Behind the Collaborative Advantage: Meet PGi Colorado Springs’ Michele Dobnikar

PGi’s employees are passionate, creative, driven by innovation and obsessed with providing best-in-class customer care. We attribute our global success to them and they’re often the first thing mentioned when people share why they love working at PGi. We think they’re special and we would like to share some of their positivity and passion with you. In honor of our award-winning employees we have dedicated the month of June to Employee Appreciation. Every Tuesday in June, we’ll post an employee spotlight from one of our 2,100 global associates, the men and women that bring the Collaborative Advantage to life.

This week, meet Michele Dobnikar, PGi’s Executive Vice President of Global Customer Care located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

It’s employee appreciation month on PGi’s blog. What programs are you most proud of that you do in your Care Organization?

Try as we might, we are all so busy all year that we sometimes forget to express how much we appreciate our co-workers.  During the first quarter of each year, we try to carve out a quiet moment to really reflect on the people we work with and how they make each day a little brighter.

Our biggest award, the Value Statement Award, recognizes six associates globally who best represent Care’s Value Statements. They receive many wonderful prizes, including a group trip to the Disney Institute of Quality.

Another one that is near and dear to me is The Leigh Award, named in honor of a great innovator and colleague, Randy Leigh. This award recognizes one associate who followed through on an idea to save our company money and/or increase efficiency.

READ ALSO: Randy Leigh Honored as 2005 Pace Award Winner

Our team members have big hearts so we would be remiss to not have an award that recognizes them. Our Spirit Award is given to the associate who embodies community spirit and dedication by giving to others.

These are annual awards so to keep the recognition going all year long, we have Make a Difference (MAD) and That Thing You Did (TTYD). TTYD is a peer-to-peer recognition program to show appreciation for someone who did something special and MAD is a monthly and quarterly award for associates who demonstrate superior service for an internal or external customer.

We’re proud of our team, and all of these awards have a special place in our Organization!

What charitable organizations are you most passionate about?

Many people know that I am an animal lover, but you may not have realized that all but one of my babies are from rescue situations!  Three of my horses came from Missouri-Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue.


I have known the founder of this rescue for the majority of my life and know how dear she holds the animals she cares for and how personally she takes it.  Three of my dogs came through National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR), again an amazing organization that works specifically with dogs that have been brought to this earth through puppy mills.  To date, they have saved thousands of dogs nationally through their program.  My 4th eight pound queen bee dog came from Teller County Regional Animal Shelter (TCRAS), a small no kill shelter that does so much to assist with animals that need proper homes in Teller County, Colorado.

My mini-donkeys came from an aging widow who could no longer care for them.

You have been at PGi for over 20 years. How has the company changed since your first day?

Wow, so much has changed and yet much is similar. The core of who we are and how we care about our customers is very consistent. But so much is drastically different!!  Unattended/passcode and web conferencing did not exist yet.  All calls we handled were Operator Assisted/Attended and were small in size. Investor Relations and Event business really didn’t start until around 1993, unattended and web were still after that!

Michele at PGi in the mid-90’s

Additionally, office tools were very different. We did not have Microsoft, email, chat, the internet, computers at each desk, etc. We burned up many forests back in those days with all of our paper trails.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

“In the absence of information, people assume the worst.”

We all know communication is key, but in busy environments it can often get lost in the shuffle.  I try to make an extra effort to be as transparent as possible in all interactions.  We’re always looking for new ways to communicate with our associates and customers. The whole world is moving more social. How do we make sure people are getting the information they need? Helping people communicate is the cornerstone of what we do so it’s only natural that we would make sure our own associates know where we’re headed and what we’re doing.

What is the most played song on your iPod right now?

Now that it’s summer, and I don’t have to drive my son to school, I am in control of my music again. I am all over the board on what I play, but right now, (and I’m probably dating myself with this) I would have to say REM is getting the most play time.

About Cora R.

Cora Rodenbusch is a Senior Communications Manager at PGi, focusing on internal company communications and company culture.

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