Audi of America Finds a Fit with Leader Dog

By Brad McKenna

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2013 »     Listen to Article ♫
Jim Platzer and LD Mica joined Jeri Ward and five members of Audi's management team on stage to share
their personal experiences of great customer service.

Jim Platzer and LD Mica joined Jeri Ward
and five members of Audi's
management team on stage to share
their personal experiences of
great customer service.

In the fall of 2012, Audi of America wanted to promote the importance of providing a superior customer experience to its 15,000 U.S. employees and dealership personnel, so they launched Creating Audi Fans, an event they took to eight cities nationwide. Jeri Ward, director of customer experience, wanted a unique keynote speaker who would motivate the group, so she turned to Jim Platzer, a Leader Dog client and honorary board trustee, to share his personal story of overcoming obstacles, developing new skills and learning to live in the moment with Mica, his Leader Dog.

Audi chose Jim because his emphasis on situational awareness and sensory perception would relate with their employees in a very impactful way. In fact, Jim's speech far exceeded their expectations and touched their employees in a deeper way than they imagined. Jeri says, "[Jim's message] was powerful and applicable. Our team took notice and it sparked something. It was an ignition point for us."

Jim felt honored by the ability to participate in the Creating Audi Fans events. "I had the rare opportunity to witness a great team of executives committed to customer service," he said. "I met so many wonderful employees who said they were moved by my message."

Jeri grew up in Michigan knowing about Leader Dog and was excited to be able to find a fit between Leader Dog and Audi. She also enjoyed learning more about Leader Dog when she toured the campus and met several of our guide dog mobility instructors. Jeri will be continuing her connection with Leader Dog on a more personal level by running the Marine Corp Marathon with Jim as his sighted guide (Leader Dog Mica will be cheering them on from the sidelines).

If you would like more information about keynote speaking engagements, contact Brad McKenna, director of corporate relations, at 248-659-5007 or bmckenna@leaderdog.org.