We are delighted to continue the BMTG (UK) Ltd ACEA Alumini interviews with the fabulous Brenda L. Rogers CAP, OM, ACEA.
1. Hi Breda, tell us a bit about yourself?
At Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, I serve as the Vice President of Administration, Executive Assistant to the CEO. In my role, I am the CEO’s strategic partner who communicates on his behalf, the liaison to the Board of Directors, a member of the Leadership Team, and lead a team of two assistants. I also have two direct reports (Meetings & Travel Coordinator and Receptionist).
I live in Dallas, Texas with my sweet dog, Eve (Terrier Mix). I am a fierce Dallas Cowboys fan who enjoys cooking, traveling and watching classic movies.
2. Where and when did you attend your ACEA® training and who delivered it?
I attended ACEA® at the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC in November 2017. ACEA® was running alongside the fabulous Executive Secretary Live. The trainer was Richard Arnott.
3. There are many training courses available for Executive Assistants. Why did you choose ACEA® in particular?
I learned about ACEA® from Bonnie Low-Kramen. I chose to take the ACEA® course because it was teaching me to be a strategic business partner to my manager. The substantive topics included change management, risk management, presentation, and understanding financial reports (which was an important topic for me). My career goal was to become Chief of Staff and I believed that this course would help me to understand business, not only how to be a more efficient assistant.
After reading the course objectives and reviews, my expectations for ACEA® were high. I must say that after completing the week-long course, Richard EXCEEDED my expectations. The class was energetic, interactive, safe, and, dare I say, fun. It was wonderful meeting people from all over the world! (I think our class was one the first ones* held in the U. S. at the time.)
4. What were your favourite subjects covered and why?
My favorite subjects were Project Management and Strategy. Project Management because I learned every step of managing a project and discovered that we should ask “Is this the right thing to do?” which I did not think we could do. I constantly ask that question now.
Strategy was another favorite because I learned how strategy is formed and planned. It totally changed my mindset.
5. Has achieving ACEA® helped you personally or in your career?
I believe that that ACEA® has made a huge impact in my career. My comprehension of what happens in my company has skyrocketed! My confidence has increased because of the knowledge I gained and improved my business communication, too. In December 2018, I was promoted to Vice President, Administration, Executive Assistant to the CEO.
6. Was there anything in particular that you remember returning to the office with and implementing?
Yes! While in class discussing project management, I discovered the “one sheeter” we were using at the office was a charter. I requested that the name be changed, provided the reason why and the requested was granted. I also understand our financials better. This was a huge win for me.
7. If a friend or colleague asked you to convince them to attend ACEA® what would you say to them?
A colleague did ask me about ACEA® and she attended at my recommendation. I told her that the ACEA® course was like no other professional seminar that she has attended. I shared with her what I learned and told her about the substantive topics from finance to communication to leadership. I told her she had to go and that it was worth every second of her time and worth the cost. She attended the course in Austin and loved it!
* ACEA® has run in the USA since 2015 in New York (x2), Chicago, Austin (TX), Silicon Valley and on-site for selected clients.