Episode 71: Celebrating Our Administrative Professionals
In celebration of Administrative Professionals Day, we sat down with Corissa Cummings, Executive Assistant to Matt Snow, CEO of DHG. During this podcast, Corissa shares insight on why DHG is such a great place to work, and she also offers a glimpse inside what it’s like to work in the C-Suite.
Episode 71 Transcript:
AGH: Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of our DHG podcast series. I’m Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and I love this venue because we get to hear about the things that matter the most to us – flexibility, careers and of course, stories about our people.
It’s April and we are celebrating Administrative Professional’s Day. This is an awesome way to celebrate with gatherings across the firm to honor all of our admins who play such a critical role in serving our clients.
I have pursued our guest today for several years now and she finally agreed to join me. Corissa Cummings is our CEO’s executive assistant, and today, we’re going to get a glimpse of what it’s like to work alongside Matt Snow, our CEO.
CC: Thanks for having me, Alice Grey.
AGH: Absolutely. Okay. So you and I work really closely on a lot of things here at DHG, and I can personally attest to just how amazing you are. I mean, it’s nothing for you to have several 14-hour days in a week with lots of demands and a lot of stress. And let me add that you manage it all with such grace and optimism and I am so grateful for you every day.
CC: Well, thank you so much for saying that. That’s so kind of you. Every day I feel like I have the best job in the firm because I’m so blessed to work with and have the privilege to work with our leaders. They’re just such amazing humans.
AGH: You do have such an important job here. What do you want people to know about your role and what it’s like working with our senior leaders?
CC: Well, I’ve said over and over during my tenure here that I wish everyone in the firm had the up-close and personal opportunity to see the side of our leaders that I have the privilege of seeing every day in my role. I mean, just the way that they genuinely care so much about not only doing what’s best for our firm but more than anything really just what’s best for our people here.
Alice Grey, in my five years here, I have seen countless examples of the way our leaders show support to our people. Not just the every day, day-to-day life stuff, but also during the really heavy times of crisis that unfortunately sometimes happen in people’s lives. Sometimes it’s attending funerals or making a visit to the hospital or giving financial support personally to a family.
Sometimes it’s something as simple as sitting down to make a phone call to someone, whether it be in a time of need or in a congratulatory way – just to tell them that they’re proud of them and they appreciate their hard work.
Sometimes it is a handwritten card for a milestone in someone’s life, for instance. They’re all things that you probably rarely hear about because they’re done in private and without boasting. But really more than anything, it’s what I believe sets our firm apart from the rest, just the way that these leaders care so much.
AGH: That’s amazing and it’s so true. I also have the privilege, not as closely as you, of seeing it and I couldn’t agree more. In terms of your job here, what would you say is the most rewarding aspect?
CC: Well that’s really an easy one for me. Hands down, the best part of my job is that from the very beginning, Matt has always made me feel like a very valued member of his team. Often it’s just asking for my input, but he is very inclusive and treats me with a lot of respect.
There has to be a really high level of trust for our relationship to work and for me to do my job well. For me, that means making decisions on his behalf in order to keep the smaller things away from him to allow him the time that he needs to focus on the really big things. And just knowing every day that he really trusts my judgment and he appreciates all I do. That makes me want to work even harder to do everything I can to continue to support him and his role.
Not only do all the leaders here support me professionally, but they are supportive in my personal life as well. I know this probably sounds very cliché, but we truly are a family, and that’s not something that everyone has the privilege of experiencing in their career.
AGH: I mean, you’re about to make me cry.
CC: It’s true.
AGH: It is true. Okay, now we have to turn the corner, because I know that all those things are great, and they are true, but I know there have to be some funny stories. What are the funny things that happen working in the C-Suite – can you give us a glimpse?
CC: Keep in mind Alice Grey, our leaders are brilliant, but they’re really just people like you and me. They are my clients, and I always say that serving them well means doing everything, and I mean everything, I can to make their days run smoothly. Let me tell you, over the years, that has looked a little different from day-to-day.
I mentioned that trust was a really big part of my role. To protect the innocent here, these examples will be anonymous. Let me just walk you through some of the wild and crazy things that my job entails on a day-to-day basis. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of different things. Sometimes it means racing to the airport to do a curbside drop-off because a laptop has gotten left behind, and there’s 30 minutes to board a flight.
Sometimes it means placing a rush order on a driver’s license because I get a frantic call that someone’s in the airport and their license fell out of their wallet.
Sometimes it means that you need to keep an emergency wardrobe stash on-hand for days when there’s that accidental spill or stain, or for when somebody has forgotten their tie and they have an interview or a video to do.
Sometimes it’s as crazy as ordering a life-sized cardboard cutout of a certain unnamed leader of the firm, or even running across the street to the mall to buy everyone on the firm leadership team matching socks.
I mean, sometimes it’s as crazy as sending one of your leader’s dress shirts on the plane with another member of the firm because your leader has forgotten half of his wardrobe back in Charlotte. It also means I know a certain someone’s lunch order inside and out, and that Panera will be here at 11:30 every day with the exact thing he picked to order, come rain or shine.
AGH: Do we have stock in Panera yet?
CC: Well, if we don’t, we probably should.
AGH: Those are great stories and I won’t even begin to guess whose story belongs to each of the examples you gave us. I know that this is one that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long time, what’s one thing that people don’t know about Matt that they might find interesting?
CC: Well, this is easy for me to answer, and I think a lot of people will probably find the answer kind of ironic because of his role. When you truly know Matt, you know he hates being the center of attention. He will absolutely be the first person to give credit but always the last to take it for himself.
He absolutely never throws his title around. In fact, sometimes I find myself reminding him that he is the CEO, and it’s okay for him to put himself first and to put his own needs first. But his humility is just one of the many characteristics that make him such a great leader, and one of the many reasons that I respect him so much.
AGH: I mean, we are all so lucky to have such great leaders here. We’re also lucky to have someone like you who’s behind the scenes – talk about somebody who doesn’t take credit – making sure that everyone has exactly what they need to keep the ship running.
And I know that in all of our DHG offices, there’s somebody who plays a similar role to you who keeps everything going. So, from myself and on behalf of everybody here at DHG, thank you Corissa, and thank you to all of our administrative professionals!
CC: Well, thanks for having me here today, Alice Grey, and for letting me share some of the great parts about my job. It’s a blessing to work for and with these leaders, and I come to work just excited about the day every day. That’s just such a privilege.
AGH: It truly is. Well, thank you for joining us, Corissa.
CC: Thanks so much.
AGH: Thank you all for listening to Life at DHG, our premier podcast series. If you like what you just heard, we hope you’ll tell your friends and colleagues, be sure to check out our DHG blog for more great stories about our #LifeBeyondNumbers.
Join us next time for another edition of Life at DHG.