Message From The CEO:
This past Saturday, Chicago had its first winter snow storm! After dropping my son off at a volleyball tournament, I had some down time while the team was warming up, so I found a nearby Starbucks. I thought it would be empty due to the terrible weather but instead, the coffee shop was surprisingly very crowded. I guess everyone was in the mood for comfort drinks like hot tea and coffee. I found the last available table and got myself all plugged in and ready to get some work done. I had my laptop and my notes all spread out over the table and was very happy working away and having my hot coffee while the snow blizzard continued outside. People kept coming in, and it was eventually standing room only.
A woman walked in with her laptop and several rolls of what appeared to be blueprints or some kind of presentation. She was desperately looking for a table, and it appeared that she was meeting someone there. No one looked as though they had any intention of leaving soon. The weather outside was cold, wet and very uninviting.
I could tell she was stressed about meeting someone there and not having a place to sit and meet. I was very comfortable and had all of my stuff laid across the table, but I was starting to feel empathetic about her situation. The person she was meeting came into the Starbucks and they shook hands. It was obvious it was a business meeting of some sort. So I walked over to them and offered up my table and packed up my belongings. I told her they could have my table, and I would wait for the next single seat at the counter to open up. She hesitated at first and then was so relieved and thankful. They sat down at the table and it was clear she was conducting a presentation. I eventually got another seat and continued to work. After about an hour, the woman’s client left and I saw her go up to the counter again. I assumed she was ordering another nice hot drink before she hit the cold conditions outside. I realized it was time for me to pack up and head back to the volleyball courts to watch my son play. As I was packing up, the woman approached me and thanked me again for giving up my table. She said she had this important meeting and had asked her client to meet here at Starbucks instead of her office since the weather was so bad. I explained that it wasn’t really a big deal since I was just catching up with emails. She then handed me a Starbuck’s gift card and said that she really appreciated that I was thoughtful enough to give them my table. I told her that the gift card was totally not necessary but eventually took it since she went out of her way to purchase it.
I was so excited to tell my son about how I helped this person out and felt really great about it. He asked if I ever thought that she would give me a gift card? I answered, “Of course not.” I did it because it was the right thing to do. You don’t do things for other people because you expect something in return. You do it because it’s the right thing to do and it makes you both feel good, whether you are giving or receiving. People enjoy making other people feel good and it shows that you care about them.
I really felt great the rest of the day over what had happened at Starbucks. As we go through our busy days, we need to slow down for a moment, and think about ways that we can spread some kindness to our friends, families, clients and strangers. Not because we are expecting something back, or because someone is watching, but because it’s the right thing to do. It reminds me of why we enjoy creating and giving magic moments to our clients. Something that doesn’t take a lot of effort, can bring a lot of happiness into someone’s day.
Wishing you and your loved ones… happiness! Pass it along!
A Tribute to Our “Volunteers”
Our company relies on the performance of people to create differentiated value for our Customers. Services are like performances, and you are the performers. Michael Allosso, an actor and executive coach, came twice to speak to NSPT in past Personal Development All Team Meetings with great reviews. He says that when we get in front of a Client, it is “Show Time!” From the perspective of the Customer, the people performing the service are the company. A mean waiter is a mean restaurant. An unfriendly checkout counter is an unfriendly store. An arrogant flight attendant is an arrogant airline. A rude doctor is a rude hospital. Service companies such as ours rely on the right people to play the role that best represents the company’s desired reputation, which is nothing less than to be known for World Class Customer Service. If you volunteer to work at NSPT, that’s because you want to play that role and be a part of a performance that people are going to want to tell their family and friends about.
Playing the service provider role at NSPT requires much discretionary effort, which is the difference between the maximum amount of energy you can bring to the service role, and the minimum necessary to avoid a penalty such as reprimand, less merit pay, or even termination. The difference between this maximum and minimum energy investment is discretionary for the individual employee—it is voluntary. Truly excellent service organizations get more “volunteerism” from their employees than do most organizations, and this extra effort directly contributes to the organization’s excellence.
NSPT and its Clients benefit from our high level of volunteerism of our staff. Extra effort—for our Clients and our team—is embedded into the essence of our culture. Most of you volunteer hard. Extra effort is played out in the thousands of ways every single one of you transforms the strategy of World Class Customer Service, into the reality of World Class Customer Service. If there are staff emailing with me all hours of the day and night, then I can only imagine the extra effort you all exert out there to put your Clients first. And it doesn’t stop with your Clients and your colleagues…you all put great effort into improving and growing NSPT as a whole. Anytime a new clinic opens, staff volunteer to put extra effort into launching the site, and even recruit their own family members to help out! Everything you do from blogs, to webinars, to event booths, to projects, are just a tip of the iceberg of ways you all volunteer for the company. The things you do for your Clients are beyond counting. And they don’t have to be anything big. Sometimes you are just tired at the end of a long day, and you muster the energy for a big smile to elevate the spirits of one of our guests.
So here’s to you, cheers, a tribute to our volunteers who go the extra mile with 3-2-1- Connections, Magic Moments, plus ones, thank you cards, and everything in between that you do without even realizing that you are going above and beyond just what is “expected” of you. You never hear anyone at NSPT say “that’s not in my job description.” That is what makes you Stay Invaluable, and that is what makes NSPT great!
Mom’s Need Love Too
(As told by Dana Pais)
I’d like to recognize Lee Ann Ferguson who created a magic moment for one of her clients. The mom of one of Lee
Ann’s clients has recently had some serious highs and lows in her personal life, all while still managing to be a great mom of a child with autism. This mom had just gotten married and, unfortunately, also had a death in her husband’s family on the same day of their wedding. Following these events and other struggles with her son’s school, Lee Ann decided to give this mom a little pampering, and treated her to some relaxing bath goodies including a lavender bath bomb, a candle and a Starbucks card for Saturday morning when she drives in to the clinic, just to have a little break during her son’s therapy session. Mom really appreciated the treats and Lee Ann said it felt great doing something to support one of her families!
A Chilly Run
Magic Moment Alert! Amanda Langer braved the bitter cold yesterday to run with one of her kiddos in the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot (wearing a turkey hat and all)! Running is a huge passion for Amanda’s client. Amanda took it upon herself to make sure that this kiddo was registered and able to participate in the annual race. Amanda’s dedication to the success of this kiddo took her outside of their traditional therapy sessions to the streets of Lincolwood where she was able to support and encourage her client to the finish line. Talk about Delivering WOW through service! Great work Amanda! Your LW team is proud of you and the impact you made on this family is truly inspirational.
- Athena– continuing to review questions with sales team to ensure full software is seen and concerns addressed.
- Blossom Book Club– Completed! See David’s e-mail sent on 11/12/15 and visit BlossomBookClub.com for
- Culture Video Strategy– 661 views as of 11/18! Letter has been mailed to doctors too inviting them to view the video.
- Create ABA Employment Webpage– a webpage will be created for the ABA department to highlight out open positions and attract new talent. Our ABA department is growing exponentially, this webpage will help to continuously attract applicants.
- Paylocity Implementation– new payroll vendor has been setup, and November paychecks have/will be paid through the new vendor. See Olga’s e-mail about how to setup your account and view your paystubs sent on 11/6/15, or visit this site, password NSPTers.
- Update SEO for Website– many therapists have been helping to update the content on our health condition pages, which will help with optimizing our search engine exposure.
- Convert Feedback on Results tracking to SalesForce– Converting the FOR tracking to salesforce will enable us to analyze data at the referral, therapist, parent, or child level. It is one of the first steps towards client-level tracking which will enable us to see things from a new angle and determine which kids have not been asked for an FOR in a set time period, which referral sources have/have not received FORs, etc.
- Integrate Net Promoter Score (NPS) into SalesForce– Create new NPS tracking system in salesforce and work to create client experience call system in which someone calls clients 90 days after first DOS or 30 days after course completion to check in and ask the NPS question.
Traci Hayes | Occupational Therapist-Bucktown
I am always looking for something fun and new to try and rarely say no to opportunities to branch out of my bubble. During the winter, Chicago challenges me to get creative. I go on a lot of random adventures with one idea leading to the next. My most recent adventure led me from church to driving Uber, to the dog park, to playing catch, to dinner, and then ending with a live music show. Since I am very regimented during the week, I get excited about starting the day with no plans in mind and deciding what to do depending on where the day takes me. There’s something very freeing about this. I don’t get to travel as much as I would like to and feel that this fulfills my need to be adventurous. I urge anyone to try the same thing with an open mind and see where the day takes you!
This Month’s Birthdays:
- 12/01 Carey, Jocelynn
- 12/08 Robin, Emily
- 12/13 Acevedo, Karina
- 12/16 Wein, Jessica
- 12/17 Goudis, Nina
- 12/19 Lehman, Kathleen
- 12/20 Katz, Jamie
- 12/29 Langer, Amanda
Be Heard: How to Speak So People Will Listen:
Look Who’s New:
Jill Kuczmarski | School Advocate Assistant-Des Plaines
Monica Quintero | Behavior Therapist-Bucktown
Before relocating to Chicago, she lived in Florida where she began studies in a Master’s program for Applied Behavior Analysis at Florida International University. In the year she was in the program, she accrued practicum hours as a Behavior Therapist. She worked with two children who had autism; one was at the clinic, and the other in home. She loved working with the children, and is excited to return to the field of ABA. Monica is also in the Navy Reserve. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Stacie Steinway | Behavior Therapist-Bucktown
Stacie Steinway has been hired as a behavior therapist in Bucktown. Stacie is a certified teacher and obtained her Master’s in Education at De Paul. She has an LBS endorsement and will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new role as a behavior therapist. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Anne Shragal | LCPC-Highland Park
Anne Shragal has been hired as an hourly LCPC for the Highland Park clinic. Anne has several years of experience in a variety of settings. She has worked in schools and also in private practice to provide therapy to children and families. Anne is very excited to work with a multi-disciplinary team and will be a great addition to the staff.
We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Archana Rajareddy | Behavior Therapist-Lincolnwood
Archana Rajareddy has been hired as a BT for the LW clinic and surrounding area. Archana is joining us from Autism Home Support Services where she has worked as a behavior therapist. Archana has a diverse background and initially thought she would go to med school. She then went to complete a master’s in Clinical Research and Administration. Her love of children and helping others drew her back to ABA and she is now enrolled at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology working toward her master’s in ABA. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Nathaniel Lachica | BCBA-Lincolnwood
Nathaniel Lachica has been hired as a full-time BCBA for the Lincolnwood clinic. His official start date is 11/30/15. Nathaniel is joining us from Gorbold Behavior Consulting where he has worked with children and adults. Nathaniel is extremely passionate about coaching and supporting lead therapists and behavior therapists to help them feel confident and successful in their role to provide excellent service to children. He was familiar with our website and talked about our core values during the interview. Nathaniel is kind and compassionate. We are delighted to welcome him to NSPT!
Lucy Buban | Behavior Therapist-Lincolnwood
Lucy Buban has been hired as a behavior therapist for the Lincolnwood clinic and surrounding areas. Her official start date is 11/24/15. Lucy has a BA in SLP. Throughout her studies she learned a lot about behavior therapy and how to integrate it into therapy sessions for children with special needs. She has continued to be interested in behavior therapy and is really excited to continue learning and begin working at NSPT. Lucy has worked with children for many years. She currently nannies and volunteers at RIC to help patients with traumatic brain injuries. Lucy is very warm and friendly. She will be an awesome addition to the team. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Shannon Sarillo | Insurance and Billing Advocate-Des Plaines
Shannon Sarillo has been hired as a fulltime B/I specialist. Shannon has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Southern Illinois and is looking forward to a new career in the billing and insurance industry. She is extremely passionate about animals and has spent a lot of time working as the non-profit coordinator and administrative assistant at Found Chicago. She has also worked with The Humane Society and several other kennels and animal shelters. Shannon is upbeat, friendly, and passionate about helping others. She will make a fantastic addition to the team and we are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Gabrielle Mazzetta | Behavior Therapist-Glenview
Gabrielle Mazzetta has been hired as a behavior therapist for Glenview and surrounding clinics. Her official start date is 12/15/15. Gabrielle first became interested in NSPT while nannying for a client who receives services. She has brought the child to NSPT for therapy over the years and has been impressed by his therapists and the warm atmosphere in the clinic. Gabrielle has a BA in Applied Behavioral Sciences from National Louis. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT.
Samantha Lewis | Behavior Therapist-Lake Bluff
Samantha Lewis has been hired as a behavior therapist for Lake Bluff. Her official start date is 12/4/15. Samantha is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and majored in Community and Environmental Sociology, with certificates in Studio Art and Environmental Studies. During her undergraduate studies, she explored many potential career options within the health field. She grew increasingly interested in Occupational Therapy, and furthered this curiosity by shadowing Occupational Therapists. In doing so, she was exposed to different age populations in various clinical and school settings. During August and September of 2015, she worked in a clinical setting under the instruction of a licensed therapist and was responsible for providing play therapy and ABA based therapy for children with autism. We are delighted to welcome her aboard.
Haley Eifert | Speech Language Pathologist-Evanston
Haley Eifert has been hired as a full time SLP for the Evanston clinic. Her official start date is 12/8/15. Haley is energetic and outgoing. She recently returned home to Chicago after a few months of traveling and volunteering in West Africa. Before her travels, she worked for four years as a full-time speech pathologist at two different skilled nursing facilities with TriCare Rehab where she managed a large and diverse caseload of patients. While she was devoted to treating adult patients, her passion truly lies in pediatrics. She is eager to return to working with children and their families in a multi-disciplinary setting. She will be working a Tuesday – Saturday schedule. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
In an effort to return to our blogging roots, NSPT is now bringing blogging back as a company-wide affair!
After receiving excellent feedback from many of our team members, we have enthusiastically restructured our 2016 Blog Plan.
Here is the great news: Since we are such a large team now, this means each therapist will only be required to contribute 1 blog to our entire 2016 publication calendar. Team members will then have the opportunity to write additional blogs or to respond to timely blog calls to action if interested.
For those of you that are new to blogging, here are just a few of the many benefits:
- Help parents feel like they “know” you and help them to become more comfortable prior to ever truly meeting you!
- Use your knowledge to position yourself as an industry expert
- Improve your web presence and NSPT’s through searches and feeds
- Help establish thought leadership
- Attract new audiences/customers
- Be an effective channel for customer interaction and service through the comments option
- Develop a professional, online portfolio
This new initiative will be kicked off next week when you join us for a 1.5 hour long training (via live webinar) that will cover the following points:
- Why we blog
- Blogging basics
- How to write a blog
- Topics needed for NSPT in 2016 (the marketing team will provide the actual topic titles)
- A 45 minute workshop where attendees will write their blog for the year
- Additional blog opportunities will also be shared for people interested in doing more writing and building an online professional library.
- Tuesday, December 8th from 7:30-9 pm
- Saturday, December 12th from 9-10:30 am
We look forward to having you join us in our blogging efforts for the new year!
Note this training is for full-time therapists. Admin may join if they would like, and part-time employees do not need to participate.
Our blogs make a big impact. Brett’s blog (below) on talking to children about the Paris attacks has been shared hundreds of times. With each click, Brett has helped a child and contributed his expertise in a permanent way. Your blogs can do the same thing!
Fitness Goals for Elementary Aged Children by Andrea Ragsdale
How to Handle Chronic Pain in Children by Morgan Anzelone
Events and Happenings:
- Lindsey Moyer has organized a holiday toy drive. Encourage your families to drop a new toy at any or our clinics. The final collection date is December 11th.
- Thank you to Lindsey Moyer and Mary Kate Mulry for presenting on sensory needs on Saturday, November 14th in partnership with SPD Parent Zone!
- Thanks to Shari Meserve, Robyn Ackerman and Maureen Evans for putting on another successful IEP Prep Academy on November 15th
- Our next live presentation Developmental Milestones in the Preschool Years will be held at the Lincolnwood clinic on Wednesday, December 2nd from 7-8 pm.
- Thank you to Amanda Langer for hosting a successful trial day at Exceptional Wiggleworms on Nov. 15th
- Did you know we have a FUN PHOTOS AND VIDEOS PAGE on the website? Click here to see if you are on it!
- Note our new Blossom Blast URL: BlossomBlast.news. Visit here for all of our Blossom Blasts!