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Mary Ann Gray

ASSOCIATION NAME:

Oregon Executives Association

YOUR NAME:

Mary Ann Gray

COMPANY NAME:

Westside Secretarial Service

CLASSIFICATION:

Secretarial and bookkeeping services

What makes you good at what you do?

My passion for helping business entrepreneurs or associations & non-profits succeed and meet their goals.

"Why" do you do what you do (what is your "Why")

While my career started in a bureaucratic structure, I watched my husband start a business from the ground up. I saw firsthand what it takes to create and build a small business. I realized that my knowledge and skills could help other entrepreneurs by supporting their businesses in important areas that they did not necessarily have expertise in-leaving them free to focus on their true areas of expertise. I love helping business owners succeed!

 How long have you been a member of your Association?

23 years

What benefits do you receive from being a member of your association? 

Of course I receive business referrals, however of equal importance is the relationships I have built with fellow members. I have a wealth of trusted business professionals that I can reach out to for support. Additionally, this provides me with resources that I am able to share with my clients — with the full knowledge that they will be taken care of professionally.

What is the biggest value you receive from being a member of your association?

Friendships with people on a peer level.

Which IEA association would you like to visit and why?

Really any as I can always learn something new—I have visited Seattle a couple of times and always came away with a great idea.

Which three words would you use to describe yourself?

Outgoing and helpful

Why are you proud to be a member of your association?

The culture of OEA is one of support and leadership. OEA helps build and train leaders.  Unlike many organizations, where once members have served in leadership roles they tend to move on, or they want to continue in those leadership roles, OEA has the largest number of members who have been past presidents.  They stay on with the group and encourage new leadership. A mentor of mine once told me, his success was not measured by the number of high level positions he had achieved, but rather the success achieved by his people, and that is the culture of OEA.

What makes your association unique? For example, what do you tell a prospective member?

While we are serious about business, we always do it with laughter and caring, and on occasion, with a little bit of wine!