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I hope the 2010 year is off to a great start for everyone! Mine started off with a bang. No joke! Last week Wednesday on my way into work, I was rear ended on the highway. And yes, I was in the far passing lane and obstructing traffic during the morning rush hour. As I think back on the happenings of that morning, I'm amazed at how much the brain had to process through, one item at a time. It went something like this . . . my head hurts, need to find a pen and paper, don't get out of the car, where are my glasses (they'd gone flying off my face), find the cell phone, dial 991, oops, 911 (hands were shaking), call my husband, call work . . . and so it went, one course of action at a time. As luck would have it, I had a doctor's appointment that morning. Once she was informed of the accident and that my head was hurting, it was decided I should have a CAT scan. You'll all be happy to know that my radiographs came back normal. Of course, the question is: what is one's definition of normal?!

As we all know, the world's attention is focused on Haiti and the life changing events which have occurred to the indigenous population, as well as other nationalities working or living in the area. I've been watching the news, as I'm sure you all have. In my city, couples who are in the adoption process are asking for help to determine if their adoptive children are still alive and to hasten the adoption proceedings. For those of you who remember Wilney Audain, who spoke at EFAM last year as well as PEC several years ago, we've been in contact with him and learned last week that his birth mother and family are alive and well.

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Just 7 days left (counting today) for you to save on next year's EFAM hotel & registration fee.

"Cheers" to Boston in 2010 -

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

Theme song from the T.V. program, "Cheers", Boston is home of the "Bull and Finch Pub" - home of the "Cheers" bar.

Here is the link to the 2010 EFAM updated website with a fabulous offer we were able to put together for added SAVINGS for members.
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Happy Holidays!

The lights are lit, the tree is trimmed and wrapped gifts are already starting to pile up under the tree...unless you live at my house, that is! I can count on one hand the number of years that our shopping started this late in the year. But I've enlisted help (most certainly not my husband, in case you're wondering) and will have that rectified by the end of the week.

It's the season for giving and mine started out with gifting an IAAP membership, followed by a bag full of toys for the office Toys for Tots box. There's really something to be said for giving. I think Winston Churchill put it most succinctly when he said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." May you have the opportunity to give this holiday season such that it has a lasting impact on the recipient.

4 people recommend this.

On Monday, September 21, I had the pleasure of being in Kansas City at IAAP Headquarters to recognize staff for their contributions to IAAP.  I arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and did a quick tour through the office to say hello to everyone before I dropped my bags of cashews and chocolates in the kitchen.  There I found two tables groaning under the weight of all the food staff had brought in for the potluck luncheon. 


Don and I then had time to chat and get caught up before the 10 a.m. dedication ceremony.  A bench, which had been purchased by the Past International Presidents who had worked with Shirley, was dedicated in her honor.  Shirley started working for IAAP on July 5, 1957 and retired on July 31, 1996.  She was the Publications Manager when she retired, and The Secretary (now OfficePro) Editor.  What a thrill it was to meet Shirley.  I had heard many stories about her but until now had not met her.  She is one feisty lady! 

2 people recommend this.

Welcome to 2010-2011!  Welcome to Passion and Purpose!  I’m excited to be continuing with the momentum of the Power of Commitment Year we just finished. We kicked off Passion and Purpose at the Education Forum at our Annual Meeting in Boston just a few weeks ago. Connecting with all of you was one of the highlights of the week for me. I’m already thinking about EFAM 2011. Begin planning now to attend EFAM in Montréal.

The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to review the IAAP Process Plan. If you haven’t read it already, or if it’s been a while, take a few minutes to look it over. The Process Plan will give you a foundational understanding of where we’ve been and where we’re headed as an association. Also, we have Action/Direction from the post-EFAM board meeting in the web community. Log in and search for document No. 973.

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KUDOS to everyone who held membership drives during the month of October and utilized the Membership Drive presentation! Your efforts have put membership numbers in a positive flow. KUDOS to IAAP's Membership Department! They created a presentation which can be personalized by chapters; they continue to be innovative and creative in their ideas to help IAAP innovate. Membership Sr. Manager Johnston informed us at the Fall Board Meeting that your combined Power of Commitment to the admin profession and IAAP have placed us on the road to becoming remarkable. Has inspired many to join . . . .Now, we haven't broken the 6/30/09 number, but through your efforts we are 675 members closer to doing so. I firmly believe that your combined Power of Commitment to the admin profession and IAAP will post a record year in membership numbers come June 30, 2010.

And what better way to be a part of growing IAAP, than to gift a membership to a family member, friend or coworker. I am giving the gift of membership this month to a family member who will be moving for the third time this year to yet another state to secure a job. While her degree is in Human Resource Management, I know that membership in IAAP will provide her with networking opportunities, continuing education and friends.

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Take your right hand and touch your left elbow. Without letting go, attempt to touch your right elbow with your left hand. Simultaneously, squeeze your whole upper body, squinch your eyes and mouth (similar to a smile), inhale deeply, then release! You just gave yourself a HUG!

Never underestimate the power of a hug! It is the “O” in XOXO! I must try to keep this relevant to IAAP, therefore, my profile pic depicts a photo from 2013 EFAM where I received a “half hug” from Mickey.  By the way, I visited him at his Florida home over the New Year’s holiday. It is great to see old friends! I realize IAAP is a group devoted to administrative professionals, but it has also connected me with many of my closest friends. 

We are in the fourth week of the new year and I have already received at least 5 great hugs which had nothing to do with my family or loved ones. Please do not try to turn any of the following into something kinky.

Hug #1 – The girl across the hall from me at work walked up to me and said, “How big are your shoulders?” Well, they proved to be big enough for her needs and she relaxed on my shoulder and vented a little. We have mentioned the value of this hug several times since. Her perfume lingered (OK, sounding a little kinky here) and I smiled every time I got a whiff.

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Dear Members:
Throughout the year following the Futures Conference—where we met with approximately 200 member and nonmember stakeholders—IAAP leadership and staff have maintained the momentum and continued the important dialogue with you, our members. By convening focus groups, distributing surveys and compiling more research over the last 18 months, as well as commissioning several working groups, what we learned is this. In order to grow, remain relevant and support members with tools to succeed, we must reimagine and revitalize IAAP. These are the themes we heard loud and clear from the membership:

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The Downtown Milwaukee Chapter is hosting a conference on Thursday, April 24, 2014 for Administrative Professional Week at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott from 11am-1:30pm. Registration for this event is now open. So, register early to catch the Early Bird Fee and see keynote speaker Fiona Abbott from Abbott Communications and Media. To see detailed information and/or to register, click here.

Please share this information with your friends and co-workers.


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My husband and I were recently in the airport security line, when suddenly a small hand entered mine.  When I looked down, there was a munchkin, who I subsequently learned was three years old. His is name was Francisco. I guess as a past pre-school teacher, I have that “look;” whatever that is. As the line inched forward, he was ready, willing and able to have a conversation.

He was wearing an information tee shirt that was the best I’ve seen in a long time and it fit his age category perfectly—EAT. PLAY. SLEEP. REPEAT.  The perfect philosophy for a three-year old, as he confirmed that’s what consisted of his every day.  Except this day he was going to Walt Disney World, so the shirt needed to be edited to read—EAT. PLAY. MEET MICKEY. SLEEP. REPEAT.

I thought of that shirt often over the past weeks in the realm of IAAP members.  We would need to add two words onto our shirt to read EAT. WORK. VOLUNTEER. SLEEP. REPEAT.  It’s not as simple as Francisco’s; however, the words speak volumes in our members’ world.

IAAP is not just a professional association.  IAAP doesn’t exist without the thousands and thousands of volunteer hours (the gas) that keeps IAAP (the engine) moving forward.  Where would we be without all of you?  Stagnant, is one word that comes to mind.  Volunteerism is the backbone of our association.  And, let’s not forget, that our member volunteers don’t only volunteer for IAAP but also schools, churches, community, and scout troops—you name it. 

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I cannot claim authorship for this.  I still wanted to share it with all of you.  Enjoy!

One the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to impress someone is that they assume people only pay attention to the important or “big” things they do. But the reality is that the little things are what matter most. It’s the little things we do or don’t do every day that shape us in to who we are. The little things determine how we respond when big things come in to our lives.

The kind of image you present to the world is determined by your actions, comments, attitude, behavior and even appearance. These things can be noticed within the first few seconds of meeting someone. So, how do you let people know who you really are? How do you impress everyone around you without big gestures or a lot of time? These 30 things might be simple, but they have a big impact. Their effects are lasting. People will remember the little things you do and that can make the difference you’re looking for.

1. Dress the part
Your appearance is the thing people see first. They look at your clothes, hair, shoes, etc. They make assumptions about you before you even open your mouth. If you want to impress people, dress for the occasion. Take time to get ready in the morning.

4 people recommend this.

It's June, and that means the 2009-10 IAAP year is in its last stretch. While most of you are coming off your division meetings and finished installing your new officers, we at the International level are ramping up for our busiest time of year. In the next few weeks, we’ll be approving the 2010-2011 budget, finishing all our speeches and sessions for EFAM and tying up every loose end so that we can start the whole process over again.

Speaking of EFAM, I want to remind everyone that if you haven't registered yet, there's still time! This is one you won't want to miss. With an extra hour of educational sessions, we're offering more opportunities for learning than ever before. What I am most excited about this year are our keynoters. That's right, two keynote speakers to get you motivated for the coming year. First we have Vernice Armour, the United States' first African-American woman combat pilot. She's been featured on Oprah, CNN and NPR, and we’re excited to have her with us to tell us about overcoming obstacles!

Any other year, that would be fantastic... this year, we've got even more! On Tuesday evening, Erin Brockovich

1 person recommends this.

Excellent penmanship remains important today.  With most of us rarely putting pen to paper, our penmanship has declined.  I have always prided myself on having good penmanship.  When I write something, I want it to be legible.  In today's technology immersed environment, it seems that some folks have forgotten how to write...legibly. 

In my workplace, there are many documents that must be completed by staff and patrons.  It is often quite difficult to read many of the signatures or other handwritten entries.  Some of the signatures are more like squiggly lines than someone's actual name.  Numbers are difficult to distinguish as well (is that a 1 or a 7)?

Do you still practice good penmanship, or do you scribble your written entries as well as your signature?
3 people recommend this.

This month we have a conversation with Vice President Wendy Melby as part of our interview series with the executive team of the IAAP Board. If you missed the first two, there are past interviews with Secretary Kristi Rotvold and Treasurer Dortha Gray. Watch next month as we wrap-up the series with President-elect Toni Smith. 

Q. Can you remember back to when you first got involved in IAAP? What drew you to not only that first meeting or encounter, but also what pushed you to take the step to become a member? 
A. I was looking for a professional organization that supported the administrative field, one where I could network and make connections.  I truly wanted to make this a career for myself and I wanted to be taken seriously by my employer.

Q. Looking back on your career, expound on the difference that IAAP has made in your work. How has being a member of IAAP influenced your professional life? 
IAAP has definitely helped me with my career by providing me with the leadership capabilities, skillset and experience I needed as a leader.  Being on the board (local and division level) help me to gain public speaking skills, a network of other administrative professionals and help to gain experience in strategic planning, event planning and coordination. It has also given me credibility with my employers as a leader in my field. It has made me a true business partner with my executive and one that I know he depends on each day. 
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Not earth-shattering news, by most standards; however, did I mention my new executive is my husband?  I thought that would get your attention.


But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s go back to the beginning that brings me to today.


Spring 2009 – family member asks if I’m thinking about retiring – ‘Not one bit.  Why should I retire?  great job; wonderful colleagues; good pay and benefits; retirement isn’t even a flicker in my imagination.’  Never mind that my husband is already retired for 1 ½ years.  To Tony’s credit he never brings up the subject of my retirement, knowing I’m happy working, which translates to being happy overall.


September 2009 – wake up one morning and over coffee tell Tony, ‘I’m ready to retire.’  I couldn’t believe the words came out of my mouth; however, a dear friend told me that one day you’d just know it was time.  This was the time.

1 person recommends this.

In the spirit of IAAP's core values (Integrity, Transparency, Excellence and Collaboration) I requested copies of the last four IAAP Board meeting minutes.  I sincerely want to gain a better understanding of what has been discussed at these meetings, particularly pertaining the recent changes announced by the Board and I was told:

"Minutes are filed at our headquarters office and are available upon in person request at the headquarters office in Kansas City, Missouri."

Is there anyone in this area willing to go to Headquarters office to obtain a copy and email to me?  Time is of the essence.

Thank you,
4 people recommend this.

Registration is now open for my online study groups to prepare students to sit for the September 2015 CAP and OM exams. These study groups will last for 16 weeks, beginning in May.

It can be frustrating and overwhelming to work your way through all the material alone. I am here to help guide you through the process and hold your hand!!!

My study groups include review of the  material, helpful additional online resources, recordings of all sessions so you can participate even if the live sessions aren't convenient, general test taking tips, practice questions and more.

Contact me privately to learn more.

3 people recommend this.

This is the first of a series to introduce you to the IAAP Board of Director’s leaders with interviews of the board treasurer, secretary, vice president and president-elect. Today, meet Dortha Gray, board treasurer.

What drew you to not only your first IAAP meeting or encounter, but also what pushed you to take the step to become a member?

A coworker and I started carpooling together. After a few days, she said she had a meeting after work the third Tuesday of each month. She said I could either drive in separately on that day or I could go to the meeting with her. The meeting was the monthly meeting of the National Secretaries Association (now IAAP). They had a networking time, dinner, an educational program, and then a short business meeting.  Everyone was welcoming and the business meeting was very professionally run. I was very impressed. I went to the meetings with my coworker each month and joined shortly thereafter.

6 people recommend this.

I am a gladiator!!!! Susan Leahy took Robert's Rules of Order and turned it into a fabulous, exciting session! She not only taught us the basics of Robert's Rules but she also taught us how to become the gladiator of our board meetings. She is so passionate about this process that she makes it fun and interesting to learn. I don't take minutes at board meetings in my current position, but you never know what the future holds. And her session makes me want to go to a board meeting so that I can be the meeting gladiator!!
2 people recommend this.

What a PHENOMENAL weekend I had!!!

Friday night, the Illinois Division held an evening of pampering fundraiser for the Foundation of IAAP. We had delicious treats and people getting thoroughly pampered with manicures, pedicures, facials, hair styling, makeovers and more! Between that and the raffle on Saturday, we raised more than *$600* for the Foundation. What a great night!

On Saturday we held our full day Professional Enrichment Program at Northern Illinois University's Hoffman Estates campus, with a very appropriate theme of Back to School! We had five FANTASTIC speakers on awesome topics.

First, Paul Nowak taught us tips for speed reading - showing us ways to increase our reading speed while maintaining our comprehension.

Next, Paul shared with us several different methods for improving your Memory Skills. He was an engaging and entertaining speaker.

Judy Beaver, a professor at Elgin Community College, came in with some great tips for helping us to Proofread our documents, including a top ten list of the most common types of proofreading errors. She did a phenomenal job as well.

Jon Mueller, of North Central College showed us numerous examples of obstacles to our critical thinking skills. He presented some really thought provoking situations and challenged our preconceived notions. What a great program!
1 person recommends this.