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March 2012 Heart of MD Anderson

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Published on Mar 6, 2012

"I love everything about working in the Welcome Center," says Ottis Byrd Jr., a senior information representative. "We're concierges, social workers, advocates and really anything a patient needs."

Since 2003, Byrd has been on the front lines at information desks around the institution, helping patients and visitors with almost any request or question.
Revved Up to Help Out

"Ottis is dedicated to providing an exceptional experience for our customers by going the extra mile," says Debbie Wright, supervisor, Information Desk and Welcome Center. "Patients often ask for him by name and comment on his kindness."

Going the extra mile has included changing flat tires and installing new windshield wipers for patients.

"Anyone who knows anything about me knows that cars are my passion," says Byrd. "Anytime I can help anyone, I will."

Growing up with a mechanic for a father, Byrd fell in love with cars at an early age. He enjoys buying different makes and models of cars, fixing them up, selling them and then repeating the process. Helping people at work with their car troubles is an extension of his hobby.

"If you're doing something that you love to do, it doesn't feel like work. When I'm here, I feel at home," he says. "Anybody that needs help, you know where I am."
A Customer Service Legacy

Each day at work, Byrd calls upon the examples set for him by Keewon Suh, senior Human Resources service center tech in the HR Services Center, an April 2006 Heart of MD Anderson recipient and former colleague in the Welcome Center. Suh trained Byrd, and they worked together as "true partners" at information desks.

"Keewon, like me, is a man of action, not words. It was those nonverbal communications that molded me into the person I am here at MD Anderson," says Byrd.

Byrd also has Imelda Guevara, information representative in the Welcome Center and May 2010 Heart of MD Anderson honoree, to thank for his successes. Guevara first trained Suh when he joined the Welcome Center in 2000.

Following in the footsteps of Suh and Guevara, he's passing his knowledge and personal motto on to his colleagues.

"Customer service is me. That's my motto," he says.

His co-workers have taken note.

"To put it simply, Ottis is a great team leader. We would not be as good as we are at providing excellent customer service without him," says Timotheus McGee, senior information representative, Welcome Center.

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