Follett Features

Follett Announces 2020 Follett Values in Action President’s Award Winners

WESTCHESTER, ILL., Jul 2, 2020 – Our six Follett Values are the guiding principle for everything we do. They determine the best path for achieving our business goals and shape our interactions with customers and each other. Throughout Follett’s fiscal year, 88 team members were recognized as quarter-finalists in our Follett Values recognition program. From those winners, we selected the elite group of eight 2019 President’s Values in Action award winners shown below.

Congratulations to these winners who exemplify our core values!

Debi Lineberger (Tax Manager at Baker & Taylor in Charlotte, North Carolina)

For over a year, Debi diligently evaluated claims from Washington state auditors that Baker & Taylor owed $700,000 in back taxes. Debi painstakingly went through the charges, working across departments to research and submit documentation to prove everything was handled in accordance with state regulations. Throughout her dealings with the state auditors, Debi was respectful, professional and collaborative – critical traits to a successful outcome and to maintaining a positive relationship with the state. Debi’s persistence and refusal to accept a claim without validation resulted in a true value add for Follett - a reversal of the $700,000 tax charge and ultimately, even a small refund.


Teresa Contessa (Store Manager at SUNY Broome Community College in Binghamton, New York)

Teresa’s story took place when she was the Assistant Manager at Tompkins Cortland Community College. When Teresa joined the Tompkins team, the store was in dire staffing circumstances, with no part-time staff and having recently suffered the sudden, tragic loss of their store manager. With only four months on the job, Teresa assumed responsibility for all store operations including opening, closing, hiring, course materials, campus relations, merchandising and other critical needs. Her tireless work and long hours brought the store through the busiest time of the year. The VP of Student Affairs commended Teresa and said they completed the fall rush season without receiving a single complaint.


Kristen Peebles (Store Manager at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri)

Kristen worked in partnership with her campus on the creation and support of The Prison Education Project, which provides a free liberal arts education to people incarcerated in Missouri. Kristen has a strong relationship with her campus and provided support in many ways, including access to course materials and caps and gowns for graduation. Her efforts are directly in line with Follett’s purpose of improving the world by inspiring learning and shaping education. Students earn Associate degrees which provide real career opportunities after their release. The program’s success has been recognized in local and national news. None of the graduates of the program have returned to prison.


Erica Cameron (Senior Sales Trainer at Follett School Solutions in Woodridge, Illinois)

Erica went well beyond her job description to coordinate and plan Woodridge’s annual National Sales Meeting to engage the team and expose them to meaningful development opportunities. She also designed and implemented a structured three-week new hire sales training program so new reps receive the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a fast-paced environment. Lastly, she facilitated the FSS Sales' FLIGHT leadership program and made herself available to every participant, helping guide them through their journey. Erica brings passion to all she does and goes out of her way to exceed expectations.


Donna Manhattan (Data Management Supervisor at Baker & Taylor in Bridgewater, New Jersey)

Donna was largely responsible for the successful implementation and release of Automated Data Processing 4.0. The project took over two years and was a multi-team effort with Donna taking the lead and working with her team and peers to identify business needs, draft requirements, test results and provide feedback. Within three weeks of implementation there were significant improvements in results and weekly averages. Donna’s persistence, dedication, communication and expertise have tangibly improved productivity, reduced backlog and positively impacted her staff and customers who now receive improved and accurate information on a timelier basis.


Ann Brow-Connolly (Inventory Database Course Materials Manager at Follett Higher Education in Westchester, Illinois)

Follett was the first to market with the Follett ACCESS program which offers one hundred percent of required course materials as part of tuition and fees. This program has ramped up exponentially especially with the emphasis on distance learning. Ann has provided the backend support for the many processes necessary to administer the program. Ann has a deep understanding of the challenges and requirements, and partners with the field and home office to achieve mutual goals. She continually identifies opportunities to make this growing program a success. Her support was recognized by six store managers in the Tennessee region who thanked Ann calling her “their rock.”

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