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2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Awards: The Admin Community Celebrates This Year’s Winners

When it comes to serving an organization with tenacity, ingenuity, and empathetic leadership, you can count on a devoted administrative professional to deliver in spades.

And when it comes to shining a glowing spotlight on some of the best and brightest of those admin pros — you can count on the worldwide Admin Community to show up and CELEBRATE with just as much passion.

And that’s exactly what happened with the reveal of the 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Stars during our annual Admin Week celebration on April 20-24, 2020:

I knew the feature [article] would be released to the world, but I didn’t fully wrap my head around the immediate outpour of positive messages that would follow on all avenues of the internet and social media. During a time where there is much stress and uncertainty [due to COVID-19] it made me even more thankful (which I didn’t even know was possible) to be part of such a special community that rises to the occasion to uplift each other! – Corina Terrell, 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star

Every Admin Week since 2015, we’ve honored five outstanding admin pros with OfficeNinjas All-Star Awards, recognizing their exceptional work, leadership, and commitment to the ever-evolving admin profession. And in 2020, we launched a brand new award category: OfficeNinjas All-Star Team!

To find these outstanding individuals, we invited executives, colleagues, and peers to nominate their office rockstars — and received thousands of submissions. Some are hilarious, others heartfelt — and all of them confirm what we’ve known all along: admin professionals are universally amazing.

Can We Get a Standing Ovation?

Not only are they star-worthy, our 2020 winners are resilient. When the coronavirus threw us for a loop this year, requiring us to quickly pivot on our in-person experiences, they rose to the challenge with great collaboration, flexibility, and contribution of fun personal photos!

A gif of 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Stars participating in a remote team building game presented by The Go Game.

2020 OfficeNinjas All-Stars connect across time zones and celebrate their win during a fun(ny) remote team building game presented by The Go Game. Host a virtual team building event like this.

In collaboration with our All-Stars, we:

  • Crafted in-depth interviews with each of our winners that offer a detailed look into their programs and strategies that you can learn from and implement in your organization.
  • Bridged the distance through fun(ny) remote team building games presented by The Go Game. (Host a virtual event like this!)
  • Commemorated each winner’s personal mantra by turning it into a digital quote hand-lettered by a professional artist. (Check out each winner’s article below to see their mantra.)

Settle in and prepare for your inspiration (and heart) to swell as you learn more about our incredible 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star winners.

Printable 2020 All-Stars Bingo card that you can play while reading the interviews with each winner.

Download and print our 2020 All-Stars Bingo Card and play along while you read more about the 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star winners.

And why not have a little bit of fun, too? Ninja Susy, beloved OfficeNinjas Mascot and Secret Gaming Fanatic, created this downloadable 2020 All-Stars Bingo Card so you can play along while you read! (We recommend shouting “BINGO!” at nobody in particular when you win, for extra impact.)

Meet the 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Stars

Maxim Integrated Admin Team, San Jose, CA, and Worldwide

Meet 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Maxim Integrated Admin Team.

The first-ever OfficeNinjas All-Star TEAM, a 21-Ninja crew from Maxim Integrated, spans multiple countries, yet they’ve mastered the complex art of thriving as one cohesive unit. Plus, these Ninjas are having FUN (we have photographic evidence).

Ninja community member CJM praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Maxim Integrated Admin Team for their win.

You’ll wish you could be part of their monthly lunch & learn events — but we bet you may be ready to launch your own team-building event series by the time you’re done getting to know this phenomenal group.

Ninja community member Becca R. praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Maxim Integrated Admin Team for their win.

How did it make the Maxim Admin Team feel to see hundreds of comments of congratulations from Ninjas around the world?

“It was fantastic!! My email, instant messaging, mobile phone, LinkedIn, and Facebook were off the hook, crazy with congrats! LOVED IT. Couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear!” – Kathleen Robinson, Executive Assistant

“It was amazing to be congratulated and recognized by our Ninja community! And so thrilling to be congratulated by our Maxim community; by fellow Assistants, managers and yes, our CEO! I am on cloud 9! 10! 11! How many clouds are there?!” – Lisa Milanes, Executive Assistant

“We celebrated through an explosion of emails, and energized sharing on our Assistant Chat site! In our Friday afternoon Assistant virtual Happy Hour, we toasted our Award with cocktails and mocktails!” – Nancy Nordberg, Executive Assistant to CEO

Enjoy our Q&A with Nancy Nordberg, Executive Assistant to the CEO, on behalf of the Maxim Admin Team.

Corina Terrell, Dallas, TX

Meet 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Corina Terrell.

An Admingling host extraordinaire and participant in the inaugural OfficeNinjas & UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Leadership & Communication Course, Corina Terrell isn’t just a leader in the Ninja community — she’s a pioneer!

Ninja community member Lucinda Pepper praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Corina Terrell for her win.

We sat down with her and picked her brain on everything from the future of the admin profession, to the (funny) way she manages stress.

Ninja community member Lisa Harris praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Corina Terrell for her win.

And after a full day of high praise from coworkers and the worldwide Ninja community, Corina capped it off in style:

“My husband and I ordered from our favorite sushi place, toasted champagne, and got dressed up to have a celebratory patio date at home. He even had the dogs wear party hats!”

Looking for the inspiration and courage to venture outside of your comfort zone, too? Read Corina’s article.

Tricia Kalchbrenner, Chicago, IL

Meet 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Tricia Kalchbrenner.

Tricia Kalchbrenner probably didn’t expect to receive formative career advice as a teenager while working her after-school job at a fast-casual restaurant in Hawaii. But something one of her older coworkers said made a lasting impression that helped her become the All-Star Ninja she is today.

Ninja community member Kathleen praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Tricia Kalchbrenner for her win.

A mom to two young kids, she’s simultaneously wrangled office operations, a company president’s calendar, major office construction projects, AND significant HR policy change with grace and efficiency.

Ninja community member Megan Flowers praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Tricia Kalchbrenner for her win.

What was it like for Tricia to receive words of encouragement from hundreds of Ninjas?

“Reading through all of the comments was the best feeling! I can’t wait to read them when I’m having a rough day in the future. They will remind me why I love this profession… But one of the very best reactions came from my husband — he definitely had a sense of pride, admiration, and even a bit of surprise at how much I accomplish each day.”

Time management is a crucial skill, but Tricia elevates it to an art form. Read Tricia’s article.

Hilary Phillips, Palo Alto, CA

Ninja community member Megan Flowers praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Tricia Kalchbrenner for her win.

Hilary Phillips doesn’t shy away from complicated challenges — she charges right at them. From creating her own job descriptions to launching an Admin Team pilot program, Hilary has used her experience, pragmatism, and powers of persuasion to continuously develop her career AND improve the lives of her fellow admins.

Ninjas across all experience levels were thrilled to find great inspiration in Hilary’s story:

Ninja community member Susie Roalstad praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Hilary Phillips for her win.

And more than a few are going to start applying her techniques immediately:

Ninja community member Reggie C. praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Hilary Phillips for her win.

What was it like when Hilary’s All-Star win was announced to the world?

“Having former colleagues take the time to post, comment or share reminded me that I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible people. And to know they thought the same of me was really special. I got the comment, ‘I know a famous person!’ more than once which was very funny.”

Hilary’s interview is essentially a primer on how to position yourself as a strategic business partner in your organization and level-up your career. Read Hilary’s article.

Laura Feigel, Grand Rapids, MI

Meet 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Laura Feigel.

In her 24 years as a Ninja, Laura Feigel has steadily climbed the ranks from entry-level to Executive Assistant of the Vice President and COO at an international airport. Along the way, she’s revolutionized her department’s internal travel processes, coordinated major events, and assisted with construction projects.

Ninja community member Helen praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Laura Feigel for her win.

A naturally shy person, Laura is known for her unshakeable work ethic and compassionate leadership. And her interview definitely resonated with other Ninja introverts:

Ninja community member Jaime Brown praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Laura Feigel for her win.

How does it make her feel to receive hundreds of comments on her All-Star article?

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single comment and it warmed my heart to realize how big our Office Ninja family is. This community truly nurtures and cares for each other and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it… And I loved all the other 80’s music fans out there! Rock on Fam!”

Laura opens up to us about how she builds the confidence to step outside her comfort zone and embrace new challenges. Read Laura’s article.

Elaine Carbonell, San Francisco, CA

Meet 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Elaine Carbonell.

Administrative mastery runs in Elaine Carbonell’s family (her mom was a Ninja, too!). Her mom’s excellence inspired her to blaze her own Ninja path over the course of her 25-year career, and she continually seeks out new ways to expand her role and give back to her community, both in and out of the workplace.

Ninja community member Flora Anthony praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Elaine Carbonell for her win.

And other Ninjas who are considering starting their own Employee Resource Groups were inspired by Elaine’s advice for how to get started:

Ninja community member Cassandra Bryant praises 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star Elaine Carbonell for her win.

What was it like when Elaine’s All-Star win was announced to the world?

“I had an overflow of emails from current and past co-workers of congratulations — even some with memories of what I had done in the past. Things that I had forgotten about! Most of all, the call from my mom was so sweet and obviously tearful. I could feel the glow of pride emanating from the phone and that means everything to me.”

Stop everything and learn more about this powerful community-builder! Read Elaine’s article.

We’d Love to Hear from You

One of the best parts of celebrating these incredible All-Stars? Spotlighting some of their most innovative strategies, best practices, and programs… for you to steal!

Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Which All-Star idea, big or small, are you inspired to put into action in YOUR organization or daily practice?

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  1. What a fabulous week! From the first ever OfficeNinja Team win and their inspirational story and take-away items (shout out to monthly lunch & learns) to the individual OfficeNinja All-Star winners sharing their success, stories and tidbits with the ON family. Corina encouraged us to ‘get out of our own way’, Trish told us to advocate for our beliefs & inspire change, Hilary reinforced the ages old hard lesson of asking good questions and Elaine closed out the week reminding us to keep it real. I did my best to encourage the loud listening of 80’s music on any sound system you have available and at any given time.

    OfficeNinjas is an amazing community to be a part of. I’m grateful to have so many connections and hope to maintain those over my lifetime. Cheers to all of you keeping those execs and offices running on an even keel. Crank up the music and keep rockin’ Fam!

  2. Wow, what an amazing week to take part in! I have so many new and fresh ideas to carry with me back to the office but also to follow me in my career. Some immediate action items that stand out to me are
    1) More 1:1 check ins- they bring true value to a relationship and or situation
    2) “Say Yes by saying No” – I may make this one of my new mantras as well!
    3) Pull away from the computer throughout the day and spend more time walking the office to create a stronger sense of comradery
    I look forward to many more tips and tricks from OfficeNinjas and the community!

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