Each year, PAR is proud to present a scholarship to a psychology major at the University of South Florida (USF). This year, PAR selected Christina Barnett, who will graduate from USF next May. According to Christina, she chose her major as a freshman because “I wanted something where I could make an impact in peoples’ everyday lives. Being an industrial/organizational psychologist would allow me the opportunity to conduct research to help people find more enjoyment and efficiency in their work and nonwork lives.” During her undergraduate career, Christina has participated in the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Psi Chi National Honor Society for Psychology, Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Society, the Honors College Council, and is a member of the Herd of Thunder Marching Band. Christina is a member of the psychology honors program and has received the USF Directors Award. She has worked as a research assistant in various psychology labs on campus and is now conducting her own research through the psychology honors thesis program on the relationship between conflict and cardiovascular indicators. She hopes to pursue a PhD once she completes her undergraduate education. We are proud to acknowledge Christina’s work and dedication to the field of psychology. Congratulations, Christina!  
The movers and shakers on Team PAR have been very busy, participating in community service projects and supporting causes that are making a real difference! Here are a few highlights of our activities so far this year. The PARty AnimalsPARty Animals 2015 emerged as leader of the pack in raising funds for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay at the annual Bark in the Park event this spring, keeping the trophy in its rightful place—the lobby here at PAR headquarters—for another year! A large contingent from our staff, along with their four-legged friends, joined the happy throng at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park to support the Humane Society and its vital work in our community. “Love is Blue,” according to the old song, and that sums up one of Team PAR’s true labors of love: our support for autism awareness and research. But why blue? On World Autism Day each year, the Autism Speaks organization encourages people all over the world to “light it up blue” by wearing blue clothing and displaying blue lights in their homes, schools, and businesses. PAR staff turned out in our best dress blues that day; we also held a week-long silent auction and raffle, where theater tickets and fine wine were among the generous donations that had us all raising our bids. An enthusiastic team of walkers capped off the week by participating in the annual Autism Walk, engaging sponsors and raising thousands of dollars for autism research. Earlier this year, PAR was thrilled to be honored as the 2015 Outstanding Corporate Partner for the PACE Center for Girls. The PACE Center in Tampa provides at-risk teen girls an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy. With a balanced emphasis on academics and social services, the PACE model is recognized as one of the most effective programs in the country for keeping girls from entering the juvenile justice system. PAR was also honored to participate in this year’s Cup of Compassion Breakfast to benefit the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. Through their crisis hotline and support services, the Crisis Center brings help, hope, and healing to people who are experiencing the devastating trauma of sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, and other crises. Each week throughout the year, PAR employees deliver a hot meal and a warm smile to Meals on Wheels recipients in our area. Many are elderly or disabled, and they often don’t get much company, so we try to take a few moments to chat with these neighbors who help to brighten our day as well. This April, we continued with our annual tradition of making and delivering an extra treat: cheerful gift baskets, brimming with goodies and designed to say, “Welcome, spring!” Above par, below par, or just from PAR…it really didn’t matter at a recent golf tournament, where our foursome of keen PAR golfers helped raise funds to benefit The Children’s Home of Tampa. This event is one of the many ways that PAR supports The Children’s Home in its work to strengthen families in our community. The Bloodmobile (a.k.a. OneBlood Services) makes regular stops at PAR, where they know that our regular donors—and a few first-timers, too—can be counted on for donations of blood and platelets. The experts on the Bloodmobile team make it easy for us to do the right thing! These are just a few of the many ways that PAR gives back to our community. “Creating Connections, Changing Lives” is more than just a tagline at PAR—it’s a commitment. Please visit the Community PARtners page on the PAR Web site to learn more!
The International Neuropsychological Society (INS) annual conference is taking place in Denver, Colorado, February 4-7 this week. Founded in 1967, the organization now has more than 4,700 members, whose mission is to study the relationship between the brain and behavior throughout the life span. PAR has a booth at the conference, and we would love to see you! Stop by to check out some of our top neuropsychological assessments like the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function® (BRIEF®), which assesses executive function in children and adolescents and provides multiple perspectives by getting feedback from both parents and teachers. In addition, get a first peek at our newest memory assessment, the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™), specifically designed for children, adolescents, and young adults. It uses common, real-life scenarios and colorful, developmentally appropriate stimuli that are engaging and relevant to young examinees. If you place an order at the conference, we’ll give you 15% off plus free shipping and handling. We can’t wait to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones, so please stop by and say hello!    
Each year, we send a note or a small gift to our Customers at Thanksgiving to thank them for their business during the year. This year, when reflecting on how fortunate we have been as a company, we decided we wanted to pay that good fortune forward.  In lieu of sending gifts, we decided to use those funds to support a worthy cause. This past November, we sent a postcard to select Customers and asked them to choose their favorite charitable organization from a list as a way to acknowledge them and their work. Now that results have been tallied, PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of its Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Wounded Warrior Project. “We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and these organizations inspire them,” stated R. Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward to the ASPCA and the Wounded Warrior Project on behalf of our Customers.” The Pay it Forward campaign will be an annual program to benefit worthy charities and to thank you, our Customers, for your business.
coverThe PAR January catalog is on its way to your mailbox. No need to wait for the mail truck to make its daily delivery—sneak a peek at the e-catalog to preview what's in store for 2015! Enjoy perusing your online or paper catalog—and thank you for being a PAR Customer!
You may not know Cynthia Lumpee by name, but if you have ever ordered from PAR, you have felt her influence. Cynthia is PAR’s Vice President of Customer Service, and she has shaped the entire Customer experience with her focus on providing the very best service in the test publishing industry. After a 32-year career with the company, today is her last day before retirement. Throughout the week, we have shared stories, memories, and well wishes. Today, we share two final well wishes here. [caption id="attachment_2066" align="alignleft" width="199"]Vicki King and Cynthia Lumpee during this year's United Way kickoff event. Vicki King and Cynthia Lumpee during this year's United Way kickoff event.[/caption] What an honor it is to propose a toast to Cynthia! I'm sure you have all heard many stories about her along the way. And it's stories like these and countless others that epitomize the wonderful nature and contribution that Cynthia has made to PAR. We are indeed fortunate to have had the privilege of sharing Cynthia's expertise, work ethic, and commitment.  She has achieved countless goals and accolades -- too many to mention now. Cynthia has left a remarkable legacy behind and one which will remain with us for years to come. She is leaving PAR a better place than when she found it, and that, in itself, will remain a lasting tribute to her professionalism. We will miss our colleague, a consummate professional, a confidant, a friend, a wise counselor, a shoulder to lean on, a leader, and indeed a lady of note. Remember us fondly and may the years that lie ahead be filled with laughter, happiness and even more dreams achieved. This is our wish for you as we say "so long," but not farewell. -Vicki King, Executive Assistant to the Chairman and CEO   In addition to leading the best Customer Support Department in the test publishing industry,  Cynthia has been such an important part of  PAR’s annual United Way Campaign.  Not only has she been a faithful donor at the Leadership level, but she has also been a creative influence in the planning of fun-filled activities and unique decorations for PAR’s United Way week each September. We will miss her positive spirit, suggestions, and involvement as we plan future United Way activities.  [caption id="attachment_2067" align="alignleft" width="300"]Cynthia with the Customer Service department during this year's United Way campaign. Cynthia with the Customer Service department during this year's United Way campaign.[/caption] “The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest meaning and significance.”  -Pablos Casals Thanks to Cynthia for caring about her Customers, her fellow staff members, and her community! -Cathy Smith, Vice President Community Relations Cynthia, we wish you the best in retirement!  
[caption id="attachment_2062" align="alignleft" width="300"]After 32 years, tomorrow is Cynthia's last day at PAR. Congratulations on your retirement, Cynthia! Bob and Cathy Smith with Cynthia during the early days at PAR. Congratulations on your retirement, Cynthia![/caption] You may not know Cynthia Lumpee by name, but if you have ever ordered from PAR, you have felt her influence. Cynthia is PAR’s Vice President of Customer Service, and she has shaped the entire Customer experience with her focus on providing the very best service in the test publishing industry. After a 32-year career with the company, she is retiring this Friday. Throughout the week, various members of PAR’s staff will share stories, memories, and well wishes as we send Cynthia on to her next chapter. Cynthia taught me the “PAR way,” which is about doing things the right way—being friendly, reliable, and thorough.  She made sure that we always remember that Customer Service is our most important product. Keeping that goal in focus is vital to PAR’s success, and it’s what separates us from our competitors. Most importantly, she taught me that little details matter and the only perception that matters is the Customer’s perception.  Thanks for everything! -Daniel McFadden, Manager of Customer Support   I knew from my first contact with Cynthia that I had encountered both an exceptional person and company. Although I have worked for less than a year in Cynthia’s department, I have enjoyed every moment together and am consistently astounded at how wonderful a team she has put together at PAR. I am confident her influence will continue to radiate through our team and the rest of the company. She will be missed dearly! -Danielle Greer, Customer Support Specialist   Cynthia has shown me the true meaning of Customer Service. If our Customers are not happy, then we need to work on ways to fix it. I admire her dedication to our Customers and their satisfaction. -Vicki McFadden, Permissions Specialist   In just a few days, I will be celebrating my 21st work anniversary at PAR. Without Cynthia, it won’t be the same. Cynthia has not only been my supervisor all this time, but she has been a source of encouragement, a shining example of professionalism, and a friend. In all this time, I have had the privilege of working for her, learning from her, and sharing with her in an effort to build and train a team that provides the best Customer Service in the test publishing industry. We will miss her so much, but will never forget what she has taught us. We remain committed to carrying on her legacy through our never-ending commitment to Customer Service. -Tamara Dwoskin, Customer Service Quality Assurance Manager
[caption id="attachment_2058" align="alignleft" width="217"]Love our legendary Customer Service? You have Cynthia to thank! Love our legendary Customer Service? You have Cynthia to thank![/caption] You may not know Cynthia Lumpee by name, but if you have ever ordered from PAR, you have felt her influence. Cynthia is PAR’s Vice President of Customer Service, and she has shaped the entire Customer experience with her focus on providing the very best service in the test publishing industry. After a 32-year career with the company, she is retiring this Friday. Throughout the week, various members of PAR’s staff will share stories, memories, and well wishes as we send Cynthia on to her next chapter.   Cynthia has taught me so many things, I don’t know where to begin! So, I’m just going to say that our Customers always come first to her, and she has taught this to every employee she has had. Thank you for everything, Cynthia. I am going to miss you!  -Marie Mitchell, Order Entry Coordinator (and has worked with Cynthia for 24 years!)   This is not a story, but there is a quote that I think Cynthia has taught not only her Customer Service team but all employees within the organization: Customer Service is not a department…it’s everyone’s job! She has taught me that it is important to always put the Customer’s needs first and to give people more than what they expect to get. I am forever grateful for all of her lessons. She will always play a vital role in the development of Customer Service representatives at PAR! -Donna Drackett, Vice President/Chief Financial Officer   Cynthia taught me that no matter what, we’re here for the Customer. Everything we do in the company will affect the Customer in some way, and we have to think about that no matter what. -Teri Lyon, MBA, Senior Technical Support Specialist
You may not know Cynthia Lumpee by name, but if you have ever ordered from PAR, you have felt her influence. Cynthia is PAR’s Vice President of Customer Service, and she has shaped the entire Customer experience with her focus on providing the very best service in the test publishing industry. After a 32-year career with the company, she is retiring this Friday. Throughout the week, various members of PAR’s staff will share stories, memories, and well wishes as we send Cynthia on to her next chapter. [caption id="attachment_2054" align="alignright" width="300"]Many things have changed at PAR, but Cynthia has been a constant for 32 years. Many things have changed at PAR, but Cynthia has been a constant for 32 years.[/caption] Number 5. Cynthia was the fifth person to join PAR, and she has had an extraordinary 32-year career here. She joined PAR as a part-time office clerk in 1983. At that time, she described herself as a married tennis mom who was raising two young daughters. She became PAR's first Customer Service representative, then our Customer Service Manager, and finally Vice President of Customer Service. Along the way, she set the Customer Service standard for our entire industry and taught all the members of her team what the Customer Service experience should be. We will be forever grateful for what she has contributed to PAR. She is retiring in January as the longest-serving PAR family member but remains part of the PAR family forever. -Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO
In celebration of the holiday, PAR will close at 5:00 p.m. ET today and reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 5. Orders received after 5:00 p.m. today will ship when we reopen in 2015. Take advantage of 2014 pricing by placing your orders today! Wishing you the best in 2015.