The LewerMark team hosted an Advisory Council conference call on Tuesday, October 13. A number of council members attended the meeting, including Debbie Danna, Director, Loyola University, New Orleans, Colby Sheldon, International Student Advisor, Lane Community College, Jennifer Adams, Associate Director, Capital University, and Kate Stoetzner, Director, Grand Valley State University.
Lewer team members on the call included President Mike Lewer, LewerMark Director Jeff Crawford, Vice President, Sales Rick Thomas, Customer Service Manager Patti Dennell, and account managers Andrew Fuller, Anne Dondlinger, and Monica Olson.
Jeff Crawford opened the meeting by introducing new council member Kate Stoetzner from Grand Valley State University, and Monica Olson, The Lewer Agency’s new account manager in Seattle.
Over-riding the planned agenda topic of digital ID cards was a discussion regarding the need for cell phone coverage among international students. Kate Stoetzner, of Grand Valley State University, commented that cell phone assistance would be more useful to students and their families than digital ID cards at this time. Other members agreed.
According to the council members, many students use pre-paid phone cards. Without a social security number, they cannot enter into a contract for a phone plan without paying a high deductible. Phones from their home country – even Smart phones – do not always work in the United States.
The council members advised that Study Abroad students buy pre-paid phones when they go abroad. The pre-paid phones are much less expensive than personal cell phones. It was also mentioned that some Study Abroad programs provide students with cell phones.
After the advisory council meeting, and in response to council members’ suggestions, The Lewer Agency contacted Sprint Nextel, a wireless communications company headquartered in the Kansas City area, to discuss the development of a cell phone “family plan” for The Lewer Agency’s client schools and students.
“Our Fall 2009 LewerMark Advisory Council meeting was very productive,” reported Jeff Crawford. “We have been fortunate to maintain a member roster of clients who are committed to improving the international education experience for students, and schools. Input from the council members continues to direct our strategy for maintaining LewerMark’s presence as the most comprehensive student insurance plan on the market. We will continue to work on the development of a cell phone plan for students and look forward to rolling-out the new plan in 2010.”