Follett Features

View Follett in the News

Congratulations Follett Values in Action Award Quarterly Winners!

WESTCHESTER, IL, Mar 27, 2019 – We’re thrilled to introduce you to the FY19 Q3 Follett Values in Action Quarterly Award Winners! These all-stars were chosen from team members across the company who contribute to Follett's success every day. 

Let’s give a big BRAVO to the FY19 third quarter Follett Values winners!

Nominee:  Carol Hill, CLS Ops Back Auditor, Baker & Taylor, Momence, IL
Carol does her best to do what’s needed to get customers’ orders out the door, while never compromising on quality. She actively moves where she’s needed or moves materials herself. Carol informs everyone exactly what needs to be done in a polite and professional manner.

Nominator:  Elizabeth Blase, Baker & Taylor, Carol is a dedicated and hard-working individual. The exact type of person you want on your team.”

Nominee:  Rayna York, Technical Support Sales Development Specialist, Follett School Solutions, McHenry, IL
Rayna immediately responds to any phone call or email, is always positive and explains everything in detail so our customers know what to expect. Recently, Rayna worked extremely hard to build the perfect book list for each of our customers, reviewing their Follett Titlewise analysis to fill gaps in their library collection. She always makes sure customers have exactly what they ask for and also what they really need.

Nominator:  Juliana Sacco, Outside Sales Consultant, Follett School Solutions, “I get so many compliments because of the work Rayna does. Rayna is the glue that holds us all together!”


Nominee:  Brian Barnes, Sr. Business Systems Analyst, Follett School Solutions, McHenry, IL 
Despite having an already full plate with his business analysis work, Brian went the extra mile to ensure the new Android app adding inventory scanning ability for Destiny Resource Manager was working as it was supposed to. The time and energy he put into working on this effort did not go unnoticed. Because the Prokarma developers were out of the country and in a different time zone, it required regular 11:00 p.m. meetings to ensure success. Brian did it all with a positive attitude, quick wit and sense of humor.

Nominator:  Linda Woo, Sr. Project Manager, Follett School Solutions, Brain, thank you for all you do day in and day out and for being a shining example of someone who lives the Follett Values! You are truly appreciated!”

Nominee:  Caitlyn Newsom, Store Manager, Nassau County Community College, Follett Higher Education, Garden City, NY
In March 2018, we transitioned Nassau Community College into the Follett family and promoted Caitlyn to store manager. This transition brought several challenges, including integration issues and a short five-month time period to remodel and build a new cafe. Caitlyn rose to the challenge and took 100% accountability, while still playing a major role in the transition and training of the new staff at another store.

Nominator:  Brent Smith, Group Vice President - Retail, Follett Higher Education, I cannot say how much I appreciate Caitlyn and the accountability she shows at her store every day. The many long hours and weekends will pay off and are greatly appreciated.

Nominee:  Karl Swert, Accounts Payable Representative, Shared Services, Westchester, IL
Karl personally handles accounting transactions for countless Follett store managers, many of them time-sensitive check requests that must be turned around quickly. Karl manages them all quickly and efficiently. He supports hundreds of stores and is recognized for his response time, typically within minutes of each request. 

Nominator:  Wayne Beach, Regional Manager, Follett Higher Education, “One of the most important characteristics that operations folks appreciate is responsiveness. Karl gets it done, and I can't tell you how much we value his partnership.

Nominee:  Jim Whited, Distribution Services Manager, Follett School Solutions, Woodridge, IL

During the recent Folllett Virtual Campus (FVC) move to Follett's Woodridge Service Center, Jim Whited "took the reins." Jim has never backed down from a challenge and worked very closely with Mike Bartnick during the transfer process. From inbound shipping to outbound and everything between, Jim has identified numerous process steps to expedite processing.

Nominator:  Joe Marchert, Director of Distribution Services, Follett School Solutions, I cannot say enough about Jim's willingness to address any issues regarding FVC. We still have challenges ahead, but I am confident we are in good hands with Follett team members like Jim.


Nominee:  Mary Culp, VP of Professional Services & Operations, Follett School Solutions, McHenry, IL
On a Friday afternoon at 5:30, a customer identified an issue with Destiny Library Manager that caused 1000's of barcodes to be associated with the wrong books. Our teams, led by Mary Culp, leapt into action. The district requested we send hourly updates until the issue was resolved. Over the next 48 hours, Mary sent hourly updates and then flew out on Sunday night to be on site Monday morning. The service so impressed the customer, they’re now moving forward with Destiny Resource Manager.

Nominator:  George Gatsis, SVP of Software Development and Product Management, Follett School Solutions,This is a true team effort punctuated by Mary’s commitment to get this resolved. Mary’s above and beyond actions demonstrate the true meaning of the Follett Values.”

Nominee:  Andy Jones, Course Materials Manager, University of Cincinnati, Follett Higher Education, Cincinnati, OH
Andy collaborated with Follett store managers, publisher reps, faculty members and the Provost office to educate them on the benefits of includED. IncludED bundles the cost of all required materials with course tuition and fees. His efforts have resulted in eight new includED courses offered in Spring 2019 on three different University of Cincinnati campuses.

Nominator:  Ronald East, Store Director, Follett Higher Education, “Andy's ability to demonstrate the benefits of includED helped the University of Cincinnati provide students with a better chance for learning success." 

Nominee:  Sara Orrell, Business Analyst – Retail, Baker & Taylor, Charlotte, NC
Sara faced an extremely tight end-of-year deadline to complete several months’ worth of backlog accrual and point of sale analysis to support one of our largest retail partners. Sara navigated through and successfully utilized the customer's own native end-user reporting portal to properly retrieve the necessary sales data out of their system. Through a careful gap analysis comparison of the customer's data to data at Baker & Taylor, Sara reconciled every discrepancy and completed the task on deadline.

Nominator:  Wayne McInturff, Business Systems Analyst Manager, Baker & Taylor, “Sara completed the project by the end of the calendar year even though this required weekend and off-hour work at the height of the holiday season.”

Nominee:  Noely Resendiz, Customer Service Team Lead, College of the Desert, Follett Higher Education, Palm Desert, CA
Noely is always going above and beyond for our customers. One thankful customer mailed a note to the store expressing how appreciative she was of Noely’s time, how thorough Noely explained class material options and how she shared the various on-campus resources. When the customer expressed concerns about returning to school later in life, Noely responded, "I know you’ll do great!” The customer said Noely encouraged her and gave a "boost of confidence" in her return to education.

Nominator:  Jonathan Bennett, Store Manager, Follett Higher Education, “Noely treats all of her customers this way and in turn creates an environment that makes customers want to return.”

Nominee:  Jason Rice, Sales Representative, Baker & Taylor, Charlotte, NC
Jason’s ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with his customers is exceptional. A perfect example is a recent interaction with a key account that had scheduled an author event. The day before the event, when the order arrived, they discovered the publisher had shipped the wrong book and was closed for a holiday. Jason was able to secure 144 copies of the correct book, then picked up the order from the warehouse and drove 2 ½ hours to deliver the book to the events manager.

Nominator:  Margaret Lane, VP of Sales, Baker & Taylor, “Jason's efforts saved the day for this large event, not only serving our customer, but also the community. That is exceptional customer service!”

Nominee:  Lauren Werner, Human Resources Director, Shared Services, Westchester, IL
Lauren did an outstanding job as the project lead for the Ask HR rollout. Aware of the ongoing issue with our existing email-based customer support process, Lauren worked with the identified vendor (Zendesk) and began the months-long integration process. Lauren worked tirelessly with the HR, IT, Communications and Project Management teams to manage the numerous details to make the project successful and meet the requirements of all the constituents.

Nominator:  Carol Wood, Strategic Communications Manager, Shared Services, “Ask HR is an easy to use ticket tracking tool and knowledge base. This translates into better customer service for team members and faster answers from the HR Service Center/subject matter experts.”


Nominee:  Cindy Shea, Compensation Manager, Shared Services, Westchester, IL
Cindy was the mastermind behind the design and implementation of new salary structures for our retail stores. Faced with many challenges, Cindy built salary structures that reflect our current market conditions and organizational financial objectives. 

Nominator:  Cheryl Brand, VP of Compensation and HR Systems, Shared Services, “Cindy rolled out the structure to the retail management teams and they have been very well received. This was a tremendous win for our store management teams.”

Nominee:  Anna Wells, Store Manager, Pepperdine-Seaver (#0854), Follett Higher Education, Malibu, CA
During the shooting and fire tragedies impacting the Pepperdine campus community last year, Anna did incredible work. She sent updates from the emergency line, kept track of her team and informed them of safe locations. She was in touch with our campus contact during the store closure, providing updates on the safety of the team and advising that some had been reassigned to other stores to continue preparations for buyback and the spring semester. Upon learning a team member lost their home, Anna updated us all and we were able to quickly connect the team member to the Follett Team Member Foundation for financial support.

Nominator:  Derek Schuckman, Regional Manager, Follett Higher Education, “Anna’s leadership and support of her team throughout this event are unmatched by anything I have seen.”


Nominee:  Mark Balliet, Software Developer, Follett School Solutions, McHenry, IL
Mark created some simple JavaScript coding that pre-fills the context name for databases in Follett Destiny, so the user doesn’t have to type in the name. This change will save time for our Destiny developers and for our hosted customers as well. Mark did this proactively to make the process more efficient and streamlined.

Nominator:  Eric Sinsabaugh, Sr. System Application Developer, Follett School Solutions, “I have already heard comments from coworkers about this being a nice feature.”

Nominee:  Ron Inawat, Web Operations Lead, Shared Services, Westchester, IL
Ron revised the Campus Collections website used for displaying a variety of apparel and merchandise products available to customers through our Guaranteed Sales/Special Order program. Ron made time-consuming and manual edits and then upgraded the site to turn a laborious and manual process into a faster, more streamlined method. The upgrade allows for faster edits and more efficiency, giving the power (and time) back to the user.

Nominator:  Kathy Wakai, Sr. Buyer, Follett Higher Education, “Ron, the site and tools are nothing short of brilliant and required thinking outside the box. You continue to amaze me with your technical skills and patience. Thank you for all you do!”

Nominee:  Ericka Lawrence, Sr. Internal Communications Specialist, Shared Services, Westchester, IL
Once the Ask HR customer support platform was identified as HR’s new central ticketing tool, Ericka began work to house HR content there as well. Her unwavering support, skills and knowledge helped the Benefits team by quickly moving our content and organizing, inter-linking, creating new pages and adding keywords to aid team members in finding the correct benefit information. Our pages had heavy usage during Open Enrollment when team members needed easy access to benefit materials and tools to help them make the best decision.

Nominator:  Angie Rivera, Sr. Benefits Analyst, Shared Services, Our content is now better organized and easier to find than ever before and it’s now in one place and searchable. Thanks, Ericka!

Nominee:  Julie Ruppert, Planning & Allocation Manager, Follett Higher Education, Westchester, IL 
Stores were estimating and ordering inventory without a detailed sales history and knowledge of excess at other stores. Julie created a detailed spreadsheet by store, by SKU and by month showing each store’s sales history year over year, providing suggested overstock quantities to return to the warehouse to be used by other stores instead of ordering more inventory. 

Nominator:  Maureen Vear, VP of General Merchandise, Follett Higher Education, “Julie’s efforts will result in significant inventory savings! Thank you, Julie, for always taking the extra step in all you do.”


Nominee:  Michael Bartnick, Applications Development Manager, Shared Services, Westchester, IL
The move of Follett Virtual Campus (FVC) to Woodridge created challenges for the Woodridge team unfamiliar with FVC's processing system. Mike stepped up and became the main resource to resolve such issues as transfer methods, shipping, receiving and encoding. Mike answered questions or found resources to provide solutions, giving up his weekends so the customer would have little to no impact during the transition. 

Nominator:  Joe Marchert, Director of Distribution Services, Follett School Solutions, “This is the first time in my 24 years I have met and worked with Mike. I cannot say enough about what he has meant to this project and what a great team player he is.”

Nominees:  Michael Ervin, Business & Technical Development Director and Steve Gregorio, Digital Customer Management Director, Baker & Taylor, Charlotte, NC
Michael and Steve deserve special acknowledgment for the new Axis 360 Pop Up Library roll-out. Michael worked with the vendor and drove the integration through challenging issues and timelines. Steve managed the internal teams and Early Adopter Program with customers as well as the digital sales team. This new product -  a physical device and new application of Axis 360 - demonstrates a purpose-driven innovation of digital content to help libraries create positive outcomes in their communities. 

Nominator:  Patrick Moore, National Sales Manager, Baker & Taylor, “Pop Up Library looks to be a game changer for Axis 360 and Baker & Taylor, and both Michael and Steve have played a key role!”

Nominee:  Neghar Vaziri, Assistant Store Manager, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Follett Higher Education, Richmond, VA
Neghar is the Assistant Store Manager at Reynolds Campus Store - Parham Road.  A second store on the Reynolds campus has been without a manager for quite a while, and Neghar was asked to work at both stores on an erratic schedule. Some days she worked at one store and took a bus to the other store the second part of the day. She has been asked to be the opening manager and the closing manager on several occasions, yet Neghar never complained and just rolled with the situation no matter the inconvenience. 

Nominator:  Larry Long, Store Manager, Follett Higher Education, Having someone who is willing to make the commitment Neghar has made is truly commendable. She is a perfect example of going above and beyond to provide our stores with the TEAMWORK we needed during this period.”

Nominee:  Josie Wrucke, Relationship Manager, Baker & Taylor, Charlotte, NC
At the end of the fiscal quarter, a public library customer reached out with an urgent request to spend expiring funds on Axis 360 content. Josie answered the challenge, organizing all our teams from selection cart deliveries, order fulfillment and invoicing to meet the library's deadline. 

Nominator:  Michael Bills, Product Management Director, Marketing & Sales, Baker & Taylor, Well done, Josie! And thanks to all who helped make it happen.”

# # #

About Follett Corporation
Follett Corporation is the world's largest single source of books, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett provides education technology, services and physical and digital content to millions of students at 70,000 schools and more than 2,700 physical and virtual campus stores in North America. Through Baker & Taylor, Follett's reach also extends to the public library and global retail markets.