Can you believe the start of a brand new decade is just days away? It feels like a particularly meaningful flip of the calendar — a new era — for this incredible OfficeNinjas community, and we’re bursting with excitement for what the future holds.
Our 2020 planners are filled with goals and action plans for the next phase of our executive-level administrative education program, upcoming Admingling events, and our biggest Admin Week yet.
We can’t wait to share with you all that we have in store, but how about a little reflection first? After all, 2019 was a history-making year for OfficeNinjas HQ. We expanded our team, held our first-ever OfficeNinjas Con, and partnered with UC Berkeley Haas School of Business to redefine administrative education … all while continuing to grow our signature programs and events.
Frankly, we’re proud. Of all of our victories, big and small, and of YOU, our beloved community. You’re the reason for everything we do.
So, please join us in closing 2019 with a celebratory OfficeNinjas Victory Lap Recap, as told by the members of our team.
Our Growing Team
Ali Berger hosting Admingling DC.
OfficeNinjas team members working together IRL.
The OfficeNinjas HQ team at Admingling in New York.
OfficeNinjas team members strike a silly pose at the end of a 2019 event.
Thanks to YOU, 2019 was a year of growth for the OfficeNinjas team. ONHQ added four full-time rockstars and a hearty handful of incredible part-time support members who have helped this small and mighty team continue to deliver on our mission by leaps and bounds!
Since my debut as a 2019 OfficeNinjas All-Star, I have had the opportunity to support the team on special projects that we can’t wait to share with you in 2020. OfficeNinjas was an invaluable resource for me throughout my four years as an administrative professional, and it’s an honor to help foster opportunities for Ninjas to grow the community.
The OfficeNinjas team strives to be the premiere resource for office admins by providing opportunities for professional development, networking, and comradery! And that all hinges on building and nurturing a passionate team who is empowered to do some of the most exciting work of their careers.
As we enter into the Era of the Office Ninja, expect to see more new faces added to our growing team!
– Ali B.
Admingling Intensities in Ten Cities
A look at our very first event of 2019 (in Silicon Valley)
We ended the year in Silicon Valley too — here’s a look at our very last event of 2019.
One of our incredible Ninja hosts duos who led 2019 Adminglings to success.
It was a banner year for Ninja networking with some of our most vibrant and rewarding Admingling events to date — and I should know, because I’ve been an avid Admingling attendee and contributor since 2015!
In January, I took my love affair to the next level by joining the OfficeNinjas team to guide our Hosts & Event Crew, and proudly pay forward the ultimate Admingling experience.
No doubt about it, industry hot topics resonated with Ninjas and, boy, did you have a lot of valuable collective intelligence to share with one another! From goal-setting to the future of work, your impactful and lively convos set the pace for Ninjas to own their roles and lead by example.
Adminglings are nothing if not collaborative, and this year, your boundless energy for networking spawned a new way to have fun and connect during the evening: an ultra cool OfficeNinjas Scavenger Hunt that debuted at Admingling San Francisco and is set to roll out to all Admingling cities in 2020. (Be the first to register for our 2020 Admingling events!)
Clearly (and you know this!) Ninjas are THE BEST help to make it all happen. Kudos to our 2019 Admingling hosts and volunteers — the power-packed secret event planning weapon that makes Admingling magic every single time.
We’re hard at work to amp it up in 2020 — bringing you even more of this very special event series, including the largest-ever Admingling at OfficeNinjas Con 2020. See YOU at Admingling!
– Barb G.
Special shoutout to 2019’s Admingling Hosts:
Silicon Valley: Laura C., Sara S., Samantha E., Crystal L., Maggie H., Barb G.
Seattle: Darcy P., Elizabeth P., Christopher J., Sally E.
San Francisco: Jake G., Zoila P.
New York: Ally M., Ross G, Danielle D.
Los Angeles: Sue C., Zoila P.
Dallas: Sophia P.
Denver: Sarah D., Sherry S.
Washington DC: Ali B., Taylor G.
Chicago: Caitlin C.
Austin: Cathy C., Michele F.
Our Week-Long Celebration of the Admin Phenomenon
The calm before the storm — a look at our Admin Bash location before doors opened.
2019 All-Star Devin Cecere celebrates her award with her team members.
A behind-the-scenes look at a few of our ONHQers working in the green room at ON Con 2019.
One of the best parts of Admin Week 2019? The photo booths.
Every year, OfficeNinjas commemorates the hard work of admin pros and workplace operators with a week of recognition, learning, and celebration.
We see the passion you bring to work every day, and we knew our annual Admin Week festivities had to reflect this phenomenal community that inspires us year-round.
If you’ve participated in Admin Week, you know we kick things off with our OfficeNinjas All-Star Awards, a peer-nominated awards program honoring outstanding Ninjas for their next-level achievements. The awesome doesn’t stop there — we commemorate each day of Admin Week with virtual raffles and amazing prizes. With the celebration culminating in Admin Bash, the biggest Admin Day party in the world for 7 years running!
In 2019, we added a brand new Admin Week experience: OfficeNinja Con (more details in the next section!), bringing world-class education programming to the community, tailored to the unique needs of Ninjas.
I joined the team in early April — by far our busiest time of the year — and dove head first into Admin Week preparations. I can think of no better introduction to my new role than with a massive celebration of everything that makes the OfficeNinjas community so special.
Next year, we’ll be celebrating the Era of the Office Ninja with even MORE Admin Week excitement. I hope I’ll see you there.
– Shannon L.
ON Con and the New Era of Administrative Education
Our co-founders Nancy and Edwin delivering their welcome speech at OfficeNinjas Con 2019.
Ninjas collaborating during one of our hands-on breakout sessions.
A selfie to end the day with our incredible MC Andrew Minkow.
A candid pic from highly anticipated All-Star Panel.
Every year, Admin Week is jam-packed with serious networking and celebration.
But Ninjas are nothing if not nerdy. We listened when you said you prefer your partying with a hearty side of learning. And with education at the heart of our mission, we knew Admin Week was the right time to launch our first-ever OfficeNinjas Con.
At #ONCon19, more than 200 office managers, executive assistants, and workplace operators came from 45 cities, 19 states, and as far as Canada and Ireland to attend this sold-out event.
Attendees indulged in deep learning with workshops on human-centered collaboration and the strategic world of personal OKRs. They took in the latest research from experts on the future of work and the power of workplace rituals. And they had a lot of fun participating in the first-ever global Admingling and an All-Star-studded Q&A.
Of course, we couldn’t have pulled it all off without key input from the Ninja community. You helped inform the development of ON Con through focus groups, surveys, and more than a few deep conversations. And when it was go time? Dozens of you volunteered your time as ON Con production staff, hosts, and panelists, making this truly a collaborative effort.
Launching ON Con was a major milestone in our mission to redefine administrative education and we are incredibly proud — but you know we never rest on past successes. Armed with your thoughtful insights and feedback, we’re building an even bigger and better ON Con experience for 2020.
Get ready, nerds.
– Kristin S.
OfficeNinjas Newsletter: An Ever-Evolving Constant
2019 version of our OfficeNinjas newsletter (left)... compared to a 2017 version (right)!
For many of our most enthusiastic community members, our weekly newsletter was their first introduction to OfficeNinjas.
I’ve been involved in the creation of our newsletter since 2014, penning the welcome paragraphs that invite you to explore each edition, and I’m humbled by the honor of your attention.
Through the years, you’ve let us know that our newsletter is a constant for you, appearing in your inbox every Thursday, stuffed with practical strategies and inspiration to elevate your learning journey as you build a career that you are proud of.
But, for all its consistency, the newsletter has continued to evolve and improve. (That’s a common theme at OfficeNinjas HQ; there’s not a whole lot of resting on one’s laurels.) And 2019 was definitely a year that brought big change to our publication.
Our clean new layout grants breathing room to each weekly theme, curated according to what really matters to you. Our accompanying images are all originals that feature REAL Ninjas from the community. And our new Ninja Notables section highlights some of the brightest (and funniest) ideas and insights from your comments and conversations on our social media channels.
Thank you for allowing our newsletter to hold a coveted spot in your inbox. I hope you enjoy reading it half as much as we enjoy creating it!
– Jenessa C.
Remote Team, IRL Family
The ONHQ team in Oakland, CA for an in-person brainstorming session.
We wrapped up our photoshoot with a few group shots of the team — in Ninja poses, of course!
Team dinner out in Oakland during our IRL gathering.
ONHQ team members Susette and Kristin pose for the photobooth at AdminglingSF.
As a fully remote team, it’s a special treat when we’re able to actually come together in one place. In October, we had the opportunity to bring the entire team to San Francisco to brainstorm, produce a campaign photo shoot, and help support an amazing AdminglingSF event.
I’m from Guatemala City, and before October, it had been at least ten years since I traveled to the US, but I was so excited to meet the great crew I work with remotely every day.
It was an incredible surprise how comfortable we all immediately felt working together IRL. I was greeted with a big cheer, hugs, and smiles. Instead of a work trip, this gathering really felt like one big happy family coming together for a celebration.
I put together the tech for every single one of our events… but had never actually attended one! It was so inspiring to experience our AdminglingSF event, meet amazing Ninjas, and actually take in the awe-inspiring community that is the heart and fuel of everything we do.
After our team trip, I came back to Guatemala feeling energized with incredible memories of our time together: productive meetings, fun dinners, an incredible photoshoot and an awesome wine & cheese farewell afternoon. 2019 was a new beginning for many upcoming OfficeNinjas initiatives. I can’t wait for our team to come together and make magic happen in 2020.
– Susette S.
Lights, Camera, Action!
A behind-the-scenes look at our studio shots used for Admin Week 2020 materials.
ONHQers prepping Nancy for some headshots before our official photo shoot.
Before and after images (from photoshoot to finished product)!
Props and prepping were crucial components during photoshoot day.
This fall, we set out to execute a one-of-a-kind photoshoot to mark the Era of the Office Ninja (our 2020 Admin Week theme). When we think about “a new era”, we think change, but more specifically, we think of something important (revolutionary!) coming into sharp focus.
With that in mind, we aimed to visually capture the strategic moves Ninjas are making to mark the Era of the Office Ninja, while simultaneously balancing the infinite responsibilities of their multifaceted role.
Nine hours and 1,000+ photos later — we did it. (Fun fact: 99% of the pictures we share on our website and newsletter are originals, not stock!)
Our recipe for success?
- R E A L Ninja models (thank you, Bay Area Ninjas! 🙏)
- Beyoncé. A LOT of Beyoncé, alongside a curated playlist of blue steel-inspiring tunes
- Countless props, including life-size balloons and a copious amount of confetti. 🎉
- The essentials… like color-coded gSheets, everything bagels, mood boards, and coordinated Ninja poses (really epic Ninja poses)
I can speak for the entire team in saying, we’re so excited about — and proud of! — our Admin Week 2020 program, and can’t wait to celebrate the Era of the Office Ninja with each of you in April!
– Allie H.
Virtual Ice Cream Socials + Thankful Docs
Snapshot from our Ninjagiving virtual party.
“Thankful Doc” that was a part of our Ninjagiving celebration.
A peak at our “Would You Rather Wednesday” Slack channel conversation.
Fitness Friday collage of our team members — including a cameo from our youngest Ninja!
As Susette mentioned, OfficeNinjas is a completely remote team, so we have to be intentional about our communication and celebrations. Instead of talking around the water cooler or going out for happy hour, we host virtual parties — and we call ‘em Fun Fridays.
It all started with us exceeding a goal we set for ourselves… and wanting to celebrate. So, with an hour set aside to share the week’s accomplishments, a small budget to buy some frozen treats, and a gif-riddled slack invitation, we had ourselves a virtual Ice Cream Social.
Since then, we’ve thrown a virtual team celebration every month with themes ranging from Color Me Engaged (we colored together online for an hour whilst listening to songs like Yellow Submarine and Purple Rain); Fitness Friday (plank competition, anyone?); and Fancy Friday (we broke out our finest china and dressed to the nines for an elegant online lunch).
Then in November, we kicked off the holiday season with an online Ninjagiving, marking the occasion with our favorite holiday foods, a crafting activity, and the creation of Thankful Docs, in which we wrote a nice little message on why we’re thankful for each team member. And now, we all have these tear-jerkingly sweet docs we can refer to any time we need a pick-me-up or want to remember just how special this team truly is.
2019 saw OfficeNinjas take a more dedicated approach to nourishing our team culture — and in 2020, we plan to keep building these important initiatives and supporting our talented group of weirdos who work hard… and throw one heck of a virtual party. 🎉
– Sam W.
The Power of Deep Relationships
Alone we can do so little: Together we can do so much.
Event with Bonnie Low-Kramen as the host in NYC in 2013.
A celebration on Administrative Professionals Day in partnership with Kim Rohrer, founder of OrgOrg
Very first Admingling in partnership with Admin Awards in Dallas 2015.
Thank you to our amazing partners (like Delta Air Lines) for supporting the Ninja community.
Nancy and Edwin open the doors to the OfficeNinjas Career Development Program in partnership with UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
OfficeNinjas was built on partnerships. In fact, there would be no OfficeNinjas if it were not for a partnership we forged with a local admin community group in Silicon Valley, EASV, led by MJ Powell and Trey Scarpa. We teamed up to host a reception in 2012… little did we know, that would spark the beginning of our signature Admin Bash and seed the idea of OfficeNinjas.
For the next two years, we were graciously hosted by some of the top admin groups and influencers in the nation, including Admin Awards, Joanne Linden, IAAP, Bonnie Low-Kramen, and OrgOrg.
Each event we attended and hosted showed us just how powerful and important the admin community is — and how vital building strong partnerships would become for our organization. Alongside our community partners, we grew over the years with high-quality sponsors who support our mission and care about the Ninja community.
Now, in 2019, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to develop our executive-level education program for administrative and operations professionals in partnership with the inimitable UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
As a mission-driven organization, we team up with those who share our commitment to helping admins lead valued and fulfilling careers.
From our community partners to our trusted vendor partners, every relationship we build has to be in alignment with our mission. We are humbled by the meaningful relationships we’ve built throughout the years and are grateful for the supportive people who’ve been integral to the past, present, and future of OfficeNinjas.
Launching Executive-Level Education for Admin Professionals
Welcome to the inaugural course of the OfficeNinjas Executive-Level Career Development Program.
Cohort members have some fun learning the Five Powers of Authentic Leadership.
Each participant bravely explored their authentic leadership style with the help of a deeply supportive cohort.
Small group communication sessions challenged cohort members to tap into their vulnerability.
We treated the inaugural cohort with an intimate dinner, celebrating their transformative work of Day One.
Who said powerful leaders can’t be fun? Our inaugural cohort celebrates their completion of the course.
Cohort members (and new friends!) pose together for a celebratory snap at the Farewell Reception.
UC Berkeley Haas distinguished Faculty members celebrate with the cohort at the Farewell Reception.
After 8 years of getting to know thousands of Ninjas from across the country, it was clear that the admin profession was evolving. To help accelerate this important change, we launched an executive-level education program in partnership with UC Berkeley Haas School of Business’ Executive Education — one of the top 10 business schools in the world, training thousands of leaders across the globe.
From inception, the program was developed specifically for admin professionals with contributions from Ninjas who’ve shared their stories and thoughts around their challenges, success, and goals in the workplace.
The inaugural course of this new program took place at UC Berkeley’s beautiful Haas campus on Dec 12-13, 2019 with 42 high-performing admin professionals — 30% of whom flew in from out of town. Each member of the inaugural cohort has an insatiable inner drive to excel and represent the future of the profession.
The day is coming where the importance and impact of the admin profession are known and valued by all. 2019 was just the beginning. And I look forward to being arm-in-arm with the community as we go forth into this new phase of the journey.
A BIG heartfelt thanks to the inaugural cohort: Aimee M., Angela S., Ashley G., Barbara G., Barbara S., Chantilly G., Christie L., Christine M., Christopher J., Corina T., Danielle H., Dash G., Eden D., Erica K., Erin S., Jackie K., Janie B., Jennie V., Jennifer C., Joanne L., Jocelyn R., Josh T., Kaitlan N., Kimberly B., Krista B., Laura C., Lisa W., Lourdes Q., Maria K., Megan N., Meredith S., Mia A., Mia B., Michaela L., MJ P., Monica S., Nev D., Nicki C., Nicole G., Stacey A., Tonya C., Virginia D.
Looking Ahead to the Era of the Office Ninja
Today, we’re in deep planning mode for our 2020 signature programs. Don’t miss out on any of the festivities!
- OfficeNinjas Con tickets are on sale now! Join us for the two-day learning intensive on April 21-22, 2020.
- Admin Bash tickets are also on sale — come celebrate the Era of the Office Ninja in style.
- All-Star Award nominations are OPEN! Submit a nomination for yourself, your favorite Ninja, or your admin team before February 28, 2020.
- Admingling Event tickets are on sale in five major cities. Check the list to see if we’re coming to your city and secure your spot!
- The OfficeNinjas Executive-Level Career Development Program will formally launch in 2020. Sign up for updates on upcoming courses and online learning opportunities.
What behind-the-scenes magic did you work this year? What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Share in the comments!