“We use the title administrative assistant so liberally that it almost diminishes the responsibilities of true administrative assistants. I advocate taking a deeper dive into how you assign these titles and making sure they are truly appropriate for the responsibilities that you are assigning to your admin.”
This week I had the absolute pleasure to Have A Seat with Jamie Vanek, who not only is a successful construction industry executive and author, but she is also a strong advocate for small business executives to better align with their administrative colleagues to achieve optimal success.
Jamie has designed a framework for doing just that in her new book, Buried in Business, Find Freedom by Unlocking the Power of Your Admin Team, due to launch in the Fall of 2022.
This is a can't miss episode for executives and administrators alike.
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Thank you for listening!
Construction Executive / Author / Mom / Survivor
How does an elementary school art teacher become a construction executive? 15 years ago I was an art teacher. I received my bachelor’s degree from Temple University and my master’s degree from Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. While formally trained in Education, I discovered a love for construction when I moved to Virginia in 2006. After many trials, I successfully transitioned to working in contract administration and project management for federal 8(a) firms managing construction projects from $10K to $8MM and advancing rapidly in a male-dominated industry through self study and mentorship.
However, in 2016, following the celebration of my 36th birthday and the birth of my second child, I was diagnosed with stage 2 aggressive breast cancer. Making matters worse, my husband was on deployment in Afghanistan. Through 16 weeks of chemotherapy, two surgeries and 27 rounds of radiation, I continued to work and manage my family.
Through it all I emerged cancer-free and continued to advance my career to Joint Venture Program Manager and now, Vice President. I work closely with government customers, subcontractors and joint venture partners to ensure my company delivers a high standard of quality and service while leading administrative and operational teams.
I am passionate about helping other young women grow and succeed in business, sharing the lessons I've learned in my rise to top management in a male-dominated industry. I am currently working to dismantle the stigma around women fulfilling administrative roles in male dominated industries.
There are many topics I am passionate about and can share with your audience, including:
1. Intimate stories of administrative trials, failures and successes that illustrate the critical importance of your focused leadership.
2. Tips for success for female business leaders breaking into male dominated industries
3. The importance of dismantling the stigma around administrative roles and why we need to restore respectability to them
4. Overcoming adversity with cancer diagnosis while working in a demanding role
I enjoy public speaking and intimate one-on-one conversations. I currently Chair the Management Education Committee for Associated Builders and Contractors in Hampton Roads and have spoken at events including CREW, U.S. Navy Deployment Preparedness seminars, ABC workshops and more.