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Mazzotta excited to step into new executive role

New ATA Associate Executive Secretary brings plenty of experience

April 7, 2022 Mark Milne, ATA News Staff

Maintaining momentum will be the driving force behind the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s (ATA) newest associate executive secretary. Robert Mazzotta will soon step into the shoes of Brian Andrais, who is retiring this May. “The executive secretaries have introduced a lot of positive changes over the last couple of years,” said Mazzotta, “and I would really like to see that energy carried forward.”

With about 15 years of Association experience under his belt, Mazzotta says he will bring his own brand of knowledge, education and professional experience to the position. He says the new role suits him. 

“When I was a school administrator, I enjoyed the responsibilities associated with the general running of the school,” said Mazzotta, “and the challenge to keep things going in a forward direction.”

That’s good news for Andrais. He’s proud of the influence he and co-associate executive secretary Joni Turville have had on the culture within the building. “I am very pleased that I was part of the team that achieved our designation as one of Alberta’s 75 Top Employers,” said Andrais. “It was one of my goals, and it feels good that I was able to see it become a reality while I was here.” 

This is the second time Mazzotta has moved into a role previously held by Andrais. In 2017, he replaced Andrais as the coordinator for Member Services (now known as Teacher Employment Services). “Brian has been a great mentor,” said Mazzotta. ”I’ve always really appreciated his guidance, his honesty and his openness to ideas. He helped me tremendously when moving into my current role as coordinator and has really helped me get ready for my new position as associate executive secretary.”

Andrais says some of the main qualities needed for the position are patience and the ability to make the hard decisions when needed. “You have to make the tough calls that are in the best interest of the organization and staff,” said Andrais, “and sometimes that won’t please everyone.”

Those challenges are exactly what drew Mazzotta to the position. He knows he will need to hit the ground running as he is assuming the office just as Barnett House is fully opening back up to the staff and general public. “As the start date approaches, I’m beginning to realize exactly how daunting this role actually is.”

Andrais’s words of advice for Mazzotta are to exercise patience and take time to listen. “You work with good people. Trust the people you work with.” ❚

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