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Admins are the unsung heroes of the corporate world. These team players understand the ins and outs of their company and build strong relationships with everyone along the way. Admins also have the unique ability to keep the wheels turning and propel businesses forward. Indeed, they are the glue that holds companies together. At Northwest Event Show, we love admins! We wouldn’t be where we are today without them! Because of this, we’re excited to announce the Finalists for the PNW Admin Awards today! 

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Source: Admin Awards

What are the Admin Awards? 

Sunny Nunan, the daughter of a retired Executive Secretary, founded the Admin Awards in 2012. Sunny knew how special Admins were and wanted to celebrate the hard work and contributions which often go unnoticed by Administrative Professionals. Nearly ten years later the Admin Awards have expanded to nine locations, including the Pacific Northwest! The event will take place on August 14th, 2021. We are so excited to see these awards locally recognizing admins in our region. 

Learn more about Sunny’s story and the Admin Awards here.

How Often are the Admin Awards? 

Often called the “Academy Awards for Admins,” the event takes place annually in 9 cities and regions in the US. This year it is being held virtually.

Who can be nominated, and how are the Admin Awards judged? 

Anyone who serves in the administrative profession (over 150 job titles!) can be nominated. Nominations come from companies who recognize that Admins are the glue that holds them together and a valuable part of the team. The businesses that go through this process want to honor their admins who work selflessly with passion every day. Many times supervisors and coworkers nominate well-deserving Admins when they recognize their exceptional service. Once submissions are in, a panel of Administrative Professionals and Executives judge them and determine the winners. 

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Source: Admin Awards

What type of Awards Are Given? 

There are nine award categories below, giving the top Admins in the country a chance to be recognized. 

Colleen Barret Award for Administrative Excellence 

The most prestigious award of the night is the Colleen Barret Award For Administrative Excellence. The award recognizes the admin “that best demonstrates the many qualities which enabled Colleen Barrett’s rise from legal secretary to President and Chief Operating Officer of Southwest Airlines.” 

2021 Nominees

  • Shannon Fornelli, Umpqua Bank
  • Missy Judd, Compass Health
  • Jaci Spross, Synopsys

Above the Call Award 

Awarded to an Admin for exceptional customer service and honors the Admin whose job responsibility involves significant interaction with coworkers, customers, vendors, and company visitors.

2021 Nominees:

  • Isabelle Gonn, Nordstrom
  • Denise Helsberg, Community Health Center of Snohomish County
  • Akiko Netto, Nestle USA (Nestle Coffee Partners)

Achiever Award 

For the Admin who “gets it done” – whether it’s a significant project that had a company-wide impact or day in day out achievement of tasks and projects.

2021 Nominees:

  • Jamie Banks, WE Communications
  • Nicole DeCario, Allen Institute for AI
  • Kristin Garcia, Tableau
  • Dennise Garcia Rojas, Seattle Children’s
  • Endy Lakhiaminh, Camp Fire Columbia
  • Amy Preston, Synopsys

Administrative Excellence in Public Service Award 

This unique award honors Administrative Professionals involved in the following industries: Healthcare, Biotech, Pharma, Education, Government, Nonprofit, Military, Law Enforcement, Fire & Rescue, and Politics. 

2021 Nominees

  • Heather Lantz Brazil, City of Kirkland
  • Jan Olsen, Volunteers of America Western Washington
  • Stephanie Ramirez, City of Seattle
  • Maria Roth, Everett Public Schools

Leadership Award

This award is for the Admin who demonstrates leadership through persistence, integrity, focus, patience, and empowerment. In addition, their generosity and passion help their fellow employees and organization succeed! 

2021 Nominees

  • Alycia Becker, MTI
  • Constance Boyer, Amazon
  • Berhan Feseha, Google Cloud
  • Shannon Fornelli, Umpqua Bank
  • Jennifer Stebbins, Billings Clinic
  • Kyra Wright, Microsoft

Loyalty Award

To win this award, an Admin must have a long history of effective service in the Admin profession (minimum of 15 years) and/or has a long history of effective service to their existing company or executive in an administrative capacity (minimum of 10 years).

2021 Nominees

  • Melanie Baller (Loughmiller), RMC Architects PLLC
  • Melinda DeMaagd, T-Mobile
  • Susan Hindmarsh, Deloitte
  • Adina Williams, Community Health Center of Snohomish County

Rookie of the Year Award 

This award recognizes the great potential for professionals with less than three years of service in an administrative profession. 

2021 Nominees

  • Melise Alcantar, Synopsys
  • Colleen Daly, PitchBook
  • Kayla Keovilay, WE Communications
  • Riley Lindheimer, Robert Half
  • Szabi Pasztor, Farmer Frog
  • Niki Sotelo, Adswerve, Inc.

Spirit Award 

We all know Admins are the “heartbeat” of companies. They have a can-do attitude and often are the person employees turn to during good and bad times because of their enthusiasm and strength. This award highlights the spirit of admin professionals. 

2021 Nominees

  • Kendra Carlson, Woodland Park Zoo
  • Alison Christman, Harrison Medical – CHI Franciscan
  • Julie Cosgrove, Microsoft
  • Jessica Dreier, Community Health Center of Snohomish County
  • Valerie Key, Starbucks
  • Monique Shields, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

The Strategic Partnership Award 

When an Executive Assistant works together with an Executive, the possibilities are boundless. Their partnership often advances the needs of the business through strategic value. The Strategic Partnership Award harnesses that power.

2021 Nominees

  • Deanna Chase, Expedia Group
  • Fey Harkness, Touch Worldwide
  • Barb Patton, Northwest Specialty Hospital
  • Darbie Romig, KeyBank


Source: Admin Awards

Wishing Our PNW Admins the Best of Luck! 

On August 14th, 2021, the Admin Awards will announce the winners of these prestigious awards. We’re looking forward to seeing who wins. Additionally, we’d like to wish all the Admins nominated the best of luck. The hard work and support Admins provide to a business is irreplaceable, and we celebrate you daily.  All the nominees are winners in our eyes!

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