Executive Assistant of the Week: Dallas

Kimberly Cotton
Senior Executive Assistant to President & CEO
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc

Kimberly Cotton is the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO at Jack Henry & Associates (NASDAQ: JKHY), a leading provider of computer systems and electronic payment solutions primarily for financial services organizations. She has worn many hats over the last two decades while cultivating a high-trust partnership with the same boss of 20 years. 

Kimberly is an expert in fostering meaningful relationships with senior management, customers, vendors and internal teams. She created the Leadership Support Team (LST) to provide solutions and drive initiatives that align with executive strategic goals while inspiring and building relationships in the administrative community through leadership and collaboration. She is passionate about people, creating teams, and collaboration. 

In her spare time, Kimberly loves acting, singing, and writing music for guitar. She loves spending time with her kids, learning other cultures and languages, volunteering, and travelling. Kimberly holds a degree in Business Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. 

Kimberly Cotton will be one of the distinguished contributors at the ELS Forum: Dallas October 23-24, 2019 

1) If you could say something to people who think you’re “just an admin” or “just a secretary,” what would it be? What would you say to other assistants who still have that mindset?

I am so passionate about this topic. It’s my least favorite line – because we, “you,” are not just an admin. That statement implies that you are limited, that you can’t be more than what you are. NOT TRUE. We have to change the way we see ourselves – it starts there. I asked my peers a few years ago this question: Do you see yourself as a leader? To my surprise, some of the responses were simply NO. It’s a mindset of believing that your role matters, your opinion matters, and that you impact overall strategy – even if you think you don’t. Find your corporate courage, continue to develop yourself, step outside of your comfort zone, and ask questions.

2) Name a mentor who made an impact on your career and explain why.

It’s hard to pick just one. First. My boss, David Foss. I have a 20 year partnership with Dave, and he is an amazing leader, boss, and friend. His leadership style has impacted the way I lead others, the way I think through situations, and how I think of myself. He respects my opinions and has always taken the time to teach and explain things to me. That respect builds my confidence and impacts the way others see and treat me. Second. Tiffany Haynes. She is the youngest named executive at our company and leads our HR division. She has supported my ideas, believed in me, and has helped my vision become reality. She inspires me to believe in myself, to be bold, and to have corporate courage.

3) How do you practice self care? 

I love music. I love playing music, listening to music, and attending as many shows as I possibly can. Meditation, laughter, and really good friends. I also play tennis and try to work out when I can. Good food and good wine is also part of the self-care regimen.