WashingtonExec Hosts Executive Assistant Workshop and Networking Hour

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Donna Burnette (ManTech International), Jana DiCarlo (Serco Inc.), Reggie Hill (SRA International), Julie Sander (FCi Federal), Talin Habibian (CNSI)

At a hundred members strong, the WashingtonExec Executive Assistant (EA) Committee hosted its second social event of the summer at the newly-renovated Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner. Capitalizing on the unique skills of an executive assistant, Tia Kim, EA to The SI Organization President and CEO Mac Curtis, coordinated and planned the workshop, sponsored by the hotel. Past and current Committee Chairpersons Lisa Robinson (Six3 Systems), Maria Cornell (CGI), Barbie Sandy (Oceus Networks), Jana DiCarlo (Serco North America) and Reggie Hill (SRA International) divided the group into three focus areas; how to create a rewarding path as a career-long EA, how to best communicate in the “C” Suite during crisis, as well as tips for using technology to maximize efficiency.

Each member then elected a leader to discuss the findings with the rest of the group. Those who did recap the breakout sessions found that often the distinction between what is required from an ‘administrative assistant’ and an ‘executive assistant’ may go unnoticed by the individuals supported by EAs or by the company’s human resource department.

Participants concluded that it is the job of the executive assistant to educate either the individuals who they support and the human resources department about the rapidly evolving role of a career-EA. One member even shared that they had sought out collaboration with their company’s human resources department and has now established a cohesive and robust administrative assistant and executive assistant career track. Distinguishing between the two career paths is uncommon and not a shared priority for human capital executives in the government contracting industry, the group determined.

“I believe the format was conducive to one of our most productive events to date. Conversation generated from the breakout sessions denoted more of a sense of cohesiveness amongst the groups.  These are the career EAs.  These are the ones that get it, the ones that take this role seriously and realize that they are at the helm of their own ship,” DiCarlo said.

“Because technology has changed our executives’ functionality, the EA role is evolving too.  There’s a lot of room right now for us to customize our roles.  It’s a great time to be an EA and it is encouraging to be amongst like-minded professionals,” she went on to say.

WashingtonExec hosts three Executive Assistant Committees, which together incorporate more than one hundred individuals from the government contracting industry. The 2013 WashingtonExec Executive Assistant Committees are chaired by Lisa Robinson (Six3 Systems), Maria Cornell (CGI Federal) and Barbie Sandy (Oceus Networks). Our founding Committee Chairpersons include Jana DiCarlo (Serco), Martise Gibbs (CGI) and Reggie Hill (SRA International). Previous guest speakers for the groups include Sid Fuchs, President and CEO of MacAulay-brown, Inc. (MacB), Mac Curtis, President and CEO of The SI Organization, Donna Morea, former President of CGI and founder of the Adesso Group, and Melissa Hathaway, former Acting Senior Director for Cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils and President of Hathaway Global Strategies.

Read Jana DiCarlo’s latest guest columns on WashingtonExec Is Your Executive Assistant the Whole Package? and 7 Keys to Executive Success: A View from the Desk Outside Your Door. DiCarlo is Executive Assistant to Ed Casey, Chairman and CEO of Serco Inc.

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Sharon Plater (Accenture), Erin Brady (DMI), Tracy Hirsch (CALIBRE), Doh Pak (MacB), Ann Rinker

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WashingtonExec EA Social at the Sheraton Premiere

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