We held West’s national sales and account management meeting last week, the one time each year where we bring together our entire sales team to discuss the new innovations that will be part of our product and service offerings for the current year.
Among our distinguished speakers this year were Jim Jones and Joe Altonji from Hildebrandt International, who provided an update on the state of the large law firm marketplace.
We also were honored to host customers representing law firms and federal and state government agencies, including an enthusiastic panel of users of our CLEAR public records service for the government and law enforcement market.
There is no question that law firms, as well as attorneys working in state and local government, are feeling the effects of the recession. But when surrounded with colleagues who are the face of our business, and on the front line every day with our customers, I am reminded of what it is that truly sustains us: Our customers are not only the judges, attorneys, government officials and academics that make our system of justice work, but they are also our colleagues, partners and often long-time friends.
They also have the awesome responsibility of giving every U.S. citizen access to the legal system and an expectation of equal justice and the rule of law. We’re proud to be their partners in this important work.
We were prouder still to present the first-ever Stu Wolfer Distinguished Service Award at the opening dinner.
Stu Wolfer was a West sales representative supporting our customers in Idaho and Montana. He was a top performer, receiving every recognition West has to offer, as well as serving as a member of our Sales and Account Management Advisory Board and graduating from our Extraordinary Future Manager’s Program. He also was a husband, a father of three daughters and a volunteer with the Boy Scouts.
Stu served his country as a logistics officer and major in the Army Reserves and was the recipient of both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, which recognizes heroic achievement. Sadly, on April 6th of last year, during his second tour of duty since joining our company in 2004, he was killed in the line of duty while serving his country in Iraq.
It’s important to me that we keep his legacy alive, and the Stu Wolfer Distinguished Service Award recognizes the sales representative who best exemplifies the values and character that Stu brought to life.
This year’s award was presented to Steve Hamagiwa, senior sales consultant for West’s government channel. For 22 years, Steve has worked with some of the largest and most complex customers in the Los Angeles area. He is a top performer, a counseling mentor to his colleagues and a devoted volunteer, including the coordination of monthly dinners for homeless and disadvantaged people.
As part of Steve’s award, West will donate $5,000 to the charity of his choice, and his name will appear on a plaque that will go on display at the Eagan, Minn., campus.
I congratulate Steve on this honor and thank him for his service to his customers, colleagues and West.
I’m proud that we have colleagues like Steve and Stu that represent our company so well, and inspire all of us to reach higher – particularly in times like these.
President and CEO
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