Last month saw the gathering of PAs, EAs and Office Managers, from across the UK, to celebrate the annual SecsintheCity PA of the Year Awards, sponsored by Tay Associates.
Boasting the splendour of the Ivy in London, the event saw hopeful nominees, friends, and supportive colleagues gather to celebrate the achievement of all those involved.
Having received an outstanding 700 nominations, the judges whittled down the nominees to just 19.
Each and every business support professional displayed their loyalty, adaptability and perseverance. The post-pandemic era of 2022 has brought us a time of recovery and growth, with each of our nominees demonstrating ways in which they championed the profession through difficult times. Rewarding our winners, who have had their business’s backs throughout Covid and beyond, is a small way in which we recognise their extraordinary achievements.
Following a few years of virtual events, it was wonderful to see the SecsintheCity team, and all nominees and their supporters alike, gathered in black tie to celebrate, pop the prosecco, and recognise the winners. Following a delicious three-course meal, the SecsintheCity Sales Director Dan Richards took to the floor to announce the winners.
Office Manager of the Year | Gemma Bulut | Office Manager at Campari, London
There were five nominees for Office Manager of the Year: Zeinah Cooper, Paige Pearce, Gemma Bulut, Robert Coldwell and Natalie Douglas.
The award was granted to Gemma Bulut, an established EA with Campari of 3 years, boasting a 20-year career within the profession. A pioneer for making the office ‘a modern workplace’, Gemma describes herself as the shoulder of the office, going above and beyond for the ‘Camparistas’.
Gemma is recognised for her empathetic nature, instrumental changes and outstanding organisational skills; moving offices from location to location, ensuring the smooth running for all those involved.
Legal PA | Karliah Large | Hausfeld & Co LLP
The honour of the Legal PA of the Year award was contested between Alan Hoang, Karliah Large, and Jamie Ricks. Despite each candidate displaying a true passion for the industry, it was Karliah that was graced with the award.
Karliah has excelled working remotely, championing female empowerment in her work for a female driven firm. Her passion for the business was demonstrated in her ability to go above and beyond the usual role of an assistant, thinking strategically about the vision and culture of Hausfeld.
Joan Morris | PWC | Outstanding Achievement Award
Next up was the outstanding achievement award, given to someone who has ascertained a remarkable undertaking. Joan Morris, nominated by her Manager, Benita Sachania, at PwC has driven diversity and inclusion in the workplace, becoming more than just an advocate for change but a leader in creating safe spaces for colleagues, campaigning for sponsorship programmes for Black colleagues and being a brand ambassador for the Firm by participating in programmes internally and externally.
Joan’s position at PwC, has led to her being described as a ‘rebel for change, a real role model’.
Catherine Torrie | Florence And The Machine | PA of the Year
Finally, we came to the PA of the Year award. The flagship award boasted 12 nominees: Emma Coletti, Charlotte Martin, Anna West, Dee Oteng, Catherine Torrie, Astrid Jacobs, Danielle Vidal, Flemming Andersen, Joan Morris, Natalie Douglas, Zara Beyaz and Abigail Jones.
Catherine Torrie, PA to Florence & The Machine, was our winner. Catherine has shown distinction in her ability to support an artist during and after the pandemic, allowing the arts to thrive and bring ‘hope, joy, and laughter’ to many people, globally. Releasing a number 1 album this year, Catherine and Florence can both relish the success of hard work, determination and the shared love of music.
We’d like to extend our Congratulations to all our winners, and nominees alike for their outstanding efforts and achievements.
Nominations for the 2023 PA of the Year Awards will open next spring. Until then, keep your eyes on the SecsintheCity blog for interviews with our candidates, career advice and future content.