jane brazzill

Jane Brazzill | PwC

I'm a PA at PwC and have been with the firm nearly 10 years.   I've been a PA for 20+ years but it's been during my time at PwC that I feel I've had the most impact and enjoyed my career.  This was due to me taking myself out of my comfort zone, joining the Manchester PA network and having the confidence to build an external peer group.  I enjoy meeting new people and helping connect them to other likeminded people, either at networking events or via social media.  I also support other PA networks & charity fundraising events, particularly for The Christie Charity. Outside work my family, friends & 2 dogs take up my spare time.

Katie McEwan, Executive Support Manager to Jacqueline Gold CBE, Ann Summers

Katie McEwan | Ann Summers

Katie McEwan has been Executive Support Manager to Jacqueline Gold CBE, CEO of Ann Summers for 9 years.

Before taking the role for Jacqueline, Katie had quite a colourful career in television and film working her way up the ladder from production runner, to production assistant and finally production secretary.  During her time in television and film, Katie was fortunate enough to work on a number of award-winning productions, including Waking the Dead and The Diary of Anne Frank for BBC 1 and the international box office success, Run Fat Boy Run starring Simon Pegg and directed by David Schwimmer.

Katie’s role working for Jacqueline is quite extensive and has grown in recent years to include people management, business project management and also the leadership of the Ann Summers Executive Support Team.

In the last few years, Katie has been incredibly fortunate to present at a number of conferences most recently including the Hays PA Network, the PA Hub, Manchester PA Network, ACE’s Scotland, the Office Management and PA Conference & OFFICE, as well as proudly judging the Executive PA Magazine awards in 2012 and the Hays High Achieving PA of the Year award 2013.  In 2014 Katie was awarded the SecsintheCity award for Social Networking PA of the Year and finally, in late 2015 Katie took up the post of Chair of the Executive & Personal Assistant Association (EPAA) General Advisory Board.

Elizabeth Mendes Da Silva

Elizabeth Mendes Da Silva | Barclaycard

I grew up in Westminster, with my mother, a cleaner from Portugal and my two elder sisters.  I went to St Peter’s Eaton Sq School where I was also a server at the Church for eleven years, and still sit on the Parish Committee Council to date.  I studied Piano for twelve years, and am very passionate about Art, choosing this as my subject of choice at Southampton University.  For secondary, I attended Lady Margaret’s all-girls school in Parsons Green.

Whilst studying, I did PR work within the club industry (unpaid), and learnt the process of working to tight deadlines/ targets and marketing.  It was doing this, and working in close proximity to the owners that made me want to become a Personal Assistant, as I demonstrated strong organisational skills and a keenness of multitasking and working under pressure.

I have just moved to Barclaycard as a PA with Planning Support, as a stretch role, after spending three years in Barclays Internal Audit working as a PA to nine Portfolio Heads, and a PMO for SRP. Before starting at Barclays, I took two years out to have my son Alexander (now six), as a single mother I still found the time to volunteer for the local National Childcare Trust to assist with fundraising.  I have sat on the D&I Council within BIA as an assistant and now am helping out with the Initiative 10 in Barclaycard.

I have just taken the Agile Foundation Course, in Project Management, and am looking to develop my knowledge further with my studies to reflect my current role, and ambitions to further my career within the Corporation.  Alongside these, I am passionate about keeping fit, and have just started a blog which tales about the importance of keeping a healthy/ balanced lifestyle.

Emily Walker

Emily Walker | Liverpool John Moores University

Following university I relocated to Japan for two years to teach English to high school students and local governmental employees. After leaving Japan I moved to Sheffield to undertake a Masters degree. Once I’d finished my studies I returned home to the Wirral and was offered a permanent position in my first temp job, becoming PA to the Director of Biological and Earth Sciences at LJMU. I have now been a PA for 13 years and was promoted to my current role as Executive Assistant to the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Scholarship and Knowledge Transfer nearly two years ago.  I enjoy reading and try to read a book a week; I love history, politics, art and classical music. I play the viola in two orchestras and am currently teaching my niece to play the violin. I enjoy walking, spinning and Zumba classes. I love to travel and experience new cultures.

Debra Jacobs

Debra Jacobs | RBS

Debra started her varied career in the hotel industry, before moving into Conference & Banqueting. In the years that followed, Debra moved to a corporate environment organising in-house events and activities before finally moving to work for event management agencies. In these roles, Debra was responsible for project managing multiple global conferences and events for clients within the pharmaceutical industry; working to tight deadlines, constantly changing logistics, client demands, budgets and environments.

After 10 years in the events industry and to achieve a more sustainable work life balance, Debra changed career direction transitioning to a PA role.

For the past 10 years, Debra has worked with senior HR leaders across a variety of industries including Financial Services, Insurance and Facilities Management. Debra has been at RBS for 7 years, working within Group HR Functions. Her current role is in Learning & Development.

Debra is both Founder & Chair of the PA Network at RBS. The aim of the network is to bring the PAs together from across the Bank; to learn from one another, to share experiences, information and best practice and offer career development and training. The network helps to reinforce the value of the PA role and will help support the banks with the ambition to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020. From a standing start in January 2016 the network now has over 530 members from across the UK & Ireland.

Outside of work, Debra is a Trustee for Saving Macedonia Strays, an animal rescue charity based in Macedonia. Debra helps to raise awareness for the organisation and the work they do, as well as fundraise, run their social media outlets and support with the rehoming of the animals within Macedonia, the UK & across Europe.