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Cover Story
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Published: March 01, 2009

JOANNE SOKOLSKI



POSITION:
Chief of protocol for Orange County

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Strengthened areas of tourism, educational programs and economic development in Orange County and statewide

WHAT YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK: My position has afforded me the opportunity to truly showcase Orange County to the world. The ability to share our county’s heritage and vision directly to heads of state, ambassadors, consuls general, business leaders and others affords us the ability to build bridges overseas and locally. These contacts have helped open new markets for our industries.

PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY: Traditional values – personal responsibility and family ethics. To seek the highest level of collective expertise and training, accurate information and appropriate advice regarding internationally accepted rules and procedures of protocol. By facilitating communication, understanding and cooperation between people, respect and goodwill are increased in both the public and business sectors, between governments and between cultures. To honestly represent Orange County, the state of California and our great nation by engaging us without bias to those we encounter in our global endeavors of business, education and culture.

PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT, AND WHY IT STANDS OUT: Assisting the Board of Supervisors to establish “friendship agreements” with other nations for economic development, and educational and cultural exchanges. This has established a direct conduit for hundreds of visiting business delegations to our county, thus creating the foundation and synergy that fosters additional business, tourism and investment. These can often be long-term efforts, but that is what creates the foundation for long-term success.

ADVICE FOR WOMEN ENTERING THE WORK FORCE: True achievers know that it is more important to do the right thing than the popular thing; they have built their accomplishments on personal systems of uncompromising standards and unwavering values. I suggest reading “The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell.” I also suggest building a network through in-person contacts. Be sure to engage with the community; this can prove to be very rewarding from both a personal and professional perspective.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? I am most motivated by the people and community networks that we engage with and meet in Orange County and beyond – the great variety of styles and experiences, and the myriad of issues that are being dealt with on a daily basis.




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