Woods gets 3rd nod as AOP’s office professional of year

Published 1:10 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

For the third time in her career, Wanda Woods was named the Andalusia Office Professionals Association’s 2019 Office Professional of the Year.

Woods said that she is humbled to receive the award, but goes into work every day with one scripture on her mind and that is why she works so hard.

“I take this one scripture to work with me every day,” Woods said. “’And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the lord,’ I think that you need to go to work every day and you give your best. You give your best, not because you have a boss watching you, not for the attention of man, but because you need to be able to look at what you’ve done during that day and say that it is pleasing in God’s sight.”

Woods has worked with PowerSouth for 29 years and said that her work found her.

“I grew up wanting to be a teacher or go into the Air Force,” Woods said. “But I started dating a guy from Pleasant Home and I knew that I needed a job here, because I was, at the time, working at Tom Thumb Food Store in Crestview. When we set our wedding date, my boss actually called what PowerSouth was then known as, Alabama Electric Cooperative. He called and asked what they had available because I was moving to Andalusia. I came and interviewed in one department, and then when I got home I had a voicemail saying that they had a perfect job for me. So I came back and interviewed for an entry level clerk position and I have been in communications ever since.”

Woods started small, but worked her way up through the years all the way to support services coordinator for the communications department.

“I started as an entry level clerk,” Woods said. “Then I went to administrative clerk, from there I went to department secretary, then I went back to school in 2001 and got my degree, then I was promoted to meeting and events planner and did that for about four years until I was promoted to the supervisor position that I am in now.”

Going back to school and getting her degree was important for Woods, but at times it was challenging, she said.

“I was working full time and I had a three children with my son being a one-year-old baby,” Woods said. “I would take classes during my lunch break, classes at night and then Faulkner University accelerated program where you can get your last two years done in one year. For me, finishing my degree was something that I always wanted to do. I am a nerd and have a photographic memory, so the school part has never been hard for me, but trying to balance being a good wife, a good mother and working full time was the hard part for me. I would wake up every morning at 3 a.m., and that would be my study time.”

Woods believes that her job is one of the most important jobs at PowerSouth.

“Everything that we do is seen all over the coop,” Woods said. “We are not stuck in a cubicle everyday. I do corporate event planning, planning all meetings and also doing all of the catering for training and different events. I also work the switchboard and transfer people where they need to go and that is very important. I am the first person that people hear whenever they call PowerSouth so when I am that visible, if I make a mistake then the whole company can look bad.”

She has been a member of AOPA since 1991 and has served as president, treasurer, secretary and director throughout that time frame. Woods is also an active member of the Alabama Council of Association Executives, Alabama Business and Professional Women’s Club, Andalusia United Fund Board, Andalusia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Meeting Professionals International. In addition, she volunteers with Andalusia Community Christmas, Meredith’s Miracles, and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

She was nominated by her boss, communications manager Baynard Ward.

“I can’t think of a more deserving candidate,” Ward said. “Wanda leads by example. Her passion, strong work ethic, and positive attitude carries over to that of her employees and sets a great example for our department and company.”

Woods has been married to Kennedy Woods for 29 years and they have three children, Kayla, 27, Raven, 24, and Nicolas, 18.