Julie Filary earns state award from MI-SBTDC

Julie Filary, Intake Administrator in Kettering University's Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, received the "Outstanding Intake Administrator" award at the annual MI-SBTDC Conference in Mackinaw City on May 17, 2012.  She accepted her award from MI-SBTDC State Director Carol Lopucki.

Filary was selected from a large field of nominees who are often the unsung customer service heroes of MI-SBTDC offices all over the state – folks who are experts in multi-tasking, the encyclopedias of everything SBTDC, and the masters of patient, welcoming customer service .  As stated in the nomination, "Julie is outstanding in her job, always looking to improve, and unafraid of new challenges; she triages clients to determine how best to serve their diverse and distinct needs; she answers three phone lines simultaneously while managing appointment and training schedules; she dispenses information, answers questions, makes spot-on referrals; manages and updates our regional websites; is the gateway of partner, agency, and community information; and keeps the regional director and counselors on task and in the right place with hour-by-hour (or minute-by-minute) reminders as needed."

The nomination continues:  "And that’s just the basics.  Consider that Julie works in a major urban and university-based regional office serving an extremely diverse and uniquely challenging population of clients and community visitors in an office where she’s not just front-line for SBTDC but also is the first and only visible person inside the only open door on a floor of office suites where people who either work in the suite or didn’t read the dozens of directional signs have gravitated to make personal contact; that she graciously and thoughtfully greets and directs clients visitors, students, faculty, staff and co-workers; that she pitches in to help co-workers, gets up and guides visitors where they need to go, volunteers to take on network and host projects; that she patiently and thoroughly answers the same question 500 times; and that no matter who…no matter how many times over and over…no matter how long it takes…no matter if it’s a someone with a multi-million dollar company, an individual with shaky startup business idea, or a confused student trying to locate a specific university office …each and every person’s needs are met to the best of her ability and each one is always made to feel like the most important person in the room or on the other end of the phone line.  And, by the way, she has a strict 24 hour contact rule – every client that needs an answer to a question or a return call receives a reply in 24 hours or less – even if only to let them know we’re still working on getting an answer.  In an era when attentive and friendly customer service seems to be a forgotten art, Julie Filary sets the example – for her coworkers and SBTDC clients.  Don’t we all wish we’d encounter more of that kind of “I’m there for you” customer service?"