Michael Vasquez: Operations Department

Michael Vasquez serves as the operations director for ACAMS. He has been with the organization for over two years and oversees the customer service, IT and fulfillment departments.

Prior to joining ACAMS, Vasquez served as a business consultant and provided operational, financial and vendor contracting guidance to fortune 1000 companies in the Miami-Dade area. He also worked in different operational roles in the travel and healthcare industry where he acquired ample experience in business strategy and growth.

Since joining ACAMS, Vasquez has developed a strategic roadmap to achieve operational excellence with a strong emphasis on member satisfaction. His ultimate goal is to ensure that the ACAMS' membership experience is globally recognized for its excellence.

ACAMS Today: What led you to a career in operations?

Michael Vasquez: For me, it was changes in the working environment. As budgets tighten in companies across the globe, workers with a single skillset become obsolete (e.g., you can no longer just be the customer service guy and not know how your backend systems work so you need to brush up on your IT skills). In short, to stay competitive you have to keep expanding your knowledge and it is this driving force that made me go from a call center professional to an overall operations expert.

AT: What makes your experience working with ACAMS different from your work with other organizations?

MV: It is a niche market. Previously I worked in mass consumption products, open to everyone such as health insurance. ACAMS does not market to the masses thus making it very exclusive and unique.

AT: What steps has your department implemented to make the ACAMS membership experience more rewarding?

MV: How much time and space do we have? Well, here are a few of the steps we have taken: 1) We updated our IT infrastructure to increase the performance of our web sites; 2) We have upgraded and outsourced our printing efforts so membership materials are delivered in a timelier manner; 3) We have streamlined the certification process to avoid delays in application processing; 4) We have upgraded our phone system and 5) staffed our call center accordingly to ensure we do not miss any calls from our members.

AT: What is your favorite membership benefit?

MV: ACAMSToday.org is currently my favorite; however, I will have a new favorite soon but it is still in the works. Stay tuned!

AT: Where do you see ACAMS in five years?

MV: ACAMS is and will continue to be the global leader in its field. I see us expanding our membership base internationally and more importantly expanding the different areas of financial crime which we fight against and cover in our publications and training. I have no doubt that ACAMS will remain the place where everyone comes for their information and training.

Interviewed by Karla Monterrosa-Yancey, CAMS, editor-in-chief, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA, editor@acams.org

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