Jessica Holtzman acknowledged that being chosen as George Mason University’s July Employee of the Month was “very unexpected” and a great honor.
“I am very fortunate to work with a great group of people,” said Holtzman, operations manager/coordinator in the Office of Strategic Budgeting and Planning. “I have also been very fortunate to have had supervisors who encouraged me to take training, get certifications, and develop my skills.”
Holtzman, who has been at Mason since May 2011, started out as an administrative assistant/scheduler in the dean’s office in the School of Business. In her current role in the Office of Strategic Budgeting and Planning, she serves as office manager, supports the assistant vice president, and acts as an HR liaison. In addition, she assists with the preparation of the Board of Visitors and Ways and Means Committee meetings and materials, and aids the budget analysts.
Her team members noted how she’s the person they all go to for help or advice.
“Jessica is reliable and is on my roster of co-workers that I know that I can turn to for assistance who will respond promptly,” said Lisa R. Joyner, executive director of finance and administration for the College of Health and Human Services.
Not only does she offer exceptional customer service and innovates with new forms and spreadsheets to increase productivity, but she also steps in to support other employees and ensures inclusion of all team members, her coworkers said.
“Jessica is intelligent, focused, hardworking and kind. She is the keystone employee in our office,” said Gail Frola, budget analyst at the Office of Strategic Budgeting and Planning. “She is able to build strong relationships that hold a team together and make it greater than the sum of its parts.”
“She’s an excellent example of ‘we thrive together,’ ” said Susan M. Wolfe, executive director of budget planning and strategic analysis.
How she got to Mason:
I worked at GEICO as a budget analyst in their Fredericksburg office. This is where I was first exposed to budgeting and planning. I just really loved it. When I was working at GEICO my husband and a colleague started a structural concrete company. As that company began to grow, we made the decision to relocate to Northern Virginia to live closer to his job sites and lessen his commute. Since my children were small at that time, I took a step back from my career and did bookkeeping from home. I also worked part-time as an administrative assistant at Burke Community Church. When my children were out of elementary school, I started looking for full-time work and was fortunate to start working at Mason in the School of Business.
Best day on the job:
My best day on the job is when I am keeping everything organized, running smoothly, being proactive, and anticipating the needs of my unit. I like being productive and getting the job done.
What she likes best about working at Mason:
Mason is a vibrant and diverse campus. Walking across campus, you can hear people discussing everything from complex mathematical equations to where you can get the best chicken parmigiana. I enjoy attending events on campus and going to basketball games. I also work very close to home; my commute is no longer than 15 minutes.
What she does when she’s not working:
I read a lot. I also crochet, sew baby quilts, and do needlework, including cross stitch and embroidery. My husband and I spend most weekends hanging out with family and friends on the Potomac and ATV-ing in West Virginia.