The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 8, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Nov. 12.
Next up is Executive Assistant of the Year (Private Company) finalist Lisa DeRaymond, who’s executive assistant at Koniag Government Services. Here, she talks key achievements, risk-taking and career advice.
What key achievements did you have in 2019/2020?
For 2020, it would be orchestrating the conversion to virtual leadership and employee meetings and managing the planning and logistics involved with these meetings! The pandemic has changed the way all organizations work and interact. Virtual meetings are a key method to keep “in touch” with our employees and customers.
In addition, the capabilities of virtual providers continued to evolve so deciding the best platform for the type of meeting proved to be a challenge as well. To this end, I select the platform best suited to the participants and create mindful agendas with a cadence that facilitates dialog and productivity and strengthens employees’ connection to our corporate culture.
I believe when held properly virtual meetings can yield the same results as in person meetings, helping to keep everyone feeling involved and connected.
What has made you successful in your current role?
Commitment to service. We can all get busy with short-term special projects and goals, but in my role, it’s extremely important to maintain a level of service that everyone can expect to receive when they come to me with a requirement.
Serving multiple masters is always a challenge, but I consistently maintain established day-to-day (or week-to-week or month-to-month) projects/requirements. That consistent focus on the more day-to-day aspects of our work is what allows the company to continue to run smoothly, even during our busiest times.
What’s the biggest professional risk you’ve ever taken?
Early in my career, I changed industries completely and began working within the government contracting arena. It was a big change, and I had to start over in a new industry, but I’m grateful I took the plunge as it allowed me significantly more growth opportunities.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
I am very proud my peers appreciated my commitment to service enough to nominate me for this award, not only once, but twice — this is the second time that I have been nominated and made the finalist for a Pinnacle Award.
I am also proud of the work I am currently doing. Working for an Alaskan Native Corporation allows me to work for the greater good of our customers, employees and the native community we support and that is a great feeling. It’s refreshing to work in an organization that truly focuses on all three very important components of the company.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Listen and learn. An EA is often peripherally involved with many varied departments/groups within the organization, which provides a great platform for understanding all the inner workings of the company. This provides a wealth of opportunities to identify ways you can help your organization excel and grow and continue your own professional growth.