The PA Hub Leeds Conference 2018

Friday 19th October 2018, Crowne Plaza Leeds



Emirates is the world’s largest international airline. From its hub in Dubai, Emirates connects people around the globe, by inspiring travel across more than 150 destinations in 81 countries. On board its modern and efficient fleet, passengers can enjoy world-class service, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine and over 3,500 channels of award-winning entertainment – plus free Wi-Fi connectivity from every seat. On the ground, First Class and Business Class passengers can take advantage of a complimentary Chauffeur-drive service, expedited check-in, dedicated baggage handling and luxurious lounge access – ensuring a seamless journey from start to finish. Emirates fly 19 times daily to Dubai from a choice of *8 UK airports.

*8th flight from EDI to DXB effective 01st Oct18.

Read more about Emirates here


We had our Leeds PA Hub Conference at Crowne Plaza with an excellent line up of speakers!

Plus our Pre-Conference Event at Issho Leeds


AV Partner

Pre-Conference Event Sponsor

Brochure Sponsor

Conference Venue

Speaker Sessions

Conference Host

Marion Lowrence, Founder & Co-Director, The PA Hub

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Conference Host

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


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 is one of the UK representatives for the World Administrative Summit which will be held in Frankfurt in October 2018.

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 Leeds and Liverpool 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 & will be running Silicon Valley in November 2018.

Sponsor Welcome

Julie Dunning, Senior Sales Executive, Emirates

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Julie Dunning is Senior Sales Executive for Emirates, a position she has held for 17 years. Her role involves business development and account management for the airline, every day bringing new challenges and exciting opportunities. 17 years might seem a long time in one position, however Emirates has not stood still in that time, growing from a relatively unknown ‘middle east’ airline to the global brand it is today, ensuring Julie’s role has evolved too.

Prior to Emirates Julie was a Manager at American Express Business Travel, helping corporate businesses to manage their business travel spend. Leaving college with a qualification in Business studies with travel and tourism speciality, the travel industry beckoned, however it was working as an au-pair in Switzerland at the age of 18 that gave Julie her first taste of travel. There is a whole world of adventures waiting to be experienced and the travel industry has enabled Julie to enjoy many, including; visiting an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka; experiencing the force of the Niagara falls in Canada; the thrill of a helicopter flight from the top of the Burj al Arab in Dubai.

Julie is passionate about Emirates and the travel industry and would be happy to share that knowledge with you.

The World’s Your Oyster

Heather Baker, Director, Baker Thompson Associates

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The World’s Your Oyster

In this session Heather will outline reasons that we don’t always reach our full potential.  She will help us to find ways to achieve our goals and be truly successful.


After over 20 years working as a secretary and then PA, Heather established Baker Thompson Associates in 2000 to enable Office Professionals to achieve their potential for their career development and the success of their organisation.

She now travels around the world meeting PAs, EAs and administrators of all levels and from all types of companies.  She is the author of 4 Amazon top ten selling books and the creator of the BakerWrite speedwriting system.

Heather is proud to be a Prince’s Trust Business Mentor and a supporter of Isipho Admin in South Africa.

AYRE – A Guide to Booking AV or Technical Gobbledygook!

Chris Ayre, Managing Director, AYRE Events

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AYRE – A Guide to Booking AV Technical Gobbledygook!

Chris will offer some key tips to implement when organising your next event. With helpful tips to ensure you get the right tech at the right price and avoid the pitfalls of live events, this is one session not to be missed if you are tasked with organising the companies next conference or awards dinner.


Chris has been working in the live events industry for the past ten years, providing technical support for a whole host of events, from small conferences to large multi-site roadshow tours, to live music events and celebrations; there’s not much he’s not worked on.

Taking a slightly different approach to his work, he focuses more on the thoughts and feelings of delegates and clients to put together the best proposal which meets the events remit.

Chef's 'How do you choose the right menu for your event?'

Lee Miller, Head Chef, Crowne Plaza Hotel

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Chef’s ‘How do you choose the right menu for your event?’

Lee Miller, Head Chef at Crowne Plaza Leeds will give his top tips  on choosing the correct menus for your events. What kind of food and beverages are right to keep those brains awake! Lee will give his ideas and chef’s advice just before he goes back to work on our lunch for the day!


From head chef Lee Miller comes a series of menus bursting with flavour, motivated by the flavours synonymous with the region in which he has called his home for the past 20 years. Using the finest and freshest ingredients from local suppliers, the menus at Bar & Kitchen incorporate some of the country’s favourite comfort food with a contemporary Yorkshire twist. Think tear and share Yorkshire puddings with a side of succulent marrowbone gravy for dipping, (referred to as liquid gold) or a perfectly cooked black pudding scotch egg which oozes as it’s cut into, as well as a variety of fun takes on classic dishes. Lee uses his years of experience to produce inventive quality menus.

Moral Rights Asserted
This work may not be reproduced without the permission of Sam Toolsie.
Contact –

PA Panel,
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2015

Cathy Newboult, PA, Lupton Fawcett LLP

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Cathy is a Senior PA with a solid legal background providing support to the Managing Partner at Lupton Fawcett LLP, at Board level and to key Committees. Cathy has worked in the legal sector since leaving secretarial college at age seventeen, and has over thirty years’ service, eighteen of which have been with three successive Managing Partners.  Having worked in legal secretarial, paralegal, team leader and PA roles, Cathy has had a broad range of outward and inward facing roles giving her a strong knowledge and understanding of the firm at all levels.  This has proved invaluable to her in supporting Jonathan Oxley, Managing Partner at Lupton Fawcett LLP.

PAs are very committed and passionate about their careers and the demanding job roles can make you feel isolated. Having been a member of The PA Hub Leeds network since its inception, Cathy believes her membership has provided her with an important supportive peer group network with ongoing motivational personal development & training events.


PA Panel,
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2016

Heather Riley, PA, Titus Salt School

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After an early career in hotels and event management, often incorporating PA responsibilities, Heather has worked in the Private, Public and Third Sector as a PA and EA.  In a diverse range of organisations, Heather has seen first-hand how transferable an assistant’s skills are, moving from sport to Government, from manufacturing to a charity and more recently from global technology to education.  Heather believes you should never stop learning (even after 40 years) and grab those opportunities that present themselves, as you never know what adventures they will take you on.


PA Panel,
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2017

Gill Walker, PA, Leeds Beckett University

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Gill works at Leeds Beckett University, firstly in Libraries & Learning Innovation and now works as a PA in the Distance Learning Unit.  Prior to this Gill lived and worked in various Southern African countries where she first became a PA.  She ran her own business in Johannesburg for several years where her PA skills were utilised to the full.  She later returned to this side of the world and worked for Guinness in Ireland for a few years before returning to Leeds – and her current employer.

Moral Rights Asserted
This work may not be reproduced without the permission of Sam Toolsie.
Contact –

PA Panel,
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2018

Jill Ambrazaitis, PA, Grant Thornton LLP

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South African-born, Jill has lived in the UK for many years, has adopted Yorkshire as her new home and is a champion of all things “Yorkshire”. She is a firm advocate of the value and benefit of networking, as well as sharing information/knowledge. Jill has seen many changes in both the profession and technology over the years. Jill is actively involved in a number of charity projects and is passionate about making a positive difference and supporting others in need.

Mastering Difficult Conversations

Sue Evans, Director, Fast Pathways

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Mastering Difficult Conversations
We all have to face bullies and mood hoovers. Have you dreaded dealing with someone who’s put you down in the past, or who’ll argue with anything? Have you ever carried on replaying a conversation in your mind, long after it’s finished? This session explores the skills to take those difficult conversations smoothly in your stride.
What you will learn with Sue:

  • How to stay feeling calm and centred, no matter what’s said
  • Recognising the listening filters
  • The language of conflict, and how to avoid it
  • The behaviour-identity trap – how conflict outlasts its origins
  • The skills of an expert negotiator – designing the conversation from other perspectives


With a background in Engineering and over 20 years Change Leadership experience, Sue’s delivered £multi-million projects and culture change, for international organisations including Danone, Corning, and Lloyds Bank.

Drawing on extensive experience of supporting one-to-one clients and specialist knowledge of resolving stress and anxiety, Sue created the FAST Pathways® programme based on client demand, to share powerful skills for Process Engineering the thinking.

Because stress is a given.  Sometimes it gets in the way, but sometimes it can drive even better performance.  Sue truly believes in every individual’s right to a challenging and fulfilling working life, and to every organisation’s right to reap the rewards of building and supporting a capable and motivated workforce.  That might sound idealistic – but the right know-how can help to shape that reality.

Sue’s a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), and an Approved Havening® Practitioner, trained in each by the original creators.  She has a Diploma in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), a combined Diploma in Hypnotherapy, Coaching and NLP; and Institute of Leadership and Management certification as a Mentor and Coach.

Finding Your Flow

Simon McCaskill,
Google European Masterclass Trainer

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Finding Your Flow

A unique look at our digital world, the opportunity it brings and how ‘finding your flow’ is the difference between surviving and thriving.

Key takeaways:

  • Why and how the parents of a 6 year old are now retiring to focus on their sons career
  • Why you shouldn’t fear the rise of the robots, but actually use it to your advantage
  • Why some people just seem to excel in everything they do
  • And how your online presence could be the key to your future success.


Simon is one of Google’s European masterclass trainers, and is the founder of the Leeds Boost digital training initiative. He has created and delivered training programs for the likes of the BBC, Natwest, eBay, and L’Oreal, as well as speaking around the world at key digital events.

His success comes from his unique ability to simplify the online world and show you a new way of using digital as a tool to get the results you need for business growth, personal development, and well-being.  Simon has a real passion for digital future gazing, looking ahead and asking ‘what’s next?’ and considering how people and business use these new advances to their advantage to help improve work and home life.

[email protected]

So you think you want to be a strategic business partner?

Lucy Brazier, CEO Marcham Publishing

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So you think you want to be a strategic business partner? What does that mean?

Much has been made in recent times of the emergence of the assistant as a strategic business partner. Indeed, Google has just changed the name of its top Assistants to Administrative Business Partner. The term is THE buzzword in the industry right now. But how do you become strategic? What does it mean? How to you change your day to day role to become the assistant that your executive needs as Executive Support in order to deliver at the highest levels. In this session, we will look at why businesses still need assistants but why the landscape has changed, how to develop your business acumen to best support your manager and what skills are required to be a true strategic business partner to your boss.

Lucy Brazier is CEO of Marcham Publishing, specialist publishers of Executive Secretary – the global training magazine dedicated to the professional development needs of senior and aspiring administrative professionals.

As Founder and Publisher of the magazine, Lucy works with some of the best trainers of Executive Assistants in the world to deliver the most up to date and current training in the market. She campaigns tirelessly for the recognition of the PA role as a profession, speaking regularly to everyone from Blue Chip Executive Assistants on why it is important to become a centre of excellence within your company, to college students on choosing the role of PA as a career choice.

Lucy has a unique overview of the role and where it is heading. With access to the most forward thinking, passionate and knowledgeable trainers in the world as well as personally meeting and speaking to literally thousands of PAs over the last five years, Lucy’s knowledge of the market and what Assistants all over the world are facing on a day to day basis are second to none.

Lucy runs a LinkedIn group for assistants which currently has over 43,000 international members who share information, network and learn. She also launched adminchat in January 2012 – a weekly free training session presented on Twitter and hosted by a different world class trainer every week. Now boasting an average of over 2,000 attendees a week, adminchat is a manifestation of Lucy’s commitment to providing the very best training to assistants all over the world.

A sought after trainer in her own right, Lucy regularly speaks at, and chairs conferences & webinars all over the world. In the last 12 months alone, she has spoken in 29 countries at over 180 events.

Lucy has been a Publisher and Events Organiser for over 29 years. Lucy has previously worked as a Publishing Director for Wilmington PLC, and has managed a team based in Singapore, New York, Germany & London responsible for 13 magazines, 12 international conferences, awards, trade show attendance and marketing for EMAP. Other companies worked for include The Times, The Independent, Centaur Communications and Glass’s Guide.

Keynote Speaker - Behind the Scenes of the World's Most Famous Fanclub!

Freda Kelly, Former Secretary to Brian Epstein & the Official National Fanclub for The Beatles

Behind the Scenes of the World’s Most Famous Fanclub!

Freda will be interviewed on stage about her story of working with Brian Epstein and The Beatles and her lifelong role in her chosen profession as a legal secretary.


Freda Kelly was the former secretary to The Beatles Manager, Brian Epstein and Secretary to the Official National Fan Club for The Beatles. Freda spent the best part of 11 years, working with both Brian Epstein, and The Beatles, watching them take the music scene by storm, whilst embarking upon and building her career as a secretary. Freda saw The Beatles play in The Cavern at lunch time for the first time in 1961 and then started to help out their Fan Club Secretary.  Brian Epstein then offered Freda a job to be one of his secretaries when he started his company Nems Enterprises. There was just 3 secretaries and Freda started this role in 1962 until the current Fan Club Secretary left her role and Freda took over. Her journey really started from there! Freda has since worked as a legal secretary in Liverpool for more than 20 years.


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

Don’t take our word for it – see feedback from previous conferences below:

It was my first time attending a Livepool PA Hub event and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I met a lot of new people, the speakers were excellent and very motivational. Would recommend to any PA .

I just want to say congratulations on organising a fantastic conference. The speakers were knowledgable and entertaining and I gained a great deal from attending.

This was the best PA conference I have ever attended – the individual sessions were well thought out, engaging and informative – and the number of new connections I made with PAs was fantastic.

I have been to quite a few conferences and I have got to say this was the best one ever by far. It was engaging, enjoyable, exhiliarating and educational

Extremely informative and enjoyable day with my peers, lots to think about and lots learned, just shows after 35 years in the role you can always learn something new

This was my second PA Hub Conference and it was fantastic. The venue was excellent and the speakers were inspirational. I came away from the day inspired. Thank you to Marion, Jon and the team, as we all know how much work goes into organising events! Outstanding!

Many EA PA Conferences are London based, so refreshing to have one in the North West, with excellent, relevant speakers, who provided much food for thought. The PA Hub Liverpool Conference also brings together local EA PAs who would not otherwise meet. Thank you Marion & Jon.

As expected, the conference was absolutely brilliant! The guest speakers were all fantastic. From start to finish, I was engaged and inspired!

Conference Programme

08:30 Registration, networking & refreshments
09:00 Welcome & introduction to Headline Sponsor - Marion Lowrence
09:05 Introduction from Headline Sponsor - Julie Dunning - Emirates
09:15 Heather Baker - The World's Your Oyster
10:00 Chris Ayre - A Guide to Booking AV/Technical Gobbledygook
10:45 Lee Miller - How do you choose the right menu for your event?
11:15 Morning Break
11:45 PA Panel
12:30 Sue Evans - Mastering Difficult Conversations
13:30 Lunch Break
14:30 Simon McCaskill - Finding Your Flow
15:15 Lucy Brazier - So you think you want to be a strategic business partner? What does that mean?
16:00 Afternoon Break
16:30 Keynote -Interview with Freda Kelly - Behind the Scenes of the World's Most Famous Fanclub!
17:15 Close

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 


Brochure Sponsor

Bow Gifts is a Multi-Platform Luxury Corporate Gift Company. We add value to Corporates looking for gifts and gift strategies. We provide solutions that boast their brand and tell their story. Bow Gifts provides 6 specialist gift services all in one place. Each Specialism offers and provides something different, and will benefit your business in a variety of ways.

Our Specialisms are:

Bow Gifts enables you, the client, to access multiple services in one place. This makes the process easy and simple. It protects your brand and ensures continuity of your brand in all you do.

Find out more

Pre-Conference Event at Issho Leeds

Join us!

Conference Delegates and speakers are invited to join us at our PA Hub social and Pre-conference event at Issho Leeds the evening before the conference on Thursday 18th October from 6pm – 8pm for some quality networking!

We will be joined by some of our speakers and conference delegates with a welcome drink and canapes. As part of the evening we will also have an amazing sushi demonstration from the talented Issho chefs!  The event will finish with our fantastic prize draw to win a meal for two with a glass of Prosecco at Issho.


Address: Issho, Victoria Gate, Leeds, LS2 4AU



Book your place here

Venue - Crowne Plaza Leeds

About Crowne Plaza Leeds

An elegant hotel in Leeds city centre with meeting rooms and a spa which is only a 15-minute drive from the M1 and M62 motorways.

Nearby Leeds station offers direct trains to London. If you’re catching a flight, Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) is close by, and an airport bus stops outside the hotel. Major city-centre businesses, the Trinity Leeds shopping centre and the bars and clubs of the Northern Quarter and Millennium Square are all within a short walk.

At this hotel you can enjoy:

– Free WiFi

– Fast & Fresh meal options

– Massages and beauty treatments

Chic bedrooms have king-size beds and flat-screen TVs, and our Sleep Advantage® programme offers premium bedding and Quiet Zones to help you rest. Unwind after work in the gym, sauna and pool at the Spirit Health Club. Then head to the Bar & Kitchen @LS1 restaurant to dine on classic British dishes and traditional Yorkshire favourites, or meet colleagues for drinks in the bar.



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