CLARB is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade association with members who are the state and provincial licensure boards that regulate the practice of landscape architecture. In order to be a practicing landscape architect, you must be licensed in all of the United States and Canada.
CLARB specifically supports the member boards and their role in public protection through licensure and regulation.
As the Chief Strategy Officer, Veronica oversees strategy, strategic planning, governance, membership relations, advocacy, government relations, marketing and communications, and project management.
“It’s a big portfolio, and we have a lean, mean staff to support,” Veronica shares.
Veronica first reached out to BELAY a little over six years ago when she, her colleagues, and her team were getting bogged down by administrative support needs.
“That was when the three C-suite employees – the CEO, the COO and the CSO – decided that having some administrative support would be very helpful for us,” Veronica says.
Enter Veronica’s BELAY Virtual Assistant of six years, Rachael Luu.
“We would use our virtual assistants to help support the overall team and work of the organization, so when we started our relationship with BELAY, it was truly scheduling support, conference registration and travel support, and then some ad hoc assignments.”
Then there was the small matter of meetings and conferences.
“Both our staff and our volunteer board of directors attend a lot of meetings, so there’s a lot of travel support needed in registration bookings, hotel rooms, all of those things, [and] some of them need planning for things like booth setup, branding and all of those things.”
“My support needs were a little different in that I really wanted someone who could not only support me but my team,” Veronica says. “There are times within our cycle of work where we get bogged down in the administrative, so I wanted someone who was very versatile and could pick up slack across the team.”
And with Rachael, she got just that.
“While [Rachael’s] primary role is supporting me, [she] also provides support to the rest of my team as well.”
Veronica accredits BELAY’s discovery process of learning the client and orienting the contractor to the needs of that client in the success of finding her virtual assistant.
“[Rachael] jumped right in,” Veronica says. “She took control. She made decisions on her own. She just kind of hit the ground running. I think what enabled that to happen was the work BELAY does on the front end to make sure that there’s a good match made.”
“Over the years, we’ve increased the number of hours of support that she’s been providing to our organization. We don’t consider her any different than we do any of our other staff members. She was just such a great fit, and the longevity [of our six-year partnership] speaks to that.”
Rachael has supported Veronica over the years through conference registration, travel support, reservations, itineraries, expense reporting, maps and graphics development, video editing, and accredited global degree programs research.
Rachael’s curiosity and willingness proved to be a great resource to Veronica.
“There are just so many different projects that she’s helped to support, and so many various things that we do in a cycle where she just is plugged in now,” Veronica adds. “I couldn’t be happier with how she’s grown over the last six years.”
CLARB still has both of the original VAs they hired six years ago on their team today – although now, Rachael’s role has recently shifted as CLARB brought her on full-time and a new BELAY Virtual Assistant has taken over in her previous role.
“I would have liked to make it ‘Facebook official’ years ago,” Veronica laughs. “We kind of explored that with BELAY, and it just either wasn’t exactly the right time for her, or we didn’t necessarily have a position.”
“So the timing didn’t quite work, and then it did work, and she was ready. We had a position that she would be phenomenal in, and so we worked with BELAY for the buyout of her contract.”
“They were great in very expeditiously finding us a replacement because we obviously still have the VA support needs, and Rachael was moving out of that role.”
“We needed to transition, and we needed to transition quickly, and BELAY was phenomenal in working with me in making that happen.”
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