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Volkart May celebrates 30 years

Our staff reflect on the staying power of the humble phone call

Chris Temperante
Chris Temperante
CEO / Partner

Remember 1990?

Personal computers were making their debut. Faxing was the height of modern communication. Cellphones, email and websites were but a glint in a developer’s eye. The telephone was the epicenter of the sales process.

Three decades of conversations

For Volkart May, it was in 1990 that Bruce Volkart and Jan May teamed up to launch a lead generation firm in Minneapolis. They recognized the power of an engaging phone call and the need for professional conversationalists in the B2B sales cycle.

It didn’t take long before the business took off. Our early client roster featured local and national firms, including many of the country’s largest technology companies.

Three decades later, Volkart May proudly celebrates our 30th anniversary!

True to our roots, outbound calling and the power of one-to-one conversation remain central to our success. We continue generating leads, setting sales appointments and building relationships for numerous B2B, healthcare and medtech brands.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed our plans for a face-to-face gathering, we’re taking time this month to remember our roots, appreciate our many valued clients and callers, and look forward to our next decades.

Here’s a sampling of what we love, what we’re proud of and what lies ahead.

What we love most about calling

Photo of Chris Temperante

Chris Temperante and Cathy Schmid joined Volkart May a week apart in 2008. Chris serves as CEO and Cathy as EVP Sales & Client Services/Partner.

Chris most enjoys the variety that comes with running a call center business. For Cathy, it’s the impressive team of callers, account managers and support staff she works with every day.

“We have a fast-paced, collaborative environment and a team that shares a common goal of helping our clients grow their business,” Cathy explained. “It’s rewarding to see the results of our work and it makes my day when clients share their positive experiences with us. I love that most consider Volkart May an extension of their team.”

Chris added, “Every call produces amazing insights. It’s like having your own R&D lab.”

What we’re most proud about

In 2019, founder Bruce Volkart retired after 29 years. With Chris and Cathy at the helm, Volkart May officially became a woman-owned business.

This year, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly adapted our business model by introducing remote calling capabilities.

These are just two of the recent accomplishments that helped us get to where we are today.

It’s the more personal moments, however, that stick with us.

For Bruce, those include building a business from the ground up that increased sales efficiency and impacted revenue and growth for clients, while at the same time providing employment and training for countless individuals.

“I’m extremely proud of how many job opportunities we’ve provided over the years,” he recalled. “Part-time positions for working parents. Flexible hours for executives in transition.”

He added, “I still have people coming up to me saying, ‘You don’t remember me, but I worked for Volkart May.’ That’s very rewarding.”

Chris is gratified by the high standards Volkart May employs—a true differentiator in a field that often gets a bad rap from robodialers and telemarketers.

“Our professionalism really sets us apart,” Chris noted. “Our value is so much more than a phone call. It’s helping small companies who need fast and agile help with sales. It’s helping large companies operate at scale and represent their brands with trust. It’s providing talented employees with job opportunities at all stages of their lives.”

Cathy appreciates the trust clients place in Volkart May and the strong relationships developed over the last decade.

“We would not be where we are today without the support and partnership of our clients,” Cathy said.

 What we’re looking forward to next

Communication tools and technology platforms have proliferated over the past thirty years. Email, social media and automated chatbots are just a few of the methods B2B and medtech companies deploy today for lead generation and inside sales. However, the need for quality sales leads and engaging conversations remains constant. The humble telephone call has clearly stood the test of time.

Bruce recalled the early days of operations, when callers dialed each number by hand, and tracking progress in spreadsheets was “state of the art.”

Today, Volkart May relies on a sophisticated call center platform that makes calling efficient and puts an array of metrics and insights within easy reach. From digital call recordings to remote operations to integration with client CRM systems, the innovations just keep growing.

While 2020 has been an eventful year, Chris and Cathy are excited about what’s next.

“At the low point in the pandemic, we had to pause our campaigns,” Chris said. “Now, we’ve bounced back—and helped our clients rebound.”

The shift to virtual work caused by COVID-19 makes Volkart May’s services more relevant than ever.

“There’s never been a greater need for the human element, for that personal touchpoint, than in the current virtual world,” Chris said. “We’re proud to be that resource and look forward to even greater outreach in 2021 and beyond.”


Share your memory. Are you a past client, employee or supporter of Volkart May? We’d love to hear from you! Share your memory with a comment on our LinkedIn page.

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