[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.
We are proud to announce the release of PAR’s free Training Portal. The Training Portal is a versatile resource: it’s a great way to get acquainted with a product before purchasing or to learn more about an assessment tool you already use. Each online training session provides an overview of a specific instrument, a description of how it was developed, an explanation of how it’s scored, sample items, and normative and clinical data. Designed with your valuable time in mind, each interactive video lasts approximately 20-60 minutes.

Training is currently available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), and the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™). Trainings on the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™) Screening Form and the AAB Comprehensive Form will be available shortly, with more presentations to be added in 2015.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now.

 

PAR is proud of our ongoing support of United Way. Last week, employees took part in our annual fundraising campaign. For more than 20 years, 100% of staff members have participated in our annual United Way drive, and this year was no different. We exceeded our fundraising goal, resulting in $123,392.95 being donated to United Way to help continue its mission of helping others in our community.
This year, our United Way week theme was Camp PAR. We took part in a host of activities, from a s'mores building contest to a tent pitching competition. Want to learn more about how you can help United Way in your community? Visit www.unitedway.org.

Last week, PAR took home two titles that we are especially proud to share.

On March 29,  PAR staff and our favorite furry friends turned a rainy day into a walk to remember to support the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s Bark in the Park event. Although the walk ended up being rained out just after our team picture, the PARty Animals were thrilled to take home top fundraising honors while showing our support for such a worthy organization.

Also, for the fourth consecutive year, PAR has received the Gold Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for promoting employee wellness, making PAR a Fit-Friendly Worksite. We are proud to promote the importance of healthy living and wellness in the workplace!

To learn more about the many ways PAR staff give back to the community, visit our Community PARtners page.
The PAR blog now has a sleek, modern look that’s not only attractive but easy to read and navigate, as well.  Updated weekly, our blog is a great forum to catch up on news about psychology and assessment, find links to new research studies, sign up for a Webinar, meet our authors, learn about a conference, or even watch a video about a new product or service.

We know that a lot of you are reading the blog, and now we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to become an active participant. At the top of each post, just below the headline, there is a “Leave a comment” button. Interested in the topic or have something to add? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment—or respond to a colleague’s comment.

Looking for a blog on a particular topic? Skim recent blogs, browse previous issues by category or date, or search the “tag cloud” on the righthand side of the page—just click on a word in the cloud to find posts related to that key word.

If you’ve arrived at our blog through an existing bookmark, be sure to go to the new site (http://blog.parinc.com) and update your bookmark so that you can see our updated look and access the new features.

We hope you find our blog useful and you like our new look.  And as always…we want to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!
This month, PAR was honored to be named as a recipient of the “Spirit of Tampa Bay” award from United Way’s Suncoast Chapter. United Way explains that the award is their way of recognizing companies that go “above and beyond” in organizing and energizing fundraising, volunteerism, and community engagement at their workplaces.

Cathy Smith, PAR’s Vice President of Community Relations, was thrilled to accept the award at a special half-time ceremony during a recent Tampa Bay Lightning game. For this honor, however, she credits PAR employees for their commitment and enthusiasm for helping others.

“From our beginning more than 35 years ago, PAR’s mission has included giving back to the community,” Cathy explains. Helping children and families in Tampa Bay is a special priority, and PAR employees have participated in a wide range of United Way Suncoast programs that support literacy, mental health, nutrition, and much more. “Staff participation was always strong,” says Cathy, “but about 15 years ago, we reached the milestone of 100% employee participation—and we’ve maintained that every year since.”

Each year, a large contingent from PAR participates in United Way’s annual Day of Caring, which brings together volunteer teams to tackle various projects that most agencies could never undertake on their own. Last fall, PAR staff helped organize supplies and donations at the Family Resource Center, a wonderful organization that helped more than 11,000 low-income and at-risk families in Hillsborough County last year.

United Way Pledge Week is one of the most fun weeks of the year at PAR. The week includes a series of games (with treats and prizes), from the hotly contested annual Scrabble competition to a ride-like-there’s-no-tomorrow tricycle race through our Distribution Center! The culmination of the week is a luncheon featuring speakers from local organizations who have benefited from PAR’s support through United Way—a wonderful way to end pledge week on a high note.

To learn more about PAR’s ongoing commitment to United Way and to other community service projects, visit our Community PARtners Web page.
[caption id="attachment_1421" align="alignleft" width="300"]photo Last week, PAR staff delivered gifts to a deserving local veteran's family.[/caption]

All of us here at PAR want to send you our warmest wishes for a very happy holiday season. We look forward to helping you and those you serve in 2014. May your New Year be filled with peace, love, and joy!

This year, PAR staff worked with two organizations to spread holiday joy to those in need, by fulfilling the wishes from an Angel Tree for the children and teens served by the Joshua House and by adopting a veteran's family through Service Source, part of Abilities Foundation. Click on the attached links to learn more about these incredible organizations and learn how you can get involved.
The staff at PAR wishes you and your family an enjoyable, relaxing, and warm Thanksgiving holiday. We feel fortunate for you, our Customers, and are thankful that we can help with the important work you do all year long.