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TCA's President Donna Kwak sees even more growth.

Donna Kwak faces a major challenge consolidating the rapid growth which the Tele-Communications Association has enjoyed over the past several years.

As with the membership, she faces similar growth in number of exhibitors at the TCA Conference.

Kwak is TCA's 1991 corporate president and will be its 1992 chairman of the board. With 100 member firms, TCA rightly claims to be the largest organization of its kind.

Kwak is senior vice president of administrative services with Chase Bank of Arizona. She started with the company in 1978.

She is responsible for management of the telecommunications, human resources, payroll, facilities, security, purchasing, and print/supply functions for a 16-location, 500 employee bank network. She has a staff of 34.

There is no question Kwak wants to see TCA grow. And she is pleased with the regionalization plan that is in place.

Developed by the Long Range Planning committee, chaired by Boeing's Jane Gibson, the program calls for breaking TCA into regions when the group reaches 15 chapters.

At that time, another layer will be added to TCA. There will be one board director per region rather than one per chapter, as it is today.

Kwak is proud of the plan: "We don't let things happen to us," she says.

There will be more growth, too, if her vision pans out. TCA has actively pursued relationships around the Pacific Rim with other telecomm groups.

This year, Kwak says, they hope to set up a videoteleconference with the Soviet Union during the show. This will allow both groups to meet prior to the exchange slated for October.

"The mission is some day to be truly international," Kwak says. "We don interact with international groups. However, we don't want to move too quickly."

Show floor

For the first time in recent memory, the exhibit floor will accommodate the entire list of firms who want to show product or services.

"We didn't want to grow the floor too quickly," she says, repeating her theme for international growth. "We want to make it manageable."

Although there is a great deal of competition in exhibits and seminars, Kwak says she is not overly concerned about what other groups do.

"We pay attention to what vendors and users tell us," she says. "We work with the Conference Exhibitor Advisory Board and we do change to meet peoples' needs."

She points to the family atmosphere--some vendors and TCA members have worked together on the conference for 30 years--as part of the reason for its success.

Kwak's own relationship with TCA goes back many years. A member of the Arizona Chapter of TCA, she was most recently vice president of member services for the Association. She was also corporate membership committee chairman in 1985. Beginning in 1986 she served a two-year term as corporate budget chairman and chief financial officer.

Originally from Pennsylvania, she holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Wilkes College. Shortly after graduation she decided snow and cold was not to be her lot in life.

"I came to Arizona, loved it, and got a job in two weeks," she recalls. Chase provided both training and advancement.

The future

Kwak repeats her call for ideas from TCA members.

"Tell me what's right. Tell me what's wrong. Don't just complain -- give me ideas for change," she asks.

When her term of office is finished, she says she hopes TCA members will agree that she listened to them.

She points proudly to the change in dates for election of TCA president as one member-originated idea that has been instituted.

Now, rather than being elected in December and taking office in January, the president is elected in September. This allows for more training time with the incumbent. "A wonderful idea," she says.

"TCA is a great association," she says. "I was challenged by the position. It was a big step, and I had my doubts. But it has been wonderful."

She concludes with a challenge to those wondering about involvement in TCA: "Give it a shot."
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Tele-communications Association
Author:Harler, Curt
Publication:Communications News
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Words:666
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