A letter from The Admin Awards Founder, Sunny Nunan


Dear Administrative Professional,

My mission behind launching The Admin Awards™ program is a very personal one. It began in 1985, when my mother, who was 51 at the time and on the tail end of raising five children, re-entered the work force as an admin to the CEO of a box and frame manufacturer in Easton, Pennsylvania. Although I was just a teenager at the time, my mother’s transition back into the work force gave me my first real glimpse of the “business world” I would one day enter and beautifully illustrated how a CEO, Mr. Master,  cherished his secretary, my Mother.

I have so many wonderful memories of this time. To this day, I vividly remember the incredible pride my mom had for her profession.  From how she meticulously prepared herself for work each day, to ensuring she always arrived early to her impatience for Monday to come — she couldn’t wait to get back to the office!   I remember how she talked about this magical machine called the “telex” and how it rumbled as it brought messages all the way to the US from Asia. And I can still see the top of her blonde hair peeking out from behind the lobby window where she would greet vendors, salesmen – and one of her five kids.  Seemed one of us was always stopping by to surprise her during the work day.  But what I remember more than anything, is how much she loved her job-and how much her boss loved her. In fact, for the first three months of her employment, she received a 50¢ per hour pay increase because of her relentless desire to learn and succeed.

Mr. Master always showed his appreciation for my mother’s hard work. She never wondered if she was doing a good job.  She knew.  Because he made sure of it.  He regularly brought her trinkets from his business travels, thanked her frequently and told her that he didn’t know what he’d do without her. But my most cherished memory was when Mr. Master gave my mother tickets to The New York City Ballet, something we could never afford on our own, so she could take her daughter (me), who was an aspiring ballerina, to a world-class ballet performance.

Today, my mother is 81 years old and retired just shy of her 80th birthday from her full-time position as a receptionist at Epsilon in Irving, Texas. During her career, she was more than the friendly voice on the other end of the line. She was the matriarch. A confident. She was the friendly smile that put job candidates instantly at ease. She happily greeted the courier the same way she would the EVP. Her career as an administrative professional has given her tremendous fulfillment and I know that she’s left a lasting impression on everyone she’s come in contact with.

My mother, Jeanette Castellano, is the ultimate inspiration for The Admin Awards™, a long overdue celebration of the vital professionals who had yet to be recognized front and center with a formal awards program by the business community. And while The Admin Awards™ is a competition, at its heart it’s a celebration of the important, wonderful professionals who have dedicated their careers to serving their companies, leaders, employees, and clients–YOU.

I’m proud to be a part of the “business community” I first saw as a young woman, and to provide this wonderful vehicle that enables the business community to show you in a very tangible way, how much you mean to your coworkers and your companies.

I look forward seeing all of you at the Admin Awards™, where we can properly thank you for your service and celebrate with you.

My Very Best,

Sunny Nunan
Founder & CEO, Admin Awards™