This month, we are proud to spotlight Karen Swoopes!


Karen M. Swoopes

Administrative Assistant, Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee

 Q: Tell us about yourself.

I am currently Administrative Assistant to the Director of Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where I have worked for the past 17 years.


I always wanted “to work in an office,” and have done so for my entire career. I took a brief 10-year turn working as a Human Resources Assistant, then as a Human Resource Manager; however, I found my way back to my “true” calling as an administrative professional and have been in the profession ever since.


I have been an IAAP member since April 2009, and immediately became an active and involved member. I have held leadership roles including Program Co-Chair, Membership Chair, Vice-President, President-Elect, President, LAN Coordinator, and Branch Director.


I am currently the Social Media Chair for the Appalachian Region and the Nashville Branch of IAAP, and the Communications Chair for the Greater Metro Richmond Branch.I am also currently a member of the Governance and Leadership Committee, an Association Influencer, and a Summit Volunteer.


It is important to me to be active and share one’s strengths, not only to enhance membership benefit, but to help the association grow and mentor colleagues.

Q: How did you first get involved with the Foundation?

I applied for a scholarship to attend IAAP Summit 2016 in Hollywood, Florida, and was approved.  I was very grateful to receive the scholarship.  I knew then that I had to give back, so others could have the same opportunity as I.

Q: What is one way you have chosen to support the Foundation?

By giving back monetarily, sharing opportunities for giving with my IAAP colleagues, and volunteering as a Foundation Ambassador.

Q: What do you love about the Foundation and why do you choose to support it?

I love the mission--investing in the success of office and administrative professionals by supporting innovative research, educational and professional development opportunities, and affordable housing initiatives.


I love that there is a scholarship opportunity available for administrative professionals to attend Summit, as many employers do not financially support attendance. I also love that the Foundation offers housing assistance to retired Administrative Professionals at Vista Grande. 

I choose to support the Foundation because Administrative Professionals are the backbone of organizations but are not often given the opportunities and benefits that are available to other professions. The Foundation recognizes the value of administrative professionals and offers support that is available only through the generosity of donors.

Q: What would you want someone else to know about the Foundation?

The Foundation helps our profession through its mission. 

Your donations truly make a difference and there are many ways to give. This year, for my birthday, I did a Facebook fundraiser for the Foundation, and it was successful. Every dollar makes a difference!

Giving is easy:


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