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Sales Partners Gather Under Humboldt's Redwoods

If you have not attended a company wide sales meeting offered by your ISO or processor, we highly recommend doing so. These sessions provide new insights, boost enthusiasm and strengthen relationships. One such conference was Humboldt Merchant Services (HMS) LP's Sales Partners Conference, held Oct. 5 - 7, 2005. Partners from all over the United States traveled to the company's headquarters in picturesque Eureka, Calif. in the heart of California's redwoods.

The conference began on Wednesday with HMS providing a tour of its facilities. The company showed attendees each of its departments and introduced them to management personnel. HMS also made accommodations for those wanting a more in-depth tour. After registering, attendees went to one of two functions. Some attended the President's dinner, while others were invited to an Italian feast. A relaxed atmosphere provided everyone with a chance to meet new people and renew old friendships.

The opportunities to hear stories from industry veterans and to discover the interesting and diverse backgrounds of merchant level salespeople were amazing. One person described his appearance on a well-known reality show. You never know whom you will encounter.

Thursday morning began with a continental breakfast and was followed by HMS President Ken Musante's welcoming speech. He commented on industry trends and how they may affect the company in the future. Representatives from customer service and sales relations also addressed the audience.

A buffet lunch was laid out, and people were free to graze while attending breakout sessions led by a host of vendors. These were each a half hour long and gave vendors an excellent chance to present their newest offerings.

In the first breakout session, Ken Elderts and Bristol Leos of VeriFone discussed the Omni 3730 and 3730 LE terminals. Then, Ben Goretsky of USAePay introduced his company's wireless solution, which enables transaction processing with a mobile phone.

Rhonda Kingsley of Hypercom Corp. explained her company's products and services. In the final breakout session, Steve Eazell of Secure Payment Systems emphasized the importance of offering merchants value-add services such as check verification and guarantee and gift cards.

More sessions followed, including a presentation by Greg Miner of Merchant Capital Source LLP; Linda Perry of Visa U.S.A.; John Bartholomew of Security Metrics; and a group from First Data Resources. Security Metrics hacked into a Web site as the audience watched.

During happy hour, held in the exhibit hall, participants mingled with vendors, and Steve Sotis of eProcessing Network and James Webster of Authorize.Net. offered two more breakout sessions.

In the evening, shuttles took those who still had energy to the Blue Lake Casino for a wonderful dinner and entertainment.

A local dance group, The Rhythmically Challenged, demonstrated swing dancing and even got some of the audience up on their feet. HMS also presented several awards. A top agent won a lap top computer and another won a cash prize of $5,000.

On Friday LinkPoint and USAePay presented. Michael DiNapoli of Secure Government Payment Sol-utions advised agents on how to process for government entities. In the final breakout session, Adam Palminteri of Northern Leasing Systems Inc. discussed the lease process.

HMS' risk department made the final presentation of the conference. A raffle that included gift cards and electronic devices followed.

Attendees then made their way in different directions to explore the area's magnificent natural beauty. Some took a boat tour, some a driving tour of the redwoods, some hiked and some played golf.

The conference closed with a lovely dinner on the beach.

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