Trying to describe what administrative professionals do is like trying to explain what parents do. They take care of, well, everything. Ensure everyone is fed, clothed, rested, driven to soccer games, and ultimately have a good day. Administrative professionals ensure bosses make their meetings, phone calls are directed to the right people, messages are returned, guests are taken care of, travel is booked, and anything else that arises is taken care of. Basically, like parents, they have to work miracles on a daily basis.

Administrative professionals anticipate needs, connect stakeholders, track details, coordinate, organize, deliver results and ensure that business gets done. When resources are stretched, they find solutions. When roadblocks appear, they build workarounds. They ensure that projects end on time and under budget. When their executive gets a new smart phone or tablet, they figure out how to use it. When a meeting goes too long and off topic, they make sense of it. When you have two dozen team members on three continents meeting remotely with a client, they schedule the event, invite the participants, master the application, record what's said and summarize the results.

An administrative professional skillfully jumps from work involving technology, finance, customer services, logistics, contractors, the law, health care, human resources, taxes and government regulations all in one day and without blinking a well-trained eye. They unlock the front door in the morning and are the last to leave at the end of the day. Nothing happens in your business that doesn't in some way cross their desks.

Every April for 61 years, the International Association of Administrative Professionals has been asking businesses around the world to show gratitude for the people who get the job done in their office. In 2013, celebrate Administrative Professionals Week during April 21-27 and Administrative Professionals Day on April 24.

The Redstone Arsenal Chapter will celebrate Administrative Professionals Week at its monthly meeting April 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at building 5308, room 8236. All interested administrative professionals are invited and encouraged to attend. They will enjoy a potluck lunch. The speaker is historian Dr. Kaylene Hughes of the AMCOM History Office. If you would like to attend, call president Cevelyne McCaulley at 876-6659 or Ellen Mahathey at 842-9888.