Executive assistants play a vital role in any well-functioning organization. These versatile professionals not only work to ensure that executive leadership can focus on the highest priority tasks and goals, they also may supervise other support staff and carry out a plethora of key administrative functions such as handling confidential materials, preparing financial documents, and managing time-sensitive projects.

This certificate program gives current and aspiring executive assistants the diverse skills and knowledge required to succeed in this demanding role. We’ll explore essential communication strategies for internal and external audiences, including verbal, written, and visual formats. You’ll learn about cultural differences and how they can influence communication and affect team dynamics. You’ll also gain insights into performance improvement systems by developing a Louisiana Quality Foundation Level 1 application.


  • The ins and outs of email etiquette
  • Understanding nonverbal cues and visual literacy
  • Building credibility and team trust
  • Enhancing organizational success using the Baldridge
  • Performance Excellence Program

Instructor: Gordon Payne

Gordon Payne is a full-time Instructor in the Department of Management & Marketing at UNO, where he teaches Business Communication and Business Communication Oral classes. Gordon graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1980. He advanced from early jobs as a film cameraman and editor, to video producer, to supervisor of his company’s Graphics department, and finally served as Corporate Communications Manager and Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve project.

Since 2013, Gordon has served as president of the Louisiana Quality Foundation, the state level version of the national Malcolm Baldrige Program in the U. S. Department of Commerce. He has been a state-level certified examiner since 2003 and has been involved since then in related performance improvement programs, acting as a key member of the team that earned the 2005 Baldrige Award with DM Petroleum Operations Co.

Gordon started teaching at UNO in 2006; in 2015, he retired from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to focus on his preferred profession as an adjunct professor.

Course Dates:
May 18-22, 2020

Location: UNO Main Campus

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