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In this episode of OpenWork, a live interview video series by Guerrero Media, Admin Award’s Founder Sunny Nunan was interviewed about the modern Administrative Professional’s career, from transitions to career pathing, empowerment, and professional development, as well as the one thing every admin professional should know. You’ll also hear a story within the first segment of this interview that will probably make your head spin around on your neck, that hasn’t been told before this interview. Watch the interview here.

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On June 22nd we hosted our first Admin Awards Roundtable Discussion on the Admin’s Impact on Employee Morale and Company Culture. This lively discussion covered the following topics: – How Administrative Professionals lead by being brave, especially when leadership is the source of bad culture – How Admins drive and influence culture rituals that create connection in any work environment, including remote – How Admins can inspire culture by being their authentic selves – How Admins drive business outcomes by influencing teams around company values – What Admins have tried that didn’t work in improving employee morale and creating a great culture, that we all can learn from! Moderated by: Cynthia Young, Retired Executive & Culture Builder – UT Southwestern, Ambit Energy & Southwest Airlines – Nan Barry, Managing Director, Southwest Airlines – Robin Guido, Executive Assistant, Salesforce – Erica Young, Executive Assistant, Whiting Turner Contracting Company – Jillian Hufnagel,

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As 2021 Administrative Professional’s Month is once again behind us, I found myself really reflective this past year, on what it means to serve in a profession that means so much to so many of us. My whole life I’ve witnessed the passion and pride that Admins have for their Leaders, Organizations, and Profession. As the daughter of a retired Executive Secretary, I remember how often my Mom would talk about how she couldn’t wait for Mondays to come. She absolutely loved her job. She loved taking care of people. She loved learning. She loved how no two days were the same. She loved being a Secretary. And the people she served and worked alongside absolutely loved her. Jeannette Castellano, Retired Executive Secretary & Inspiration for the Admin Awards As an adult, the Admin Awards has given me a unique perspective through the thousands of stories told by Executives about

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Melinda Vail Goodnight, Senior Executive Assistant at Southwest Airlines once found herself in the all too common and uncomfortable position of being somewhere where she didn’t feel valued while supporting someone that she knew didn’t truly embrace the Administrative role. The idea that a highly-skilled Executive Assistant could have an enormous impact on a Leader and Organization? Lost on her boss, and likely never to be found. Faced with the decision to stay at a job that paid well, was five minutes from her home (but caused her enormous stress) or enter into the abyss of the unknown that often comes with change, Melinda chose to consider new opportunities which lead her to her dream job. Where? At a place that they say is harder to get into than Harvard – Southwest Airlines. This episode of Backbone Live talks about when it’s time to make that change, what to look

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La Donna Finnels-Neal was first discovered working at Walmart when someone approached her and knew raw talent when they saw it. Soon after she was working for Enron in the administrative field in Houston, Texas. Not too long after that, she was emailing Ken Lay the CEO of Enron, while copying the HR Leadership team, to challenge him about why Administrative Professionals weren’t being promoted at Enron. He answered, and eventually as a result of her performance and “I’ll take on any challenge” approach to her role, La Donna was promoted. If we had to pick one word to describe La Donna and this interview, it would be courageous. And if La Donna had to pinpoint the one thing that she believes is holding Administrative Professionals back; that would be confidence. Get ready to be challenged and inspired in this next episode of Backbone Live! (And forgive me for the

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Allison Miller is Chief of Staff at Access Healthcare in Dallas, Texas, and the winner of the 2016 Colleen Barrett Award for Administrative Excellence in DFW. Allison is one of those people that whenever I’m with her, I inevitably end up wishing I was recording our conversation because she drops so many “matter of fact” yet enormous gems of wisdom accumulated during her “take no prisoners” approach to her role as an Administrator. Allison is straight-talking, clear thinking, courageous, and one of the most gifted communicators I’ve had the pleasure of, well, communicating with and I’m excited to share her with you. This interview marks our first Backbone Live Blog which is a no-frills interview on Zoom which gets to the heart of the matter – or several, very quickly. I hope you enjoy! Sunny

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Nadine King is the Founder of Black Admin Magic and Author of The Ninja: Chronicles of an Assistant, Pastor, and a Coach. She is also a 20+ year Administrative veteran with experience supporting C-suite executives, vice presidents, executive directors, local church leaders, small business owners, and entrepreneurs as an executive assistant and virtual assistant. I learned about Black Admin Magic, Nadine’s organization while working the Polls this year with an Executive Assistant who was a proud member of the organization, which I had never heard of before. Launched in February of 2020, this up and coming membership organization of Administrative movers and shakers has big plans and a powerful mission. I reached out to Nadine to learn more, and am excited to share my interview with you. Did you know from the beginning you wanted to become a career Administrative Professional? My choice to start in the administrative field was because I was

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”   Marianne Williamson A year ago I was invited to attend an event called I Am Remarkable. Those of you that know me well know that there’s a pretty good chance I rolled my eyes at the title and was tempted to sit this one out. Self promotion is something that drives me absolutely nuts today. Everybody is so focused on building their personal brands that they forget that the essence of any truly great leader or mission is serving others, not yourself, and certainly not your

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Many months back, I learned my executive nominated me for a very prestigious professional award, and not surprisingly, found myself in a complete state of shock. Being a notoriously shy introvert, the situation I found myself in boiled down to me conquering three life-long fears: becoming publicly visible – being judged in public – and public speaking. I also learned that I would have to officially “accept” my nomination in order to advance in the competition, which meant MY action would equal a steadfast commitment to swiftly unearthing numerous layers of embedded life-long discomfort. I genuinely wondered, could I even do this? Am I willing to be this vulnerable in a professional environment? Prior to the acceptance deadline, my mind was flooded daily with an overly thick milkshake of work-life memories. Like Scrooge, I was visited by several ghosts of my administrative past (both welcome and unwelcome) – none of

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The Backbone Blog is all about the modern Admin. Created by the Admin Awards, Backbone is all about leveling up and inspiring Admins to do their very best work. It’s also about overcoming outdated stereo-types about the profession and those that serve in it. We work hard to tell the stories of innovators, change agents, thought leaders and pioneers who area making a phenomenal impact to their organizations and profession and inspire others in the process. We believe the best ideas and insights come from Administrative Professionals themselves, so that’s what you’ll find here.

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