Ann marie Houghtailing works with a several businesses across the United States, helping leaders and employees increase revenue with heart, humanity and humor. She’s been working with Lincoln Military Housing for the past ten years. Lincoln Military Housing meets the needs of the Armed Services and their constituents, and has developed and managed more than 36,000 military family homes across the nation.
I spoke with Cindy Farless, Community Services Director for Lincoln Military Housing, about how Ann marie has worked with the organization and what their experience has been with her as a trainer and speaker. Here’s what Cindy had to say.
LS: When did you first start working with Ann marie?
Cindy: I met Ann marie though the International Live Events Association more than ten years ago and immediately knew I wanted to figure out how to work with her in our work with military families. The first event she did for Lincoln Military Housing was August 2010 with military couples.
LS: What kind of programming has she delivered?
Cindy: She did presentations and workshops for military couples about passion in marriage, and using communication to determine what your needs are.
Then Ann marie began teaching working with our military spouses club. She taught them networking skill building, such as how to introduce yourself and helping people learn how to start businesses and keep them strong. She also taught them how to start an in-home business because that topic is very popular for military spouses. Ann marie also presented her Blazing Your Trail seminar for our community of military teens.
I also hire her to work with my employees in a very engaging and interactive manor. She does training on sales and pitching ideas to ensure management “buys” the ideas. She is coaching my staff on how to better prepare their pitches and sell their ideas. This year, Ann marie taught them professional skill building.
LS: How would you characterize Ann marie’s style and content?
Cindy: She is incredibly professional and articulate. It’s very current, upbeat and engaging. My employees range from brand new (right out of college) to district managers who have been in the industry for 15-20 years. This is the same with the marriage seminars – people are newlyweds and those married 15 years. She gets to know her audience and is able to deliver. That’s one of my favorite things about working with her. And everyone walks away inspired with information they can use. They always feel very upbeat; like a morale booster.
It’s great to see her be able to relate to so many levels and ages with her content. To get people to be captivated for two hours is hard to do and she does it so easily. She uses great PowerPoint presentations, but it’s not death by PowerPoint. It highlights what she’s saying.
LS: How have participants responded to her training?
Cindy: She has a following now! I can say Ann marie is speaking and they will show up. People really are attracted to what she has to say. It’s a very positive response and people get exited. They know whatever she brings to the table there will be value in it. It’s hard to do these days when people want so much ROI. The fact that people will invest the time into attending a marriage seminar or employees want to attend the training – that says a lot about what she brings to the table.
LS: Having worked with many vendors over the years, how do you think Ann marie is different?
Cindy: She actually customizes the experience to me, as opposed to the other way around. I’ve gone to other speakers before that have specific topics they speak about. Whereas with Ann marie, I take the topic to her and she customizes the experience based on what I need and what’s best for the attendees.
She 110% delivers. She’s incredibly easy to work with. I really enjoy our time together prior to the event too – the development of the event and material. I see her as a partner in what we’re trying to do. Especially when it comes to our families and what they want and are going through. She’s every much a part of that mission and vision. She is much more a partner than a vendor. She is amazing!