Executive Assistant of the Week: Orlando
Tracy Mateer, CAP
Executive Assistant to SVP of Revenue Operations, City Walk
Tracy Mateer has been in the hospitality industry since the early 80’s. Starting at Freeman Decorating Company, she worked for their general manager as his assistant and eventually started their Installation & Dismantle (I&D) department running crews of 10-100 installing exhibits at local hotels and the Convention Centers in Orlando and Atlanta. She segued into the hotel business, working for over 12 years in hotel sales. In 1997, she went back into the admin field, working for the Villas of Grand Cypress for over 20 years. In that time, she supported the general manager but in less than 2 years, she took on public relations coordinator responsibilities for coordinating all photo shoots and filming that occur at The Villas, Grand Cypress Academy of Golf and Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed Grand Cypress Golf Club. Previous clients include Buick, EA Sports, Wheat Thins/Nabisco, Muscle Milk, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Accenture, Titleist, Michelob Ultra, Coors Light, Aleve, Old Mutual Insurance, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Playboy, Starkey Hearing Aids, Titleist, Adams Golf, Golf Channel, and many more…growing it into a $500k/year revenue stream for the resort.
In 2010, she was honored as the Outstanding Administrative Employee of the Year by the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA). In 2012, she obtained her Certified Administration Professional designation from the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).
Tracy currently supports the Senior Vice President of CityWalk at Universal Studios Florida. She will be one of the distinguished contributors at the ELS Forum Orlando on November 12-13, 2018.
Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum important for executive assistants?
Educational opportunities for administrative professionals is paramount to keeping up with emerging technologies and processes. Networking at the forum is also a critical part of the educational experience as it may lead to other opportunities, professional growth, and provide additional resources.
Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?
I felt it was important to elevate my position and looked for a certification class. Finding it through IAAP, I took the exam in November 2012 and achieved my Certified Administrative Professional designation. The CAP study programs rounds out admin professionals as the test covers everything from HR to Accounting, to situational assessments in addition to grammar, etc. Educational credits are required to maintain one’s designation so maintaining the educational portion allows me to remain relevant and up to date on technology. (You get 11.25 educational credits for attending ELS!)
Name one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at the ELS Forum.
While I am participating in the Multi-generational workplace discussion, I think it’s very important that senior admins mentor younger admins. The role has evolved through the years and feel that we have much to share with the younger generation. Many don’t even think about it but it’s our chance to shape the administrative professionals of tomorrow. What an honor! Conversely, we can learn from them as well.
Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.
While I pride myself in forward thinking, I was able to take a position that yielded no revenues and generated it into a revenue generating segment, bringing in over $500k/year in production filming. This shows that you are not restricted by your title/position if you see an opportunity for your company. It’s important to think outside of the box.
In your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?
A strong network of fellow administrative professionals. We cannot possibly deign to know everything but knowing that one person in a different department will take you far and prove you as an invaluable resource. For example, there are other admins who are better at Excel than I so when stuck, who else better to call for assistance. By knowing the strengths of associates, you’d be surprised at the resources available to you.
How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?
Working as a partner with my leader. I am fortunate that my leader treats me as a partner allowing for greater free exchange of ideas for company growth and development. Having that type of relationship is key for a successful partnership. Additionally, the ability to maintain confidentiality and professionalism is extremely important as you are a reflection of your leader.