Business Partner Testimonials
Bowers & Associates
August 12, 2020
I was referred to the ALA over 10 years ago from a local law firm client who was a member. From the moment I joined as a vendor, I felt very welcomed by all of the members. As the first year of membership progressed, I realized that this was much more than a strong business networking group. ALA was truly a community of business partners and law firms who cared about ethical business practices, social awareness, process improvement, friendship, and fun.
Having been a member for over 10 years, some of my top memories include:
The annual Bunny Hop to provide Easter baskets for children in need or in hospitals. What an amazing day this is as the members and vendors come together to donate supplies, assemble baskets, and bring smiles to the faces of many children during the Easter holiday;
The speaker series: my favorite of all time was the Josh Bleill "A Young Marine's Story of Courage" event at the Cheshire Inn. A wounded Marine veteran who lost both legs in combat and later went on to work for the Indianapolis Colts in his dream job was truly an amazing story of courage and perseverance;
The social gatherings: the ALA team has an amazing gift of finding fun ways for its members to get to know one another outside of the office setting. A few of my favorites include:
The friendships: ALA members really care about one another. A perfect example is the recent "socially distanced" happy hour we held in Tilles Park. Every person I spoke with was truly concerned about how I was doing during a 2020 we will never forget. It was great to see so many familiar friendly faces.
Becoming a vendor member of the ALA was one of the best decisions I have made in my 20+ years with Bowers & Associates. If you are looking for a networking opportunity where friendships will be made, fun is always in play, and charitable acts are always a priority; the ALA is the perfect organization for you.
Thanks for all you do!
Acropolis Technology Group Supports ALA Gateway
August 15, 2017
Acropolis Technology Group takes great pride in our relationship with the ALA Gateway Chapter of greater St. Louis. Having been a part of the ALA for 7 years, we attribute a portion of our success to the lasting relationships we have built with fellow members and business partners. Furthermore, participating in the ALA’s eventful calendar of activities has proven their commitment to not only the members, but to the people of the St. Louis area. The ALA benefits Acropolis in two primary ways. First, it gives us a platform, structure, and the resources to give back to the community that we serve here in the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan area. Second, it helps Acropolis become a better business through relationships with other members. We get to share in the communal task of making every member and member firm better.
The Gateway Chapter is a great platform to help others if you are an active member. Just like any organization or relationship, you get out of it what you put in. We initially became involved with the ALA because of the business relationships that we had with many of the chapter’s legal community leaders. After being an active member for many years, Acropolis now considers the ALA to be one of our main vehicles to get involved in the community. We have been invited to speak, sponsor, and lead many of the organization’s meetings and philanthropic community outreach events. Along the way, we have developed friendships and contacts that allow us to help others. The established Gateway Chapter, with many active members, plans events throughout the year that are both fun for the members and good for the soul. Some of the most gratifying work is helping those that are less fortunate. Through our membership, it gives us a platform to be active in something outside the walls of Acropolis for a very reasonable membership fee.
In addition to helping others outside of the organization, the ALA is also a great forum to improve the operations of its members. The ALA is a network of professional women, men, and trusted individuals that are friendly competitors working for the betterment of their firms and of the St. Louis Legal community. Like many friendships, the members are there to celebrate the good times with you and help you through the challenges. As in all businesses, Acropolis has blind spots. The blind spots are areas where we think we have a need or processes covered, when in actuality it could be improved. The ALA has been a great help in this regard with very useful and sometimes critical feedback when we have needed it the most. I have yet to meet a business that isn’t trying to get better. Sometimes the only thing standing in the way of improvement is a different, but very important, perspective. A large part of our business is the legal community. Therefore, when a friend in the legal community tells us that we are missing the mark, it gets our attention because we don’t want to let our friends down. This viewpoint has become invaluable to us and only comes by being an active participant in the organization.
If you are a vendor thinking about helping your local chapter, here is the advice I would give you after a few years of doing it wrong and several of doing it right:
Join with the goal of being an active member. If you are joining just to “get more business” that isn’t going to be enough and it will not be a great experience. Take part in the meetings, share your expertise, and jump in and help every chance that you can. If you are the organizational leader, get behind it and support the involvement. If you are not an executive in the company, get executive buy-in to support your efforts. It doesn’t matter if you want to be active if it isn’t a priority for your company.
Help the organization and its members get better. Be a service leader first. Be a giver, not a taker, and the by-product is a great experience. You will develop friendships that will in turn help you and your business get better.
Lastly, get others in your company involved. Everyone’s schedules are busy and it is impossible to make all of the events, but if you have multiple people involved you can and will be an active organization.
About Acropolis Technology Group – Acropolis was founded in 1996 and is an employee owned, privately held company located in Clayton, MO. Their company acts to support IT or is the IT department for 36 greater St. Louis Law firms. These services range from supplying the support platform and professional service escalation for internal IT departments or acting as the IT department for firms that do not have the budget or need for a fully staffed IT department. Acropolis also offers hosting and on premise technology management to many of the St. Louis area’s best companies. Acropolis has been an ALA Gateway Chapter member since 2010 and plans to be active for a very long time. http://www.acropolistech.com/landing/legal
Acropolis Technology Group
VP Business Development
Midwest Litigation - Strengthen and Support
July 9, 2017
What is a business partner? One possible definition of a partner is the heavy timbers that strengthen a ship’s deck to support a mast. And that is exactly what a business partnership should seek to accomplish – strength and support.
Midwest Litigation Services and its sister companies, Midwest Trial Services and Aequitas Alternative Dispute Resolution, are proud to call the ALA Gateway Chapter our continued partner. Our shared involvement in the legal and local community both strengthen and support each other and our missions.
The ALA allows us to connect with people in the legal community who are looking for ways to make their cases run more smoothly - Midwest is that solution. We also increase our involvement in the local community through our partnership with ALA. Recently, we worked with the ALA to provide bagged lunches for kids who were visiting incarcerated parents. It is opportunities such as these that allow us to support our community together.
MLS has a long history, beginning with Debbie Weaver in the court reporting business since 1979. In 1985, she bought Taylor & Associates and brought on Kelly Willis as a partner in the business in 1994. Debbie and Kelly founded Courtroom Technology Consultants in 1998 to provide state-of-the-art trial presentation. The services of both businesses continued to expand throughout the Midwest. This growth led to a rebranding in 2004 to the names “Midwest Litigation Services” and “Midwest Trial Services.” The Midwest family of businesses expanded again in 2010, when Debbie founded Aequitas Alternative Dispute Resolution. By founding Aequitas, Debbie created a chain of services that will provide anything and everything from the first stage of a case to the last.
Midwest not only provides a diverse list of services but is also certified as a diverse business by WBENC, a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise by the State of Missouri and is DBE certified by USDOT. This is very important to us; by dedicating ourselves to diversity, we are able to strive and create a positive image in the legal community.
For over 30 years we have made it our mission to invest in and support the local legal community that has supported us. With 12 offices and over 250 litigation service partners, we are here to serve you locally and nationwide.
Deborah C. Weaver
Midwest Litigation Services | Aequitas ADR | Midwest Trial Services
Royal Cup Coffee - The Circle of Trust
December 4, 2016
One of my favorite comedies was the original Meet the Fockers (I did say the ORIGINAL). There is a scene in the dressing room where Jack Burns explains to Greg Focker that in order to stay in the circle, he must be able to trust him. Once you break the trust, you are out of that infamous circle. How spot on is that statement? It reigns true in life; with family, friends and even in business.
Just over 12 years ago, I moved from the dark side and joined forces with Royal Cup Coffee. As a third generation family owned business, their vision and mantra of customer centricity matched mine perfectly. We both truly value the idea and process of customer relationships that goes much deeper than providing coffee and stir sticks to our clients. For that reason, I was tasked with the role of “the ALA guy.” From that point forward, I went to every local business partner event, served coffee at Service Juris day, painted curbs at the YWCA with my clients and never missed exhibiting at a regional or national conference. Why? I did this to build trust, credibility, customer intimacy and ultimately…friendships.
I know we are all tired of hearing this but we live in a much different world today where millennials are here to stay, social media owns our lives, people seem to never look away from their smart phones and tablets and web based research and due diligence are the norm. However, it still remains that people want to do business with people they like and people they trust and feel comfortable with. This is why you want to maximize your relationship with your business partners. We need you there too!
I remember the ALA national conference in Las Vegas quite a few years ago. Royal Cup had a party on top of the Stratosphere Hotel that included 3 death-defying rides as part of the event. I happened to get on one of the rides with a woman who I had never met and we both screamed our heads off and had the best time. Over the years, I saw her at many of the local, regional and national conferences and forged a great relationship and friendship that couldn’t have happened otherwise. She was not a client at the time but after many years, she gave us the opportunity to service her firm. She told me the reason she chose Royal Cup was the fact that “we are always there, have a great reputation in the ALA community and I feel like I can trust you”. My wife would always ask me when I got home from each conference or event “did you sell anything”? I would tell her “not yet…but I did make some new friends.” Thank you for allowing me in your circle of trust.
Royal Cup Coffee
National Account Executive
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