Local Virtual Assistant Celebrates Inaugural International Virtual Assistants Day: May 19, 2006

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Local Virtual Assistant Celebrates Inaugural International Virtual Assistants Day: May 19, 2006.

Ten years ago if any one had told Vancouver resident, Tawnya Sutherland, that the nascent industry that she has been working so hard to promote would finally receive its own day or recognition, she probably would not have believed it. Sutherland is a virtual assistant, and she along with more than 5,000 other virtual professionals working worldwide will celebrate the first International Virtual Assistants Day (IVAD) on May 19, 2006.

Proposed by the online advocacy group, Alliance for Virtual Businesses (A4VB), IVAD is now officially registered with Chases Calendar of Events, the recognized authority of special days, weeks and months. IVAD will appear in the 2007 edition and will be held annually on the third Friday of May. The inaugural celebration of International Virtual Assistants Day coincides with a three-day assembly sponsored by the Online International Virtual Assistants Convention (OIVAC) running from May 18 – 20, 2006. Virtual Assistants worldwide will display the free IVAD logo and creed on their websites.

“This day of observance not only allows us to celebrate individual accomplishments, but also affords us the chance to pat the backs of our colleagues as well,” says Sutherland, whose company specializes in Internet marketing and online promotion.

Sutherland, a former School Board Secretary, originally conceived the idea for her business in 1997. She started a new career in order to be able to work and support her three small children as a single mother yet still be there for them when they walked through the door after school.

Virtual Assistants or VAs are independent entrepreneurs who work remotely and use the latest technology to deliver professional administrative, creative, managerial, technical, business back-office and/or personal support services to busy professionals. Clients only pay for the time actually spent working on projects and often retain a fixed amount of hours per month for service.

Typical services could include everything from general secretarial and word processing services to desktop publishing, website creation and marketing. Projects are often handled over the phone, by fax, e-mail and even instant messaging. Most attractive is the fact that VAs are also responsible for their own taxes, training, healthcare, insurance - overhead costs that make hiring an employee expensive.

Since 1996 more than 5,000 professionals around the world have become VAs. More than 90 percent of them are highly-skilled working mothers who choose to start their own businesses in order to achieve a better work/life balance. According to a study conducted by Brenner Books in conjunction with A4VB in 2004, the United States accounts for the largest number of VAs followed by Canada, Australia and Great Britain.

“This will be a very special day for everyone involved in the VA industry because it will allow us to bring together all VA organizations and their memberships under one umbrella,” says Alliance for Virtual Businesses founder Sharon Williams. “VAs are making important contributions to the growth and stability of small businesses everywhere, and the establishment of IVAD simply acknowledges all of those virtual professionals who work so hard to honor our creed: Dedication, Experience, Expertise and Determination to Succeed (DEEDS).”

About Tawnya Sutherland

Starting out in 1997 as a Virtual Assistant for her own business, Sutherland soon became an Industry Leader in Virtual Assistance starting up her own 2000+ member base global website meeting place for aspiring and successful Virtual Assistants. Visit the website at http://www.VAnetworking.com.

About Alliance for Virtual Businesses

Established in June 2003 the Alliance for Virtual Businesses™ is volunteer-directed organization, whose primary mission is to promote the growth of free enterprise between virtual assistants, entrepreneurs, small businesses, corporations, associations and other business entities. At the web site client-related case studies, industry-related demographics, and a wealth of other types of information are available to facilitate learning about our industry. Visit the website at http://www.allianceforvirtualbiz.com.

About Online International Virtual Assistants Convention

The OIVAC is an online, interactive, "live" yet virtual environment convention of Virtual Assistants, traveling Pathways to Successful VA Practices. Visit the website at http://www.oivac.com.

Tawnya Sutherland

May 19, 2006                        



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