The quick answer to the question, “Are Virtual Assistants a new thing?” is NO. It started back in the 1970’s. The founder was Stacy Brice. Stacy looked at the traditional secretarial role of assistants and felt there should be more. Not just a person performing “tasks” but one who assists in getting tasks completed but also be a part of the overall outcome. She felt there should be a bond between client and assistant and in that builds a relationship between the two. This idea forever shifted the “model” of boss and assistant. You can imagine the effect this had on efficiency and value one took on in completed tasks as well. By 1992 Stacy had created a platform in which she was working virtually full time from home. She even was working internationally by then. By 1996 the Virtual Assistant was “coined” by Thomas Leonard while speaking with Stacy on the phone. In 1997 Brice opened AssistU which is a school to be trained and certified as a Virtual Assistant. In 1999 Christine Durst and Michael Haaren stated International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA). From this point on every year brought a new group onto the scene that had the purpose of support for the Virtual Assistant, whether they be new to the business or a veteran to it, along with a place for people searching for a VA could go and post “help wanted” adds. The industry has grown very large and I for one am thankful to Stacy Brice for having such a vision. I love what I do! How many people can say that about their “job”?