The 24 Hour Secretary Honored as First Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction Award Winner

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BALTIMORE, MD – Sharon Williams of The 24 Hour Secretary becomes the 2006 recipient of the “Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction” Award.

Sharon Williams of The 24 Hour Secretary becomes the 2006 recipient of the “Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction” Award.

The award, bestowed by industry advocacy group, Alliance for Virtual Businesses during the Online International Virtual Assistants Convention (OIVAC) this week, honors a Virtual Assistant or VA who has been in practice for at least 2 years and played a pivotal role in helping others build successful VA businesses. Award nominees were selected by their peers within the VA industry and upon review of the nomination papers of the finalists by OIVAC, a winner was selected. Williams will accept her award tonight during the special Virtual Assistants Day Celebration.

Williams, a former city employee, is a VA pioneer who started her business, The 24 Hour Secretary (, long before the Internet Revolution. Specializing in digital dictation and transcription services, her company literally operates 24 hours per day. Utilizing the latest technology at her finger tips, she and her expert team of internationally-based Virtual Assistants handle transcription, administrative and marketing responsibilities for busy and often overwhelmed executives, entrepreneurs and managers. She is a Master Virtual Assistant, a certified Professional Real Estate Virtual Assistant, a mentor and author of three books.

“I accept this award on the behalf of every virtual assistant who works long hours to make our industry an indispensable service to small-business owners worldwide,” said Williams, has been in business since 1990. “Winning this award further inspires me to continue spreading goodwill by helping to empower more VAs to create their businesses.”

Thomas Leonard is credited with being the person to use the term “virtual assistant” to describe the person he worked with virtually, Stacy Brice, president and founder of Assist U ( during the early 1990s.

Before his untimely passing in 2003, Leonard was the founder of Coach University, Coachville, the International Coach Federation, and the International Association of Coaches.

“I think Tom would be so proud to see just how far this industry has matured in the last 10 years, says Natalie Tucker-Miller, President of IAC-CC. “The professional bond between coaches and virtual assistants is stronger now than ever before and with more people like Sharon entering the industry and carrying the mentoring torch, the future will only get brighter.”

About The 24 Hour Secretary

Founded in 1990 The 24 Hour Secretary provides dictation, transcription, secretarial, marketing, and virtual administrative services for busy and often overwhelmed executives, entrepreneurs and their assistants. Visit the website at

About International Association of Coaches

The International Association of Coaches (IAC-CC) is an independent certifying body of the coaching industry whose mission is to inspire the on-going evolution and application of a universal coaching standard. Coaches who hold the IAC certified coach designation are coaching as the most advanced level the coaching profession has to offer. Visit the website at

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


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