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United Access Wins Bronze Stevie® Award for Ethics in 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – February 23, 2019 – United Access was presented with a Bronze Stevie® Award in The Sales Partnerships Award for Ethics in Sales category in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service last night. United Access was the only accessible vehicle company to receive a Sales & Customer Service Stevie® award across all categories.

Trophy Awards

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals. The Stevie Awards organization stages seven of the world’s leading business awards programs, including the prestigious American Business Awards® and International Business Awards®.

The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 22 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. More than 700 executives from the U.S.A. and several other nations attended.

More than 2,700 nominations from organizations in 45 nations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees.

Entries were considered in 93 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 60 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.

As a company, we are all bound together by a common purpose, to give people the power of freedom and independence by providing the safest and most trusted accessible driving solutions in the country. One of these key values was formalized as follows: Our culture is based around doing what is right. We use this simple, but powerful, statement as a compass in all of our business dealings, decisions and actions – we do what’s right, ” said President and founder, Richard May.

All of the Stevie Award winners should be very proud of their achievements. Independent professionals around the world have agreed that their accomplishments are worthy of public recognition,” said Stevie Awards President and founder, Michael Gallagher.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/sales.

About United Access

Established in 1997, this small, family-owned and operated company has grown into the second largest provider of accessible vehicles and products across the country. United Access partnered with industry-leading manufacturers to supply its stores with the best and safest products, including accessible wheelchair vans, trucks and SUVs, wheelchair lifts and scooter lifts, hand controls, power transfer seats and more. To learn more, visit www.unitedaccess.com.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.

Sponsors of the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include Sales Partnerships and ValueSelling Associates.

Supporting Veterans is Important to Us

It’s one thing to say we support our U.S. Military, but it’s another to show it. At United Access, we do everything we can to show our support. That includes helping veterans through the grant process and working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help them obtain the proper grant funding for wheelchair accessible vehicles, offering veteran discounts on wheelchair accessible vehicle rentals, and partnering with veteran support organizations like the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Wounded Warrior Project.

We are just as proud of our veteran employees. About ten percent of our workforce is comprised of military veterans. The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction and inspiration. Veterans also understand the dynamics of leadership and that teamwork grows out of responsibility and camaraderie. These are qualities we look for in our employees and values we hold in high regard in our company.

Meet a few of our Veteran Employees here at United Access:

Veteran on wheelchair
  • Jonah, Service Manager in the Dallas area, has been with United Access since 2014. He was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marines. Jonah started as a part time porter and quickly worked his way up to the Service Manager position.
  • Andrew served as a Major in the U.S. Army. Andrew now works with us as a Mobility Specialist in the Dallas area.
  • Van started his career at United Access in 2015. Van was a Corporal in the U.S. Marines and now works in the Cape Girardeau area as a Service Manager.
young cadet

Showing even further commitment are the men and women who continue to dedicate their lives to serving our county. One such young man, Brodie, is the son of our General Manager in our Springfield, Missouri store. Brodie graduated last month from 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry U.S. Army. He was the third youngest in his company (leaving for boot camp 5 days after high school graduation). During that time he earned the Sharpshooter Pin in Marksmanship. Brodie will be heading to college in January. After he earns his degree, he plans to go on active during with the hopes of completing Airborne and Ranger school.

Supporting our troops isn’t just a thing we say, it’s a part of who we are as a company.

The Contarinos Are Helping to Make a Difference

Cathy and Matt

The customers that walk through the doors of every United Access store aren’t just customers; they become long-term partners, friends, and family. Cathy Contarino is one of those people. Cathy, Executive Director at Impact Center for Independent Living, has been a customer of United Access for more than 20 years. Through the years, Cathy has owned four full-sized vans that they brought in to be serviced by United Access, and then later purchased four wheelchair accessible minivans, and she’s trusted the Mobility Specialists at United Access to help customize each vehicle to her specific mobility needs.

Without reliable accessible transportation, it can be challenging for wheelchair users to get back and forth to work, get to doctor appointments, and even everyday errands become trying. In Cathy’s role at Impact, an organization that helps people with disabilities achieve maximum independence in work, school, house and every part of life while participating equally in their community, it’s vital that she makes it into the office each day. Without her wheelchair accessible van, Cathy would not be able to operate this non-profit organization like she does today.

Helping people isn’t just important to Cathy; it’s a value that the Contarino household holds dear. Cathy’s husband, Matt, started looking for a change in his career. He wanted to be with a company where he could make a difference in people’s lives. Cathy, who followed United Access on Facebook, saw that they were hiring so she suggested that Matt apply. Matt has now become part of the United Access family, working as a Title Specialist at the corporate headquarters in St. Louis.

This month, Matt and Cathy purchased a 2016 Toyota Sienna with a BraunAbilty conversion as their latest wheelchair accessible van. We can’t wait to hear about all of their new adventures!

Helping the Hengstenbergs on the road to independence

The Hengstenbergs have their hands full with three children in car seats and Sawyer, who is in a wheelchair. Sawyer is a very sweet little girl who has been through many things already in her short life. Sawyer was born without a heartbeat, breath or life due to delivery complications. Doctors performed CPR for 30-40 minutes while trying to get a heartbeat. A ventilator was put in place to assist her in breathing and to supply oxygen to her brain. While all this was happening, nurses applied many bags of ice to her head to keep her brain from bleeding. Once Sawyer was stable, she was air lifted to Mercy Hospital St. Louis to the NICU. Sawyer was put on a cold bed for three days to allow her brain time to heal, which she did.

Once we were home, she continued to make progress toward healing. At six months we hit another obstacle; Sawyer was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth. Living with Cerebral Palsy can make it difficult for people to move about as easily, especially when it comes to getting in and out of a vehicle. That same day she was also diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Since her diagnosis, Sawyer has had two hip surgeries. The last of which was a really rough recovery for her. She was recently diagnosed with asthma due to all of the respiratory viruses. This past year she has started to have seizures. She was diagnosed with Seizure Disorder (Epilepsy). We are continuing to work on her feeding, sensory issues and talking and moving.

This van is going to be a life-changer when going places! It is so hard to get her chair in and out of our current van,” said Mrs. Hengstenberg. “We have been in the market for a wheelchair-accessible van to accommodate our family. Having a van that would accommodate us all would be a lifesaver.”

Disabled Girl Sitting In Wheelchair. On Her Legs Orthosis. Child Cerebral Palsy. Inclusion.

Thanks to a few generous organizations such as the Steelman Family FoundationMissouri Assistive Technology, and Varity the Children’s Charity of St. Louis along with several other generous donors, the Hengstenberg family will be driving away in their new 2016 Northstar E Dodge Caravan this Friday at the United Access corporate headquarters.

“The stories we hear every day and the smiles we see on our customers faces when they drive away for the first time, fuel our passion for the work we do,” said United Access Founder, Richard May.

“We are dedicated to giving back to the community that has given so much to us,” said René Steelman, founder of the Foundation. “This is the first grant we’ve been able to provide outside of the West Coast and we couldn’t be happier that it’s going to the Hengstenberg family.”

All in, Sawyer is a healthy, happy, normal little girl. Yes, she has physical disabilities but that doesn’t change who she is. She will brighten anyone’s day and everyone she meets just falls in love with her smile.

Everyone here at United Access wishes all the best to little Sawyer and all of the Hengstenberg family.