Executive Assistant of the Week: Austin

Danielle Zamora
Executive Assistant to Chief Technology Officer

Danielle Zamora is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Technology Officer at HomeAway, an Expedia Group company. Along with her career as an EA, her background ranges from event and travel planning, food and beverage, management and leadership, hospitality, to customer service. She also co-founded a group called the Administrative Professionals Network of Austin (APNA).

In her career and life, Danielle has a strong desire to help others and is passionate about finding fulfillment in all that she does. She’s a big advocate for organizational culture and effective communication. She’s a social science nerd and enjoys hearing the latest on what drives human behavior and how we interact with one another. Danielle has a passion for continuous learning and networking and enjoys exploring new ways to fulfill that passion.

In her spare time, Danielle spends time with her husband, her new baby boy, and dachshund, Wylie. She also enjoys discovering more of Austin, traveling, trying new restaurants, cooking, reading, making new connections, and learning and growing personally and professionally.

Danielle will be one of the distinguished contributors at the ELS Forum: Austin on February 27-28, 2019

What is your favorite part about being a strategic business partner to your executive?

First of all, there’s a misconception within the industry and within companies that all Executive Assistants do is book travel and manage calendars. From being an event planning guru to managing a team’s processes and organization, an EA is so much more! An EA can also be a strategic business partner to his/her executive! My favorite part about being a strategic business partner to my executive is that I have a sense of ownership for what I do and my contributions to his work and the team. We sync frequently throughout the week on his and the team’s priorities so we’re always aligned, he trusts me to handle communications or tasks within our org or other areas of the company in order to expedite and streamline work, he doesn’t hesitate to add me to an email where additional context will help with my job or if there’s a task within I can act on, and so much more.

By having this partnership, we are proactive in our work, and I have the autonomy to run with things since I have a bigger picture of what’s happening in his world. And, of course, in the end, I’m able to better serve my executive by taking on these responsibilities and working with him while he can focus on bigger level items to help move the team and company forward in his position. This kind of partnership takes time to find in your career- it may take you two or three jobs. But when you do find the right executive and right company, it’s a worthwhile fit for everyone!

Are there any blogs, books, articles, or online forums you recommend reading?

Absolutely! I 100% recommend an EA invest time in keeping up with industry trends and tech tips to help keep you at the top of your game! As well, networking with other EAs is invaluable! YOU are worth the time!
Here’s a few of my favorite resources below. Tip: Even signing up for free newsletters can be super helpful!

Executive Secretary Magazine
RedCape Company
Be The Ultimate Assistant
Tips for Assistants I’ve actually been featured on this site for a blog series called “A Day in the Life of an Executive Assistant”
Jeremy Burrows’ Blog
Office Dynamics and their Monday Motivators Newsletter

I also recommend the EA and executive BOTH take a personality/character/work style assessment such as Insights Discovery. This will give you and your executive “insight” into your own style of communication and personality and how you prefer to receive communication. You can then read each other’s assessments to help gain insight into how to better communicate with one another.

How do you unwind after a long day or week?

I like to take a walk around my neighborhood with my son, dog, and husband. Getting outside and leaving our phones at home has so many benefits for us- we talk and connect as a family, we connect with nature and our neighbors, we get some light exercise, we reduce our screen time, and just regroup and gain perspective. Of course, followed by a glass of red wine on the couch is the cherry on top!