Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA)

The Virtual Assistant Millionaire: Craze or Godsend for Working Moms?


Surrey, British Columbia, Canada -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/19/2007 -- For Tawnya Sutherland it’s a godsend. She sets her own schedule, works when she wants, and has time to tend to the unexpected. When her son literally lost his front teeth in a bicycle accident, she was on the scene to rush him to the hospital. What working mother wouldn’t like that kind of freedom and flexibility when it comes to their kids?

Last winter Sutherland took her family on a dream cruise to the Caribbean. She jets away on weekend jaunts at whim yet still has time to help her children with homework.

Sound like a millionaire's lifestyle? While Sutherland isn't a millionaire, she lives like one.

Sutherland’s career as a Virtual Assistant (VA) gives her the flexibility, freedom and money to live life to the max—as a mother, as a savvy business pro, and as a modern woman exploring her world. An Internet marketing specialist VA who earns six figures, Tawnya contracts her services to corporations and small businesses throughout the world—without the grueling commute.

VAs are self employed contractors who provide administrative, technical and/or creative services to other businesses, usually from a distance using phone, fax and Internet. Mostly stay-at-home moms, they aren’t merely secretaries in sweatshirts, but are often highly skilled (and paid) technical experts like Sutherland who also runs her own VA firm, and partners in her sweetheart’s business.

Sutherland’s 2007 landmark survey of 761 Virtual Assistants globally (96.8% women) revealed that 76.1% percent are parents ( Sutherland, who is at the forefront of the VA trend, established the first free Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) in 2003. Today it has the largest membership base of any VA organization online with over 7,500 registered members. Aspiring and existing VAs join for support, ideas, camaraderie and to find new clients. Small to large businesses are also invited to join the network and submit requests for proposals.

Referred to as the Donald Trump of VAs, Tawnya Sutherland was a legal secretary and single mom who found herself in deep debt struggling to support her three children with no time left to spend with them. So in 1997 she made the transition to virtual assistance and never looked back.

Currently it's estimated that there are about 10,000 VAs globally. Sutherland's survey found that VAs work 31-40 hours a week and earn an average of $31-$40/hour.

To be sure, most VAs are not millionaires. But they enjoy a lifestyle that is second to none. And that’s something most mothers cannot put a price on.

Tawnya and her online Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) have often been in the news and written about in Reader’s Digest, the Globe and Mail, The Business Journal, (ACE) Certified Fitness News, StartupNation and WNJC Philadelphia Radio. VANA was also ranked on Dr. Phil’s website as one of the top sites to show people how to earn money while working from home. Tawnya runs her own VA radio show, and her Virtual Business Startup System has helped hundreds of VAs from all over the world start or grow their own VA business. Visit for more information.