News & Events

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support

GEN301_logo_2President & CEO of Fidelis Companies, Karen Richards, attended the Genesis Annual Luncheon on May 5 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX to support one of her many philanthropic events. Genesis hosted an Annual Luncheon to celebrate 30 years of “Safety, Shelter, and Support”.

Mission Statement

“Our mission is to end domestic violence against women and children by stopping victimization and reducing the devastating impact of family violence through safety, shelter, and expert services to battered women and children.”

Annual Luncheon

The keynote speaker at this inspirational event was Maria Shriver, mother of four, NBC News special anchor, and Emmy-winning journalist. She enjoys reporting on the shifting roles, emerging power, and evolving needs of women in modern life. Maria is dedicated to influencing people to make an impact on our world. 

It is because of the generous Dallas community that Genesis can continue to offer life-saving and life-changing services at no cost to clients.

“Thank you Dallas for your support over the past 3 decades.”


  • Females age 18-34 experience the highest rate of relationship abuse
  • 1 in 4 women aged 18+ in the US have been a victim of physical violence
  • On average, 24 people per minute are victim to rape, stalking, or physical abuse

Join the conversation: #GENESISAT30

Take Advantage of LinkedIn


LinkedIn: the website that helps you find the right people and the connections you have with them. It used to be impossible to know who was connected and how, but now with LinkedIn showing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections is of tremendous value for networking. In today’s society it is all about who you know if you want to get recommendations and stay top of mind.

There are currently over 347 million LinkedIn users- most of which do not use the site to its greatest potential. It is one of the most popular social networking sites for professionals and businesses, a great way to stay connected or find new job opportunities. Members should remember these key points I have found with LinkedIn: be an active member, strategically connect, follow company pages and join many groups. It may also be a smart idea to customize your public URL, so people can find you easier based on your experiences or keywords.  

Before I started looking for internships I updated my personal profile, making sure all jobs and responsibilities were uniform, so my page flowed flawlessly. I had multiple people read it over and take a professional headshot of me for my profile picture. I joined more groups and thought of every service or active group I had been apart of, because employers look for that. They want well-rounded, determined individuals who go above and beyond in everything they do. I started connecting with adults I knew, then searched for companies (Coca Cola, Heinz, UPS) they were connected with, learning more about how to network along the way. Then I connected with managers who had a job I was interested in, mostly in the Marketing or Advertising fields. I would send them a message on LinkedIn, and would get excited with many quick responses back, where these managers would ask for my resume and email. This invigorated me. I felt empowered when they said I was a “go-getter”, impressed by my persistence, and they wanted to keep in touch.

LinkedIn allows you to do an Advanced Search; where you can specify keywords, location, industry, and what company you’re interested in finding. Forbes recently posted an article under Leadership titled, “7 Ways to Make LinkedIn Help Find You A Job” (link below) which outlines ways to make your LinkedIn profile more powerful to possible employees. Learning how to sell yourself and successfully highlight your strengths is a vital part of updating your LinkedIn profile.

Megan Butz

Thinking ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

The situation in our section of the industry has been interesting over the past 12-18 months.  Our department focuses on PeopleSoft and Lawson primarily, and both are in the midst of a period where the majority of the customer base is facing the choice of upgrading to the latest versions, or paying for extended support on their current versions.  The need to upgrade has historically been a matter of when rather than if, but in the past those timing sequences for the respective systems have never coincided as closely as they are now. 

Beyond the upgrade or extend decision, customers have plenty of reason to invest in significant projects for their enterprise software to support their business.  Oracle and Infor have both been racing to compete in the cloud solution space, as well as enabling web-based applications, expanding functionality for mobile devices, and growing their selection of industry vertical specific modules to help customers get the most out delivered functionality and reduce or eliminate the need for extensive customizations to fit their particular processes. 

Another driving factor for project work has been an uptick in mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and other large corporate transitions that create a considerable amount of work for employee data and business process migrations.  Clients see the value in getting this kind of project experience for their internal employees, so they’ll look to augment their staff on the daily production support side, while those internal staff gain the valuable project based experience. This experience helps ensure a more self sufficient company well into the future. 

The surge in projects is creating a tighter, talent-driven market, and the demand for qualified resources has been impacting our clients’ ability to hire and retain full-time staff.  As quickly as clients hire or develop talent in-house, those people are being recruited for lucrative, exciting, and skill-set building consulting work.  The trend is causing many of my customers to show more interest in a managed services model for long term, process-driven technical support engagements. 

From a Business Development perspective, it’s maybe never felt more important to be thoughtful and strategic about how you invest your time and with whom you invest it.  Understanding industry ebbs and flows, fiscal year cycles, and the impact of national economic factors are all influencing what you get out of what you put in. 


Mike Simonson, CTS

Infor/Oracle Business Development

The Path to Success

teams_building_scuccess_w640What makes one succeed? Is it the money which motivates them? Is it their need for achievement? Is it their passion and drive, or maybe their positive attitude? Here are some helpful tips to succeed in your career:

1. Take Responsibility. Do not blame others and start owning up to your mistakes (or those of your company). The best leaders are those who take responsibility and do not point their finger at somebody else. If you want things to be better, make them better. Like discipline, responsibility is one of those words you’ve heard so much from authority figures you’ve developed a bit of an allergy to it. Yet, it is still one of the most important things to learn in life. Without having responsibility as a foundation, nothing else here will work.

2. Work Hard. Go above and beyond the call of duty; colleagues will look up to you, and it will get you far. Show that you are dedicated, passionate, and capable. Don’t say it “isn’t my problem”- it may not be your responsibility, but do what you can anyway. Take on more responsibility; suggest a program that can help your business or employees. Aim for better jobs and promotions; do whatever you can to succeed.

3. Goal Planning. Make a list of your short term and long term objectives. Begin executing your small objectives while keeping in mind the end goal. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Always have a backup plan if things don’t go your way. Break your goal into steps; does opening an IT company seem impossible? Break it down, focus on getting funding, then move on to building a prototype, etc. Having a vision makes it possible to obtain your goals.

4. Live Optimistically. Get the negative out of your system; let go of things that drain your energy, you deserve to be happy. Feeding your mind positive thoughts is beneficial to the mind and body. If watching the news makes you sad, stop watching it! Indulge your passions, find positive people, follow your dreams, and of course, laugh.

5. Take Care of You. You surely do not want to put in all this effort and not be able to enjoy life because you haven‘t had time to take care of yourself. It is important to make time to relax and enjoy the little things. Start up yoga, exercise weekly, read a good book out on the porch, play with the dog, or splurge on that delicious looking ice cream cone.


“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”


Megan Butz 

Customer Service in a Social World

As a “social media specialist”, I like to pride myself as being up-to-date with the happenings that gain speed with the help of social media. However, sometimes I find myself surprised that days after a story spread across the internet like wildfire, I’m completely clueless to its origins. This is where I found myself this week, and maybe you did too.

If you admittedly fall into the same boat as myself, and even if you do but can’t admit it, here’s the gist of the story:

A now former Comcast customer called to disconnect her service because she and her husband chose to switch providers. After an apparent “oppressive” ten minutes spent explaining to the customer retention representative that they would like to disconnect, the customer’s husband (Ryan) took over the call and began recording. What followed was eight minutes of painful, cringe worthy conversation that finally concluded with the customer achieving his goal of getting the service cancelled.

If you have eight minutes to spare, I urge you to listen to the recording.

After stumbling across this days old story via a LinkedIn Influencer article, I found myself transfixed. If you open the link, you’ll find the author, Frank Eliason, baits the reader with a link to the recorded call at the end of the first paragraph. So, of course, I found myself taking it hook, line and sinker and it was worth every minute. I found myself experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, from disbelief and horror, to amazement of Ryan’s ability to remain calm, – probably because he was aware he was recording the call, therefore, losing his temper would distract from the customer retention representative’s behavior – to sympathy for both Ryan, his wife and the rep.

Now, as I mentioned in the above paragraph, Frank Eliason is a LinkedIn Influencer and Director of Global Social Media with Citi. Did you catch that? I’ll type it again: Director of GLOBAL Social Media. Of anyone who has commented on this story, and if you follow the links in his LinkedIn article you can read several other articles about this call, I believe Mr. Eliason is one of the more qualified. He is in charge of social media for a globally recognized financial company. There’s that word again. And in case you didn’t read the article, he previously worked at Comcast.

How does this call relate to a business that doesn’t have a customer service department you may ask? Because as we shared last week, customer services is more than a department, it’s a way of life. Most everyone will admit things have changed over the last 5 – 10 years, and of course they have – If we don’t move forward we will crumble as a society. However, what we have watched truly change is how freely anyone can voice a praise, or sometimes more importantly, a criticism, of any one or any thing. Social media has given anyone with internet access and an email address the platform they need to share any and all opinions they deem important.

This has categorically changed how consumers spend their money, share their business and communicate with their providers. And time after time, we have watched companies fail to adjust their strategy to accommodate this new way of communicating with the customer. If you need an example, you can find one here, or here, or even here.

According to, customer service is defined as “assistance and other resources that a company provides to the people who buy or use its products or services.” With the voice social media has given us, every employee now has customer service in their job description. Using the definition above, selling a service no longer limits good customer service to the person you are selling the service. Even internally, each department has “buyers” they work for, rather it be accounting, human resources, marketing, IT or any other department that coordinates with another arm of the business. For example, as a marketing professional your buyer is the team requesting the blog, conference material, white paper, etc. You must provide the same level of service to your internal customer as a sales person would to their external client.

The Comcast customer service call is only the most recent example of a customer service fail. I remember working retail in college and being told my first day the customer is always right. While in reality this doesn’t always ring true, as customer service professionals we must still treat our customer with respect, agree or disagree. The Comcast employee may have actually been following his training on this call, or he may have taken his training and decided to throw caution to the wind to “save” this disconnect. No matter, he broke the unspoken customer service rule: the customer is always right. He got angry, talked over the customer and didn’t stop to listen to what Ryan was asking. And social media, yet again, claimed another #customerservicefail victory.

Following up on Ryan’s original recording post, he shared links to his personal Twitter feed asking Comcast not to fire this employee, which I personally find interesting. He was the one who decided to make this call public instead of informing Comcast directly, but I digress. More to my point, while reading Ryan’s tweets I again found myself drawn to the replies.

Here are links to his tweets:

@Ryan Tweet 1:

@Ryan Tweet 2:

@Ryan Tweet 3:

In his own way, Ryan continued to pour gasoline on the fire by trying to persuade Comcast not to punish the employee. He states he understands the position the rep was in and his main goal is to put the spotlight on the industry problem and for Comcast to reevaluate their training. However, just as social media lashed out against the original call and behavior of the Comcast employee, replies to Ryan’s tweets seem to show an annoyance with his position as well. Some users continue to be outraged by the call and applaud Ryan’s position in support of the employee, while others sarcastically point out what I mentioned above: Ryan continued to make this story relevant and circulate online as he tweeted updates.

Social media knows no loyalty and will turn on anyone in a split second. As anything new does, it has brought both good and bad advances in both technology and humanity. An official press release from a company can no longer make a problem disappear, nor can it sell a new product. Business can be made or killed through social media. It is no longer the sole responsibility of the PR department or the C level staff of a company to maintain the company image. Each employee must be aware of what they post, say or even write in an email. Customer service is no longer a department. It’s a requirement. 


Casidy Lemons

Casidy_DBJ Event

New York, New York!

Our top producers for 2013 spent a weekend in New York City the first week of June as part of our 2014 President’s Club. While following many of them on social media during the trip, I thought their wonderful experiences should be shared with the rest of our fans as they were with us personally upon their return. They were each asked to share a highlight of their version of the trip, so below you will find personal stories and pictures from those who were able to make the trip. Enjoy!



I had a great time in NYC. We were able to see the WTC Memorial, Freedom Tower, SOHO, Little Italy, China Town, Canal Street, Hell’s Kitchen, The statue of Liberty, Wall Street and Central Park. In addition to all of the sight seeing, we were able to watch one of our own Fidelis employees get married in Central Park!  

 Michelle - Toy Story

The best part of the trip for me, outside of seeing the wedding, was going to see “The Book of Mormon” and getting a private boat tour around the Hudson and Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty timing was perfect since it was the D-Day anniversary. We were in the water while they were dropping the 1 million rose petals, which was such an experience to see.  After the tour we ate lunch at The Liberty House and met both Ron and Kim, from Liberty Landings.  They are both amazing people and were so much fun to spend time with. The view of NYC from the Liberty house was incredible. Overall, this was probably my FAVORITE president’s trip to date.  Looking forward to next year!

Michelle - & Ryan 


My personal favorite experience was probably everyone else’s – the VIP treatment that became almost our entire day out to see the Statue of Liberty.

We happened to be in NYC on the 70th memorial of D-Day, along with the Puerto Rican Pride parade planned for Sunday, so the city seemed to be extra busy with tourists from all over.  Battery Park itself was jam-packed with people trying to board the ferries, so I think most of us were expecting to join the other tourists and stand in line like anyone else, buy our tickets, shuffle our way through the crowds and hopefully grab a seat or even standing room on the top deck so we could have a view.

Mike - DDayAlan, our co-owner, had made arrangements with a personal friend that owns some of the marina property in the New York and New Jersey area, which we all understood to mean someone from their office would join us and escort us on the ferry, out to the island and give us a personal tour and then we would have lunch and be on our way.  That turned out to be a bit of an understatement. We hopped on the subway down into the park and wandered around until we found Kim from Liberty Landings, which is when the surprises started happening. Within minutes we all had tickets in hand for the ferry, and next thing we know we’ve bypassed all of the lines – and we’re talking hundreds of people and who knows how long of a wait – and are now getting the backstage access treatment. We’re among the first in line now, and have easy access to the top deck.  We take off from Battery Park, and Kim starts in with the personal guided tour, filling us in on all of the history and interesting facts about our surroundings, which was really great.  We docked at Liberty Island and walked around the park; some of us went up to the pedestal of the statue while others just explored the park.  There was a commemoration ceremony on the lawn setting up about the time our ferry was scheduled to depart, so we all met back at the ferry and again made our way to the front of the lines and top deck. As we’re pulling away, a huge French military ship had stopped a few hundred yards off the shore, and another ship with several water cannons was blasting colored water in red, white, and blue.  We’re all trying to get pictures of the water cannon ship, and then three helicopters fly in and hover overhead and proceed to drop a million (literally a million) rose pedals which blew down over the statue and into the crowd observing the ceremony.  Pretty cool sights to see on their own.

Mike - Day Group

Then, we arrive and dock on the Jersey side where we’re still following Kim to wherever she had planned for lunch. We wound up at a restaurant with probably the best shot you can get of the entire New York City skyline. We had a full panoramic view overlooking the Hudson River from Jersey City on our left, spanning from the upper west side and down to Battery Park. We could tell this was somewhat of a hot-spot because as we’re sitting there, a state senator and a notable surgeon are greeted by Ron, who is the VP of the Marinas, and has now sat down with us for lunch.  Ron is the kind of guy who makes things happen. In fact, he told us that’s their motto. He had asked us about our plans for dinner, and when I mentioned that we had missed out on reservations for the most famous steak house in town, he says “you wanna eat there? One of my closest personal friends owns the place,” which turned out to be the story with several other restaurants or bars when we asked for recommendations about the best places to eat or hang out. 

I suppose when all of your customers are the type of people with 100ft yachts in New York City, you’re likely to have some pretty good connections, which leads us to maybe the coolest part of the day. Ron discreetly took a call or two during lunch, grabbed a few of our phones and took several pictures of us and then had one of the waitresses take a few more. We follow him down the marina to an empty dock where we’re expecting to find some way back to the city, but instead Ron says “there’s your ride.”  Up pulls a federal park police boat that proceeds to load all of us up and provide a personal (and extremely fast) escort up the Hudson into the Ground Zero area. The boat itself, we were told, is the fastest on the water and can stop from full speed in less than 10 feet! We rode through the area that “Sully” landed the commercial airliner in the river, stopped up-close by the Intrepid, which is a warship converted into a Sea, Air & Space museum on the water, and then cruised a bit further up to ground zero. The 911 memorial was our final stop with Kim, where she shared some personal perspective of how that day unfolded, which when you’re there on the site, was also a pretty incredible thing to imagine.

All told, we were just blown away with how the day went; the VIP treatment was completely unexpected and absolutely amazing.



We had a fantastic time in New York City for our annual President’s Club trip.  It was fun to see all of the places we have become familiar with such as Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, Macy’s and the Statue of Liberty. Central Park is amazing and I can only imagine the beautiful scenery as the seasons change throughout the year.

Nancy - & Tammy

I love the energy NYC has; it is almost sensory overload. Times Square is filled with people 24 hours a day and the billboards flash at you from all directions. The sounds of traffic, the architecture of the office buildings in Manhattan, the smell of delicious food and the mix of different languages spoken all combine to embrace you in the feeling that is the New York Sate of Mind.

Nancy - Broadway

I cannot imagine a more appropriate place for our top producers to celebrate their success! At the end of each day we would gather together and discuss our day trips and rave about the sites we had seen and the camaraderie was amazing.  It was truly a pleasure to be included in this once in a lifetime experience.

Karen - & ALan 


The Fidelis President’s Trip always drives home what a remarkable group of people that I work with. Regardless of where we go, whether we are eating together, people watching or on a more traditional adventure, every trip has several “perfect moments” that remind me that I am surrounded by a smart, interesting, and unique collection of characters.

Nancy - Tamay & Elizabeth 


Karen - Tom & Becky

The 2014 President’s Trip was awesome. NYC was a very busy place with tons of things to do. Some of the highlights of our trip included: The Book of Mormon, Statue of Liberty, 70th Memorial of D-Day, a guided tour Central Park, drinks in the Upper West side, Top of the Rock and the very profound 9/11 Memorial. I look forward to these President’s trips every year. Regardless of the destination, the people we work for and with are incredible, they make going on the trip something to look forward to each and every year.