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   Special Thanks to Two Special SPSSI Central Office Vendors
   Susan Dudley, Executive Director

The SPSSI Central Office maintains business relationships – some long-term and some quite short in duration – with a large number of vendors ranging from accountants and auditors to publishers to hotels to HVAC contractors, all of whom provide goods and services that enable us to do what we do. I wanted to let our members know about two of these behind-the-scenes vendors who deserve a special thanks for extraordinary assistance to SPSSI over the last few months.

TerpSys:The SPSSI Central Office staff and interns (and by extension, our members) are enjoying the benefits of a generous donation of IT equipment that was made to SPSSI late in 2011 by one of our long-term vendors, TerpSys, of Rockville, Maryland. Thanks to TerpSys, our aging desktop computers and office server have been replaced with updated and greatly upgraded replacements made available to us with this donation. The hardware, valued at $10,500, has been installed for us at no charge (adding a few thousand dollars more value to the gift) and it extends the expected life of our IT infrastructure by several years.

When we first met with TerpSys representatives back in 2006 to discuss development of the new website for SPSSI – now familiar to all of us – they told us that their company goals are to “delight our customers, challenge ourselves, and serve our communities”. I’m sure I smiled, probably thought something like “Yeah, sure. Cute”, and went on with the business at hand. But today, two websites and scores of IT support calls later, my cynicism about those goals is long gone. I’m one of TerpSys’s biggest fans and I’m happy to take this opportunity to let them know on behalf of all of us at SPSSI that they have certainly succeeded in delighting us!

Lincoln Financial:Lincoln Financial is the provider of SPSSI’s employee retirement plan. Late last fall, however, I discovered the existence of an old SPSSI employee retirement account that had been opened with a different company years before the move from Michigan to Washington DC and unknown to anyone now on staff here. We were alarmed, to say the least, to discover this orphaned account, the existence of which had potential implications for several past federal tax filings and more. We called our Lincoln Financial representatives James Gibney and Sarah Burton – also long-term vendors for SPSSI – to discuss the situation. What we got from them was quick and helpful advice and no-nonsense service that allowed us to get to the bottom of the problem, file the necessary amended federal reports, and take all the necessary actions to get into compliance with ERISA regulations and ensure that there will be no liabilities resulting from this accruing to SPSSI in the future. Jim and Sarah even put us in touch with a private ERISA attorney who reviewed the whole matter for us pro bono! I want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank them both (and the attorney!), as well as the staff at Lincoln who came to our assistance, for making what had initially threatened to be a tangled and costly problem into a small bump in the road!

And thanks to our many other vendors who help us keep SPSSI functioning smoothly year after year!

-Susan Dudley

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