!-- Google Tag Manager -->

Our Story

Learn More
about us
About the Admin Awards

Becoming nationally known as the 'Academy Awards for Admins', The Admin Awards is the Administrative Profession's highest honor and the first and only public recognition program of its kind in the country that focuses specifically on recognizing and rewarding the achievements, dedication and importance of Administrative Professionals.

The Admin Awards offers nine distinct award categories, including the program’s most prestigious award, The Colleen Barrett Award for Administrative Excellence which elevates the professional who embodies the “spirit” and proficiency of nationally renowned (former) secretary, Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines.

Colleen first proved herself indispensable as Legal Secretary to former Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher before ascending the ranks to President of the Dallas-based company in 2001.  Throughout her five-decade career at Southwest Colleen advanced to VP of Administration, EVP of Customers to COO and President of one of the world’s most successful airlines.

While the program is a competition among Admins nominated by their superiors and coworkers, the Admin Awards is, at its core, a celebration where all who attend are treated to a special evening packed full of excellent food, significant prizes, entertainment and fun.

We are currently in ten cities including Dallas / Fort Worth, Silicon Valley, Denver, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, the Pacific Northwest and Washington D.C.

Watch this short video trailer and put yourself at the Admin Awards gala!

A Letter to Administrative Professionals from the Founder of the Admin Awards

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 workforce as the Executive Secretary 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 workforce 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 how she used to say "I can't wait for Monday!" — she couldn’t wait to get back to the office after the weekend. 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 how that fascinated her. 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 often one of her five kids – it 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 which was demonstrated in the first three months of her employment, when she received a 50¢ per hour pay increase because of her relentless desire to learn, serve and succeed.

Mr. Master always showed his appreciation for my mother’s hard work and that recognition had an extraordinary impact on her. 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. My most cherished memory of my Mother's service to Mr. Master was when he gave my parents tickets to The New York City Ballet, something we could never afford on our own, so they could take her daughter (me), an aspiring ballerina, to a world-class ballet performance.

Today, my mother is 88 years young and volunteers for the Admin Awards, coming into the office to serve our organization after retiring 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 an 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.

Ten years later we're serving up unbridled recognition of Administrative Professionals in nine cities across the U.S. – Dallas Fort Worth, Silicon Valley, Denver, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Pacific Northwest, and Washington D.C. as part of our national expansion.

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 recognition in such a meaningful and tangible way so Admins know how much you mean to your leaders, coworkers and companies.

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

With appreciation,

Sunny Nunan
Founder, CEO & Proud Daughter of an Executive Secretary