Mompreneur: Angie Allison and the Protocol Academy

February 4, 2013

Angie Allison and Protocol AcademyGot manners? Marin mompreneur Angie Allison helps local kids answer a resounding "yes" to that question through etiquette classes through her business the Protocol Academy. We asked Angie to answer a few questions about herself and her unique business.

For more information about upcoming classes, registration, and etiquette tips visit the Protocol Academy Facebook page. You can also contact Angie at (415) 234-6616 or for more information.

Q: Please tell us about you and your background.

A: I’m a certified trainer in etiquette and communication essentials for young children through young adults, and a member of the Society for Certified Etiquette Trainers. My bachelor’s degree is in journalism. I worked in advertising, corporate communications, design, art representation and sales for many years. My husband and I are blessed with two wonderful, energetic and creative children, and a spunky puppy. I grew up in the Midwest and lived in the South, as well as the East Coast. Marin County has been my home for over 10 years.

Q: How did you get started teaching etiquette?

A: The idea started when I was a manager of both large and small client-facing staff. I realized the importance and need for young professionals to understand business etiquette, especially in any client setting. Now, raising my young children, I recognize the importance of developing etiquette skills from an early age. Instilling in our children and teens the understanding that thoughtfulness and courtesy are part of daily life, prepares them for future success.

My approach is to creatively blend my work experience with the goal of helping young people become more keenly aware of the benefits of utilizing etiquette every day.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the Protocol Academy?

A: When I began further brainstorming and researching, etiquette training just came together. I did focus groups and market research. I found that etiquette and communication training for our youth are highly regarded, desired and needed. My vision became a plan. I’ve been teaching throughout Marin for almost two years. I am so thrilled with the positive response and support from parents, children and teens for the programs!

Protocol AcademyQ: What do you love best about teaching etiquette to tweens and teens?

A: I love that they immediately recognize learning etiquette and communication is actually fun! They take their skills to task in their personal world; they will come to the next class and talk about getting through certain social situations more clearly and confidently. I love their enthusiasm, intelligence, and desire to learn. They grow with self-assurance and it’s amazing to watch. I love how they “check and observe” themselves as we practice in class. In addition, they learn that etiquette in their ever-evolving, technology-focused world helps them in so many aspects of their lives.

Q: What inspires you and your work?

A: I am inspired by the students’ display of empowerment with etiquette! Children and teens just call it as they see it, as we well know. I learn every day from them. Their laughter, joy, engagement, eagerness and feedback are so rewarding. They truly seem to evolve after completing the program. And when students return “because the last class was so much fun” I know it’s truly working, and that’s inspiring.

Q: What do you like best about living and working in Marin?

A: I love the lifestyle. Living a healthy, fit life is easy given all the activity choices, both indoor and out. Marin County is filled with incredibly interesting, fun, warm, and talented people who live and work here. People are so friendly, and open to new ideas. The abundance of original music and restaurants, fresh produce and family activities are amazing. There’s always something fun to do that’s close-by. The views are breathtaking. Each time I drive over the Golden Gate Bridge I catch my breath and think, “I’m so lucky to live here.”

Q: What do you and your family do for fun in the Bay Area?

A: We explore parts of the Bay Area with different “eyes.” Sometimes we’ll be about the architecture of all the amazing structures, such as the bridges, or in the city, or in Berkeley. Sometimes it’s about the history and celebration (like the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary). Still others it’s a local art or music festival. We enjoy the outdoors; a family bike ride or hike on a cool trail somewhere. Or what about watching the fog roll from atop a hill? It’s creative inspiration for all of us!