When Kim Lindlof, president and CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, called Peg Campbell to tell her she’d won an award, Campbell asked who to give the message to.
When Lindlof said the award was for her alone, Campbell, an administrative assistant at PFBF CPAs in FirstPark in Oakland, didn’t know what to say.
“I had no idea,” she said. “I was floored.”
Campbell, who lives in Fairfield, said she was so shocked by the news that it took her two days to tell her husband.
Campbell, 60, serves as the “first line” of the business, greeting clients and making sure everyone has what they need throughout the day.
She’s also on the firm’s “fun committee,” which brainstorms theme days to take the edge off tax season and sets up puzzles and other relaxing activities for the accountants.
For her decade of service at the firm, Campbell will receive the Customer Service Stardom award at the chamber’s award ceremony on April 27. The award recognizes a person who provides exceptional customer service and takes great pride in his or her job.
While Campbell doesn’t feel like her work sets her apart, Lindlof said she received the most nominations of all the award winners.
Those who nominated her said the reasons are obvious.
“We’re just blessed to have her,” said Reginald Perry, the firm’s founder and now one of its directors. “She’s highly deserving.”
When asked why he thinks she deserves the award, Perry said: “How much time do you have?”
An accountant, he used numbers to describe Campbell’s value. On a scale of one to 10, he said she’s “an 11.”
Campbell is the first connection people have with the PFBF team, he said, which is what makes her so invaluable.
“In the heat of tax season, she greets absolutely everybody with a smile, takes their coat, helps them to a cup of water or coffee or what-have-you, and our clients are so pleased with the experience,” said Jamie Boulette, president of the firm. “Peg is probably the most delightful person that I have ever met.”
Campbell started working at the firm after leaving Fairfield Primary School, where she was a secretary for 17 years. She wanted to expand her horizons and try something different, she said.
“My first interview, I knew I had found the right place,” she said about PFBF. “It’s a team here.”
She does occasionally deal with a frustrated or upset client, but Perry said she’s “unflappable.”
“Some days are a little testier than others, but a sense of humor goes a long way,” Campbell said. “I do my best to be a good listener and to help.”
Campbell has always liked working with people, she said, and she has an optimistic outlook on life.
“I try to live my life gratefully, because life is precious,” she said. She keeps a reminder at her desk that says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239