Internal Newsletter – Issue 252021-09-13T19:03:59+00:00

The Cloud Five

Stay in the know of company updates, team wins and exciting things to come.


A Message from the CEO, Mark Holzberg

I am starting to write this from Boston, specifically my room at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, in advance of my meeting later this afternoon with the CIO of Sonesta Hotels at their corporate HQ. I flew in this morning from New York, where I had a meeting and cocktails yesterday with our long-time New York City customer and partner, Suzanne Smolyar, CEO of Tauto. We’re in the midst of doing a HSIA install with them at the new Townplace Suites / SpringHill Suites Marriott Chelsea. Suzanne and I had a great catch-up session, it was my first time in New York since late February of 2020. I also managed to sneak in dinner with my daughter and Brandon’s older sister, Allison, who lives and works in New York. Truth is, that was the highlight of my visit to NY, much as I love Suzanne too 😊.

On Wednesday, after a breakfast meeting with the head of Sonesta’s Contact Center business, I headed to Springfield for that office’s summer outing. It was great to see everyone after not being in Springfield since COVID hit, and I had a chance to meet a number of new people in person for the first time as well as some of the team’s better halves. The boat excursion on the Connecticut River was really great – the weather cooperated (no downpours like during the Chicago River outing a few weeks ago) and it was nice to see trees rather than skyscrapers along the banks of the river. I then headed back to the Chicago office and Churchill. Hoping to get to Canada soon!

While getting out to see customers and Cloud5 team members is great and what I most love to do, I can tell you that the difference in travel and hotel stays now compared to my first post-COVID trip to Nashville a couple of months ago is palpable – at least the feel of it. In Boston, the hotel was quite quiet, and masks are again required indoors both there and in New York. In New York, I was required to show proof of vaccination before entering any restaurant, which actually made me feel safer, albeit yet another reminder of the scourge of COVID and the Delta variant.

Having said that, I’m all for doing everything we can to stop the spread of COVID and continue our path back to normalcy. We’re still able to get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather in Chicago and elsewhere as we approach the beginning of Fall, some of our kiddos are headed back to some semblance of normal school, our customers are still buying, and Cloud5 is strong. For all of that, and the health of my family, friends, and all of you, I am profoundly grateful. I know that most of you had an opportunity to attend the All Hands Call on August 20th. For anyone who missed it, it was recorded, and I’d encourage you to watch the recording at your convenience. We spent some time discussing the Silo of One and how we achieve that goal. Many thanks to Terri Leone and Matt Dorgan for their feedback related to ways we can function even more effectively as one Cloud5 team. One of the Silo of One items that bubbled up from our department meetings, again and again, was having a centralized repository for documents, processes, and valuable information from every department.

I was excited to hear from Tareq that our IT team will be rolling out the Cloud5 Intranet by the end of the year. We’ve needed a central place to house all things Cloud5, celebrate our successes and help folks (new and veteran) stay up to date on everything we’re working on. Stay tuned for updates on that as the project progresses. I also talked about how the Silo of One is very much about a frame of mind – we need to think as a team and remember we all genuinely have common goals and objectives. I love a quote from Martin Luther King that I shared with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) in January: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Indeed. Additionally, I updated the team on our COVID vaccination policy and again urged all Cloud5 team members to get vaccinated if they have not done so (the vast majority have) and are not medically unable to. With the increased number of cases due to the Delta variant, it’s as important now as ever. I was very glad to see that the Pfizer COVID vaccine was granted full FDA approval and that full approval for Moderna should not be too far behind. Both vaccines and the J&J version continue to be remarkably effective in limiting new cases amongst the vaccinated but especially in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths. I noted that the situation remains fluid, thus our policies will evolve as needed and required by the proper authorities. As such, we have decided to delay the return to the office (2 days per week) for our Chicago and Springfield facilities until January 3, 2022.

Particularly in uncertain times, I appreciate the respect and kindness that we all show to one another. When it comes to COVID-19 we may not agree on everything, but I think we all agree that we wish everyone good health and happiness. Until next time, that’s my wish for you and your family. Here’s to good days ahead.

Did You Miss the All Hands Call?

Don’t worry! You can catch up on the
August 20, 2021 call at the link below.


Operations Updates

Q2 continued to be a busy time for our Operations teams. Our HSIA sales engineering team continued to receive requests for more full-service properties that require more complex solutions. This is consistent with our direction to move up-market in the solutions we offer as a company. The team has done a great job producing quotes in a timely fashion and we appreciate all the challenging work they are putting in daily.

Our Voice team was equally busy in the 2nd quarter. Sales Engineering (aka John Barfield) has been producing a large number of quotes internally, while also supporting our new partner agreement with FourteenIP. As for our project management/install teams, our Mitel team crushed our install budget by $230k for the quarter! The HSIA team also had a solid Q2 as we finished above budget for the first six months of the year. Combined, our PM/SDE teams received seven perfect surveys back from clients in the quarter. Fantastic job to all!

Our support teams continue to produce world-class results as the volume has returned to 2019 levels. A big win for this team, as well as the company, is the fact that we reclaimed the number one spot on the Marriott Scorecard for all vendors in their latest update! This goes a long way when we are out selling and trying to differentiate ourselves from other providers.

Our Voice support teams continue to produce impressive results that have led to us having more conversations with key partners such as ESA and G6 about taking over more properties as well as providing new services. Your continued professionalism and expertise are what give our clients the confidence to trust us more!

Excellent job to all of Operations and I am looking forward to a great Q3.

With increased travel and leisure activities throughout North America as vaccination rates have grown, many of our clients have looked to Cloud5 to increase our support to their members and guests. This included American Express, who in April approved the addition of 150 agents to our existing Saint John location, which more than doubles our support to that client by Q1 2022. With the East Coast team performing so well, Cloud5 was able to successfully negotiate for a further 100 agent expansion that will coincide with the opening of our 6th contact center location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 191 The West Mall, Suite 300. This site will begin ramping with management staff next month and begin training a total of 100 agents by Q2 2022.

This location will add between 95 and 130 additional workstations into production that will be leveraged to assist American Express and potentially additional hospitality and non-hospitality clients. The site is located just 10km (6 miles) from the Toronto International Airport and 20km (12 miles) from Downtown Toronto. This will make the site a convenient place to highlight our brand and our approach to potential new contact center clients.

The opening of the new Toronto location has us currently searching for Operations Management, Trainers, Team Leads and agents. Maria Mino was recently added to Kathy Lloyd’s People and Culture team as the HR resource for the site. Please feel free to share the great news as we are currently looking for lots of great people to add to the Cloud5 team in Toronto.

Atlantic Canada Bubble Popped

At the end of July, the Province of New Brunswick (where we operate our 5 current Contact Center locations) achieved its 75% vaccination target and reopened its border. This provided me the first opportunity to get back to visit each of the centers and spend time with the management teams and on the production floors since I rejoined the company last fall.

Thank you to everyone who let me sit next to them while they answered calls and answered all my questions. Thank you too to all the managers and directors who spent time with me during my visit to outline your initiatives to continue to grow and support the teams, while focusing on performance and quality for our clients.

The week I spent visiting 4 of our 5 sites (sorry Moncton, I will see you next trip) left me with 3 impressions: What a strong and committed team we have, how challenging the work is that you do every day and how committed to success you all are. and despite the Saint John fog, what an incredible place the East Coast is in the summer.

With the Canadian border now open to all vaccinated visitors, I have no doubt there will be many more visitors soon.

The installation teams continue to be very busy! Q2 was one of our best quarters in the last 2 years with 84 total projects completed! This does not include a few mass deployments that are completed or preparation for additional mass deployments coming in Q3 and Q4. Many thanks to the multiple teams that make up the ‘Install Team’ include Sales, Telco Operations, Logistics, SDE, and PM teams.

We also have an exciting internal project underway! Taking to heart the “Silo of One” motto that we have been focused on, we are reworking our Smartsheet tools and processes entirely. A ground-up rework will ensure that information, status updates issues or urgent requests are visible, dealt with efficiently, and addressed as a single unit. It will also provide unparalleled visibility for our clients into the current status, projected completion, and all other details around their project. We have completed most of the build-out and plan to begin user training and implementation starting this month!

Right: Larry Flynn, Senior Field Engineer in Kauai at Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort

From the Offices of

People and Culture Update


High Five Awards & Recent Office Events
By Vice Presidents of Culture Doug Green and Kathy Lloyd

Congratulations to the Q2 2021 Cloud5 High5 Award Winners! It was a very tough decision, as there were so many dedicated and hardworking nominees. Thank you all for your dedication. We are also sharing recent Cloud5 birthdays, anniversaries, and additions to the team.

Press & Happenings

#Cloud5Clique Episode 5: Improving Operational Efficiency with Fewer Resources

Hoteliers are responsible for a lot of moving parts, most of which impact the efficiency of the property. In this episode of The Cloud5 Clique Webinar series, we will discuss how hoteliers can utilize virtual guest services to not only improve efficiency but do so with fewer resources.


  • Hosted by Alex Ajdelsztajn, Vice President of Professional Services, Cloud5 Communications
  • Byron Webster, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, SABA Hospitality
  • Josh Dow, Vice President, Hotel Technology Strategy & Services, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Drop Some Knowledge

Television Academy Launches Science and Technology Peer Group

Founded and co-chaired by industry vets Barry Zegel and Wendy Aylsworth, the new peer group provides a membership base for engineers, scientists, and technologists who create the systems and devices that enable or advance the storytelling and transmission capabilities of television.

Read More

What is deep tech? A look at how it could shape the future.
How do companies like SpaceX make sudden breakthroughs on decades-old challenges? Emerging tech expert Antoine Gourévitch explains how deep tech — a new approach to innovation that merges science, engineering and design thinking — is unlocking solutions to problems in space exploration, biology, energy and more.

Read More

2021 NFL roster cuts tracker: Who’s in and who’s out for all 32 teams

Cuts come earlier this season as teams had three preseason games — not four — to accommodate the 17-game regular season schedule. Did your favorite players make the cut?

Read More

Did You Find this Information Useful? Enter to WIN!

If you’re reading this, send an email to with the subject line I READ IT and you’ll be entered to win a special prize! Do you have something to contribute to the newsletter? Send it to , we’d love to hear from you!

Go to Top