Posted on: July 13, 2021
Author: Amy Starchville, IACET Director of Operations
From Skeleton Crew to Full House: How Collaboration Benefits and Organization image

Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

It’s May 2019 and we have four staff on board, and I am one of them. We work well together and work very hard to get the job done in a busy work environment. It’s now January 2020 and our new CEO joins our staff. Spring 2020 brings us a couple of new hires, and in Fall 2020 we round out our team. Before I know it, we’ve gone from a skeleton crew to a full house including eight full-time staff and a few contractors. We are all working together to move IACET forward and work on accomplishing the goals of the strategic plan.

There are days I can’t believe we have such an amazing team in place, and I need to remind myself that I have a group of people with whom to collaborate. What is the point of collaboration you ask? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines to collaborate as: to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor. In the resource The Balance Small Business, Alyssa Gregory speaks to reasons collaboration can help grow a business. She explains that by collaborating in the work environment, employees can be inspired, grow their network, learn new things, help problem solve, and save money. Her remarks about problem solving and being inspired speak to me.

You’ve heard the old saying “Two heads are better than one,” right? This is especially true for me as the Director of Operations. Whether we are discussing finances, meeting planning, or IT issues, I find talking with my colleagues beneficial. These conversations provide me with other perspectives and expertise, which ultimately allows me to be more efficient, effective, and provide the best customer service to our Stakeholders. Collaborating in the workplace has also led to inspiration, new ideas, and new perspectives on how to accomplish a task.

It is especially important for our IACET staff to find ways to engage with one another as we work in a hybrid work environment. Some of our staff work remotely and others work at our headquarters’ office in Northern Virginia. I have experienced first-hand that reaching out to a colleague down the hall or virtually through Teams or Zoom, produce similar results. Collaboration has proven to be beneficial to me in our work environment, and I encourage all of my colleagues to remember to do the same.

About the Author


As the Director of Operations, Amy is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations necessary to ensure that IACET achieves its strategic goals and objectives. She provides leadership, direction, and administration for IACET’s activities. Amy is responsible for the oversight of all meeting planning, financial tasks, and is the staff liaison to the Nominations and Elections Committee and the Awards Committee.

Prior to joining IACET, Amy had a 10-year long career as a social worker, specializing in family and child services. In 2000, she began her career working in the non-profit association space. Amy managed programs and projects in the areas of emergency medical services, emergency management, and healthcare.

Amy graduated from Assumption College with a B.A. in Social and Rehabilitation Services and earned a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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