Cellular




Shana's worries about her job were put to rest when she called her DM.

Cody Griffin and Jason Foster used RC Cares to raise funds to help cover Shana's medical treatment.



dollars donated to the Shana Strong project

for me, I just cried,” Shana says. The offer

RC team members who encouraged others

for help came at exactly the right time, too.

to donate to the cause.

COVID-19 had impacted her family’s income

One month later, the RC family had raised

in many ways, particularly for her husband. “It

more than $7,000 for Shana’s treatment. It

changed his job a little, and so when Cody

was an emotional moment for all, but Jason

told me what he had in mind, it just... I’m still

says it was especially poignant knowing the

blown away by it,” she says.

kind of person Shana is—both in and out of

To raise money, Cody and Jason ordered boxes of bracelets emblazoned with the

“Shana would give anybody the shirt off her

words Shana Strong. Bracelets were handed

back and for us to have the opportunity to make any sort of impact in her life when she’s

Cody and Jason expanded the project’s

going through such a hard time,” he says, “to

reach and suddenly 150 additional RC stores

be able to do something for somebody you

were contributing to the cause. The project

know, that if you were in that same situation,

also birthed a social media movement among

she would do the same for you.”

hearing about the heartbreaking needs of local families, Britney said she heard stories about kids who were using their school Bucks to buy toiletries instead of candy bars. “I was bawling with this woman telling me that these children were buying deodorant and toothpaste,” Britney says. “It’s very disheartening.” The school gave Britney a list of items, and her team went to work raising money.

(called Dogger General). Community members can access Dogger General for anything they may need—from food to toiletries to clothing. Prior to COVID-19, volunteers were even making supply deliveries to people’s homes.


Photos courtesy Russell Cellular


the RC store.

out with each $10 donation. After two weeks,

Britney’s team raised nearly $700 over two months to restock Satilla Elementary’s store


estimated number of Shana Strong bracelets sold

IMPACT Britney and her team used the money raised to make a big shopping trip—one that stocked the store with everything the school had on its list, from pre-made meals to diapers. Once word of RC’s project got out, people across the county turned out to help. An after-school mom’s club

number of days between getting Shana’s diagnosis and starting the RC Cares project


percent of donations came from John Kilgore’s region

spread the word on social media, and teachers and customers made their way to RC stores to support the cause.

RC’S HEART Since most of her team has children or grandchildren, Britney says this project hit close to home. She says that this was a demonstration of the team’s dedication not only to the RC Cares program but also the community they can serve. “Once you get a team that has that mentality of ‘hey, I can make a difference in somebody’s life,’ then there’s no turning back,” Britney says.






Meet Sarah Rogers, Marketing Manager for RC. She’s building a marketing program from the ground up. It’s a first for RC, which means there is no typical week for Sarah, but she does have concrete

goals in place for 2021. BY JULIANA GOODWIN

CREATING A CLEAR BRAND IMAGE When Sarah was hired, her first goal was to build RC’s brand guidelines. Yes, there’s Hedgie, and yes RC has a red and black color scheme, but a company’s brand is more than the colors and fonts it uses. “We had our 4 core values, 3 OVT pillars of employee experience and a mission statement,” she says, “but we hadn’t taken the bits and pieces and made a brand out of it that clarifies who we are and what we stand for.” To create that well-rounded brand, Sarah worked with RC leaders and a marketing firm to guide the way, and as 2020 wrapped up, Sarah and the team were finalizing the new brand guidelines. “Our next step, and part of our 2021 goals, is to roll that out company wide and integrate the brand into RC’s culture,” Sarah says. “Being able to build from the ground up is really exciting. Having owners who buy into what I am doing and who support this initiative is fabulous.”

ACTION PLAN Sarah Rogers is building a brand for RC from the ground up.

UTILIZING SOCIAL MEDIA Like many companies, RC is embracing the power of social media, but


Sarah has bigger goals for platforms like Facebook and Instagram. As she

This is a new task for Sarah and her team, but it lines up with her mission

sees things, these platforms can be tools RC can use to hit its KPIs. “We

to unify RC’s branding and marketing efforts. As a Verizon retailer, RC has

have all these social media accounts, but let’s put strategy behind this

strict guidelines for its locations. “Verizon wants to present a unified look at

and make social media work for us,” she says. Now, anything posted on

all stores, whether that’s a Verizon-owned store or an agent store,” Sarah

RC’s social media should hit one of these three goals: 1. It should create

says. In fact, Verizon evaluates and scores RC on how well it’s adhering to

a new lead from a non RC customer. 2. It should drive traffic to a store or

Verizon branding. That means when Verizon rolls out a new promotion, it

to a sale online. 3. It should make customers feel good about being RC/

checks in with retailers like RC locations to see if those stores have put up

Verizon customers. “This is another way to communicate with customers,”

window signage and changed out merchandise. Sarah and her team will

Sarah says. “Social media is one platform where we can have calls to

be working in tandem with other RC Home Office departments to ensure

action and drive customers to the store or an online page where they can

stores meet Verizon’s standards.

purchase something.” And to make sure RC’s communication on social media is consistent, all RC social media accounts have been streamlined


into one account. “This allows us to show the heart of who RC is,” she

Sarah has some big goals to achieve this year. Goal No. 1 is to roll out

says. “It’s also a way to recruit and attract new team members to RC.”

that brand foundation she and the leadership team are wrapping up and instill that brand into RC’s culture. Goal No. 2 is to formalize an in-bound


marketing program designed to generate new leads for sales opportuni-

Early on, Sarah realized it is an opportunity and challenge being a retailer

ties. It’s all part of a larger effort to beef up RC’s communication with its

for another company like Verizon. A standalone business can make all the

customers. There will be a lot of moving parts to these goals, but Sarah

decisions, but as a Verizon retailer, everything RC does must complement

doesn’t find that daunting. If anything, she feels valued, and she rolls that

Verizon. “The wireless industry is so fluid and changes frequently,” she

appreciation over to her team. She says her “love language” is food, so

says. “When you are a retailer for someone else, you have to plan the best

her appreciation for her team comes to life in the form of donuts, bagels,

you can and react as quickly as possible. The voice of the company has to

lunch dates and other random acts that say, “Hey, thank you for all your

be consistent, but the marketing department must be nimble.”

hard work. Now enjoy a snack and get energized for our next big task!”



Photo by Brandon Alms

At Russell Cellular, we know life happens. Emergency situations can arise beyond our control that create unexpected financial hardships.

RC EMPLOYEE EMERGENCY FUND Qualifying circumstances include natural disaster, funeral costs, fire loss, acute medical illness, and more. The EEF provides financial assistance for you and your immediate family. Qualifying Team Members can receive up to $500 per occurrence.

For more information about the EEF, how to apply and donate, and for further qualifications and restrictions, visit or email



TIPS OF THE TRADE These four have a few tips on how to use RIS to increase sales.


the sales team the chance to hear how TIP: EMBRACE FEEDBACK the customer saw the interaction. It’s a What It Means: As team members receive individual scores, they can take owner- view into their thinking and takeaways, and that’s incredibly valuable. ship of that feedback. For those positive “Giving our customers a voice in their comments, Daniel says it’s important to Competition is fierce in the wireless experience benefits the consumer but also learn how you can repeat that positive world, and the one thing team members our business,” says Anthony Badalamenti, experience. If the comments are negative, can control is the customer experience. he says the trick is to learn how you can Area Vice President Of Sales. “So if we To measure that experience, Verizon handle the next interaction and do it differ- handle something, and we think we did a sends customers a survey to determine ently. To help, RC has coaching sessions good job, but the customer doesn’t agree, the customer’s in-store buying we can correct behaviors right away.” But with team leaders. The real tip though, as experience. Daniel sees it, is to not resist feedback. the surveys also mean RC can celebrate BY JULIANA GOODWIN “Take an opportunity to get better every all the behaviors that are working and TIP: FOCUS ON THE SCORE share those behaviors with other stores day,” he says. What It Means: After a customer “I love the fact that the survey isn’t about across the country. visits an RC store, Verizon sends a phones, plans or pricing. It is all about survey to the customer. “The scores our people and how well they served TIP: WORD OF MOUTH MATTERS we receive are based on a particular the needs of their customer,” says Chris What It Means: “We actually have a lot of interaction that occurred that day. The rural customers, and word of mouth is still Lucido, Area Vice President of Sales. customer can score us from 0 to 10, a popular way of advertising,” Daniel says. “The one key thing that sets us apart from with 10 being the best,” says Daniel every other cell phone store is our people “You want to make sure your customers Hyder, Executive Vice President of and how we treat customers. Our mission have a good experience because they will Sales. And customers are given a share that experience with their friends.” statement is what we live by and when we heads up that they might receive a Hopefully, those friends and family will provide the best wireless experience to evsurvey. Letting each customer know ery customer, every time, we all win.” become new customers, and that group their feedback is valued is crucial. As of customers will keep coming back. “The Area Vice President of Sales, Brad TIP: LOOK AT IT FROM goal is to create a customer for life and Boman, explains, it’s part of making THE CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE have customers who continue to do busitheir trip to an RC store a positive ex- What It Means: Because the customers ness with you whether they add a line or perience. are filling out surveys right away, it gives add internet products,” Daniel says. 10


Photo by Brad Zweerink



EXPLORE, PREPARE, DELIVER Jannicke Nelson and Justin Wentworth talk about connecting with customers while staying safe.

Jannicke Nelson, Store Manager in Price,

Pay Attention To Your Verizon Customer Surveys: Verizon survey re-

Utah, says, “It’s important to offer all of our

sults mean you can make adjustments daily


options.” That means offering touchless as-

based on customer feedback. “This feedback

sistance, phone support, email follow ups…

should always be the main focus with every

whatever will help that customer.

customer every time, and we should listen

Maintaining a great customer experience

sure each customer gets what they need,

is RC’s mission, but COVID has drastically

to the responses,” Jannicke says. “Then we

changed how RC delivers on that mission.

Pay Attention To Body Language:

With people shopping more online and so-

Justin Wentworth, Store Manager in Dunedin,

take that experience and evolve.”

cial distancing making it hard to connect with

Florida, adds that this requires meeting a

customers, RC has adjusted its approach to

customer where they are. “One challenge

DELIVER Focus On The Customer Experience:

customer service. Sales has become essen-

my team has faced is recognizing and un-

Jannicke and Justin agree the first priority is to

tially touchless, and curbside pickup is in full

derstanding customers’ comfort levels during

provide the best wireless experience to every

swing. Now two RC Store Managers offer

their visit. Picking up on body language and

customer, every time, but Jannicke makes an

advice on creating the ultimate positive cus-

social cues early during interactions helps us

important point. “We cannot control what is

tomer service experience even when you’re

identify how to best assist while still making

going on around us; what we can control is

6 feet apart.

customers feel safe.”

how we react,” she says. With this in mind, the

EXPLORE Offer All Your Available Options: With

PREPARE Stay Up To Date On Training: “The cur-

is just another change we have taken in stride,”

new ways to meet customer needs, team

rent consumer is well-informed, which makes

Justin says. “I continue to treat each customer

Store Managers encourage teams to be flexible. “This industry is always changing and this

members need to find what works best for

it imperative that each rep is fully trained and

the same as before and make sure we grow

each customer, and that will vary. To make

aware of expectations,” Jannicke says.

our customer base within the community.”

Photos courtesy Jannicke Nelson and Justin Wentworth





GET CONNECTED In-person meetings are limited, in-store visits have been reduced, but that doesn't mean RC’s team has stopped communicating. It’s just finding new ways to stay connected. BY RAE SWAN SNOBL The impact of the pandemic has affected every business, and RC is no exception. Like most organizations, the company is juggling communications strategies to meet the needs of diverse and geographically spread out team members. With more than 2,000 team members, RC’s list of goals is a long one, but here’s the main one: Maintain


focus on customer and team member expe-

When in-person meetings can't happen, Zoom becomes the new conference room.

rience. If that message can be successfully communicated to the whole crew, then RC can be successful regardless of anything

training sessions and company leadership

tion. “In a time when restrictions separate

else going on in the world.

summits. RC Live is another platform con-

us and people are isolating, we have to

Kurt Reinhart, Director of Learning &

necting everyone in the company. As Kurt

step up and step into relationships,” Kurt

Development, has been at the helm of

sees it, “This is an opportunity to have Jeff

says, and those relationships start at the

RC’s new communication strategies and

and other senior leaders deliver messag-

Home Office.

for a good reason. Kurt is a tireless opti-

es in a simulcast to our teams in the field.”

The Sales Operations department, led

mist. There’s no pandemic and no challenge

Kurt, along with Ron Wallace, the RC

by Tina Crewse, is getting training out to

too big for him. “This is a great equalizer for

Cares Director, also implemented a spe-

the field through the app-based learning

brick-and-mortar,” he says. “The one that

cial Zoom session called “Well Being and

platform, Catalyst. Likewise, the market-

wins out is the one that cares the most, so

Working Through Challenges.”

ing department, led by Sarah Rogers, has

we have been stepping up our digital and

The open forum focuses on what the

been diligent about getting the message

touchless retail opportunities.” With a drop

teams are feeling and processing during

out through emails, in-store marketing and social media.

in store traffic and store visits by DMs, RC

these challenging times. “It is less about

teams are connecting with each customer

the retail landscape and more about the

and each team member in new ways.

Through the pandemic and beyond, the

personal heart and soul,” Kurt says. “It is

RC team is committed to focusing on lean

When it comes to customer communi-

key for us to show that we notice, we see

and agile communication and adapting to

cation, RC is following Verizon’s protocol,

and that we want to better understand and

challenges as they arise. The company has

which focuses on enhanced customer sup-

share resources as we all deal with uncer-

a progress-oriented mindset and will keep

port through touchless retail. It’s all about

tainty, fear, depression and maybe a feeling

moving forward and sharing information in

continuing to meet customers where they

of being alone.”

the best way possible. “Connection is about

are and delivering the RC brand promise of

As life moves into a new normal, RC’s

“providing the best wireless experience to

shift in communications isn’t going away

Kurt says. “If we believe that and have faith

anytime soon. The new lines of commu-

in that, communication becomes about

nication are continuing as Kurt and the

building and maintaining relationships. This

every customer, every time.” For the RC team, Zoom and Teams are

relationships, and that is what matters,”

now essential for day-to-day meetings,

rest of the RC leadership crew work on

will work out. We just need to hold onto the

virtual store visits, coaching, onboarding,

establishing best practices in communica-

vision and trust the process.”



Photo courtesy Russell Cellular

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IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL Darin Wray started at RC as a Wireless Specialist and helped open the company's first store in Springfield, Missouri.



Photo by Ettie Berneking



25 YEARS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE After more than two decades with RC, Darin Wray has seen the industry and RC evolve. BY RAE SWAN SNOBL

tracts had to be faxed to the carrier for credit

resource for customers and team members.

approval and activation, which could take

The call center can help solve problems and

hours. Helping customers with their billing

answer customer service and team member

questions required having the customer bring

questions. “A great experience for a team

in paper statements and often resulted in a

member will translate into great customer

phone call to a customer care representative

experiences,” Darin says.

During his nearly 25-year career with RC,

for resolution. Today, thanks to the evolution

Darin Wray has seen the company grow

of technology, RC has quick and easy access


immensely, but one thing has remained the

to information to better assist customers.

Darin believes flexibility is RC’s secret to provid-

same: RC’s commitment to its customers.

Darin says, “Now we are equipped to handle

ing the best customer service. “Our team must

Darin started working in outside sales for

nearly every need a customer may have, all

be change experts,” he says. “There is always

Russell Cellular in 1995. At the time, he was

from an internet-enabled iPad.”

a steady flow of information to stay on top of

responsible for opening the first full-service

and absorb in order to be prepared to serve

retail location in Springfield, Missouri, in


our customers.” This flexibility is more import-

1996. “Fundamentally, nothing has changed

Both in the field and at the Home Office, RC

ant since the outbreak of COVID-19. “Our No.

with our approach to customer service

prides itself on providing consistency in the

1 priority during the pandemic has been the

since I started,” he says. “We have always

customer interaction. “Compared to more

health and safety of our team members and

endeavored to create exceptional and

traditional retail, wireless retail is complex,”

customers,” Darin says. “So, we have had to

memorable experiences with every single

Darin says. Because of this complexity, he

change the way we interact, and Verizon is

customer that compels them to continue to

thinks most wireless customers prefer to

leading the way when it comes to Touchless

come back to Russell Cellular for all of their

work with a specialist who can assist them

Retail solutions.”

wireless needs.” Now serving as the Chief

with sales and service related questions.

Whether a customer chooses to visit in

Operating Officer, Darin oversees leaders of

“Our team is trained on how to interact with

store, prefers a curbside experience, wants to

the Inventory, Information Technology, Call

our customers,” Darin says. “And, that

transact completely online or would rather talk

Center and Marketing teams. He also helps

interaction should be the same, whether a

to someone over the phone, RC is offering safe

with strategic projects and initiatives. With a

customer visits or calls a store.”

and touchless options to assist with all of their

wealth of experience behind him, we asked

RC Wireless Specialists engage with cus-

sales and service related needs. Regardless of

him to walk us through what makes RC’s

tomers by listening and asking qualifying

the circumstance, RC has always been able

approach to customer support effective.

questions. Through building rapport and

to adapt as needed. “Our customers are the

discovery, they offer the best solution to take

reason we exist,” Darin says. “It’s our vision


care of customer needs. The Home Office’s

and our job to provide the best wireless experi-

Some of the biggest improvements Darin has

role is to support these efforts. “Every de-

ence to every customer every time and to build

witnessed over the years are the tools RC

partment plays a part in ensuring every team

lasting relationships that keep our customers coming back for life.”

has developed to serve customers. “When

member is well-equipped to take care of our

I first started as a Wireless Specialist, there

customers, and is available when issues or

wasn’t technology in the store except for a

problems come up that they need help with,”

landline phone and fax machine,” Darin

Darin says. This is why RC created the

says. “Everything from receipts to contracts

Solution Center six years ago. It’s a call cen-

were handwritten.” Those handwritten con-

ter whose sole purpose is to be a one-call

LEARN MORE To learn more about RC’s new touchless retail, turn to p. 26. RUSSELLCELLULAR.COM




GROWTH SPURT Is Russell Cellular focused on customer satisfaction? Absolutely! RC also has to focus on sales. To do that, RC is now using the popular software Salesforce as one way to increase sales. The system helps track leads and prospects for future sales. We talked with Tina Crewse, Sales Operations Manager, for a look into company growth as a result of Salesforce. BY KAREN BLISS



The beauty of Salesforce is it

When taking the time to call a

allows RC to consolidate all leads in one

customer, RC wants to help the customer,

platform. New customers can be add-

but also its team members. Tina says lead-

ed as sales team members interact with

ers can share new leads with team mem-

them, existing customers can be added,

bers. That means more leads can be act-

and Verizon customers can be added. On

ed on. Team members can also track their

top of that, customer campaigns can be

own leads to see how many appointments

pushed through Salesforce. For example,

or calls are on their workload. The goal is

Verizon can send RC a list of customers

to make it efficient to reach out to leads

who live near an RC store and who might

and contact as many leads as possible.

be interested in new unlimited data plans. Salesforce allows Verizon and RC to prescreen and segment customers into different lead categories.


19,106 UPGRADES, 2,379 ADDED LINES, 347 NEW LINES As a result of the converted

As a program used to help sales

leads, some of the most popular purchas-

teams “work smarter, not hard-

es are upgrades, added lines and new

er,” Salesforce is the best thing RC has

lines. Before Salesforce, RC didn’t have

ever had for tracking potential sales leads,

a way to report and track the number of

Tina says. The system makes it easier to

completed leads and resulting sales. It was

track leads, since Salesforce does a lot of

up to the individual stores or DSMs to track

the heavy lifting. Tina says it makes sales

these numbers, which meant RC’s overall

so much easier than a few years ago when

data was not the most accurate.

team members had to consciously make time to reach out to customers.

INBOX Each issue, we answer your

RC: How often does RC/Verizon

information about upcoming pro-

RC: Why is it important to put out

burning questions. Whether

change up promotions?


new signage and marketing ma-

you’re looking for advice on how

Sarah Rogers: New promotions

S.R.: The marketing department


to improve customer satisfaction

or changes to current promotions

sends a consolidated email to all

S.R.: There are a couple reasons.

or want to learn about ways to

tend to happen approximately

RC team members upon being

First, as a Verizon Authorized

give back to your community,

twice a month—at the first of the

notified by Verizon of promotional

Retailer, we are obligated to main-

we’ve got answers. This issue,

month and mid-month. Of course,

changes. There is also an inter-

tain the branding and merchan-

we turned to Sarah Rogers,

there might be one-off promotion-

nal website that Verizon hosts for

dising standards Verizon sets

Marketing Manager, to learn how

al changes at other times.

their own employees and agents

forth. From the Verizon perspec-

to learn more about Verizon pro-

tive, they want all their custom-

the marketing team can help the RC sales crew.

RC: How can sales teams find

motions. Find it at unboxdindirect.

ers to have the same experience


relevant marketing materials and

whether they visit a corporate op-





REVVED UP RC is putting more focus on Google Reviews, and it's paying off. BY JESSICA HAMMER

That’s a big deal. Not only do those reviews help RC stores evaluate their performance, but the more Google reviews RC stores get, the higher they show up in a customer’s search results. As Jeven sees it, those Google reviews are a key part of RC’s digital presence. “Having a

Starting Feb. 1, 20201, there was a big change

positive digital reputation is huge,” he says. But

at RC. Over the past year, the company had

that jump in the ratings isn’t just about inching

used the platform Revv to gather customer

higher in Google’s search results. It’s also about

feedback. That info was sent to RC sales reps

building a strong reputation. “A higher score on

in the form of Rep Interaction Scores (RIS).

Google represents a positive experience, and

Starting February 1, RC did away with RIS and

that can drive residual business for the future

started using Verizon’s customer surveys.

and especially from referrals,” Jeven says.

That doesn’t mean RC is leaving Revv be-

To keep Google reviews coming in, Jeven

hind. For RC—a company that survives on a

says RC’s Solution Center has a plan. Each time

diet of customer satisfaction, getting raw feed-

a new review is posted, the Solution Center will

back from customers is crucial, and there’s one

reach out to that customer within 24 hours. If

way Revv has been incredibly helpful—Google

the customer had a negative experience, the

reviews. Once a customer completes an inter-

Solution Center will help solve problems and

action with an RC store, Verizon sends that cus-

hopefully retain that customer. That “adds to the

tomer a survey, and Revv invites them to fill out

service level and additional experience that we

a Google review.

can provide for customers,” Jeven says. It’s also

The impact Revv has had on Google reviews has been astonishing. Jeven Russell, Vice

visible proof to other customers that RC will go the extra mile to fix a problem.

President of Operations, says from May to

But Google reviews don’t start and end with

October 2019, customers wrote 6,000 Google

the customer. Jeven says they’re also a way

reviews. In the same six months in 2020, the

stores can take ownership of performance.

Revv platform delivered more than 300,000 to-

They can upload photos to Google, and they

tal surveys, which resulted in more than 16,000

can read reviews and address issues or cele-

reviews. That’s nearly triple the amount from

brate successes. “We empower our team to

2019. RC’s average score on the search en-

own their digital listings,” Jeven says. “These

gine jumped from 4.12 to 4.73 out of 5 in those

reviews are all about our reputation and our dig-

same six months.

ital presence, and our stores can own.”

erated location or an agent/retailer

chance to impact their decision to

a great way for them to stay up to

dealing with COVID, we are pre-

operated location. So regarding

make a purchase.

date on promotions and also get

pared to launch tools that will help

to know the heart of our team.

in the planning, execution and fol-




materials, we need to look like

RC: In a touchless retail setting,

low up of community events, RC

every other Verizon store. Second,

how are customers seeing new

RC: How can stores drive more

there are customers who prefer to


traffic with marketing?

do research and shop in a brick-

S.R.: Russell Cellular relies heavily

S.R.: In the coming months, the

and-mortar environment, so we

on our website, digital advertising,

Marketing Department will work to

need to keep things fresh so cus-

social media and email marketing

develop more resources to assist

tomers have a reason to visit our

to share promotions with custom-

individual team members in their

locations more frequently. If you

ers. If you can, have a customer

own grassroots marketing efforts.

get them in the door you have a

start following us on Instagram. It’s

Additionally, once we’re no longer

Photo by Brandon Alms

Cares efforts and the like.

YOU’VE GOT MAIL Have a question you’d like us to answer? Send your inquiries to RCconnections@ RUSSELLCELLULAR.COM




Photos courtesy of Russell Cellular



TOP Each year, Russell Cellular sets a goal for its stores across the country—get 100 points per month on the Sales Scoreboard. In 2020, RC had 1 store and 44 team members reach that goal. These six store managers made the list. Now they’re sharing tips on how they hit the benchmark, how they connect with customers while social distancing and what they think about touchless retail. BY ETTIE BERNEKING

Photos courtesy of Russell Cellular



"We obviously don’t shake hands any more, but we still give our customers the best experience, and we still ask the same questions and get to know them." —Timothy Smith

Timothy Smith Store: Elkton, Virginia Years With RC: 2

When you saw your goal for 2020, what was one repeatable step you took to hit that goal? Essentially, I just looked at what our store’s monthly goal was and broke it out by a per-

links and customers have a better record of

What was a sales moment you’re really proud

day basis. It’s a lot easier to break down

the transaction.

of from last year?

your goal then hit it all at once. It can be

Hitting our goal was huge. I was monitoring

daunting, but looking at it each day makes

What’s one tip you have for connecting with

the scoreboard like a hawk. Even my team,

it easier to learn as you go. For example,


we were all watching closely. That’s the first

yesterday was terrible. So I stopped and

Honestly, that hasn’t changed too much for

thing we do every day; we pull that up. If

reflected on what made it a bad day and

us. We obviously don’t shake hands any

we’re not hitting our goal, we talk about

learned what to do differently. That’s one

more, but we still give our customers the

what we can do to hit that.

thing we do every day; we constantly learn

best experience, and we still ask the same

from each other. Think tanks are key to

questions and get to know them.


How do you stay up to date on new wireless technology?

How do you build repeat customers now that

RC does a phenomenal job of sending

When RC moved into a touchless retail

people are shopping more online?

emails and updates, and my DM does a

setting, how did your approach on the sales

I will say that we’ve noticed an increase in

great job of calling to keep us up to date,

floor change?

phone calls and in-store pick ups. But still,

but outside of work, I follow a lot of blog-

At first, it was a little challenging, but since

when a customer comes in, we make sure

gers and YouTube channels that go in depth

Verizon and RC worked out the glitches, I

we show them how to use in-store pick up

about new products.

love it. It makes the customer experience

and select our location so they can come

better, and us reps love it. I can just send

see us. We can still drive them to our store.


Photos courtesy Timothy Smith

"Be yourself. You are not a robot." —Mandi Benedict

How do you build repeat customers now that people are shopping more online? Our goal is to make sure we give customers the best experience the first time, so they continue to come back. I let them know that if they come in for a bill pay or tech support, I’m there to help them. I think that’s something people miss. If they’re not coming in to buy something, some reps don’t see it as a chance to build that customer relationship. But those people will come back to you when they upgrade or add an accessory. We have customers from the opposite side of the state

Mandi Benedict Store: Rapid City, South Dakota Years With RC: 2

who come in once a year to see us. It comes down to treating them the best you can. What was a sales moment you’re really proud of from last year? Hitting the 100 total sales for the first time ever. We don’t have the same foot traffic as other stores. We were able to hit that goal in June, and that was a big moment for us. From

When you saw your goal for 2020, what was

When RC moved into a touchless retail set-

there it continued, and we hit 100 total sales

one repeatable step you took to hit that goal?

ting, how did your approach on the sales floor

each month after that.

The biggest thing I do everyday is pull up the


score board and set a daily goal for myself

In the beginning, it was really hard. What

How do you stay up to date on new wireless

and my reps. It’s easier to break that goal into

helped the most was using a rewards sys-


smaller goals. I give all my reps the same goal

tem. If I saw them using touchless, I would

We’re all kind of tech geeks, so when we get a

each day, but the focus changes day to day.

buy lunch. If I saw them not using touchless, it

new device in, we look up specs and reviews.

was a coachable moment.

We’re all super interested in technology, so it’s easy to stay up to date.

How did you use customer feedback to improve your performance?

What’s one tip you have for connecting with

I take it very personally if we get a negative


What brought you to RC?

review. Typically when we get a bad review it’s

Be yourself. You are not a robot. People love

I worked at a bar before getting in this indus-

very detailed, so that’s a learning opportunity

to talk about themselves, so when you give

try. That wasn’t the life I wanted to live. It was

for us. We can focus on the negative spots

them that opportunity, they really like that. It

very negative, and I wanted something I could

and grow from there.

gives you a better connection with them. They

grow with.

want to talk with a real human being. Photo courtesy Mandi Benedict



"You can get rid of dead air by talking to them, and if they trust you and talk with you, they’ll come back to see you. Keep the conversation going." —Jeff Tomlinson

doing a data transfer. You can get rid of dead air by talking to them, and if they trust you and talk with you, they’ll come back to see you. Keep the conversation going. It’s harder to gauge someone’s reaction when you can’t see their face, but you can tell by their tone. How do you build repeat customers especially now that people are shopping more online? We take the time to help them, but we also ask what they need. What does this customer need and how can we help? That shows we’re listening and we can deliver.

Jeff Tomlinson Store: Decatur, Illinois Years With RC: 3

What was a sales moment you’re really proud see what we could have done. You want to

of from last year?

build a good rapport with your customers. It

This was a repeat customer. She lived in

shows you’re invested in their happiness with

Charleston—so a ways away. She came in

the device.

and got an upgrade for her son. Then later that summer, she decided to come back to

When RC moved into a touchless retail set-

our store to work with me. She drove past

ting, how did your approach on the sales floor

other Verizon stores to get here. I was really

When you saw your goal for 2020, what was


happy that she’d go out of her way to see me,

one repeatable step you took to hit that goal?

Interestingly enough, I was actually really bad

and I could help her.

We have them written on a white board in the

at executing this at first. Then one month

back, so you can check them throughout the

our store was at 100% consistently, and the

How do you stay up to date on new wireless

day and see where you’re at. RC gives us

goal was 70%. We knew this was something


categories for sales, so we can track daily re-

Verizon wasn’t letting up on at all, so we took

I’ll read updates on devices. I have to learn

porting, and it’s right in front of you. It can defi-

it seriously. We made it part of the process,

what other industry experts or influencers are

nitely help motivate, and I would have each

and we explained it to customers. The only

saying. Then I ask how customers use those

person update their own numbers.

time we can’t do touchless is if their phone is

devices. I try to read as much as I can. I read

broken or if they have a flip phone.

the Google reviews and watch YouTube videos. But as a tech person myself, I like to

How did you use customer feedback to improve your performance?

What’s one tip you have for connecting with

We got one review where we did everything


we could, but we still got a neutral review. I

I ask exploratory questions to get to know

had a rep call that customer the next day to

them. I build a rapport especially when we’re


know what the inside of these devices can do.

Photo courtesy Jeff Tomlinson

Leonard Diebold Store: Dresden, Tennessee Years With RC: 7

When you saw your goal for 2020, what was one repeatable step you took to hit that goal? We checked the scoreboard constantly. I look at it daily. That’s the first thing I do when I get to work to see where everyone is at, including myself. I see where we’re lacking. I stay really busy, but when I get alone time with a rep, we discuss what they need to work on and where they’re at. When RC moved into a touchless retail setting, how did your approach on the sales floor change? That was a tough move for everyone. But now that I’ve gotten into that pattern, honestly, it works really well. You get a customer that does not want to come into the store, you can have them sign the agreement over the phone. How do you build repeat customers especially now that people are shopping more online?

"Make their time pleasant, and let them build confidence in you. You don’t want to feel like a rep just wanted to sell you something. If they can trust you taking care of their account, and they get what they need, they’ll trust you." —Leonard Diebold

The key thing goes back to taking care of business for a customer. They need to know you’re on their side. Make their time pleasant, and let them build confidence in you. If they can trust you taking care of their account and they get what they need, they’ll trust you. What was a sales moment that you’re really proud of from last year? I’m in a small town, and we were store No. 39. There are more than 600 stores! I was No. 4 out of 2,000 team members, so as a team and as a store we were really proud of that. We’re not in a big city, so being No. 39 means we had repeat customers. It was something to be proud of. How do you stay up to date on new technology? I do a lot of studying. I have several sites that talk about what’s going on at Apple and Android. It’s cool to be able to explain that to a customer and how it will impact their device.

Photo courtesy Leonard Diebold


Victoria Sabbath Store: Shreveport, Louisiana Years With RC: 2 When you saw your goal for 2020, what was one repeatable step you took to hit that goal? Consistency was big. I followed the sales process and didn’t get off of the regular offers and promotions. I’m a firm believer that people buy from people they like, so I make my transactions conversational. When I leave work, I’m a customer somewhere else, so I know when I’m being worked. But if you’re just talking, it’s unexpected. I teach my reps this, so they’re a reflection of me. How did you use customer feedback to improve your performance? I check mine when I have downtime. I just

"At the end of day, customers come in seeking help. It’s up to you how far you’re willing to help. You can be mediocre, or you can be a different kind of sales rep."

go on Google and check. I let my reps know

—Victoria Sabbath

that these reviews go back to Google, so as customers shop, they look at reviews. If we get a bad review we meet and go over the comments that customer left. We go back and replay the interaction and see what happened. A lot of the time we’ve found that the rep wasn’t paying attention to what the cus-

How do you build repeat customers especially

setting up six lines with her. That was a big

tomer wanted.

now that people are shopping more online?

highlight for me. At the end of day, customers

It’s all about the person you are. If the custom-

come in seeking help. It’s up to you how far

When RC moved into a touchless retail

er likes you, they’ll keep coming back to you.

you’re willing to help. You can be mediocre, or

setting, how did your approach on the sales

Make it personable and provide great service.

you can be a different kind of sales rep.

I don’t think it had a negative impact on my

What was a sales moment you’re really proud

What brought you to RC?

approach. A lot of the times, I’ve found that

of from last year?

I was working at a call center doing custom-

a lot of our customers shop online before

I had a business customer who came in and

er service for another wireless company, but

they come in. They already know what they’re

it started off badly. I had a rep that was on

it started to become overwhelming. I started

looking for.

the way out the door. She had put in her two

looking around, and I knew the wireless in-

week notice, and a customer came in about

dustry and found Russell Cellular.

floor change?

What’s one tip you have for connecting with

15 minutes before closing and wanted to open


a business account. The rep shooed them

Why do you choose to stay at RC?

Listen. If you listen, 9/10 you’ll learn every-

away to do it online, which is totally not cor-

I like the level of care that is displayed by

thing you need to know. It’s also good to

rect. I found out, and reached out to the cus-

the Home Office. I’ve never called the Home

share stories with them. You can tell when

tomer to learn more about what happened. I

Office and had a problem. Everyone is willing

you’re being worked or a rep is fishing to offer

called the customer back, and she was upset

to help. It’s a very friendly atmosphere and

you a product, but if you make it personable,

to know she could have set up the account

you know if there ever is a problem you’ll be

that means a lot.

the night before. She ended up coming back

taken care of.

to give us a second chance and we ended up 24 RC CONNECTIONS / SPRING

Photo courtesy Victoria Sabbath

Chance Anderson Store: Springville, Utah Years With RC: 2

When you saw your goal for 2020, what was one repeatable step you took to hit that goal? I took over management of a store Jan. 1, 2020. It was my first management role, so 2020 was a big year for me. We would get our goals as a team and set an even higher goal. My theory is if you can hit the higher goal, then you can hit the standard goal set by the company. Leading by example was big. If managers lead by example, the team is more likely to get on board. How did you use customer feedback to improve

"One thing I really struggled with was the fact that customers can’t see you smile. It’s your tone of

your performance? I took pride in the RIS scores. I’m in an area with seven other Verizon retailers, so I made it a goal to have the top Google reviews in the county.

voice that becomes important... Make sure you’re staying positive and uplifting. That way, if there’s any negativity, we can’t feed off of that. "

We didn’t know which customers were giving us

—Chance Anderson

reviews, so we made sure we were taking every customer seriously. When RC moved into a touchless retail setting, how did your approach on the sales floor change? I’m not going to lie, it was hard. I was just three months into management, and I had to reroute

How do you build repeat customers especially

ness, and she came back in November, and I

everything I was used to. My DM helped me a

now that people are shopping more online?

remembered her and greeted her with her first

ton during COVID. My whole team was out for

We made it convenient and that was the biggest

and last name. She was amazed. I try to take 5

three weeks due to COVID, so I was the only

part. So if a customer came in for tech support,

minutes to make it memorable for customers.

rep in the store. It gave me an opportunity to

we would make it as convenient as possible to

You’re making it feel personable.

see how we needed to integrate touchless into

help them. As an example, we have in-store

everything we do. We showed customers we

pickups, and some customers were confused

Why do you choose to stay at RC?

were taking this seriously.

by this. So if a customer wanted to use this fea-

I feel like RC makes it a priority to show appreci-

ture, we would help them with the in-store pick-

ation to its team for its hard work.

What’s one tip you have for connecting with

up even if they were already in the store. What is your new goal for 2021?

customers? One thing I really struggled with was the fact that

What was a sales moment you’re really proud of

I was a top performer of 2020, and now I want

customers can’t see you smile. It’s your tone

from last year?

to get my store there as well. Our store came in

of voice that becomes important. Make sure

One thing I found myself doing a lot in the last

8th last year, and we missed one month of goals

you’re staying positive and uplifting. That way,

year was trying to remember every customer’s

when COVID really hit. That’s what hurt us.

if there’s any negativity, we can’t feed off of that.

name. A lady came in wanting some new stuff in February 2020. I found out she owned a busi-

Photo courtesy Chance Anderson




SAFETY FIRST To keep team members and customers safe, RC limited the number of customers in each store.


Photos byby Brandon Alms Photos Linda Huynh

In response to COVID-19 safety procedures in 2020, Russell Cellular and Verizon rolled out a brand-new touchless retail process to keep customers and team members as safe as possible. BY CLAIRE PORTER

When COVID-19 first hit the



validate the customer’s ID, or

United States in early 2020, we

I think if you want to succeed


they can add a photo of the ID

“If you want

all heard the same advice: Wash

in business, this is the next big

to the portal without touching

to succeed in

your hands, stand 6 feet apart,

thing,” says Tina Crewse, Sales

a customer’s driver’s license.

wear a mask and don’t touch

Operations Manager. Tina and

Agreements and contracts can

business, this is

anything. However, when your

her department are a liaison

be sent via email or text to the

sales model involves hands-on

between Verizon and Russell

customer’s devices for signa-

customer service and standing

Cellular, so the Sales Ops team

tures, and they can pay from

next to guests as they sign pa-

was instrumental in rolling out

their own devices with the pay

perwork on a communal tablet,

touchless technology to all 600

anywhere option.

you have to get creative.

RC locations.

In response to COVID safe-

Parts of the new touchless

the next big thing.” —Tina Crewse, Sales Operations Manager

Of course, should the system have glitches or customers have

The videos were an integral

ty protocols, Russell Cellular

process were just expansions

difficulty, the traditional iPad POS

training tool for Amanda and

and Verizon rolled out an en-

of existing RC procedures. As

option is a backup. But con-

Alyssa. “What really helped us

tirely touchless retail process

an example, Tina says prior to

verting customers to touchless

kickstart the touchless process

last spring to keep customers

COVID, RC had in-store pickup

reduces how many hands are

was our Verizon Indirect Account

and team members germ-free

options for online orders. But

touching shared items. “Instead

Managers,” Alyssa says. “They

while still providing RC’s signa-

during COVID, the process was

of 100 people using the iPad a

made a cute little video for us on

ture in-person service. “We po-

expanded to curbside pickup,

day, it’s maybe 20, and that’s a

what a touchless interaction looks

sitioned it as a way to keep our

and a self-check-in option was

high estimate,” Amanda says.

like. It was very short, it was very

customers safe, comfortable and

added to the MyVerizon app to

confident coming into our stores

limit visitors in stores.

knowing that we’re going to have

Even the sales and activa-

the least amount of contact with

tion process got a hands-free

entertaining, it was very to-the-

Getting in the Habit

point, and I think it was short for a purpose. It showed that it doesn’t take too much extra time for us to

their personal devices,” says

revamp. Now team members

“The way we’ve had to adapt to

Alyssa Clark, a District Sales

pull up customer accounts by

touchless retail is by making it

effectively help our customers.” “What’s nice about the touch-

Manager who oversees nine

entering the customer’s phone

a part of our daily lives,” Alyssa

less process is it’s very simple,”

stores in southeast Iowa and

number into an iPad point-of-

says. “It takes 30 days to build

Amanda says. “I’ve seen that

western Illinois. “It also keeps us

sale system. The POS sends a

a habit.” To get teams on board,

page a million times now, so it’s

safe from whatever they poten-

text message to the customers’

Tina and the Sales Ops Team

easy to talk the customer through

tially, accidentally bring into our

phone with a hyperlink, which



it.” Although Alyssa and Amanda


grants the RC team member

resources into the RC Home

both made it their mission to

Hands Off


access to the account. “It’s a

intranet site. Within that training

learn the system intimately in

lot more secure because it’s

environment, District Managers

order to teach it to their teams,

like a two-factor authentication,”

and Sales Team Members can

they faced a little resistance to

Verizon officially rolled out its

says Amanda Malone, a District

find documents, checklists and

the changes.

touchless retail in April, but

Sales Manager who oversees

VZ Learn videos that explain

Alyssa and Amanda note that

Verizon had been working on

three stores in South Dakota.

each process. Tina and her team

the learning curve for adopting


also enhanced documents where

the new system was steep, es-

fore. “It’s what a lot of compa-




tion is equally touchless. Team

needed but mostly relied on the

pecially for team members who

nies are doing to compete in an

members can either visually

Verizon resources.

were used to the traditional sales

The rest of the transac-


process. For others, technolog-

time-consuming if we run into er-

ical glitches caused one of the

rors, and, of course, that can be

biggest obstacles. “The most

frustrating not only for the team

frustrating part is when maybe it

member, but also for the custom-

doesn’t work,” Alyssa says, es-

er because it does sometimes

pecially for team members who

take an extra 5 to 6 minutes just

pride themselves on fast, friendly

for a signature.”

and effortless service. “We really

When and if that happens,

try to make it a part of our pro-

Amanda recommends keeping

cess so that if the technology is

a positive outlook despite the

not working, we can fix it right

glitches and apologizing for the

then and there so we can still

errors while walking customers

get credit for it and not touch our

through the additional steps

customer’s device and not have

they need to take. “Saying,

them touch our iPad. It can be

‘I’m so sorry, I know you just pressed that link. Will you press it again?’ and explaining what’s

“It was like something

going on keeps them cool, calm


and collected,” Amanda says.

RC sales reps can use iPads instead of touching customer’s phones.

And sometimes, it’s RC store managers who have had to help

clicked, and


I think we led

“We did have challenging

our region in touchless for at least two months.” —Alyssa Clark, District Sales Manager

the process, which she could re-

New Expectations

feedback from team members

lay to her team. “I could again be

about touchless at first, but it

confident in telling them why we

was all because they didn’t ful-

do it, that it’s part of our process,

Although it took some initial con-

ly understand the benefits or

and it’s what we’re doing to keep

vincing for team members to

the process,” Alyssa says. After

everybody safe at our stores,”

embrace touchless, customers


she says. “And from there it was

were already expecting it. “I think

ings and being forthright about

like something clicked, and I

what we see in an overall image is

her team’s frustrations, Alyssa

think we led our region in touch-

it’s evident that touchless is what

gained more understanding of

less for at least two months.”

customers are wanting,” Tina



says. “We’re trying to get our team members to think more like the


customer, and as customers, we ourselves are looking for curbside

Taking the dive into touchless? Here’s how to make it work. KNOW YOU HAVE BACKUP. Amanda notes that sometimes the technology won’t work. It’s life, and there will be glitches. When those happen, use the iPad as backup and don’t be afraid to ask for help. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Tina recommends having a friend or familiar customer act as a test subject. Slow down, go through the process and work out any sticking points while you have a patient, friendly subject.

BUILD UP YOUR TEAM. Alyssa made it her mission to know the system inside and out so she could assist her team, but she also ensured that reps within each store were equipped with the same knowledge so they could troubleshoot in Alyssa’s absence.

MAKE IT A GAME. To encourage district-wide adoption, Alyssa instigated a competition, handing out certificates to team members who were above 75% touchless usage and rewarding the store with the most certificates with a lunch.


options, we’re looking for quicker, SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Amanda recommends that DSMs and store managers be proactive about adopting touchless. Encourage and celebrate teammates that use the technology, and when an associate forgets to use touchless, gently direct them to the process.

faster ways to purchase items.” Even though the hands-off processes






preferred the


personal service is still very much a SHARE BEST PRACTICES. Tina notes that if you’ve found strategies or tricks that work for you and your team, share your successes and insights with your peers.

Amanda likes to talk through each

STAY POSITIVE. Amanda recommends staying cool, calm and collected throughout any issues because customers mirror your emotions.

to expect. Similarly, Alyssa and her

KNOW WHERE YOUR RESOURCES ARE. Tina says knowing where to find help when you need it helps you process transactions faster.

part of every customer interaction. screen, text and notification with her customers so they know what team like to guide less tech-savvy customers through clicking links, signing with their fingers and new

Photos by Brandon Alms


Customers can use touch-to-pay or even pay with an Apple watch.

5 BIG CHANGES CURBSIDE PICKUP Verizon added curbside pickup to its in-store pick-up (ISPU) process so customers can retrieve their items without ever leaving the car. SELF-CHECK-IN To limit the number of people waiting in stores, guests can check in using the MyVerizon app to be added to the queue. TOUCHLESS CHECK-OUT Using the store’s iPads, associates can send paperwork and account validation links directly to a customer’s phone. Customers can also pay via their devices. CO-BROWSE New customers can register and set up their account through the co-browse system. Customers receive a link and enter all account information through their own device. RESOURCE LIBRARY RC Home is now filled with an entire Touchless portal where you can find videos, checklists and other training documents.

technological processes. “That’s how we’re keeping customers

New Year, More Progress

confident and ensuring that they’re able to participate in the touchless

A year in and RC stores are

because we are right alongside.

seeing widespread adoption of

We might not be touching their

touchless retail, and the data

“It’s evident that touchless is what customers are wanting.” —Tina Crewse, Sales Operations Manager

devices, but we are walking them

backs it up. Alyssa says Verizon

ing the way of the future for

the common practice, you’re

through it,” Alyssa says.

tracks touchless interactions

RC, even after the pandemic.

completely comfortable with it.”

by looking at “opportunities,”

“It’s not going away,” Tina says.


the touchless procedures, Alyssa

After almost a year of following

or smartphones that have the

“This is only going to continue


and other RC team members say

web capabilities needed to go

to be enhanced.” At Amanda’s

stay, and I think it should stick

most customers appreciate the

through the touchless process.

stores, she is pushing her team

around because, even after this,

agrees. retail






new process. “Customers are very

Because some customers have

to get used to touchless sales

it’s going to protect us all. It’s

thankful that we’re doing some-

lost, stolen or broken phones,

now while backup options like

going to keep people coming

thing, even if it’s something as little

Verizon doesn’t expect every

the iPad sales exchange are

back because they are now so

as them not touching our iPad,”

interaction to be touchless, but

still available as safety nets. “If

confident that Russell Cellular

Alyssa says. “It keeps them com-

Alyssa says the expectation is

you’re not yet on board, now is

will take care of them.”

ing back for little things that they

that a majority of a store’s inter-

a great time to move forward,”

could call tech support for. They’re

actions are touchless.

more confident knowing that we are practicing safety for everybody.”

Photo by Brandon Alms

Alyssa, Amanda and Tina all foresee touchless retail be-

she says. “Practice now and get it down so that, when the time comes that touchless is



We’ve all been there whether from an employee or customer standpoint: you’re talking to a customer, maybe a few more are waiting in line, and then the phone in the store starts ringing off the hook. It’s distracting. It’s stressful. And it impacts customer service. How can you pay attention to two customers simultaneously without tarnishing the experience for one or both? “Our goal is to provide the best wireless experience to every customer, every time whether that is in

The new Customer Service Team inside the Solution Center is

store or a call-in customer,” says Jason Kapperman, Customer Solution

designed to meet customer needs, assist team members and

Manager. “The gap we found was with the retail call-in customer expe-

drive traffic to retail locations.

rience. That customer is looking for help, and there is an opportunity to


serve them better. We want to help our stores fill that need.” What Jason hopes is that when the phone rings, someone will be there to pick up. An audit at Russell Cellular found a percentage of calls to retail locations were going unanswered. That is a potential loss of business, so Russell Cellular launched a Customer Service Department at the Solution Center in Battlefield, Missouri, to address those unanswered calls.


Photo by Brandon Alms

5 Things

You Must


The Customer Service Department is an expansion of the Solution Center, which began in 2014. The original Solution Center was a one-stop shop for team members and customers. This new department is focused on enhancing customer service, so customer calls will be routed to this office now.

This new team will be housed just down the road from Home Office Main in Battlefield, Missouri. RC has renovated the 8,000-square-foot building that was the former Home Office to accommodate the new Customer Service Department.

The objective is to provide better customer service and help team members by answering customers’ questions and setting in-store appointments.

Starting with seven team members in January 2021, the goal is to ramp up and to employ 40 team members by mid-year.

"We want to make sure that we keep customer and employee experience in mind and move the business forward in the right direction." —Jeven Russell, VP of Operations

The performance of the new center will be evaluated and enhanced to ensure the best experience is possible for our call-in customers and RC team members.

store locations. Here’s how it works: Calls are

to the phone system. As the company scales up,

rerouted from stores to the center, and RC cus-

the results of the call center will be evaluated.

tomer solution specialists will assist that caller.

“As calls start coming in, we will start analyzing

“There is a big segment of customers who

data,” Jeven says. “We want to make sure that

“This project stemmed from a conversation

call to make sure we have inventory on hand,”

we keep customer and employee experience in

more than a year ago, when we first talked to

Jason says. “We can also help navigate some

mind and move the business forward in the right

Verizon about how we could partner with them to

basic troubleshooting: ‘How do I get into the My


better support our customers and bring our busi-

Verizon app?’ We can take those call types off

While this was in the works before COVID,

nesses into alignment,” says Jeven Russell, Vice

the shoulders of our retail team members. We

the pandemic emphasized the importance of

President of Operations. “They asked if we had a

also have customers who call in looking for a

meeting the needs of the call-in customer. More

call center that we could direct these unanswered

specific type of device. A big aspect of our job

customers call ahead of time before they show

store calls to and that started our conversation

will be appointment setting. ‘I have one at your

up. “We are going to evolve and change as we

internally. There is an opportunity for us to better

location, what time would you like to pick it up?’

go,” Jeven says. “I am excited to see this pro-

serve our customers and better support our retail

We will set up an appointment to enhance the

gram adapt. Our goal is always to drive more

locations. The RC leadership team brainstormed

overall customer experience.”

customers to our stores to give team members

together and decided to create a team that is truly

So here’s the hope—Now, thanks to the

the opportunity to help them. We are a brick-

customer-centric. This will do two things: support

Customer Service Department, customers, rather

and-mortar business, and venturing into a call

our existing team members and make sure we are

than blindly walking in, will have a better expe-

center is not our traditional style of business. We

taking care of our customers.”

rience because a team member will be waiting

want to make sure this endeavor complements

RC launched the new Customer Service

for them. While the initial launch included 20

our team and creates more opportunities for in-

Department in January. The soft launch began

stores, each week more stores will come online.

store sales for our team.”

with seven new team members and roughly 20

This new venture requires technology upgrades RUSSELLCELLULAR.COM






Janine and her young family got to spend a lot of time together during COVID.

District Sales Manager Janine Wilson has a 2-year-old co-worker who has taught her the importance of balancing work and home life. BY ETTIE BERNEKING District Sales Manager Janine Wilson is a self-described workaholic. She’s not into hobbies and is not a crafts person, but she and her husband do have one pretty big piece of their life that takes up a lot of their extra time: their daughter, Emma. Emma—named after Janine’s godmother who passed away—is 2 years old. And when COVID changed the Wilsons’ work routine, Emma became the couple’s new “hobby,” and Janine had to break some of her workaholic habits. During a normal pre-COVID work week, Janine says she would arrive at one of her stores when it opened, spend six hours there, then

still take Emma outside. And as for her team,

Before joining RC, Janine worked for

communicate with other locations on her drive

Janine contacted them through daily Zoom

Ensignal, and the month Emma was born was

home. Then COVID arrived. Suddenly, in-store

calls. She called stores twice a day: once in the

the same month Ensignal transitioned to RC.

visits were halted, Janine’s in-store visits were

morning and again at the end of the day. “In the

At first, Janine and her husband were worried.

replaced by Zoom sessions and little Emma be-

mornings, the team can unload anything they

Then she made a phone call. “I called Brad

came a frequent Zoom bomber.

need to get of their chests,” she says, “and then

Boman and told him I was having a baby. I asked

Despite the sudden change in her work rou-

you can go over what their plan is for the day

if I would still have a job when I came back from

tine, Janine says she knows she’s been lucky.

and see if I need to set up trainings. By the end

my six-week maternity leave, and he said that

The day care the Wilsons use remained open

of the day, you ask if there’s anything they need

wasn’t enough time. He said to take as long as

during COVID, so the couple was able to send

for tomorrow.” As Janine has learned, “those

I needed because this was my first baby. That’s

Emma there safely, which gave them time to

morning calls are imperative. They’re a relation-

when I knew this would be huge.”

tend to their work. They also have family nearby,

ship builder.” She also learned that virtual store

Now, Janine is getting better at balancing

but Janine had to change her work/life balance

visits were a bonus. “For stores that don’t get

her work and home life. That’s in thanks to RC’s

when her husband’s workload changed and he

visited as much, I can create more of a relation-

culture of caring for its team and supporting

could no longer pick Emma up from day care.

ship through virtual visits,” Janine says. “That’s

them when needed. That support is going to be

That was tough considering Janine was on track

what I learned the most during COVID—we can

even more important for the Wilsons because

to hit a perfect score. Her district managed to

accomplish a lot in a 30-minute virtual visit.”

this growing family is expecting child No. 2 this

accumulate 100 points nearly every month

Even with the family’s four dogs barking in

March! Very soon, Emma will have a younger

in 2020, and Janine is someone who loves to

the background and the occasional Zoom bomb

brother named Willie, and Janine’s Zoom calls

work. But Emma needed her, so she had to find

by Emma, Janine balanced working from home,

will likely have a new member on the call.

a new daily routine. “That’s hard to balance,” she

supporting her team and keeping her family from

says. “You have to show your team you’re there

going crazy during quarantine. Janine says she

for them 100% and still be there for your family.”

knew RC would have her back. The compa-

To give everyone a reason to get outside,

ny’s genuine focus on creating a family-friendly

Janine and her husband assembled a playset in

work environment is part of what keeps her with

their backyard. On sunny afternoons when the

RC. She says she learned that lesson the same

family would usually go to the park, they could

month Emma was born.


SHARE YOUR OWN STORY Want to share your story with RC Connections readers? Send your name, title and a brief synopsis of your story to Photo courtesy Janine Wilson


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151) Michael Pierson - Monroe 1-LA

207) Spencer Miller - Millersburg-OH

41) Tonya Doyle - Corsicana-TX

96) Zachary Bell - La Plata-MD

152) Stephen Atkinson - Thomasville-GA

208) David Hash - St Pete-FL

42) Seth Ralls - Corsicana-TX

97) Gabriel Stamey - Sugar Mountain-NC

153) Jimmy Lawhead - Rifle-CO

209) Ryan Fitzpatrick - Albuquerque-NM

43) Taylor Cocco - Southington-CT

98) Emalee Blakeslee - Pagosa Springs-CO

154) Lori Manning - Monroe 2-LA

210) Cassidy Bishop - Kewanee-IL

44) Levi Rodriguez - Englewood-FL

99) Kaylee Jolly - Sparta-IL

155) Suliman Mohmand - Woodbridge-VA

211) Jessica Wilson - Price-UT

100) Christy Wall - Springdale-AR

156) Isaiah Chandler - Amite-LA

212) Felicia Velasco - Tucson 3-AZ

45) Krystal Warthen - Espanola 2-NM

101) Latoiea Clayton - Magnolia-AR

157) Katie Hall - Fernley-NV

213) Andrew Johnson - Mena-AR

46) Brandon Dubois - Rock Springs-WY

102) Chanda Turley - Grants-NM

158) Maria Gibson - Douglas-GA

214) Adjoni Solomon - Amite-LA

47) Daniel Forrester - Livingston-TN

103) Monique Maez - Albuquerque-NM

159) Nena Madison - Blanding-UT

215) Justin Cannaday - Fort Worth-TX

48) Jacob Johnson - Ocoee-FL

104) Marrissa Reynolds - West Branch-MI

160) Andrea Roybal - Los Alamos-NM

49) Jazmin Lopez - Winnemucca 1-NV

105) Sara Castaneda - Winnemucca 2-NV

161) Abby Lennon - Hot Springs-AR

50) Sarah Bishop - Alma-MI

106) Stephan Brough - Springfield-VT

162) JJ Jonesv - Cookeville-TN

51) Larissa Lopez - Elko-NV

107) Nancy Gibbons - Byron Center-MI

163) Cheryl Krogh - Cedar City-UT

52) Barb Pritchett - Mineola-TX

108) Carlos Anaya1 - Greenville-TX

164) Keirston Taylor - Fairfield-IA

53) Ketrick Brodie - Rock Springs-WY

109) Franklin Harris - Sweetwater-TN

165) Keanu Hannon - Valdosta-GA

54) JD Davis - Colquitt-GA

110) Marina Blanco - Tulare-CA

166) Brandon Ryan - Mt Pleasant-TX

2020 Year-in-Review Recognition YEARS OF SERVICE


20 Years

Team Member

Regional Director of Sales

#1 Brad Loertscher

#1 Chance Anderson

Laketha Cunningham Kimm Riggs

District Sales Managers 15 Years

#1 Saher Samine 2) Britney Copeland 3) Juan Roybal

4) Monica Turner 5) Janine Wilson

6) Krissa Shewey 7) Nick Nunez

8) Michael Sentell 9) Stephen Knefely

Teddy Estes Dawn Shively

President's Circle Stores 1) Woodbridge-VA 2) Valdosta-GA 3) Richfield-UT 4) Springfield 3-MO 5) Fernley-NV 6) Elko-NV 7) Republic-MO 8) Springville-UT 9) Cairo-GA 10) Taos 2-NM 11) Highland-IL 12) Adrian-MI 13) Cedar City-UT

14) Corsicana-TX 15) Boone 1-NC 16) Rapid City-SD 17) Alma-MI 18) Rock Springs-WY 19) Fitzgerald-GA 20) Salmon-ID 21) Greenville-TX 22) Tifton-GA 23) Winnemucca2-NV 24) Elkton-VA 25) Madisonville-TN 26) Champaign 2-IL

27) Delta-UT 28) Tulare-CA 29) Douglas-GA 30)Sweetwater-TN 31) Englewood-FL 32) Price-UT 33) Alamosa 2-CO 34) Seminole-FL 35) Albany-GA 36) Winnemucca 1-NV 37) Stockton-MO 38)Cookeville-TN 39) Dresden-TN

10 Years 40) Tyler 1-TX 41) Bettendorf-IA 42) Taos 1-NM 43) Monte Vista-CO 44) Espanola 2-NM 45) Oakhurst-CA 46) Tremonton-UT 47) West Branch-MI 48) Millersburg-OH 49) Eastman-GA 50) Springfield 2-MO 51) Magnolia-AR 52) Sugar Mountain-NC

53) Thibodaux-La 54) Mineola-Tx 55) Branson West-MO 56) Smithville-TN 57) Amite-LA 58) Nephi-UT 59) Montrose-CO 60)Monroe 2-LA 61) Vista-CA 62) Wildwood 2-FL

RIS Gold Stores 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27) 28) 29) 30) 31) 32) 33) 34) 35) 36) 37) 38)

Elmira-NY - 99.3% Wiggins-MS - 99.1% Grants-NM - 98.9% Eastman-GA - 98.9% San Diego 3-CA - 98.8% Sweetwater-TN - 98.5% Appomattox-VA - 98.5% Uxbridge-MA - 98.3% Sylvester-GA - 98.2% Lakeway-TX - 98.2% Blue Point-NY - 98.0% New Tazewell-TN - 98.0% San Antonio 2-TX - 98.0% Douglas-AZ - 97.9% Hagerstown-MD - 97.9% Kerman-CA - 97.8% Revere-MA - 97.7% Hopewell Junction-NY - 97.7% Cassville-MO - 97.5% New Rochelle 1-NY - 97.5% Montvale-NJ - 97.4% Rayville-LA - 97.3% Franklinton-LA - 97.3% Tifton-GA - 97.3% Irvine-CA - 97.3% Nashville-GA - 97.2% Corinth-MS - 97.2% Hobbs 2-NM - 97.1% Blakely-GA - 97.1% Hauppauge-NY - 97.1% St Pete-FL - 97.0% Woodbury-TN - 97.0% Windsor-VA - 96.9% Corsicana-TX - 96.9% Crestview Hills-KY - 96.9% Vienna 2-VA - 96.9% Lexington-TN - 96.8% Biloxi-MS - 96.8%

39) 40) 41) 42) 43) 44) 45) 46) 47) 48) 49) 50) 51) 52) 53) 54) 55) 56) 57) 58) 59) 60) 61) 62) 63) 64) 65) 66) 67) 68) 69) 70) 71) 72) 73) 74) 75) 76)

Lowell-MA - 96.8% Chattanooga 2-TN - 96.7% Woodbury-NY - 96.7% Collinsville-IL - 96.7% Chatham-VA - 96.6% Jonesboro-LA - 96.6% Clarksville-VA - 96.6% Shreveport 2-LA - 96.6% Mineola-TX - 96.6% Grundy-VA - 96.6% Monroe 1-LA - 96.6% Marietta-GA - 96.6% Kewanee-IL - 96.5% Lucedale-MS - 96.5% Bristol-CT - 96.5% Colquitt-GA - 96.5% Seminole-TX - 96.5% Jesup-GA - 96.5% Dresden-TN - 96.5% Sugar Mountain-NC - 96.5% Ruther Glen-VA - 96.4% Adel-GA - 96.4% Ocean Springs-MS - 96.4% Richlands-VA - 96.4% Littlestown-PA - 96.4% Tipton-IN - 96.4% Midtown East 1- NYC - 96.4% Unionville-CT - 96.3% Portales-NM - 96.3% Fort Madison-IA - 96.3% Mt Airy-MD - 96.3% Grayling-MI - 96.3% Breckenridge-TX - 96.2% Beverly-MA - 96.2% Nashville-IL - 96.2% Safety Harbor-FL - 96.2% Carrollton-GA - 96.2% Fairfield-IA - 96.2%

77) Farmerville-LA - 96.2% 78) Arlington-TX - 96.1% 79) Craig-CO - 96.1% 80) Alexandria 1-VA - 96.1% 81) Rowlett-TX - 96.1% 82) Bohemia-NY - 96.1% 83) Plainview-TX - 96.1% 84) Bartlesville-OK - 96.0% 85) Fernley-NV - 96.0% 86) Fayetteville-TN - 95.9% 87) Price-UT - 95.9% 88) Andrews-TX - 95.9% 89) Bastrop-LA - 95.9% 90) Limon-CO - 95.9% 91) Winnsboro-LA - 95.9% 92) Mena-AR - 95.8% 93) Medina-OH - 95.8% 94) Waltham-MA - 95.8% 95) Sparta Township-NJ - 95.8% 96) Lenoir 2-NC - 95.7% 97) Pocahontas-AR - 95.7% 98) Wynne-AR - 95.7% 99) East Rutherford-NJ - 95.7% 100) Gainesville-VA - 95.7% 101) Springfield 2-VA - 95.7% 102) Rockville 2-MD - 95.6% 103) Madisonville-TN - 95.6% 104) Albany-GA - 95.6% 105) Monte Vista-CO - 95.6% 106) Artesia-NM - 95.6% 107) Crown Point-IN - 95.5% 108) Cedartown-GA - 95.5% 109) Hot Springs-AR - 95.5% 110) Seminole-FL - 95.5% 111) Tampa-FL - 95.5% 112) Monett-MO - 95.5% 113) Westminster-MD - 95.5% 114) Jamestown-TN - 95.5%

115) Fairfax 2-VA - 95.5% 116) Kensington-MD - 95.4% 117) Big Stone Gap-VA - 95.4% 118) Effingham-IL - 95.4% 119) Manassas-VA - 95.4% 120) Englewood-FL - 95.4% 121) Fitzgerald-GA - 95.4% 122) Douglas-GA - 95.3% 123) Gainesville-TX - 95.3% 124) Sedona-AZ - 95.3% 125) Socorro-NM - 95.3% 126) Gallup 2-NM - 95.3% 127) Sparta-IL - 95.3% 128) White House-TN - 95.3% 129) McMinnville-TN - 95.2% 130) New Rochelle 2-NY - 95.2% 131) Hicksville-NY - 95.2% 132) Kings Plaza-NYC - 95.2% 133) Tyler 1-TX - 95.2% 134) Whitsett-NC - 95.2% 135) Grove-OK - 95.2% 136) Dunkirk-NY - 95.2% 137) Clarksdale-MS - 95.2% 138) Thibodaux-LA - 95.1% 139) Brandywine-MD - 95.1% 140) Trenton-TN - 95.1% 141) Albuquerque-NM - 95.1% 142) Chester-NY - 95.0% 143) Manchester-TN - 95.0% 144) Mt Home-AR - 95.0% 145) Weaverville-NC - 95.0% 146) Prudenville-MI - 95.0% 147) Clarksville-AR - 95.0% 148) Lorton-VA - 95.0% 149) Humboldt-TN - 95.0%

Misty Cannon

Trevor Heintz

Pam Cantrell

Christy Johnson

Britney Copeland

Chris Lucido

Audrey Dickerson

Benjamin Morin

Matt Duncan

Jordan Waddle

Cody Griffin

5 Years Sabrina Acosta

Brian Jordan

Tia Adams

Jennifer Loghry

Daniel Akhimie

Jackie Louf

John Avila

Amanda Malone

Liz Baggarly

Brian Mastin

Abby Betts

Jayme Mata

Cassidy Bishop

Amanda Mearns

Luebbers Blake

Jon Medin

Clarissa Candanoza

Courtney Moore

Spears Chad

Rainie Moser

Phoebe Chadwick

Jannicke Nelson

Kati Chambers

Jenna Odom

Jim Clanton

Lex Pishos

Mike Cotter

Tim Ramoo

Joel Deleon Valdez

Heather Reese

Stephanie De Santiago

Patty Richmond

Gregg Evanoff

Ashley Ripple

Jason Foster

Ali Schmidt

Misty Garretson

Angela Shaker

Prince Gill

Jennifer Shepherd

Paige Goss

Tyler Short

Mari Gray

Derek Sims

Eddie Guel

Eric Sloan

Katie Hall

Casey Solomon

Ricky-Paul Herman

Lacie Stromwall

Angela James

Kim Taylor

Christopher Jimenez

Herbie Upshaw

Tyler Jones

Greg Walden