History of Administrative Professionals' Day (previously known as Secretary's Day)

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Administrative Professionals' Day (previously known as Secretary's Day) is an unofficial secular holiday observed on the third or fourth Wednesday of April (i.e. April 22, 2009; April 21, 2010), to recognize the work of clerical employees such as administrative assistants, receptionists, paralegals, etc. It is celebrated as part of a larger Administrative Professionals Week, which takes place during the last full week of April standard Sunday through Saturday calendar week. (April 19 - 25, 2009).

New Zealand & Australia in New Zealand (and Australia) the date is slightly different to that of the USA, because of ANZAC day AAPNZ and AIOP have permission from IAAP to hold celebrations on the closet Wednesday after ANZAC Day. So in 2009 they will be celebrating APD throughout on Wednesday April 29 .

National Professional Secretaries Week and National Secretaries' Day was created in 1952 through the work of Harry F. Klemfuss of Young and Rubicam. Klemfuss recognized the importance and value of the position to a company or business. His goal was to encourage more women to become administrative assistants (called secretaries at the time). Using his skill and experience in public relations, Klemfuss promoted the values and importance of the job of administrative assistants. In doing so, he also created the holiday in recognition of the importance of administrative assistants.

The official period of appreciation/celebration was first proclaimed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer as "National Secretaries Week," which was held June 1-7 in 1952, with Wednesday, June 4, 1952 designated National Secretaries Day. The first Secretaries' Day was held in that year by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, with the support of an association of corporate groups. In 1998, the name of the holiday was changed to better represent the full range of administrative positions.

The names were changed to Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day to keep pace with changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of todays administrative workforce.

Over the years, Administrative Professionals Week has become one of the largest workplace observances. The event is celebrated worldwide, bringing together millions of people for community events, educational seminars, and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff with gifts of appreciation.
In the United States, the day is often celebrated by giving one's assistant flowers, candy, or small gifts, or by taking him/her out to lunch.

IAAP suggests that employers observe Administrative Professionals Week by providing training for their administrative staff through seminars, continuing education or self-study materials. Another suggestion is to make a commitment toward delegating responsibilities that better utilize the skills of administrative professionals.

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