We’re back with part three in our three-part series showcasing the phenomenal administrative professionals that keep things running at our Portland, Maine office, and our global company. The ASAP team is so lucky to see such great examples of true partnership up close as we continue to support all of you. Enjoy!
Michelle Roberts is the Director of Office Support Services, and the Executive Assistant to Ted Wirth, the CEO & President of Diversified Communications (Global). Sethany Roberts is the Office Manager for the US division of Diversified Communications. This is a look at their partnership.
Sethany, you are a rock for all of us. How long have you been at our company?
I started worked at Diversified Communications more than 25 years ago, and I have been in my current role as Office Manager for more than 15 years.
Wow! Office Managers do so many different things, and it’s such a growth area in the industry. What do you consider your most critical responsibilities?
Facilities management, parking management, managing reception and mailroom services, and building security are all very critical.
What are you focusing on for development right now?
Specifically in response to the COVID pandemic, I am currently researching and educating myself on sanitization and safety protocols to implement in anticipation of our office re-opening. For career development I’ve been focusing on completing my PACE certification! I want to further my knowledge in all the main areas it addresses: communications, project management, digital technology and people management.
I love that! Michelle, what are the top skills and attributes that have made Sethany successful in her role?
Sethany’s dedication to her internal customers and her ability to form strong relationships with our vendors has contributed significantly to the Office Support Services Department’s success. She is also a champion of our corporate wellness and volunteer programs, setting a great example to her team and ultimately supporting their participation.
Michelle, what do you most enjoy about your partnership with Sethany?
I really enjoy working with Sethany. We share a similar work ethic, and our strengths complement each other. She keeps me grounded while I bounce between big picture strategy and striving to find efficiencies and address any gaps. We are each other’s sounding board. We often talk through our approach to a scenario to make sure our responses are aligned with our mission and are consistent.
What would you say you rely on Sethany most for?
For her institutional knowledge, dependability, and her ability to navigate the incredible variety of her daily responsibilities. I also greatly appreciate Sethany’s willingness to take a fresh look and try new things, despite being a seasoned Office Manager. This has ultimately ensured that we continue to evolve our services, resources, and processes to meet the changing needs and expectations of our staff.
What has helped shape your working relationship?
Michelle: Collaborating on projects has been the most meaningful way to understand and tap into each other’s strengths, build trust, and learn how to communicate and support each other most effectively.
Sethany: Definitely. Collaborating one-on-one. It’s challenging to find time in our busy schedules while working in the office, but since working from home we’ve had more time for in-depth discussions and it’s been a big benefit.
Michelle, how have you seen Sethany grow professionally?
Sethany is a seasoned Office Manager and for many years had a seasoned team. After our long-term Mailroom Associate retired, Sethany brushed up on her training and management skills. She worked in collaboration with me, our HR department and tapped into ASAP training to help form a comprehensive new hire training plan to ensure future new hires’ success. Sethany has also worked hard to overcome her fear of confrontation to strength her team, by applying the Pinch Crunch Model. This happens to be advice I gleaned from Ted (my executive), which I have used and recommended to Sethany.
Sethany, finally, what is the most rewarding part of your job/career?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is the sense of personal satisfaction felt in managing multiple areas of responsibility on a daily basis. I also value still feeling like an important part of a family-owned business over the past twenty-five years.
Thanks for coming on this journey with us. We hope you learned something from Ainsley, Michelle, and Sethany. They were so thrilled to give back after everything they’ve learned from all of you at APC and EA Summit!
~Heidi Souerwine, CMP, executive director, ASAP