Synergy: When Magic Happens

By Judge Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga

“Synergy” means “an advantageous pooling together of resources or efforts,” according to Merriam-Webster.

Synergy fits perfectly with Administrative Professionals’ Day, which is on April 26.

“Administrative professional” is an umbrella term that encompasses many jobs. In fact, our country has recognized and celebrated Administrative Professionals’ Day since 1942.

Through the efforts of the Bureau’s administrative professionals, such as our court clerk, paralegals, and administrative assistants, the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims runs smoothly.

From personal experience, I don’t know what I would do without my work family. Aside from managing the court docket, I could give many examples of when our administrative staff goes above and beyond what’s expected. Below are just two from the recent past.

I had an expedited hearing scheduled on a Monday morning in November. Unfortunately, I woke up sick with a fever on Saturday. By Sunday, I was worse. I reached out to Jodi Downs, our paralegal, and Penny Shrum, our court clerk, on a Sunday to let them know I needed to reschedule the hearing and notify the attorneys coming in from another city. Without hesitation, both immediately jumped in to contact the attorneys and reschedule it, and they also both sent me well wishes.

More recently, Penny Shrum; Tina Duong, our administrative assistant; Lynnette Russell, Knoxville administrative assistant; and Kim Weaver, Knoxville paralegal, went above and beyond in assisting Judge Wyatt and me when Jodi had to be out of the office for an extended leave. During that time, Penny, Tina, Lynette, and Kim all worked together to ensure that our settlement approval process and daily court docket ran without interruption.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” This quote comes from Steve Jobs. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?

It takes a team of dedicated people working cohesively together to provide excellent customer service. That is what all our administrative professionals in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims do daily, and I am thankful for them for everything they do—both publicly and behind the scenes.

If you haven’t already done so, remember to recognize and celebrate your own administrative professional staff!

Photo by Kim Weaver, paralegal, Knoxville–one of our spectacular administrative professionals, and an able photographer, too.

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