The East Midlands Personal Assistant Network (EMPAN) is joining forces with the West Midlands-based PA Forum.
East Midlands Chamber company secretary and executive support manager Lesley Young, who has run EMPAN, believes it “marks the start of an exciting future for our profession in the East Midlands”.
She said: “As business support professionals, we have a unique view across our businesses and organisations, which we should continue to recognise and promote. We need to be the change we want to see, and the support and knowledge we share in our networks can give us the confidence to make this happen.
“I’m really looking forward to expanding on the terrific work of the PA Forum and working with EAs and PAs across the East Midlands.”
EMPAN was established in 2014 when it brought the Leicester and Leicestershire Personal Assistant Network – set up by Lesley in 2006 – into an expanded network that also included Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Identifying a need for networking and training for members, it ran six city-based and one region-wide events per year and was a finalist in the first ever Manchester PA Awards External PA Network of the Year in 2018.
It stopped running its own events in 2019 as activity was embedded into East Midlands Chamber’s events and training programmes.
But its activities will now move under the umbrella of the PA Forum, which was founded by Daniel Skermer in November 2016.
Despite being a primarily West Midlands-based regional network, it adapted to develop a wealth of content to support the business community virtually during the pandemic, which has opened new channels to connect with audiences across the country.
It now offers events including virtual educational seminars during lunchtimes, in-person networking events, a quarterly virtual coffee club, annual learning and development conference and the West Midlands PA Awards.
There is also a PA Forum membership portal packed with information and resources, job opportunities, special offers and a membership directory.
Daniel said: “Since the launch of PA Forum, I have always looked to our neighbouring regional networks for support and guidance and have always admired the wonderful work Lesley and the East Midlands Personal Assistant Network has done.
“It has been truly inspiring, so I was humbled and overwhelmed that Lesley reached out to suggest our partnership and I am so excited to work with her, side by side, continuing to build on the solid foundations supporting all levels of the executive and business support community in the region.
“Together we will also launch the East Midlands PA Awards 2023 and are actively looking for committee members who would like to get involved within the region and support us in creating a fantastic journey of reward and recognition. We can’t wait to get started.”