IAAP Summit 2019

I recently returned from the annual IAAP Summit in National Harbor, MD. There were more learning opportunities than you could possibly attend and lots of re-certification points to be had. Such a wealth of knowledge and my head is still spinning.

Before the conference, I had a chance to explore around the area just south of our nation's capital and I got to ride the Capital Wheel. It is about 180' tall and you have a great view of the Potomac River and surrounding areas. Thank goodness the pods were air-conditioned! The humidity there was as bad, if not worse, than it is here at home in Texas.

I had fun hanging out with a couple of co-workers outside the office, and of course, my Austin peeps.

I stayed at an Airbnb up the street from the Gaylord. And by "up" the street, I mean up the hill (follow the sidewalk up past the building with the black roof on the horizon). Walking to the conference was no problem in the morning, but after the day had heated up and I'd been in classes all day...Whew!

If you know me, you know I gravitate to the techy topics, but I did get a good mix of tech skills and soft skills at this year's summit. Kudos to the team putting this rather large event together this year. There should have been a little something for everyone - first timers and those of us who have been to multiple summits and keep coming back, admins looking for tech learning, leaders in training and other absorbent sponges in the administrative professional world. If the sessions weren't enough, there was also Cocktails & Connections, a nice networking lunch and a fabulous closing celebration  - complete with dancing into the night.


Sessions I attended:

Leadership 2.0 by Rhonda Scharf, CSP, HoF. Admins DO rock! I've got lots of little nuggets to add to my bank account of knowledge. It was an informative and interactive session to get things started.

Outlook in Detail - Beyond the Mail with Vonetta Watson, MA Ed., MCT. I love this lady so much! She's got the skills and the spunk to make learning fun. Being from Texas is another plus. She's one of my role models and is a great source of encouragement to me as a fellow MCT who's just getting out there. 

The Keynote speaker on Friday was Laura Schwartz, who coordinated many high-level events in and around the White House for more than one administration. She was so good at what she did that the Presidents called HER "Sarge" and her walk-through the traits of our historic First Ladies was very interesting. She taught us to Lead First. It's SHOWTIME!

IR4.0 (the Fourth Industrial Revolution): Are you ready? by Shelagh Donnelly. Blockchains and bitcoins, AI and VR. Lots of eye-opening info.

ED Talks on Saturday morning:

  • Melissa Esquibel, MCT - Bring it Back with Impact! I will be bringing back lots of good info from this Summit to share. I wish I could have attended her Excel deep-dive class on Sunday, but I was supposed to be at the airport by the time she was done. She's a powerhouse of knowledge and another one of my top role models. I got my TA specialty because of her (and Neil Malek) at CAPStone in March.
  • Katie Mercier - Meeting Management. Meetings are necessary evil.
  • Vonetta Watson, MCT - Shift Happens. Oh, yes it does! You gotta be ready for it. The best thing you can with technology is learn it. Don't be afraid of it - and a lot of y'all know I'm not. I'm always willing to try on new tech.
  • Lucy Brazier, Founder of Executive Secretary Magazine and Executive Secretary LIVE conferences - EA vs Chief of Staff - What's the Difference? Bridge the gap between the CEO and yourself. Ask the difficult questions and coach the CEO. The Chief of Staff is the stunt double for the CEO.
  • Kemetia Foley, CAP, OM - The Questions You Absolutely Need to Ask When Working with Recruiters. Some things should be common sense, but she brought up a few ideas that didn't cross my mind.

Cybersecurity for Admin Professionals: How You Can Reduce Your Digital Vulnerabilities by Shelah Donnelly. Being one of Cyber Warriors at the City of Bryan, this topic was near and dear to my heart. I'm glad no one in the room had their tablets hacked!

Get a Life! You Can't Always Get What You Want, You Get What You Need by Kemetia Foley, CAP, OM. Take time to step back, evaluate and catch a breath. 

Information Lifecycle Management: Secret Sauce for Disposing of Non-Records by Susan Cisco, Ph.D., CRM, FAI. Working on groups on real-world situations was a good collaborative effort and made us think outside our own little boxes.

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork  - Vonetta Watson, MA Ed., MCT. She gave us a good walk-through of Microsoft Teams and I look forward to trying this out (as soon as I get some team together for something) πŸ˜‰ Yes, I took all my notes in OneNote. 

Our closing session on Sunday was Resilience Reset by Anne Grady, fellow Texan. Wow! Much respect to her and all she's gone through. It really is all about mindset. Find something to be grateful for or look elsewhere. We all need that dopamine squirt.

Setting Limits & Managing Expectations in the Workplace by Chrissy Scivicque, Career Coach & Corporate Trainer. Yes, I know how to pronounce her name! Communication isn't just words. Can you conjure up an image of Ursula in The Little Mermaid? "It's all about body language". But you do need to know when to say enough is enough.

No-Panic Presentation Skills for Administrative Professionals: How to Speak Confidently and Compellingly Anywhere, Anytime by Mandi Stanley, CSP. The Mind Mapping deep-dive session was full, but I got a little taste of it in this class. I will be looking into this some more for sure.

Getting home was a bit of a hassle with cancelled flights and multiple delays. Had I known ahead of time that the flight on Sunday would be canceled, I could have stayed for another session. But I did made it back to Texas, got my Whataburger, and eventually made it back to the comforts of home including my own bed where I wanted to stay for a few days.

Next year is in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Can't wait!

More pix from the trip can be seen here.