My right hand here at Telos, Debbie Smith, was selected as a finalist for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Award for Executive Assistant of the Year. Honestly, when the news came back, I wasn’t a bit surprised. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that her commitment and extraordinary work ethic would be recognized.
Debbie has been working with me for 30 years. That fact, in and of itself, shows dedication that is uncommon in the business world.
The nomination required that I describe a single story of how she “went above and beyond the call of duty to resolve a problem or situation.”
Here’s the thing. Debbie goes above and beyond every single day. Recently, I forgot my wallet when heading to the train station, and a quick call to Debbie let me travel without a hitch. That’s just one example; she has saved the day thousands of times.
Her job isn’t easy – she balances competing priorities, manages schedule upheavals, adjusts for travel delays, and addresses the unforeseen issues that pop up every day. And, honestly, she deals with me! But, no matter who you are or how busy she is, Debbie always offers her help. She makes her responsibilities look effortless, and makes you feel like you are her first priority.
Debbie’s commitment to Telos is obvious. She arrives early and leaves late, and it’s not at all unusual to find her in the office on the weekend. Her impact on the corporate culture is huge; her reach extends well beyond the executive suite. If you ask anyone here about Debbie, I’m sure they’d have multiple stories. Most likely, those stories would feature her infectious humor, kind smile, and quick wit (which she uses to keep me in line).
I’d describe her as the glue that holds HQ together. Her high standards and work ethic encourage everyone around her to step up and strive for greatness. She’s a true leader and role model.
Congratulations, Deb, and thank you. I can’t think of anyone more deserving.
Telos CEO John Wood blogs about business, education, and the values that guide us.