Executive Leadership Support Forum: Atlanta: Speaker Interview
Executive Assistant to President
For more than 25 years, Adrienne Christie has brought harmony and stability to C-Suite members of some of the country’s most recognizable companies. As Senior Executive Assistant to the President at Equifax, Adrienne continues to bring her unique skill set to provide the support and guidance needed to ensure an optimal work/life environment – regardless of the pace.
In addition to complex scheduling and communications requirements between the President’s office and internal and external audiences, Adrienne provides leadership to build relationships that are crucial to the success of the business unit. She uses key project management skills to maximize the time of the President, whether executing annual business kickoffs, media opportunities, global traveling challenges, or onsite employee townhalls.
Adrienne previously brought this level of collaboration and strategic partnership to the Coca-Cola Company as Senior Executive Assistant for five years, as well as in roles with American Express and Lehman Brothers. She is a requested guest speaker, mentor and proponent of raising the bar and reputation of executive leadership support. Adrienne and her husband live in the Atlanta area.
Adrienne will be one of the contributors at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Atlanta on March 21-22, 2018.
Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum important for executive assistants?
All too often EAs are overlooked – not seen as adding value to an organization. This meeting is important because it says “we are important and valued.” It’s an opportunity to not only learn new skills and/or best practices – it’s a place to form new relationships, to encourage, uplift and affirm one another.
Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?
Leaders are readers. That said, I read as many books as possible to stay relevant. I also utilize online training courses to stay abreast of trends for support professionals. Presently I am enrolled in the PACE Certification program.
Name one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at the ELS Forum.
I’d like to discuss the subject of bullying in the workplace – when the bully is the EA’s manager. This is a difficult subject for sure, however, far too many support professionals suffer in silence.
Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.
The planning and execution of our yearly Kick-off Meeting. This yearly event involves bringing all our staff – from the US and UK – to one central location for a 2-day meeting. With a budget of 250K (2017), I’m charged with all the logistical details. Planning includes but isn’t limited to – Being the point of contact for guest speakers. Coordinating air, hotel and ground transportation for guest speakers and our staff. Research and selection of the meeting and reception venue. Working with Marketing on the theme/logo for Collateral.
In your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?
The one thing I couldn’t live without isn’t a tool – it’s people. Being connected to the right people is everything!
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?
Be confident! Don’t look to others to define who you are. Think well of yourself …. You are SO much more than “just” a secretary!
Are there any blogs, books, articles or online forums you recommend reading?
I highly recommend “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People.”
How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?
Success is doing the work to align myself to my manager’s “why” so that my support is intentional, strategic and focused in helping him to reach his goals. When he wins, I win!