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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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 Quick Reference Guide



About Us

The Plains Area Council of Office Professionals (PACOP) is a group of volunteers selected by the Area Director to serve as advisors on a three-year rotating schedule.


Our mission is to serve as a resource for the Area Director and management for matters relating to office professionals. PACOP is to work with the Area Director and management in an advisory capacity on new initiatives which impact employees in the organization, provide input and serve as liaison to the NPA representative to the ARS National Advisory Council for Office Professionals (NACOP) on matters which impact employees Agency-wide, and to enhance office professionals through training, mentoring and recognition.


Our vision is to ensure that NPA has highly skilled professionals working in partnership with management to meet the office support needs of the organization.


The Northern Plains Area Secretarial Advisory Council (NPASAC) was formed in 1996 by volunteers who were solicited from the Area. Although volunteers were numerous, the committee was limited to five members plus the Technical Advisor. The first meeting was held in September 1996 in Fort Collins, Colorado. At this meeting the NPA was divided up with each Council member representing identified locations. This will enable each Council member to participate in the activities of the Council and be a "local" contact for their identified locations. They are also responsible for dissemination of NPASAC information to Area secretaries. Charter members were Kathleen Aragon, Laramie, Wyoming; Louise Dalton, Fort Collins, Colorado – Chair; Sandy Mathewson, Manhattan, Kansas; Sharon Peterson, Grand Forks, North Dakota – Recorder; Jan Preston, Lincoln, Nebraska; and Sue Thornburgh, Fort Collins, Colorado - Technical Advisor (Retired June 30, 1997).

In 2007, the name was changed to the Northern Great Plains Council of Office Professionals (NPACOP) to better align with the national organization and to update the way we are seen with the ever changing office support needs of the agency.

In October 2014, the eight ARS Area Offices condensed down to five.  As a result, the Northern Plains Area and the Southern Plains Area become the Plains Area.  The new Council name was changed to the Plains Area Council of Office Professionals (PACOP).

For more information click here to access the Council's Charter.



Last Modified: 12/23/2014
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