Exactly What is International Virtual Assistants Day

Recently, someone asked what is International Virtual Assistants Day (IVAD) and why do we celebrate it. I thought it a great question and wanted to share a bit of history about the significance of IVAD and why it’s OUR special day.

IVAD is celebrated annually on the 3rd Friday of May. This year we celebrate on May 16th.

In early 2005, Sharon Williams was reminiscing about the well-deserved accolades Administrative Professionals receive on Administrative Professionals Day from bosses and coworkers. She knew that VAs are just as deserving of recognition, even moreso, for our contributions to the growth and stability of our clients’ businesses; as in many cases, we are their right hand, sounding board, and innovative resource person.

In addition, she realized that establishing a “day for VAs” could serve two purposes: 1) be a day when our industry (collectively and individually) could be recognized for its contributions to small businesses situated around the globe and, 2) serve as an opportunity to increase awareness about virtual assisting, in terms that even non-Internet-based businesses could understand.

In conjunction with establishing “the day”, it was also important to create a Creed that represents our vow to provide exceptional service to clients, which is: Dedication, Experience, Expertise and Determination to Succeed of professionals providing administrative and other business support services, virtually. DEEDS exemplifies our integrity and commitment to provide superior service.

Finally, in celebration of the industry, and individuals who walk the talk, the OIVAC Steering Committee created two awards: The Janet Jordan Achievement Award, which is bestowed on a new VA who exceeds expectations; and, the Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction Award, in recognition of an individual’s outstanding contributions and dedication to the VA industry, worldwide.

Janet Jordan, founder of VirtualAssistantsU and an industry thought leader, was in the forefront of the industry and a recognized advocate and supporter of VAs. She shared her insightful opinions, and exceptional mentoring and training abilities with everyone, on list or off. She set standards many VAs continue to strive for and was an encouraging and stabilizing force in the industry. Janet passed away in January, 2006.

Thomas Leonard is the “originator” of the term Virtual Assistant. He coined the term in the 1990s, describing remote assistants that worked with him while he traveled the country. Mr. Leonard was the founder of CoachU and several other well-recognized and respected organizations, and was a staunch advocate of virtual assisting. We are honored to name an award after “the father of the industry”.

I hope this information answers the question what is IVAD and why do we celebrate it.

Now, let’s all get together at OIVAC, on Friday May 16th at 5:15 p.m. EDT (US) and C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E our industry, its contributions to the small business community and congratulate this year’s Award winners.

Yours truly,
OIVAC Steering Committee

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