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The Western Association of Administrative Professionals


  • 10 Oct 2020 by Howard Simon

    Who’s Behind WAAP?

    Hi.  I’m Howard Simon, co-founder of WAAP, The Western Association of Administrative Professionals.  I’m an employment lawyer and retired biotech executive with more than 30 years’ experience in employment law, HR, and operations.  John Cullens, also a co-founder, has led successful Bay Area search and placement firms specializing in administrative professional positions for more than 35 years.  And our Membership Director, Kerry Christianson, brings a wealth of experience from her many years serving in EA and AP roles in remarkably varied organizations.  So, although we founded WAAP just last year, we bring a collective 70+ years of experience and knowledge to our “start-up.”  Think of us perhaps as the “new old kids on the block.”


    Why WAAP?

    The core idea behind WAAP is simple: we are stronger together!  Administrative professionals often are misunderstood and undervalued, with many employers unaware of the remarkable breadth of skills APs can and do bring to complex and dynamic workplaces.  We exist to help change that perception by helping APs develop a greater collective voice and a more visible public presence, and by providing a wealth of member services, including:


    • Career counseling

    • Placement services

    • Education and training

    • Unique professional development classes (including  the field of Positive Psychology)

    • Networking opportunities

    • Human resources and employment advice

    • Compensation surveys and analysis

    • Access to discounted legal and financial services


    Please see for the full list of WAAP’s member benefits.


    Is WAAP a non-profit trade association?  

    No.  Although we are building strong partnerships and co-sponsorships with non-profit groups, WAAP is a for-profit business.  We’ve chosen for-profit because we don’t want to depend solely on membership fees to support the organization.  Being for-profit allows us to offer a broader range of member services, including engaging in political advocacy on issues affecting APs, and providing professional aggressive search and placement services to our members and corporate clients.


    How Can I Learn More?

    Lots of ways!  Please visit our website,, or email me at, or email Membership Director Kerry Christianson at (or call her at (775) 296-5725), or attend one of our upcoming lectures (see website).


    What’s the Bottom Line?

    We started WAAP to enhance the career opportunities, and personal and professional development, of our members; to help build a strong and mutually supportive community of administrative professionals; and, not least,  to raise the profile of, and respect accorded to, the creative, hard-working and resilient group of workers known as administrative professionals.  Please join us!