Nancy MitchellNancy R. Mitchell is an established protocol and etiquette consultant and advisor with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses to Event Management Certificate Program students in the School of Business and Public Management, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was Director of Special Events and Public Programs at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, fundraising galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, she served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, foreign embassies, academia and corporations. Mitchell owns The Etiquette Advocate, Inc., a firm providing etiquette and protocol training to corporations, universities, embassies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals. She is the etiquette consultant to Engaged! magazine, has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox 5 News, WTOP Radio and National Public Radio, and is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by the New York Times, Washington Business Journal, and the Washington Post. She is a co-owner of the firm, Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol, Inc., and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association and the Women Business Owners of Montgomery Country (MD).
Host: What if my religious or personal beliefs do not permit me to give gifts?
Nancy Mitchell: Do not keep this a secret; it is perfectly appropriate to share that information with other people in the office. There maybe one or two people in an office who have been tasked with setting up the parties or collecting the money or buying the cards, share this information with them. Tell them that your beliefs do not permit you to do that, but you are very much a team player, you very much want to be a part of this business family, but you are not able to participate in that way. Then when an occurrence comes up, let us say the anniversary, the retirement, the promotion, the wedding, write someone a personal note, let them know you are thinking about them, you are not holding back for some reason, that may have them guessing or they may misinterpret, let them know you really care about them by writing a personal note.