Leads Pivot to Preserve Workforce and Refocus Growth during COVID-19
Haddon Township, N.J. – Valerie Schlitt, Founder and CEO of VSA Prospecting, has been named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2020 Most Admired CEOs. The award caps a year marked by considerable achievements despite facing the challenges and uncertainties of leading a company through a global pandemic.
The Philadelphia Business Journal‘s Most Admired CEOs for 2020 demonstrate the skills needed to lead their companies past current hurdles and into the future. This year’s honorees were chosen from more than 80 nominations and will be featured in a special edition of the Business Journal on Dec. 11.
With sales topping $5 million, VSA is one of the country’s premier telesales and customer service firms with associates working from home or in offices in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
When the economy shut down in March 2020, Valerie did not. She immediately took steps to convert its call center operations to remote workspaces. Within two weeks of the Work from Home order, she developed plans to fortify VSA during the downturn, promoting two staff members to handle virtually 100% of day-to-day management of customer service operations and sales and marketing activities so she could focus almost exclusively on identifying new opportunities.
Not content to sit back and wait and hope for existing clients to reactivate, Valerie learned about contact tracing and assembled a consortium to build another line of business, positioning the company to provide steady work for VSA personnel.
“She is focusing on all the right areas,” according to one VSA staff member in a confidential survey conducted in May. “We are positioned well for the next three to five years. There’s a big opportunity coming.” Added another associate, “She never walks away from a challenge.”
“Being a CEO requires creativity, the ability to solve problems, and the willingness to overcome challenges,” said Valerie. “I am optimistic that—whether things are up or down—I can always make my company better.”
Earlier this year, VSA ranked No. 1558 on Inc. magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This is the company’s third consecutive year making the list. In September, the Philadelphia Business Journal announced that VSA ranked No. 66 on its Soaring 76 list of fastest-growing businesses in the Greater Philadelphia region, the second straight year the company has been included.
The Stevie® Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run–worldwide. Valerie received a Silver Stevie Award in both 2019 and 2020 in the category of Female Entrepreneur of the Year-Business Services-11 to 2,500 Employees.
VSA has received a Bronze Stevie® Award three consecutive years, 2018-2020, in the category of Company of the Year – Business Services – More Than 10 Employees.
Additionally in 2020, Valerie and VSA received a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Achievement in Organization Recovery category, recognizing her successful leadership in getting VSA back on course after a downturn in 2019.
About VSA, Inc.
VSA is a premier telesales and customer service firm founded in 2001 that supports companies with outsourced B2B lead generation and inbound customer service programs. Becoming an extension of its clients’ sales, marketing and customer service teams, VSA helps achieve sales growth targets and service goals with high-end, complex products and services and multi-step prospecting approaches, regardless of the industry. The company has more than 100 employees in offices in New Jersey and Philadelphia, counts several Fortune 500 firms as clients, and partners with some of the country’s leading B2B marketing agencies