What Makes Maryellen Different

New TUNe President, Maryellen Pruitt, is one of a kind. There are lots of things that make Maryellen Pruitt of Answer Midwest, unique. She served four years in the US Navy. Although interesting, it’s not all that unique. She started with Answer Midwest, Inc of Alton, Illinois as an operator and rose to Director of Operations. That’s admirable, but not so unique. But, when she was elected president of TUNe at their annual meeting last September, she made history.

Maryellen Pruitt was the first non call center owner to be elected as President of TUNe. In 2010, Maryellen was elected to the board of TUNe, but soon found that TUNe by-laws prohibit non call center owners from being a member of the board.

“There are a many people who are not owners but can bring lot to the organization,” said Maryellen. “Sometimes owners trust key people to run their companies, so these people should also be able to serve on the TUNe board,” she added. TUNe agreed and changed the by-laws to allow one non-owner to serve on the board. The rest is history.

Maryellen went to work for Answer Midwest after leaving the Navy where she served as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (PR), caring for flight crew equipment, like helmets, life rafts and parachutes. She and her husband, David left the Navy they settled in Alton, David’s home town. Gary Tedrick, Answer Midwest owner, offered Maryellen a job and she’s been there for fifteen years.

“I am pleased and proud to have Maryellen represent Answer Midwest within the TUNe organization and to take advantage of the skills and abilities she has developed in her time with us.“ Tedrick said.

“I wasn’t sure at first. This wasn’t something I ever thought of doing,” Maryellen offered, “but I ended up loving it and I stayed.”

What does Maryellen see for TUNe in 2013? “We are doing a lot of work on different things,” she said. “We hope to improve training with webinars and videos. Many smaller call centers can’t afford to send people to training, so we want to bring the training to them, electronically.”

TUNe is also looking at improving disaster preparedness. TUNe is a close nit group and wants to support fellow members in times of crisis. Maryellen hopes to encourage more Telescan users to become involved in TUNe. “We have a lot to offer them,” she said. “The relationships you build in TUNe are very important. Members not only have Telescan support but also have the support of other members who have been there before and experienced the same things. This kind of support is immeasurable.”

Maryellen lives in Alton, IL with husband, David and their 12 year-old son, James. She enjoys camping, swimming, learning sign language and painting with acrylics.