Bringing Out the Best in People by Bringing Out the Best in Yourself!  
Keynote Presenter: Mark Sasscer

In this high-energy, interactive presentation, Mark Sasscer (President & CEO of LeadQuest) will challenge attendees, in a thought-provoking and entertaining way,  to "look in the mirror" to discover how their personal beliefs and behaviors drive employee satisfaction and performance.  Audience members will learn how to bring out the best in people to maximize discretionary effort (want-to vs. have-to behavior) and business results by looking at the only person you can truly change - yourself!

Mark SasscerMark Sasscer is the founder and CEO of LeadQuest, LLC, an international leadership consulting and training firm specializing in leadership and team development, and organizational culture change.  LeadQuest’s clients include Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Arnold Palmer Golf, Banta Corporation, Culligan International, Delnor-Community Hospital, Hagemeyer, Henry Ford Health System, Hunt Investment Co., McKesson Medication Management, Mercy Medical Center, Nemours Hospitals, Océ-USA, RR Donnelley-Europe, Rush University Medical Center, Sammons Financial Group, St. John Health, and Tenneco Automotive. 

Mark began his career at AT&T and spent fifteen years in leadership ranks of the telecommunications industry.  For the past fifteen years, Mark has devoted his time and energy to helping senior executives of Fortune 500 Companies improve the way they lead.  Through Mark’s unique and motivating style of teaching and coaching, many executives have gained a deeper understanding of the impact that their behaviors have on relationships and organizational performance.  The focus and outcome of Mark’s efforts has been improved business results.  

Mark holds a Master of Science Degree in Organization Development from the American University in Washington, D.C, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Towson University.  He has earned several certificates in the field of Total Quality Management and the science of Applied Behavior Analysis.  Mark has been a guest lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management, the University of North Carolina, Loyola University, and Salisbury University on issues of leadership and organizational culture change.  His new book, The Change Agent: A Leadership Fable About Transforming Corporate Culture is now available on, Barnes and, and 

Mark currently lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with his wife Cheryl, their three children, and their three dogs. 

DAC Report: The Role, Responsibility and Make-Up of the DAC and its New Charter
Buzz Cooksey & Larry Holzman 

Here is your chance to hear how our new franchise is working!  As you know, we dealers gained much authority in the 2005 franchise.  Along with that power comes many responsibilities.   

We will review DAC's areas of influence, and how they have helped make the Culligan system better!

C.R. Hall, Chair-Elect of DAC 

CR Hall, President and Owner of Hall’s Culligan Water, has been a Culligan dealer since 1988. His dealerships have 11 locations, and employ 168 people in Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Nebraska, and his corporate office is in Wichita, KS.

CR is an active member in the Culligan Dealers Association of North America (CDANA) as the past President, The Water Quality Association (WQA) as its past President, and is currently the Chair-Elect for the Culligan Dealer Advisory Council (DAC). 

CR is married to Lindsay and they have two boys, Jack (age 10), and Carson (age 5).

Buzz Cooksey, Chairman of DAC

BuzzBuzz Cooksey is at third generation Culligan man and a classic example of indenture servitude that a family business encumbers a next generation family member by having to work like a dog to pay off the previous generation. Buzz always worked in the business, starting in the plant at an age that was in clear violation of child labor laws and eventually getting promoted to routes and service. Buzz was demoted when assigned to become manager of a small branch dealership in 1977. He must have really screwed up as he took over active management of the entire company in 1981 and has been the owner since 1988. He says it has been fun and giggles since then. To overcome boredom, he has been a member and past president of the DAC since 1991. He is also a member of the infamous CDANA 6 for the past 6 1/2 years. Buzz enjoys farming as well as in hunting and killing critters.

Larry Holzman, Senior Vice President, Franchise and Marketing, Culligan International

Larry HolzmanLarry Holzman has been with Culligan for 20 years.  He has held various positions including Director of Marketing, General Manager of Household, VP of Sales, and Senior VP of Franchise.  Today he is responsible for the North American dealer network and oversees Marketing and Product Management functions.

Prior to joining Culligan he held a variety of marketing positions with General Electric’s Major Appliance Business Group, and with Tenneco Automotive where he was responsible for the Monroe Shock Absorber business. 

He holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA in Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Making the Most Out of Your Commercial Business!
Jeff Larson, Dave Mehrbrodt & Diane Testa

The speaker panel will give you up-to-date information on the Reed Construction sales tool, the Quick start Commercial sales guide, new product information and up date. The panel will also touch on a few market opportunities and potential growth areas. If you want to get more out of your commercial business or you simply want to start commercial business sells in your dealership, then you should not miss this important presentation.

Jeff Larson, Rock Valley Water, Inc., Rockford, IL

Jeff LarsonJeff Larson, Rock Valley Water, is a second Generation Culligan Man and the son of Dennis Larson. Jeff became a Culligan man in 1986 and served as the Service Counsel Chairman from 2000-2005. He also served as a Dealer Advisory Counsel Rep from 2002-2005 and was the Commercial Chairman from 2002-2007. Jeff has been married to Gina for fifteen years and his four children are Emily 13, Sara 10, Jacob 3, and Andrew 2.

David Mehrbrodt, Executive VP, North American Franchisees, Culligan

David MehrbrodtDave has been with Culligan since 2000 and is currently responsible for the North American franchise business.  Prior to joining Culligan, he spent sixteen years at Whirlpool Corporation in various senior sales and marketing positions. 

Diane A. Testa, Vice President, Commercial Sales Operations, Culligan International

Diane TestaDiane joined Culligan in January of 2006.   She is responsible for Commercial Sales Operations which includes tactical and strategic support activities like pipeline/forecasting tools, compensation, recognition, training, and marketing programs, process tools and sales force automation.  Her team is also responsible for providing lead generation and training support for our national bid spec program.  The Commercial Application Engineering team who manage the design, drafting and documentation of equipment also report to her. 

Here previous work experience includes various positions in Training, Marketing, Business Development, Sales Operations and Corporate Communications with Moore Business Forms, MooreWallace, RR Donnelley and Catalyst International. Diane holds a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University and an M.A. from DePaul University. 

HR Best Practices
Tom Baumeister, Independent Dealer, Janet Higham & Janet Snow-Godfrey, Culligan International

Get updated on the most current information regarding Discrimmination and Harassment in the Workplace, Leave of Absence Policies (FMLA, Military Leave, etc), Employement Classifications (Full-time, Part-time, Temporary, etc), Immigration Requirements, Employee Records, and much more….

Tom Baumeister

Tom Baumeister started working for Culligan as a route man/serviceman in Burlington, WI in 1971. He also worked as a salesman and sales supervisor for Culligan at the ripe old age of 23. He bought his first Culligan dealership in 1983 in Carroll, IA and since has bought several others and combined them into his Carroll, IA store or Percival , IA store. His rural dealerships cover southwest Iowa and southeast Nebraska and northwest Missouri. Tom is the father of six children and grandpa to nine grandchildren. Both of his sons are now involved in the business and they are currently in the process of acquiring more dealerships. Tom has served on the CDANA Board and has served on the DAC on and off for 20 years. In 2007, he will be the DAC Chair-Elect.

Jeanette Higham, Corporate HR Director with Culligan International

Jeanette Higham, Corporate HR Director with Culligan International Company started with Culligan on October 10, 2005. She is currently responsible for all corporate related HR activity and, provides HR Leadership for both Corporate Headquarters and Manufacturing, supports over 500 employees in the following functions: Executive Management, Marketing, Finance, Legal, Human Resources, Strategic Business, Operations, Franchise Development and Commercial Sales. 

Janet’s prior experience to Culligan International includes companies such as Black Diamond Capital Management as HR Director, General Electric – Consumer Finance as HR Manager, and Avon Products, Inc. as Human Resources Supervisor. Janet has had a wealth of experience in administering payroll, medical insurance, 401k plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Disability, FMLA, and Worker’s Compensation. In addition, she has also ensured the effective delivery of HR core processes including recruitment/selection, performance management, reward and recognition, training and career development,  employment law, employee relations, redeployment, workforce planning, discipline efforts, compensation, and salary planning.

Culligan International Presentations

Culligan International Senior Management & Independent Culligan Dealers

During the course of the convention, senior management from Culligan International will take the opportunity to engage the audience in developing lead generation as LEADS, LEADS, LEADS will only serve to stimulate new and additional business. Culligan International, Mark Seals, CEO, will touch on the strategic and plan and initiatives for the Culligan System in 2007. Culligan International panels will focus on the following areas:

  • Marketing – specifically focusing on lead generation including marketing effectiveness, smart media planning, lead generation via local web-sites, etc.
  • Market Penetration - discussion on effectively adding Feet on the Street; including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and training.
  • Drinking Water – generating additional business through the use of drinking water including a new integrated promotional campaign, closing tools, and in-house training programs.
  • Building our mutli-dealer commercial business - program for dealers to work together to build Culligan’s commercial account base with multi-unit customers.
Mark Seals, CEO Culligan

Mark SealsMark joined Culligan as CEO in January of 2005.  Prior to joining Culligan, he was Kinko’s where he was the executive vice president of operations.  Before that he spent 10 years with PepsiCo/Tricon, where he was instrumental in improving operations of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell.  He also held several important executive positions with Anhueser-Busch Companies.

Employee Incentives: Performance + Money
Gordon Sanders, Nebraska Water Experts

Each year, finding and keeping good employees seems more difficult. Continuous growth expectations also demand more production from each individual. Gordon Sanders has been searching the dealer network for incentive programs that encourage Culligan men and women to perform at the top of their abilities, while increasing their loyalty with added earning potential.  Learn from the trial and avoid some of the error experienced by your fellow dealers who have effective incentive programs in place.

Gordon SandersA summer salt route job was Gordon’s first experience as a Culligan man. He was later recruited as a salesman, leaving his position as appliance department manager for a K-mart store in Southern CA, for the North Platte Nebraska dealership.  In 1982, he took over as “interim manager” at the dealership in Cozad, NE, which he eventually purchased. Twenty years later, he also acquired the North Platte Dealership. A single father with 3 sons in college and one daughter in high school, his family remains his primary focus.

Does a "HSA" medical plan work for you?
Darrel Perkins

Many people claim that Health Savings Accounts are the wave of the future to help combat rising health care benefit costs. Darrel Perkins will discuss the benefit of putting Health Savings costs back in the consumers’ pockets. This approach will allow the consumer to shop on quality and price, give the consumer a reason to stay healthy, and give healthcare providers an incentive to provide high quality at lowest prices. Learn about how the program works, who is eligible, and the differences between a traditional health care benefit plan and health savings accounts. Dealers may find that bringing more dollars to their bottom line while making their employees happy at the same time is not all that impossible. 

Darrell PerkinsDarrell Perkins is Director of Sales, Northern California for Sterling HSA™. Darrell brings years of successful insurance industry sales experience to Sterling. Prior to joining Sterling, Darrell was an Account Director with Colonial Life & Accident Insurance where he created cost-saving benefit strategies for his clients nationwide. While with Colonial, Darrell was honored with numerous sales awards, including the Northern California Rookie of the Year for highest sales.

Complimenting his sales experience, Darrell spent six years of his career in account management and marketing roles with agencies and companies in the San Francisco Bay area. His successful focus on marketing program development and client service led to significant sales growth for his clients.

Darrell received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia where he majored in advertising.

How to collect receivables AND keep your customers.
Ricky Sanders 

We all know we must collect our money, but how to get it done is a tough nut to crack. We will make it easier for dealers by sharing the fundamentals and tools necessary to get the job done. We will also supply examples of collection policies, benchmarks to measure your collection proficiency, and tricks of the collections trade so that you can manage your receivables effectively.

Ricky Sanders Ricky Sanders is the Vice President of Coastal Pump and Water in North Charleston, SC. Ricky joined the dealership after graduation from The Citadel in May of 1996. The Sanders Family operates two dealerships in South Carolina. Ricky is a member of The Culligan One 20 Group.

How value selling will bring dollars to your bottom line.
Bob Boerner & Bill London

How do you create value on Culligan sales calls in a world where consumers can find softeners for $600 or so and browse the internet for all kinds of "deals", while our top-of-the-line systems can run multiples of that, and everyone is looking for a "bargain".  It is up to US, through our Sales people, AND our whole dealership, to convey the Culligan value proposition to the prospect, and help the consumer to see why Culligan IS their best value, long term.  It's not easy, but it CAN be done, if everyone pitches in and the Salesman really believes in their product  . . . AND believes in the dealership as a valuable support backup to the customer's substantial investment.  Conveying this conviction, once it is established, is a major part of the job description for the dealer's Sales force, and if done effectively, will result in increased sales of top-of-the-line systems. 

Bob Boerner and Bill London have worked together on the Culligan Southwest team since 1977 and can recount numerous Culligan War Stories (except of course those they have forgotten !!).  Bob is the Dealer in San Antonio, Midland - Odessa, Kerrville and Seguin - New Braunfels (all in Texas) and Bill is the General Manager in San Antonio, as well as assisting in managing the other 3 dealerships in the group.  Both have worked at times in just about every role in the dealerships, and they have come to deeply appreciate the role every team member plays in creating value in the business, as well as in the mind of the consumer. 

Be Your Own Local P.R. Pro

The difference between good public relations and no public relations can mean the difference between the media’s working with you for positive results and the media’s working against you. As Culligan’s public relations team for the Pacific Northwest, the Central Plains and the Southwest, RIESTER is committed to building – and helping dealers build – strong relationships with the media. Our goal in this one-hour session at CDANA is to help dealers understand public relations and how to make it work for them to grow their business.

During this large group session, the RIESTER PR team will provide Culligan dealers an overview of public relations before sharing real-life case studies that demonstrate effective PR. We’ll highlight some of the Culligan “PR wins” from the past few months and will share examples of how Culligan dealers that we work with have used PR to generate sales leads.

RIESTER creates Brand Activism.  We turn consumers into lifelong believers through our deep understanding of behavior change and our ability to motivate lasting involvement. Since our founding in March 1989, we have combined our passion for client brands with a purpose beyond commercialism.  Our unique business focus has made RIESTER a vibrant, growing company with more than 100 employees in three offices: Phoenix, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.  As testimony to our success, Inc. magazine has included RIESTER on its Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years.

Marit Fischer

Marit Fischer is the senior public relations account executive at RIESTER in Salt Lake City. She manages the PR accounts for Culligan dealers in the Central Plains region, as well as for the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Utah’s Bank of American Fork, the Park City Restaurant Association, Earn as You Learn, and Keith Christensen for Salt Lake City mayor. She has eleven years of public relations and marketing experience, with clients ranging from the Jane Goodall Institute to Women’s Sports & Fitness Magazine. Marit graduated from the University of Notre Dame.

Jessica Jewell

Jessica JewellJessica Jewell is the Associate Director of Public Relations for the RIESTER Los Angeles office. In addition to leading the public relations account for the Culligan Pacific Northwest Region, Jessica also serves as the lead on the California Department of Conservation – the statewide campaign for the recycling of bottles and cans and the Los Angeles Animal Shelters Services. A former television news producer, Jessica made the transition into the public relations field almost nine years ago. She has experience all areas of communication – strategic planning, crisis, community relations, sponsorships, and business relations.

Darryl Young

Darryl YoungDarryl Young is the Executive Director of Public Relations for RIESTER. Throughout his career communications has been central to his work. He has appeared in over 200 media outlets including: CNN, CBS Evening News, NPR, National Geographic, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. Prior to his position with RIESTER, he served as the director of the California Department of Conservation, a billion dollar agency with 700 people. The department was responsible for earthquake safety, recycling, the oil gas and mining industries, and agricultural land protection. Mr. Young also works in areas of environmental sustainability - he is the immediate past president of the National Recycling Coalition, comprised of major manufacturers retailers and recyclers.

Teri Morris

Teri MorrisTeri Morris, Public Relations Account Supervisor for RIESTER, has more than 10 years of experience in the field of public relations and has served as the PR team leader for an extensive array of clients in the retail, political and service/non-profit sectors. Teri currently manages all public relations activities including strategic planning, crisis communications, community partnership development, media relations and special event implementation for a variety of clients such as Culligan, Casino Arizona and Arizona Science Center.