Executive Leadership Support Forum: Boston: Speaker Interview

Pamela ChavesChaves
Executive Assistant to CFO
STAG Industrial, Inc.

Pamela Chaves is a seasoned Executive Assistant and Event Planner with over 30+ years in the field. She has held multiple positions in the Manufacturing, Legal and Financial fields. As an Executive Assistant, she has developed many employee programs as well as planned staff retreats, special events, conferences and volunteer events. Presently, she is the Executive Assistant to the CFO at STAG Industrial, a commercial Real Estate company. In addition to her duties as an executive assistant, she has raised two beautiful daughters, most recently widowed with the loss of her beloved husband Tony for whom she was married to for 40 years, and will be a grandmother for the first time in April. She has two bichons (Bella and Pierre), and she enjoys music, dancing and helping people. She received the “The President’s Service Award” from President Clinton for volunteering. She volunteered her time to work with Hilary Clinton on her presidential campaign in 2008. Pam is a member of the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP.)

Pamela will be one of the distinguished presenters at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Boston.

Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum important for executive assistants?
I believe the Executive Leadership Support Forum is very important – It‘s an opportunity for the Executive Assistants to network, giving the EA an chance to listen to others and learn that she is not alone. It is also a great opportunity for sharing knowledge with each other, and for making new friends.

Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?
I have joined professional EA organizations (American Society of Administrative Professionals, Global Executive Assistants and International Association of Administrative Professionals), as well as attended conferences for EAs, and also had several opportunities to attend the Leadership for Women’s Conferences at Simmons College.

What is one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at the ELS Forum?
There is always something to learn; not just one thing – I can’t wait to network and get to know the other EAs who will be attending this forum.

Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.
The accomplishment I am proud of is being an EA. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college when I graduated from High School (engaged to be married and not having the money). So I took opportunities that were offered to me to learn. At the beginning of my career, I was offered the opportunity to join a secretarial pool (for which I had to take a pay cut). This secretarial pool gave me the opportunity to work in a variety of office positions, which was a great way to learn the business of the company that I worked at. Later on in my career, I was able to apply this knowledge to each new position that I took, leading me to where I am today.

In your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?
Knowledge is the tool I can’t live without – I love the challenge of learning something new. If I learn one thing in a day – I am happy!

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?
My advice to myself – don’t give up, believe in yourself and you can achieve anything! If you are interested in something, express it and you will be given opportunities!

How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?
Success is being able to have it all!! A great job, a loving family, health and happiness!