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San Francisco Travel and San Francisco Business Times Honor Executive Assistants

“The Art of Great Executive Support” Networking Luncheon and Panel Recognizes Executive Assistants as Meeting Planners, Too.

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April 21, 2017 - The San Francisco Business Times and San Francisco Travel partnered to host an invitation-only appreciation luncheon for 35 executive assistants.   The event was held at San Francisco Travel’s 29th floor offices with sweeping views of the city. 

The opening networking session was followed by lunch and a lively and interactive panel conversation titled “The Art of Great Executive Support,” focusing on the changing role of the Executive Assistant.

The panel was moderated by EA Search LLC Founder and President Leni Miller.  Panelists included Al-Husein Madhany, senior executive assistant to PayPal’s Chief People Officer; Debbie Gross, executive assistant to CISCO’s chairman and former CEO; Kathleen Earley, executive assistant to Salesforce’s CFO and Nikki Edwards, executive assistant to ARM’s CEO.

The panelists shared several key insights:

  • "The ‘C’ suite has exceedingly high expectations,” Gross said.
  • Talking about the dot.com bust, Earley said, “The good (executive assistants) stayed, so step up your game and start managing your executive.”
  • “Does your boss have decision fatigue?  That’s where my job comes in,” Madhany explained.  “You are partners, so let your partner gain time, deflect for your boss.”
  • Earley commented, “Your EQ and their IQ make a perfect match.”

“Executive Assistants are responsible for planning a lot of meetings and events, such as board meetings, executive off-sites and leadership events.  We wanted to recognize the work they do and introduce them to the services San Francisco Travel can provide to help them planning these events,” said San Francisco Travel EVP and Chief Sales Officer John Reyes.

“April 26 is Administrative Professional’s Day but we wanted to get an early start on expressing our appreciation.  Our guests left the program feeling informed, energized, positive about their roles and most definitely valued,” said Michael Fernald, advertising director of the San Francisco Business Times.

The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.  With more than 1,300 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. 

Tourism, San Francisco's largest industry, generated record-breaking numbers in 2016.  More than 25.1 million people visited the destination, spending in excess of $9.69 billion. More than 76,520 jobs are supported by tourism in San Francisco. 

The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at One Front St., Suite 2900, San Francisco, CA 94111.  

San Francisco Travel operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market St. at the corner of Powell and Market streets, and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  San Francisco Travel is also a partner at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39.  For more information, visit www.sftravel.com

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 46 international cities on 39 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 79 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on www.twitter.com/flysfo and  www.facebook.com/flysfo.

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

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PHOTO: Panelists at “The Art of Great Executive Support,” hosted by the San Francisco Business Times and San Francisco Travel, included (left to right): 

  • Al-Husein Madhany, senior executive assistant to PayPal’s Chief People Officer;
  • Debbie Gross, executive assistant to CISCO’s chairman and former CEO; 
  • Panel moderator Leni Miller, founder and President of EASearch LLC;
  • Kathleen Earley, executive assistant to Salesforce’s CFO;
  • Nikki Edwards, executive assistant to ARM’s CEO.