Emory Report
April 20, 2009
Volume 61, Number 28


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April 20
, 2009
Giving administrative professionals support

By Margie Fishman

The workers bees of any organization, administrative professionals rarely carve out time for lunch, much less networking.

Often thought of as paper pushers, their jobs involve so much more — coordinating meetings, juggling schedules of top executives, and yes, note-taking.

“We really are the heartbeat, the backbone of the organization,” says Kimberly Williams, a former Emory Healthcare administrative assistant and president of the Clifton Corridor Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).

Chartered in October with the support of Emory and Emory Healthcare, the group meets monthly to discuss topics such as technology, personal growth and finance. In honor of Administrative Professionals Day on April 22, the chapter scheduled a potluck for metro-area administrative assistants.

With about 40,000 members and affiliates, the nonprofit IAAP administers a certification exam on office technology, systems and administrative management. Organizers have approached Human Resources’ Learning Services department about potentially partnering in a class leading to international certification.

While chapter meetings are convenient for administrative professionals from Emory and other Clifton Road organizations, all in the metro area are welcome. Members are encouraged to lead meetings and serve as mentors.

Administrative professionals can benefit from sharing skills outside of their immediate job function, says Maria Mines, senior administrative assistant in the Department of Radiation Oncology and president-elect of the chapter.

Among the 22 members to sign up, Shirley Connelly, an administrative assistant in the School of Nursing and the chapter’s fundraising committee chair, says she valued the collective knowledge of the organization. After completing Emory’s popular Administrative Professional Program, Connelly, 52, felt encouraged to go back to school for an undergraduate degree in business administration.

“I wanted an opportunity to network with others and to advance myself,” she says.

The Clifton Corridor Chapter of the IAAP meets the third Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the Department of Radiation Oncology Conference Room, 1365 Clifton Rd., Building A. For more information, contact Venese Blake-Leggett at venese.blake-leggett@emoryhealthcare.org.