Winners Announced in 17th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

World’s Top Customer Service and Sales Awards Were Presented in Las Vegas

FAIRFAX, Va., March 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Winners in the 17th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, recognized as the world’s top customer service awards and sales awards, were unveiled on Friday night at a gala ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada USA, attended by more than 400 executives from around the world.

The complete list of Stevie Winners by category is available at

DP DHL, with 46 Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award wins, was the most honored organization this year, earning the top Grand Stevie Award trophy. This is the 11th year in a row in which the multinational package delivery and supply chain management company, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, has won a Grand Stevie in the program, and the ninth year of the 11 in which they placed first on the list of most honored organizations.

Other Grand Stevie Award winners, in descending order, include IBM, Sales Partnerships, Support Services Group, ValueSelling Associates, UPMC Health Plan, PowerSchool Group, GoHealth, TalkDesk and Michael Kors.

More than 2,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 170 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees. Entries were considered in more than 60 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 60 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers, among others.

Sales Partnerships, Inc. won 12 Golds, the most in the competition. Other winners of two or more Gold Stevie Awards include: Alight Solutions, Blackhawk Network, ClearSource BPO, DP DHL, EFG Companies, Genpact, GoHealth, IBM, ICW Group, Janek Performance Group, JK Moving, LivePerson, MetTel, Michael Kors, MONAT Global Corp, Optima Tax Relief, LLC, Optum, Paradigm Marketing and Design, PREMIER Bankcard, Rapid Phone Center, Sales Partnerships, Inc., SAP, SoftPro, Splunk, Tata Consultancy Services, TELUS Smart Security & Automation, TIM Brasil, TransPerfect, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S., UPMC Health Plan, Perceptyx, Veeam, and WNS (Holdings) Limited.

Winners in one special category, the Sales Partnerships Ethics in Sales Award, were also announced on Friday. This award recognizes organizations for best practices and achievements in demonstrating the highest ethical standards in the sales industry. The Gold Stevie winner in this category is Greater Prairie Business Consulting. The Silver winner is Belkins, and the Bronze Stevie Winners are Cal Dental USA and Integrity Solutions.

The presentations were broadcast live via Livestream and are available to watch online.

Nominations for the 2024 edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service will be accepted starting this July.  The entry kit may be requested at

The awards are presented by the Stevie Awards, which organizes eight of the world’s leading business award shows including the prestigious International Business Awards® and American Business Awards®.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 nominations each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Sponsors of the 17th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include Sales Partnerships, Inc., Support Service Group, and ValueSelling Associates, Inc.


Nina Moore
(703) 547-8389

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8781987

FAO and UNIDO launch global Agrifood Systems Transformation Accelerator (ASTA)

Doha - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have jointly launched the Agrifood Systems Transformation Accelerator (ASTA), a global programme designed to help Least Developed Countries make their agrifood systems more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable by fostering partnerships and generating public-private investments.

The launch took place on Sunday during a bilateral meeting between FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and his UNIDO counterpart, Gerd Mueller, on the sidelines of the Fifth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Doha, Qatar.

ASTA is the first centrepiece of a new collaboration between FAO and UNIDO and helps generate investment in the agrifood system of some of the world's poorest countries, including through development of value chains, market systems, business models and inclusive finance, in order to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"Addressing the future of agrifood systems requires a holistic view covering many topics, such as the climate crisis, agricultural production, value chain efficiency, inclusion, nutrition, land use and biodiversity, among others. ASTA offers a concrete tool to help countries realize the objective of agrifood systems transformation," Qu said.

"ASTA identifies investment opportunities and helps channel those investments into food value chains. With such efforts, FAO and UNIDO are natural partners. Our expertise and efforts complement each other. I am very proud of our cooperation with FAO," Mueller said.

Concrete solutions

ASTA's launch comes at a time when our agrifood systems are threatened under the pressure of the climate crisis, ongoing conflicts and war, as well as the protracted impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This requires a fresh approach and novel solutions.

ASTA does this in four ways: By breaking down silos through broad-based public-private collaborations; by doing away with the traditional top-down support and placing the beneficiaries in the driving seat; by embodying the ONE UN approach, whereby different UN organizations combine forces to assist countries in more synergistic ways; as well as a shift away from targeting individual SDG indicators.

Such a shift is especially relevant for LDCs, where multiple bottlenecks often hinder urgent change and where integrated solutions based on inter-ministerial and public-private sector collaborations are essential.

Crucially, the programme helps countries move from broad recommendations and strategies to concrete implementation with measurable impacts.

The ASTA approach has been field-tested since 2018 in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific and South America.

One example where the ASTA model has been successfully tested is in Suriname, where public funding worth $2 million was secured to promote $8 million in private investments to transform its pineapple value chain.

Looking ahead, the aim is for ASTA to generate at least $300 million in private investments during the next five years.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

President Ramaphosa makes changes to Cabinet

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced changes to the National Executive during an address to the nation on Monday evening.

In his address at the Union Buildings, the President said that the purpose of the changes is to ensure that government is properly capacitated and directed to give effect to the commitments made in the State of the Nation Address and the Budget Speech.

He reiterated that all parts of government are focused on addressing issues that concern South Africans the most: load shedding, unemployment, poverty and the rising cost of living, including crime and corruption.

The president announced the establishment of two new Ministries - namely the Minister for Electricity and the Minister with specific responsibility for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa is the new Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, whose role it will be to deal with the immediate crisis of load shedding.

The President also appointed Maropene Ramokgopa as the new Minister in the Presidency with specific responsibility for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, who will focus greater attention on the performance of government.

Other changes to the Cabinet include the appointment of Paul Mashatile as the country’s new Deputy President, Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and the appointment of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

In his new role, Deputy President Mashatile replaces former Deputy President David Mabuza who resigned last week, while Ntshavheni replaces Minister Mondli Gungubele and Dlamini-Zuma replaces Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

“We have said that the people of South Africa want action, they want solutions and they want government to work for them.

“All members of the Executive have been directed to focus on those agreed actions that will make a meaningful difference now, that will enable real progress within the next year and that will lay a foundation for a sustained recovery into the future,” the President said.

The President said that the changes are intended to fill vacancies that have occurred in the Executive and to direct government more effectively towards the areas that require urgent and decisive action.

“I have sought to balance the need for new skills and capabilities to drive the agenda that we outlined in the State of the Nation Address with the important task of ensuring stability and continuity in the work of government,” the President said.

More appointments made by the President are as follows:

- Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, replacing Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

- Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembi Nkadimeng, replacing Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

- Minister of Public Service and Administration, Noxolo Kiviet, replacing acting then Minister Thulas Nxesi.

- Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Sihle Zikalala, replacing Patricia de Lille.

- Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, replacing Nathi Mthethwa.

- Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, replacing Lindiwe Sisulu.

- Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, replacing Fikile Mbalula.

With respect to Deputy Ministers, the President made the following appointments:

- Deputy Ministers in the Presidency, Nomasonto Motaung and Kenneth Morolong.

- Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Sisisi Tolashe.

- Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Pinky Kekana.

- There will be two Deputy Ministers for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Parks Tau and Zolile Burns-Ncamashe.

- There will be two Deputy Ministers for Water and Sanitation, David Mahlobo and Judith Tshabalala.

- Deputy Minister of Public Works, Bernice Swarts.

- Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Dipuo Peters.

- Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Obed Bapela.

- Deputy Minister of Transport, Lisa Mangcu.

Addressing challenges

The President extended his appreciation to all outgoing Ministers and Deputy Ministers for their service to this administration and to the country.

“I have instructed both new and existing members of Cabinet to act with speed and urgency to address the challenges that our country faces.

“I expect them to fulfil their tasks with rigour and dedication, to adopt a zero tolerance approach to corruption wherever it exists, and to place the interests of the people of South Africa foremost in the work that they do.

“This is the standard that I will hold them to and I have full confidence that they will meet it. We must waste no time and spare no effort in restoring the promise of South Africa,” the President said.

While the new changes will result in an increase in the number of ministries in the short term, the President said that he has instructed the Presidency and National Treasury to develop a proposal to rationalise government departments, entities and programmes to ensure greater efficiency.

This work, which will result in the reduction of the number of Ministries, he said, will inform the configuration of government going into the next administration.

Source: South African Government News Agency

South African Police Service on suspects in court for copper cable theft

Five (5) suspects between the ages of eighteen (18) and sixty-one (61) are expected to appear in Molteno Magistrate’s court on Monday, 6 March 2023. This follows their arrests on 3 March 2023 for charges for possession of suspected stolen goods and damage to essential infrastructure (copper cables).

Magnum security guards acted on information about the suspicious vehicle in the early hours of the morning on 2 March 2023. A Nissan bakkie was stopped and searched on intersection of Stormberg and Burgersdorp roads in Molteno wherein copper cables were found. The security guards could not get a satisfactory answer as to why the suspects were in possession of copper cables at that place and time.

The security guards escorted the vehicle with the cargo to Molteno police station where they were arrested on arrival. The matter was referred to the Queenstown based Serious Organised Crime Investigation team of the Hawks for a further probe.

The estimated street value of the cables confiscated is R350 000.The Nissan bakkie with an estimated cash value of R120 000 allegedly used as instrument in the commission of a crime was also confiscated.

Source: Government of South Africa

No work, no pay principle to apply to striking employees

Acting Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Minister, Thulas Nxesi, says the no work, no pay principle will apply to employees embarking on illegal strike action.

In a virtual media briefing on Monday, Nxesi said no disciplinary action should be taken against employees embarking on peaceful picketing.

“Disciplinary action should be taken against those employees who block entrances and embark in an unlawful strike,” Nxesi said.

He said government expects employees to come to work because the strike has been interdicted.

“No leave should be taken during this period of the strike. Careful consideration should be taken when granting leave,” Nxesi said.

Responding to a question about employees who said they are not going back to work until the 10% increase has been granted, Nxesi said government will not announce the offer in the media.

“We are persuading all other parties to come back to the negotiations. This is where the offer will be discussed and announced,” Nxesi said.

According to the department’s Director-General, Yoliswa Makhasi, there has been a number of reports received about people blocking entrances and those who got arrested for embarking on unlawful strike action.

Wage negotiations broke down last month between unions and the DPSA.

The department offered a 4.7% increase, while unions are demanding between 10% and 12%.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said it is disappointed with the ruling of the Labour Court interdicting the public service strike action, which was to commence today.

The court ruling follows an urgent application by the DPSA, heard in the Johannesburg Labour Court on Saturday, after being postponed on Friday.

In a statement, the DPSA said government respects the rights of trade unions to organise, and the rights of members to embark on peaceful and lawful protests, including pickets and strikes.

“It is the commitment of government to ensure that these hard fought for rights are discharged in a manner that does not disrupt service delivery, especially in relation to essential services such as health,” it said in a statement.

Nehawu said it will go ahead with the wage strike despite the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) obtaining a court interdict.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Speaker Basetsana Dantjie presides over House Sitting for 2023/24 provincial budget vote, 7 Mar

On Tuesday, 7 March 2023, the Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Hon. Basetsana S.R Dantjie will preside over a House Sitting where the MEC for the Department of Finance, Motlalepula Rosho will present the 2023/24 North West Provincial Budget in the Legislature Chamber at 9h00.

The proceedings of the House Sitting will be streamed live on the Legislature’s Facebook page and other platforms such as the YouTube channel.

Source: Government of South Africa