The 2023 Joan Burge Innovation Award Winner

Susan Schultz on stage at the 30th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence

In the illustrious narrative of administrative professionals, certain individuals stand out for their exceptional contributions, carving pathways that lead to growth, innovation, and excellence. At the forefront of such distinguished careers stands Susan Schultz, this 2023 honoree of the Joan Burge Innovation Award, presented at the 30th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. Her story is one of exceptional leadership, innovative thinking, and a relentless drive to enhance the administrative profession at Procter & Gamble (P&G).

Susan’s impressive tenure at P&G is marked by an extraordinary dedication spanning over 33 years, with the last two decades dedicated to the executive assistant domain. Her career is a narrative of continuous progression and unwavering excellence, always aiming to propel her team and the broader EA community to new heights.

A testament to her forward-thinking mindset is her pivotal role in establishing a peer leader network for the US executive assistant community within P&G. Here, Susan led the charge in crystallizing three strategic focus areas vital to the EA role—EA Navigator to elucidate career paths, EA Playbook to standardize resources for each role, and a dedicated focus on capability and development. This initiative speaks volumes of her innovative approach to leadership and development within the administrative sector.

Amidst the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Susan identified the need to support and nurture new EAs. With this in mind, she conceived the groundbreaking idea of the first-ever Executive Assistant College at P&G. This pioneering institution is tailored for EAs within the first three years of their executive assignment, designed to bolster their skills, expand their networks, and seamlessly integrate them into the company’s ethos of excellence.

Susan’s strategic thinking extended to the college’s marketing plan, which successfully created a buzz within the community and gained the endorsement of P&G executives. This initiative was not just a mere addition to the company’s training programs but a transformative experience that attracted 39 enthusiastic participants from across the United States, eager to embark on this novel educational journey. She is also a Star Achievement Series Certified Trainer, putting that skillset to full use at P&G in her efforts.

Susan’s leadership was instrumental in the meticulous planning and execution of the college’s two-day, in-person training event, demonstrating her team’s ability to transcend comfort zones and deliver an impactful, well-received educational program. This initiative has garnered tremendous excitement and support from the EA community, with executives fully endorsing their EAs’ participation and pledging to remove any barriers that may hinder their involvement.

Through the lens of Susan’s self-nomination for the Joan Burge Innovation Award, we gain insight into a professional who not only leads with integrity but also with a genuine passion for the advancement of her colleagues. Her advocacy for her team and the broader administrative community at P&G is evident in every initiative she champions.

Susan’s recognition with the Joan Burge Innovation Award is a fitting accolade for her outstanding leadership, dedication, and the pioneering spirit that has set a new standard within the realm of executive support. Her visionary contributions resonate well beyond her immediate team, inspiring others within the administrative profession to think boldly and act with conviction.

As we celebrate Susan Schultz and her remarkable achievements, we are reminded of the transformative power of innovative leadership and the impact it can have on individuals and organizations alike. Her journey embodies the spirit of the Joan Burge Innovation Award, and her legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire and shape the future of the administrative profession for years to come.

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