A multi-channel sales organizations since 1998.

About Protocall

Beginning as a small answering service in 1988, Protocall Communications expanded in 1998 to a multi-channel telemarketing operation focused exclusively on outbound business-to-business sales. Over the past five years, the company again transformed itself to take advantage of new opportunities in the sale of deregulated energy.

Why Protocall

We are an organization that has a look and a feel of big company but we really are a small business. So that gives the family atmosphere. The atmosphere where you know you can make a difference if you are a go getter. An atmosphere you can thrive in. Protocall prides itself not only on rewarding top performers with a rich incentive package but also on promoting within. If you are looking to advance your career this is the place to be. We have advanced training for those aspiring to be our future leaders. Our leader development program runs for 12 weeks and at the end you will have the foundation necessary to begin your leader ship path. If you are already a leader it will be a refresher for you of things you may already do or you may find a few new tips or techniques. As far as sales skills Protocall has top notch professionals in each of their divisions willing to share their knowledge and expertise and if that’s not enough , Protocall has daily/weekly sales training classes you can participate in to help master you craft.


Protocall announces the opening of a new automated call center in Laurel, Maryland.

Protocall wins the industry’s equivalent of the Triple Crown — the MVP Quality Award, Customer Interaction Solutionsmagazine; the TELO, American Telesales Association; and the Award for Contact Center Excellence (ACCE), Teleprofessional magazine. Protocall is the only company to win all three awards in the same year.

Protocall holds an open house at the new call center. Guests include aides to the governor and a U.S. Senator, the mayor of Laurel, Maryland and a state Senator. Other dignitaries, including Representative Steny Hoyer, visit during the next year.

Specializing exclusively in outbound telecommunications sales, Protocall grows by more than 550 percent during 1998.

Protocall wins its second consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Patuxent Publishing Company publishes, “Line of Work,” described as “a day in the life of a telesales company.” The article is based on a reporter’s month-long access to the Laurel call center.

Protocall wins the Maryland Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative (BCEI) co-sponsored by MassMutual and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Protocall celebrates the first anniversary of the Laurel call center with the addition of 100 new employees.

Protocall continues to attract new accounts, including MCI Wireless, Sprint Business, Lucent Technologies, Dow Jones, Cogent, Comcast, AT&T, SAVVIS, Insight and National Geographic.

Protocall wins a contract to market Verizon Communication’s local and long distance telephone service to businesses.

Protocall wins its third consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall Communications awarded a contract with GTE of Irving, Texas to market an array of telecommunications services.

Protocall announces that Deborah Liebel has joined the company as a cooperator to direct call center operations.

Protocall is a finalist for Award for Contact Center Excellence (ACCE) from Teleprofessional magazine.

Protocall wins its fourth consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Ellen Kleinknecht named a finalist for the 2001 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® (EOY) award.

Protocall wins the 2001 CTAM (Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing) Broadband and Cable Modem Marketing Case Study Competition.

Protocall receives a grant from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to train the company’s employees and to conduct a company-wide symposium on quality customer contacts.

Protocall wins its fifth consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall is listed among the Top 50 U.S. Outbound Contact Centers by Customer Interaction Solutions magazine.

Protocall becomes a business unit of Call Solutions, Inc. (later NOVO 1) of Waukesha, Wisconsin – the former owners, Ellen Kleinknecht, Deborah Liebel and Scott Kleinknecht, continue to lead operations.

Ellen and Scott Kleinknecht are finalists for the 2002 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® (EOY) award.

Protocall ranks among the Washington Business Journal’s 2002 Fast Track 50, the fastest growing public and private companies in Greater Washington.

Protocall begins selling electricity and gas for energy clients.

Protocall wins its sixth consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall is fifth on Inc. magazine’s Inner City 100, a national list of companies that are creating job opportunities for inner-city residents.

Anticipating the arrival of Wireless Line Number Portability (portability), Protocall announces it is gearing up operations to help wireless providers retain customers in the face of increased competition.

Protocall wins its seventh consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall wins the 2004 CTAM (Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing) Broadband and Cable Modem Marketing Case Study Competition.

Protocall wins its eighth consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall wins CRM Excellence Award from Customer Interaction Solutions magazine for Orbital Customer Acquisition Application.

Verizon names Protocall Top Vendor with the presentation of the “2005 John Dolan Memorial Diamond Award” for marketing quality and productivity

Protocall wins its ninth consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Verizon names Protocall Top Vendor in the U.S. for small business telephone and broadband sales.

Protocall wins its tenth consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall opens a second call center in the Old Town section of Laurel, Maryland at 204 Main Street.

Protocall wins the AT&T Circle of Excellence award, placing it among the top performers in the Solution Provider program that serves small and medium-sized business customers.

Protocall wins its eleventh consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall wins its twelfth consecutive MVP Quality Award.

Protocall wins its thirteenth consecutive MVP Quality Award for an outbound telemarketing program to sell deregulated energy to households for Constellation.

Protocall Communications partners with Constellation to sell deregulated energy to households door-to-door in the Washington Metropolitan Region.  The company refocuses its business strategy to outside energy sales, which now includes a business-to-business division.  The company uses telemarketing to complement outside sales and renewals.

Protocall Communications expands into multiple territories to sell deregulated energy for Constellation.

Protocall Communications is now selling deregulated energy for Constellation in 11 states.



Most Tenured Sales Agent


Most Sales Commission


Record BTB Sales


Record Residential Sales

Our Leadership

Deborah Liebel


Deborah has more than 35 years of sales experience in a wide variety of industries and currently serves as President and part owner of Protocall. She oversees all sales departments, as well as, Quality Assurance, Client Services, Training and Development, and Leader Development Programs. Deborah is a certified John Maxwell Trainer and an active member of the JMT team. Prior to joining Protocall, Deborah held senior management positions at AT&T, MCI, and Global Payments. Her innovations have dramatically advanced productivity and efficiency and grew revenues tenfold. Deborah’s redesign teams have increased efficiencies and productivity, from recruiting and training to client service and sales operations.

Ellen Kleinknecht


Ellen has more than 18 years of experience in the telesales industry and serves as CFO. She is responsible for corporate accounting and financial functions, including new business contracts and human resources. Ellen began her career at Control Data Corporation, where she worked in defense aerospace marketing for seven years before becoming a lobbyist for the company. She left CDC to develop another IVR-based telesales company, National Phone Link. That company grew out of her graduate work at George Washington University. Ellen holds an MBA degree from George Washington University and a BBA in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Scott Kleinknecht

Vice President of Marketing

Scott has more than 23 years of telesales and telecommunications experience. As Vice President of Marketing, he is responsible for corporate strategy and business development. Scott is recognized for the development of proprietary information systems and quality assurance programs. Prior to co-founding Protocall, Scott served as the CEO of various inbound telesales firms for over ten years. These include an inbound answering service that he founded earlier in his career. Scott has a strong background in corporate finance from his earlier career in investment banking with Johnston Lemmon in Washington. He holds a BA degree in accounting from Newberry College.

Janice Wahl

Director of Training and Quality Assurance

Janice has over 20 years of training and development experience and serves as Training and Quality Assurance Director. She is responsible for all aspects of employee development, training and quality assurance. She has extensive experience in the development and coordination of onsite quality control and training programs. Janice‘s previous experience was at high-volume inbound and outbound call centers operated by MCI Telecommunications, City Federal Funding and Chevy Chase Bank. Janice received her master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development from the University of Maryland and has received Zenger Miller Certification.

Washington Jones

Director of Operations

Washington has over 15 years of telesales experience and serves as Director of Operations. He oversees daytime operations, including sales, employee recruitment and management of full-time Sales Professionals. Previously, Washington was employed in several capacities by MCI Telecommunications. These have contributed significantly to operations at Protocall. Washington holds a BS degree in Communications from Towson State University.

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