In 2016, with more than a decade’s worth of C-suite executive assistance experience, TaJanna Mallory was working for a CEO in Atlanta, but was getting tired of “office politics” and wanted to travel. After learning about the rise of virtual assistants in Southeast Asia and Europe, Mallory launched a website, putting herself out there as a virtual assistant, providing the same services she did at the office, but minus the politics.
And when her first client turned out to be from Oregon’s cannabis industry, Mallory realized there was an entire industry with its own complexities and nuances that was generally not being served by those in her profession.
“Experience in this industry is still kind of rare when it comes to the workforce,” she says.
In 2020, she rebranded her company as CannAssistants and now connects executives with virtual assistants who can not only meet the needs of the C-level executives’ workload — services like calendar management, travel arrangements, project management and coordination, sales, support, marketing and social media — but understand the ever-changing business as well.
“What is permissible at 10 a.m., there may be a whole law against by this afternoon, you have no idea,” she says.
Mallory says she loves the opportunity to “set the bar” for executive assistants in an industry where so many of the executives may not have traditional corporate experience and not understand the value of a professional assistant.
“They’re just grateful because they can go faster, they can go harder in their businesses and get things done,” she says. “So we’re excited to just continue to expand as the industry expands.”