When Startel moved into the automated era in 1984, they held regular educational/marketing meetings for the answering service owners who used their equipment. After several such gatherings Bob King, owner of King’s in Shreveport, Louisiana, suggested that some of the more active owners might want to arrive a day early and share ideas. Attendees of the first pre-conference meeting agreed that what they learned that day “paid for their trip”. As the group became more organized they formed a steering committee, made up of Kevin Bachelder, Susan Krems, Karen Waldren, Dave Artson, and Mike Smith, to build the framework of a new Users Group.
The steering committee met over a long three day weekend following the 1987 Annual ATSI Conference, held in San Francisco; and worked tirelessly to form the organization. They consulted with Larry Goldenberg by phone and by Sunday afternoon, they had developed a Mission Statement, completed the by-laws (patterned after ATSI), set up committees, and made plans for the first meeting. Then they went to work contacting every Startel user they knew of, encouraging them to come to the first SNUG meeting, which was held in Chicago, the early fall of that same year. The Startel National User’s Group, SNUG, was born.
Kevin Bachelder was elected president of the new organization. As a very bright and technically oriented twenty-something he was felt to be perfect “bridge” between Startel and the new users group. The first board consisted of the following individuals:
Kevin Bachelder - President
Susan Krems - Pres. Elect
Ernest (Ernie) Oswalt - Secretary
Larry Goldenberg - Treasurer
Directors Include: Carolyn Beckett, Wheat Carr, Louis Kahn, Joanne Milton, Michael Parker, Michael Smith, Larry Werner
Cheryl Green (Executive Director)
By sharing experiences the group was able to learn from one another’s mistakes and successes; they also realized that their grassroots effort was giving the users a voice and strength they did not have as individuals .Snug also created a vender/user liaison committee that enabled Snug to have direct proactive communications with the Startel managing executives thus creating a partnership between Startel and the Snug group which prevented misunderstandings and built a foundation of mutual growth.
As SNUG grew members combined their talents and resources to produce products and services for the group and for the industry. Throughout the years SNUG has produced, service manuals, marketing materials including a taped commercial, training materials, including the C-bit, and Excellence for Agents and Supervisors DVD's, Numerous Sales and marketing and Training Seminars.
Throughout the decades SNUG has been devoted to the users of Startel equipment. SNUG is users meeting with users, sharing their knowledge and experiences. SNUG is users meeting with their vendor for an organization which makes both stronger in every way.
Special thanks to Donna West, Kevin Bachelder, Stacy Polinsky, Mike Smith and others who helped put this information together.