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My Admin Assistant

Stetson University
September 2001 until about December 2003

Following my time with Florida State University I was hired by Stetson University to be its Director of Technology Programs at its new campus in Celebration, Florida. Actually at the time I was hired the staff at Celebration was still in a temporary building, as the new building was being completed by contractors.

As part of my in-processing I traveled over to Deland, Florida, to meet with my new boss, the Vice President for Information Technology, who also ran the Stetson's Center for Information Technology (CIT) for the University. I also met some of the people I would work with were assigned oversee IT and did things like kept the University servers running and manned the university's Help Desk

I also met a young lady named Jackie McPhillips. She was in a back room there in DeLand studying QuickBooks so that she would be able to post expenses into the Stetson financial system. I learned that Jackie would be my new assistant at Celebration, and that she was there in the DeLand being trained up for her new job. It turned out that while Jackie was there being trained, she got to know many of the CIT people very well and those relationships helped us through the years

It turned out she did not have a college degree, which was unusual for persons employed by universities, but she was a very good at her job. Jackie and I worked together exceptionally well. She had a wonderful street sense and I always sought her opinion on all our business matters. Jackie and I ran the brand new technology programs at the Stetson Center at Celebration, and, amazingly, we even made money beginning the first year.

At the end of one year I went to my boss Shiram Imiri and respectfully noted the accomplishments of Jackie and achievements of our team. I asked if Jackie could get a $1,000 raise. Shiram's response was that yes, we had done a marvelous job and that he was very willing to give Jackie a raise. In fact, he said he would raise her salary by $3,000 a year. And then he turned to me and said, "You are also going to get a raise." He then proceeded to increase my salary by $18,000 a year. And he also said that I needed a leased car so he arranged for a three-year lease of the Honda Accord for me.

I was absolutely amazed by this generosity!

About three years later Jackie left Stetson employment become a full-time mother or her new baby twins. Sometime after that I learned something interesting about Jackie. It turned out the Shiram Imiri was her brother-in-law!

Lesson learned: There's something to be said about treating your Administrative Assistant nice.

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Footnote: When we left FSU we moved back into our home in Valrico, as the renters had just departed. Our goal was for us to find a home in the Celebration area and move there shortly. The one-way distance to Celebration was 59 miles with a driving time of one hour and 15 minutes. I did this for the next 11 years, though there were some tiimes I worked from home and traveled as little as twice a week.

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