February 5, 2016
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Meet Kwakuita Spence!

Kwakuita Spence
Registration Coordinator
Member Services Department

What are your primary job responsibilities—the elements you focus on the most?

I manage registration for APTA’s major meetings—Legislative Conference, Bus & Paratransit Conference, Rail Conference and Annual Meeting—both in advance and on site. I’ve also set a personal goal of providing a “wow” experience to members who come to me with customer service questions.

I’m working on streamlining the APTA meeting registration process. At present, APTA requires a variety of different registration forms for different registrants in addition to the basic member form: federal employees, university staff, students, media, speakers, exhibitors who participate only in the Products & Services Showcase. Not all of these options are easily available online. It’s time-consuming, having to bring together the data from all these different types of forms.

I want to condense all these different forms into a single online document that everyone can use to register. I hope to have it ready to go for the 2016 Rail Conference in June.

Tell us about recent times you’ve helped out a member.
I receive so many member calls and emails every day—I spend about 75 percent of my time working with them. I do my best to respond in a timely manner and it’s rewarding when members get back to me later to thank me for helping them.

When I talk about providing a “wow” experience to a member, I make a special effort to go out of my way to answer their questions—to go above and beyond the routine member service all APTA colleagues provide. Since I’m still fairly new to APTA, I have to do my homework ahead of time to make sure I know the answers before members ask the questions.

I want to ensure that members always have a pleasant experience when they deal with me—that’s good customer service. This is important because, without the members, APTA wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t have a job.

Most of the calls I receive are about upcoming meetings. APTA already has a tentative budget for its 2017 major meetings, so I can provide cost estimates to member organizations making plans for the future.

It’s good for me to put faces with names when I attend APTA’s major meetings. When I meet members I’ve helped and see they are happy, I feel that I have a purpose and I want to keep doing my part in making them happy.

What initiatives, projects or programs have you worked on at APTA that you have taken particular pride in completing?
My effort to streamline the meeting registration process comes from work I’ve done at other associations. Once I joined the APTA staff and saw the large variety of registration forms, I asked whether I could create a single, comprehensive form that would ease the process for registrants. My supervisors told me to go ahead.

I also enjoy my work with the rest of the meetings staff. Although I only handle the major meetings, members who know me may call with questions about the smaller meetings and I refer them to the appropriate person. I’ve had to get familiar with the industry and its members. Anitha Atkins and Heather Rachels have been at APTA for many years and I’m glad to collaborate with them and learn from their experience.

How did you “land” at APTA? How long have you worked here?
I was reading job listings on the American Society of Association Executives website when I saw the APTA job. I realized from the job description that it would be a perfect fit for me. I’ve been at APTA about nine or 10 months.

Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?
I am a neat freak. My method of stress relief is to organize and clean. Every day I look for ways to make things nice and neat.
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