Old News Archive

Women Of Worth Day

March 28, 2009 - BROWNVILLE

The Town of Brownville is among the proud sponsors of the Women Of Worth Administrative Professionals Conference !

Attention administrative professionals and the employers who need them – a special opportunity for recognition, networking and learning is on the way to mark Administrative Professionals Day. The WOW (Women of Worth) Administrative Professionals Conference begins with registrations and a continental breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22 at the Penquis Higher Education Center, 50 Mayo Street, in Dover-Foxcroft. The event is being hosted by four regional organizations – the Penquis Higher Education Center, the Town of Brownville, the Charlotte White Center and the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce. “The idea had been percolating on the back burner in my head for five or six years,” said Merlene Sanborn, director of PHEC. “It’s clearly an underserved, under-recognized, overworked and predominant segment of our population. In all our businesses and organizations there are people at the mid-level.” Sanborn called a meeting with the other agencies, and invited PHEC’s Senior Administrative Assistant Helen Kelly, as well. Everyone was eager to partner in hosting the event.

“I think it’s important that people in these positions know how important they are to the community at large, not just to the places they work,” said Robbie Butcher, administrative assistant to Dick Brown, Charlotte White’s chief executive officer.

“It’s a great idea to create new opportunities locally,” said Kathy White, Brownville’s town clerk/municipal office manager. “A lot of professional women in that area don’t get recognized for the work they do. This will be a fun day where they can socialize with their peers and get to know other area women. It’s going to be a good day for networking and making connections, and will hopefully be something we can continue with every year or biannually.”

Russ Page, director of the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce, said the conference will address some issues that may not have been addressed for the region’s administrative professionals in the past.  “I think there’s a need,” Page said. “I think the professional women have unique obstacles and challenges in their professional lives that men don’t, and I think it’s important that the organizations sponsoring the conference address those issues in a venue that will benefit as many of these people as possible. This is kind of a rare opportunity for us and the sponsors of the event to really make a difference, to change someone’s life in a very meaningful way. The chamber is really happy to be able to partner with PHEC, Brownville and the Charlotte White Center, and the sponsors of the event, to be able to put this conference on.”

Kelly, who has been with PHEC since it opened, noted that administrative professionals are the people who “day in and day out do the work that keeps businesses running and growing.” Because they are often “behind the scenes” support, administrative professionals may get very little recognition for their achievements. Because they are so busy in their own workplaces, these folks may get very few opportunities to network with other professionals.

“This event serves as a ‘Thank you.’ It is a professional and personal development opportunity,” Kelly said. It is also an opportunity for employers to invest in valued administrative employees.

“As a morale booster you just can’t beat the return on investment,” Sanborn said. “For $35 and the day out of the office, you get a pretty big bang for the buck.”

That “bang” includes several sessions geared toward helping administrative professionals gain new skills, new confidence and new professional contacts. The day includes the “Brain Gym” with Margaret Marshall, networking sessions led by Steve Martin, breakout sessions on time management, self esteem and workplace assertiveness, and The Wage Project. The closing session, led by Randy Judkins, is entitled “Laughing in the Face of Change.” The registration fee also covers breakfast, lunch and an afternoon dessert buffet.

“This is meant to be a day away from work, but a day in which our participants can come enjoy being pampered, some good humor, and make good connections while learning something in a really painless way,” Kelly said. “We want people to walk out of here inspired and connected. There are many reasons that this needs to be done, but perhaps the most lasting benefit coming out of this conference is the opportunity to build a network of mid-level managers and new and emerging leaders.”

The day is open to both male and female administrative employees, students training to go into administrative work and anyone else who feels they might benefit from the sessions and networking opportunities. The third person from any company attends free with two paid registrations. Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply note at the top of the registration form that a scholarship would be appreciated.

For more information, contact Helen Kelly at 564-2942 or by email at hkelly@emcc.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information about the event and presenters, as well as a downloadable registration form, can be found at www.wowmaine.org.

By Sheila Grant from The Piscataquis Times

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.