The PA Hub Leeds Conference 2019

Friday 18th October 2019, 8:45 - 16:30

Sponsored by


The unmissable annual conference for PA professionals from Yorkshire and beyond. Are you ready for an unforgettable day of learning, networking and developing?


“Support, thought leadership, role development and recognition”

Our speakers are hand-picked by us to deliver market-relevant content directly to you.


Take a look at our exciting, all-inclusive schedule:


| Leadership skills | Reaching Your Goals | Presenting with Power |

| Creating Stronger Relationships | Conflict Resolution | Negotiation Skills |

| Communicating with Gravitas | Personal Branding |

| Building Confidence | Speaking up | The Future of the Role |

| Adapting to Change | Building Successful Teams | Influencing Skills |


It’s time to boost your performance and confidence within yourself alongside like-minded peers and ambassadors to the PA & EA profession.

Speaker Sessions

Gary Morrison

Sponsor Welcome

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Introduction from

Gary Morrison, General Manager, Hilton Leeds City Hotel.


Marion Lowrence

Conference Host

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Marion Lowrence

Founder & Co-Director, The PA Hub

Marion will be hosting the conference and welcoming the speakers throughout the day.

About Marion

Marion is a multi-award winning former PA, winning Yorkshire PA of the Year in 2011 and Pitman Training Super Achievers International PA of the Year in 2012. Marion has worked in various administration and management roles for over 30 years building up her expertise and networks throughout this time. This has included working for the Civil Service and the NHS before joining Yorkshire Universities as a senior PA in the higher education sector.

Marion was the UK Delegate Lead at the World Administrators’  Summit in Frankfurt in October 2018 and strives to promote the profession.

Marion has presented to various groups of PAs throughout the UK and overseas and she loves to network both in person and through social media. Marion was the Founder of the Yorkshire Universities Internal PA Network which led her to set up The PA Hub with her husband and business partner Jon Lowrence, where they run 2 independent UK PA networks in Yorkshire and Merseyside as they continue to promote the profession as well as running conferences, showcases and PA Awards.

Marion is also the Events Director for Executive Secretary LIVE having run events in London, Johannesburg, Auckland, Sydney, Washington DC & Silicon Valley.

Craig Goldblatt

Leading with Passion

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Craig Goldblatt

Speaker | Philanthropist | Coach

Leading with Passion

These four pillars of leadership are used as a foundation for this session to help deliver maximum value during the session.  Questioning your intention, purpose, identity, values and beliefs takes business and personal lives to the next level.

  1. Our Intention: Our deepest value
  2. Purpose: The reason we work so hard to achieve
  3. Identity: Who we are at our best
  4. Values and Beliefs: What is most important to us?

Features and benefits of the session:

  • Creating Great Rapport and Connection
  • Questioning with Positive Intent
  • How to use Visualisation to create empowering goals
  • How to negotiate effectively
  • How to build rapport and close business
  • How to present with power
  • How to cultivate inner strength
  • How to self motivate while under pressure
  • To live with a deeper intention
  • To gain clarity on our values and live them at the highest level

About Craig

Over the past fourteen years, Craig Goldblatt has had the privilege of delivering in excess of 700 inspirational keynote presentations to audiences within many diverse cultures around the world.

Through many interactions and some staggering experiences he has enhanced his awareness of human identity.

In a world of mass media stimulation and ever growing opinion it seems that we are being pushed in all directions to react all the time. To Craig it is becoming more and more important that we live and work from a place of our own honesty and truth. With this, Craig’s intention is to support people to deliver their own passion and purpose.

Jules Wyman

The TRUTH about Confidence. How to stop pretending and experience REAL confidence.

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Jules Wyman

Confidence Coach | Speaker | Author

The TRUTH about Confidence. How to stop pretending and experience REAL confidence.

Jules Wyman is an exceptional speaker and coach, shattering the illusions around confidence to get to the heart of the matter.

No more faking it ’til you make it or acting as if you have it, Jules dispels this myth and many more to reveal The TRUTH About Confidence – how to stop pretending and be authentically you.

Living with authentic confidence has inspired clients to go for promotions, change career, move country and create stronger relationships —in short people relax into their lives and actively look for what they want, rather than feeling stuck in a life of ‘shoulds’, and ‘have tos

About Jules

Jules Wyman is one of the UK’s leading confidence coaches and described as a ‘truly inspiring speaker’ She is creator of the Leading with Belief and T.R.U.S.T System online programmes, the author of 5* rated book ’If We Can, You Can’ and was voted Britain’s Next Top Female coach.

Jules’ amazing journey as a confidence coach began with herself, understanding her own confidence and in going through the process shattering the myth that ‘you are born with confidence and it is not something you can develop’. She now speaks and coaches globally about confidence matters.

Jules prides herself on what you take away from the experience of working with her, the tools you have been provided to create real, lasting and exciting change.

Geoff Richards

The Strength of Team – Lessons for World Class Performance

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Geoff Richards

Former International Rugby Player and England Women’s Rugby Coach

The Strength of  a Team – Lessons for World Class Performance

As Assistants you are uniquely placed to lead your whole team to victory. Aside from the fact that collaborative teamwork and resourcing are great leadership attributes, they also ensure cross-pollination of skills, knowledge and expertise.

With a high percentage of Assistants now managing two or more staff, an understanding of how to best lead and work in a team is crucial to the role. Successful teamwork brings about a change that we can all take credit for and, as quoted by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

As a former international rugby player and coach, Geoff has a vast in-depth knowledge of the components that are necessary in order to produce and maintain successful teams. His ability to quickly develop rapport and trust with individuals allows him to produce an effective and sustained learning environment.

In this session, Geoff will explore:

  • How to plan for team success?
  • What makes a champion team?
  • What makes a team gel?
  • What can business learn from sport?

About Geoff

As an ex international rugby player and coach Geoff has a vast in-depth knowledge of the components that are necessary in order to produce and maintain successful teams. His ability to quickly develop rapport and trust with individuals allows him to produce an effective and sustained learning environment.

Following a successful playing career in England Geoff emigrated to Australia where he not only represented Australia in both 7’s and 15’s rugby but embarked on a coaching career that saw him take charge of many National youth and senior teams. Geoff’s time working at the Australian Institute of Sport as a Senior Coach in the National AIS Program enhanced his coaching by adding the essential application of the sport sciences so essential for world class performance. During this time he was also a resource for the Australian Rugby Union as a presenter and mentor of elite players.

Geoff returned to England in 2000 to take up the role as the first Head Coach of the England National Women’s Team. Under his leadership the team achieved outstanding results and since then have been in the top two teams in the world. Sports Coach UK recognised his achievements with the Coach of the Year Award in 2001.

Geoff is now retired but acts as a consultant to various educational, sporting and business organisations.

Penny Haslam

Make Yourself a Little Bit Famous

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Penny Haslam

Award Winning Inspirational Speaker | Visibility Coach & Consultant

Make Yourself a Little Bit Famous

Unless you want to be a best-kept secret, the importance of getting exposure for what you do cannot be understated. Former BBC business presenter Penny Haslam has made it her business to support people in doing just that. She helps people showcase their knowledge, experience and passion so they don’t feel like a show-off and can be proud to share their expertise.

In this fun and interactive practical session she shares insights from twenty years in broadcasting so you can communicate with brevity and gravitas – while showing you how to make the most of opportunities to ‘get out there’.

About Penny

Penny is an award winning inspirational speaker on the subject of Visibility and Confidence. She also coaches and trains some of the UK’s largest organisations to enable them showcase their expertise in an authentic and engaging way.

She started out as a secretary at the BBC where she worked her way up to become a senior business journalist and producer for BBC Radio 4. Latterly she was asked to step in front of the camera and microphone to present the business news on BBC Breakfast, the News Channel and BBC Radio 5 Live. Penny has also fronted two Panorama investigations and reported for The One Show.

Penny’s TEDx Talk is called the Power of Visibility, and in 2016 was named the UK’s Speaker of the Year by her professional association the PSA. This year, 2018, she was named one of Condeco’s top ten social media influencers.

Laura Belgrado

Your future starts today

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Laura Belgrado

Expert trainer | Motivational Speaker | Coach | Project Coordinator and EA to the ‘President KIND International’ @ MARS INC.

Your future starts today

Laura will be talking about the future of the PA/EA role in the ever-changing environment within this profession. As an EA herself, Laura is well aware of emerging technologies and is training assistants globally to start changing the way they work to survive in the new digital world. Digital technology is changing the direction of this profession and assistants should not be in fear of Artificial Intelligence but instead embracing these changes and working towards keeping up with them! Assistants need to know their goals and the learning required to stay ahead of the game. The future role is already here but it is not too late to adapt and develop those skills. Your future starts today – are you ready for tomorrow?

About Laura

Laura Belgrado holds a Bachelor degree in Office and Business administration and a Bachelor of English. She has over 30 years of experience working in an international corporate environment; almost 10 years as Executive Assistant to the Global Managing Director of Microsoft Global Strategic Accounts. Laura continued her career as EA working for the President and 2 VPs of Mars MultiSales and recently was promoted to Project Coordinator and EA to the President of KIND International for MARS. INC. Laura now is also part of the Leadership team alongside her Manager to lead and support the LT into the Global launch of a new Healthier snack segment at MARS INC.

She has travelled around the globe coaching Executive & Personal Assistants. She is a licensed Executive Coach (AoEC and ICF Certified) and is one of Europe’s most sought-after speakers at Global Conferences in various prominent EA associations in the UK & other parts of Europe, the UAE Region as well as North America and Australia. She has long and vast experiences working with top global CEOs as their trusted EA and advisor.

In the past 10 years, Laura has been designing and delivering training and coaching programs for Executive Assistants, Personal and Administrative Assistants.  She authored an innovative new training program for Executives and Managers to connect their EAs and PAs to their own success and develop a collaborative, successful and powerful working partnership with their managers.  Her workshops have been designed with flexible modules on different topics and Laura’s strength is to create tailor made trainings each time depending on the needs of the audience.

Laura has over 15 years past experience in Event and Project management working for one of Belgium’s leading Tour operators in Florida and then for a DMC located in Brussels organising incentives, large scale events and conferences. Laura gained extensive experience in business management, budget management and operations in a complex international business matrix. Laura is a true linguist, fluent with excellent writing and communication skills in all 5 languages (Dutch, French, English, German and Spanish).

The technical expertise that she has gained working at Microsoft over the years has enabled her to grow not only on a business and communications level but also on a personal level and she has been sharing these technical skills to EAs in most of her workshops.

Laura’s innovative way of working and thinking out of the Box will make your assistants not only grow within their role and find their personal strengths but it will bring back their awareness of how important the role of an assistant is. Well trained and motivated assistants will bring a high ROI to any Company. It is key for any assistants to gain new ideas to rethink their WOW (ways of working) to continue to support and assist the great leaders and managers of today.

Keynote Speaker - Heidi Loughlin

Heidi's Lifeline

Heidi Loughlin

Author | Inspirational Speaker | International Blogger

Heidi grew up in Bristol on a council estate with her mum and brother. She spent her youth getting up to mischief, laughing in the face of rules. She found her feet and went on to University and joined the Territorial Army as an officer cadet. She later joined the Metropolitan police and was front line during the London riots and worked for many years on a north London gangs unit.

At the tender age of 32 Heidi was diagnosed with rare and aggressive Inflammatory Breast Cancer while she was 13 weeks pregnant with her third child. Heidi declined appropriate treatment to protect her unborn baby and opted for a much less effective chemotherapy.

Her daughter was born in December 2015, premature but healthy, but unfortunately Ally contracted an infection in hospital and died eight days later.

Heidi then discovered her cancer had spread and was incurable. She began writing the blog ‘Storm in a Tit Cup’ as her search for humorous Cancer Blogs came up short. Her blog has received world wide recognition for finding humour in the throws of impossible sadness. She is known for her ability to make the hardest of subjects accessible through her honesty and light-hearted turns of phrase. Her blogs have the ability to make her readers laugh and cry from one paragraph to the next.

Heidi is a regular feature on TV, Radio and newspapers where the feedback she receives always includes the adage ‘inspirational,’ a label she finds hard to wear.

Heidi is the current holder of the MAD blog award for Best Writer from 2017 to date. She was awarded the Inspirational Mother of the Year at the Butterfly Awards at the end of 2017. She also received the Gold star Award for Bravery in 2017 from the Bristol Post and has a cycling proficiency certificate from 1986.

Heidi has just released her first book ‘Heidi’s Lifeline’ in March 2019 which has been exceptionally well received and has sold close to 1500 copies so far.

Heidi is also spearheading a campaign called ‘Heidi’s Gloves’ which will provide examination gloves to Neonatal Intensive Care Units, promoting improved hand hygiene when interacting with premature babies to reduce the risk of infection.

Heidi receives palliative chemotherapy every three weeks and will continue to do so until the drugs stop working, but to meet her, you’d have no idea she was ill. In the last few years, whilst living with incurable cancer, Heidi has completed two 200-mile bike rides, a canoe marathon and a 10k run to raise money for various charities in excess for £30,000.

Almost 5 years into a prognosis for 2-5 years, Heidi writes, travels the country giving inspirational talks and raises immeasurable awareness. She never stops smiling and she never gives up.


The Venue & Headline Sponsor

Both the Conference and the Yorkshire PA of the Year Awards will be taking place at Hilton Leeds City on Friday 18th October. It is going to be a great day of learning and celebrating for this wonderful profession.

About Hilton Leeds City

Located in the vibrant heart of the city, Hilton Leeds City hotel is just steps from Leeds Central railway station and less than 25 minutes from Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA), as well as offering onsite car parking. Restaurants, bars and shopping outlets are all within walking distance, so you can experience all the city has to offer.

The hotel offers 208 modern and contemporary bedrooms including deluxe and suite room types. We are proud of delivering great Yorkshire hospitality and this is seen in our City3 Restaurant and bar which serves British food with a Yorkshire twist , as well as serving locally distilled gin and locally brewed ale.

Looking for a meeting or social event , then we have the perfect space for you including our Brigante Suite accommodating up to 350 people with private pre-function space. From street food to live cooking stations we can make any special event a memorable occasion.

Hilton Leeds is proud to be part of Hilton hotels and resorts centennial year , who in the past 100 years have provided new product innovations and services to meet guests’ evolving needs. With more than 585 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties are located in the world’s most sought-after destinations for guests who know that where they stay matters. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Begin your journey at, and learn more by visiting and following Hilton Hotels & Resorts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Find out more about Hilton Leeds City

Conference Programme

08:45 Registration, Networking & Refreshments
09:15 Marion Lowrence - Welcome & Introduction to Headline Sponsor
09:45 Craig Goldblatt
10:45 Morning Break
11:15 Jules Wyman
12:00 Geoff Richards
12:45 Lunch
13:45 Penny Haslam
14:30 Laura Belgrado
15:15 Afternoon Break
15:45 Keynote Speaker - Heidi Loughlin
16:30 Close

Don’t take our word for it – see our testimonials below from our recent 2019 Liverpool Conference.

The conference in Liverpool far exceeded my expectations and I felt privileged to have been in the room with so many inspiring speakers who were able to share their knowledge and experiences in such a way to keep it fascinating, life affirming and relevant. I would highly recommend the conference to any PA, particularly one who like me, tends to work outside of a team of other PAs. If you only attend one conference this year, make it this one!

Elizabeth Johnson, PA to CEO & Director of Clinical Services, Claire House Children’s Hospice

What a fabulous day – inspring, motivational – I walked away with a completely different perspective of my role and my personal brand.

Vicki Wyllie, EA & CSR Coordinator, Bibby Line Group Limited



It was my first PA Hub event and I couldnt have been made to feel more welcome! The day was jam packed with speakers and I learnt so much from each one. See you next time!

Sarah Sproson, PA to Chief Executive, Office for Nuclear Regulation



My first PA Hub Conference and it won’t be my last. I would recommend this event unreservedly

Jan Buckley, Brabners, Departmental Management Assistant



Very well planned and attended Conference. Excellent positive speakers, truly inspirational stories of drive, determination and commitment.

Rachael Caslin, PA to Commercial Director – ACC Liverpool



A fabulous day, I didnt expect to laugh so much! Every speaker was inspiring and I left feeling massively motivated!

Amelia Johnson, Project Assistant, Arup



What a conference! You excel every time. The speakers were exceptional and I learnt so much – thank you!

Louise De La Rosa, PA to the Director and Deputy Director, Liverpool John Moores University



A truly inspirational day of excitement, learning and laughing!

Rachel Priestley, Virtual Assistant, Streamline VA Services


An extremely well organised, informative and inspirational conference. Not to be missed. Where do I sign for next year!

Sandra Wainwright, Executive Assistant to Chief Fire Officer – Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Totally Inspiring Conference from start to finish – so much gained from the day with an amazing group of people from so many different walks of life.

Sue Morton. Executive PA to MD and Board of Directors. White Oak UK



Having been with Arup over 10 years, recently returning to the UK from Arup in Dubai to join the Leeds team working with great people who provide a support service to over 350 colleagues, all I can say is Arup offers great opportunities, is a fantastic place to work within a creative environment, with people who share my passion for delivering a great service. This was my first PA Hub Conference and I feel I have come away with a lot from all the speaker which i will share with all our team.

Pushpa Sanders, Office Co-Ordinator, Arup.



Excellent conference, first one attended and i was impressed with all the speakers.

Angela Griffiths PA to Chairman & Managing Director, Truline Construction & Interior Services Ltd


We asked our delegates at our 2019 Liverpool Conference to describe the day in one word and here are the results:

AV Partner

AYRE is one of Yorkshire’s leading providers of Event Production and Dry-Hire AV.

We work closely with all of our clients to provide the technology needed to achieve the desired look and feel of each event. AYRE work on events of all shapes and sizes; from dry-hire equipment to large-scale creative event production.

We know that every single event has a different objective, budget, and brand; and we work seamlessly alongside you to help deliver the event that you imagined within the budget you are working with.

We don’t do jargon and we don’t do boring, but we do deliver innovative, stand-out events that add an extra WOW factor for your guests.

Get in touch with us today to chat about your event on 0844 414 0502 | [email protected]

Twitter: @ayreevents 



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