The Office Excellence Award, presented by the Post-it® Brand, is a quarterly award given to an administrative professional who goes above and beyond to keep their office running smoothly, and improve their office environment. This quarter’s winner is Jean Bowsky-Verschoof. She’s the Coordinator and Scheduler at the Bernhard Center at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Jean has been managing the meeting rooms and other spaces at the Bernhard Center for 31 years — by her count, she probably handles over 7,000 meeting reservations annually. Her job doesn’t end there. In addition to managing all those meetings, Jean also takes care of accounting, schedules, and payroll. Needless to say, Jean stays busy. And she uses Post-it® Products to help her get her thoughts out and keep things running smoothly.
The Bernhard Center is the heart of campus life at Western Michigan University — and you could say that Jean is the heart of the Bernhard Center. With over 22 meetings rooms, the center provides crucial spaces that support cultural, social and educational activities and events. Jean oversees it all, and she knows how important it is for organizations to be able to think out loud.
“We recently hosted a meeting for a large local company — they brought entire team here, 150 people,” says Jean. “They all had breakout rooms, and I ended up ordering 90 Post-it® Easel Pads, and tons of Post-it® Super Sticky Notes 3 in. x 3 in.! They all loved the easel pads and kept asking for more.”
Jean and her team utilize Post-it® Easel Pads constantly at the Bernhard center because they’re great for group brainstorming. Jean loves that the sheets stay put on the walls, and that markers don’t bleed through the page. “We use them so much here,” she says.
To keep all the meeting rooms looking their best throughout the year, Jean has a hard and fast rule: no tape of any kind on the walls! Only Post-it® Products are allowed, because they remove cleanly and never damage the paint.
At the start of each week, Jean prints out a document that summarizes the previous week’s meetings and outlines the upcoming week’s schedules and needs. On the summary, Jean will stick red Post-it® Flags to highlight top priority issues, areas for improvement, or problems — and yellow flags to point out where things went smoothly. Jean then hands this worksheet off to her supervisor, who can then scan all the information quickly and easily to see what’s what.
Jean has been in her role long enough to gain a great reputation for responsibility — everybody knows to go to Jean if they need something.
“Since I’ve been on campus for so long, I’m the go-to person here," says Jean. If you ask me to do something, I’m going to do it! I take pride in my work, and I follow it through from the beginning of a conversation to end of a meeting. I get a lot of feedback from many on campus that they appreciate me doing this, and that puts an extra spring in my step.”
On a daily basis, Jean sees the value in teams getting their thoughts out during meetings, and how important it is for everyone to have their voices heard. Jean loves to say that “no idea is a bad idea,” and she embodies that spirit with students, too.
“I love it. It makes me feel good at the end of the day, that I’ve helped people out. I love my job, I love working with the students. Here at the University, you see everything — it doesn’t surprise me if a student comes in with orange hair one day and purple the next. I appreciate their youth — it helps me stay young too!”