News & Updates


The 2 day 2019 Executive PA Forum is taking place on Wednesday May 22nd – 23rd at the Radisson Blu Royal Dublin Hotel, Golden Lane.

Forum/Conference Day: Wednesday May 22     Workshop Day: Thursday 23rd

To register your place, e-mail Aisling at


Thinking of Attending the Executive PA Forum and Wondering What the Benefits Are?

Niamh Smithers, Executive Assistant at eir explains why she attends every year…

The role of an EA/PA is to always look after everyone else, to put others before you. To support those around you, making sure they have what they need to do their jobs, to make their day move smoothly.

Have you ever thought about putting yourself first, bringing added value to you and what you do? Do not under estimate the value of your development, putting yourself first to take a day, or two days out of the office. Yes I know it sounds crazy, that you would leave the office to go and develop yourself.

Don’t think you need to learn anything new? Of course you do – every day is a teaching day. What do I do to keep learning? I ensure that the courses/Executive PA Forum I attend are ones of benefit to me – first and foremost, because what I do and what you do is a profession, a role that sometimes is undervalued. I then ensure what I learn, brings value to the work I do and those I work with.

The one event I make sure is in my calendar every year is the Executive PA Forum.

Why do I attend? I’ve been attending this event because each year I learn something new about me and about my role. I then bring added value back to my company and it makes me a better EA because I put myself first for those two days a year.

Over the past four years, the Forum has taught me a lot about the role of an EA and how valuable it is, how to be confident in me, to brand myself and be proud of what I do. It has shown me the other avenues it brings, how you can become more than just the person who manages a calendar. How you can be a voice, a sounding board to those you support, how you can do so much more in your role.

I’ve grown personally and professionally as a result of attending the Forum, which is now CPD-accredited. I’ve built a strong network around me of other EA/PAs and each year I’ve watched more EA/PAs taking the time away from the office to attend this event. This year I got to speak at the event. I got to stand on the same stage of Zelda la Grange (former PA to Nelson Mandela) – what an honour for me but more of an honour to speak to my peers.

I’m not saying you have to be up on stage to know you’ve learnt something but I wouldn’t have been up on stage if it wasn’t for the Executive PA Forum – because having the support of others in the room, and by attending the event each year, I have developed to know as an EA I can bring such value in what I do, I can adapt my role to any industry. I went from working in financial services for 18 years to working for a telecommunications company with mobile, TV. Growing who I am and what I do, to learning a new industry and not being afraid to do it.

I’m also a committee member of the APAI (Association of Professional Administrators in Ireland) which was established after a debate at the 2014 Executive PA Forum to have a network to promote the success of career-minded administrative professionals and to highlight the importance of the role for those that work as administration professionals in Ireland.

The APAI is a great way to meet other like-minded people during the year at the four networking events. It’s a relaxed, open environment where you discuss development, the bug bear you have that they may have a solution to or just to meet others within your profession.

Do not under estimate you and your professional development – make the Executive PA Forum part of your development plan in work, try it once, take the bold move to leave the office and put yourself first. You’ll be amazed at what it will do for you.


Croke Park, Hogan Suite. Photo: Dara Munnis.

Niamh Smithers presenting at the Executive PA Forum in May 2016 at Croke Park, Hogan Suite. Photo: Dara Munnis.

REGISTER NOW for the Executive PA Forum – Munster!
If you wish to pay by bank transfer/cheque, please contact

Testimonials from the Executive PA Forum 2016

Powerful story telling from Zelda la Grange at the Executive PA Forum. Wonderful to listen to her. Thank you
Claire Broderick, Executive PA, Dublin

Listening to Zelda La Grange, Nelson Mandela’s EA at Executive PA Forum. Excellent stuff!!!
PA, Cork

Zoom In, take a bow, great day at the PA Forum this year
Roseanne Connolly, Executive Assistant, Dublin

Inspiring talk from Zelda La Grange at the Exec PA Forum
Shireen Dallas, PA, Dublin

Huge thank you to Zoom In and all of the speakers at Executive PA Forum – brilliant day!

Thanks for the super engaging workshop on Public Speaking at the Forum
Mary Frances Beatty, PA, Dublin

Excellent workshops today at the Forum – Entertaining, engaging & enlightening! A huge thank you to Zoom In for another excellent Exec PA Forum. 2 amazing days of learning & networking with peers
Natalie Egan, Executive Assistant, Dublin

Great event today at the Forum, well done!
Lorna Cowan, PA, Belfast

Excellent selection of speakers. Great job. Fantastic to see the Executive PA Forum going from strength to strength.”
Executive PA, Pharmaceutical, Dublin

Excellent workshop day at the PA Forum
Gillian Gore, PA, Dublin

Really enjoyable and a great networking event, looking forward to the next one!
Executive PA, Financial Services, Dublin


We are proud to host the first ever Executive PA Forum – Munster, on Friday November 25th 2016 at The Brehon & Angsana Spa, in association with Killarney Convention Centre.
The Executive PA Forum is the only conference of its kind in Ireland tailored specifically to this group of professional – Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants, Office Managers, and those in a support role.

It is a platform for compelling learning, thought-provoking debate and unrivalled networking opportunities.

We are excited to welcome Zelda la Grange back to Ireland to act as the Keynote Speaker for the upcoming Munster event. Zelda worked as a Personal and Private Assistant to Nelson Mandela for over 20 years.

The format of this 1-day conference taking place at The Brehon Hotel & Angsana Spa will deliver expert speakers in the morning, followed by a choice of workshops in the afternoon.

The Executive PA Forum is a ‘not-to-be-missed’ event on the E.A/P.A calendar, so book early to avoid disappointment!

To Book tickets:
The special Early Bird rate is available until Friday October 14th 2016.
Please REGISTER HERE if you are paying by card.
If you wish to pay by bank transfer/cheque, please contact




The 9th and 10th of May were big days on the Irish P.A calendar when we hosted the 7th Executive PA Forum in the amazing surrounds of Croke Park Meetings & Events – where they made it BRILLIANT! Delegates arrived at 8:30am – full of energy, a desire to learn, and itching to hear amazing stories from our knowledgeable lineup of speakers.

Monday 9th played host to Forum Day, a day full of engaging speakers with amazing stories, experiences, and tips to share with the audience . It was a really inspirational day which gave us lots of food for thought to take back to the office.

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Each speaker, with their individual experience, both personal and career-wise, inspired and gave us an insight into their world to help us to understand further the important Executive & Personal Assistants play in the organisation.

This year’s Executive PA Forum was an amazing adventure and a great success with more delegates than ever, the return and arrival of dedicated sponsors, an excellent line-up of speakers, and a brilliant venue with friendly and well-prepared staff who helped to make the day perfect!


Claire McIntyre was our first speaker; she gave us insight into her career and company and how to push yourself to your limits, along with useful advice from her own experience of mergers, acquisitions, managerial nightmares and how she has dealt with various stakeholder personalities over the years. She advised that to enable a well-executed administration function to operate, you need to ‘Think Functionally & Act Strategically’

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The second speaker of the day was Veronica Walsh, a Specialist Cognitive Science Therapist and founder of CBT and Feeling Good – she delivered a lively presentation on mind mapping and visual note taking, a concept to help us take better notes and prepare for meetings,presentations and interviews. She also directed us to lots of free software online where we could discover more about this useful tool.

mind mapping - key to happiness

After the morning tea break, Rebecca Geaney, Executive PA to Anne Heraty, CEO of Cpl plc – our major event sponsors – took to the stage to explore what she has learned over the years working as an EA in a fast-paced environment. As part of her presentation, she broke down a very valuable quadrant she stands by on where and how she adds value to the business, freeing up time for her Executive to concentrate on strategic and critical-thinking for the business.
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Purveyor of workplace and home life happiness, Stephen Dargan of WAKE UP! taught us some valuable life lessons and techniques we can use to make our lives easier, to help us work more productively and to remember to take the time to do the things we love to do as much as we can.

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He reminded us to take a break from our phones/e-mails when we are performing social and relaxing activities. He also taught us about the Pomodoro technique for greater productivity, which most of the delegates have sworn they will use (and we can vouch for it as extremely useful as we use it all the time, especially for deadlines!)

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This year’s Keynote speaker was the former PA of Nelson Mandela – Zelda la Grange – who gave us a deeply moving and inspirational speech about her early life in South Africa and how Nelson Mandela changed it! She delivered such an amazing speech about the different skills and life lessons that Nelson Mandela taught her, not only through her work with him but in life as well. From integrity to time-keeping, these lessons stuck with her for her to share with us. Each lesson was centered around being decent, kind, respectful humans, particularly in business and work relations. We thank her for gracing us with these powerful stories and memories to show us how to be the best we can be in our careers and in life!

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After a well-deserved break and a tasty lunch, Croke Park opened the afternoon part of the Forum with a superb musical experience, and we also heard from their Executive Chef.

Next up was Niamh Smither’s presentation. A senior Executive Assistant for many years, Niamh shared with us her experiences in a very honest and thought-provoking way. She taught us that the most important thing is to love your career and be full of passion for your role and organisation, that is certainly the key to making your career a success!


The founder of DawsonDramaWorks, John Dawson, taught us the tools of communication and collaboration through improvisation – two of the most important skills for a Personal Assistant.


Finally, we had the pleasure to welcome Kathryn Thomas, who talked about her new venture Pure Results – she gave an inspirational speech about believing in ourselves, and how important feeling good enables us to perform better every day.


This year’s Forum was a huge success, and we have already started to think about the 2017 Forum! We are really looking forward to hosting the first ever Munster PA Forum on Friday September 23rd in association with The Killarney Convention Centre.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to all of our Forum sponsors:

Cpl Office Support; Croke Park Meetings & Events; Devine’s Chauffeur Services; JUST EAT; Codex Office Solutions; One4All; Ireland’s Blue Book; The Croke Park; Emirates Airlines; and AVCOM.

For further information about the upcoming events and next year’s Forum get in touch with Fiona at and follow us on or social media platforms.

You can also contact our events team at