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22 Nov 2023

SecsintheCity Announces PA of the Year Awards 2023 Winners

SecsintheCity Announces PA of the Year Awards 2023 Winners

The celebration, held at The Ivy, London, championed the essential support provided to businesses and executives by Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants, Legal Secretaries, and Office Managers UK-wide.

The winners of the PA of the Year awards 2023 are:

PA of the Year - Jody Beard, EA to the Managing Director of Visionary Finance

A self-nominee, Jody Beard is the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director of Visionary Finance, an independent specialist mortgage broker, based in Milton Keynes. Jody has conducted a unique career path, working for the likes of Peoples Bank, Carlsberg, Compass Group and Champneys.

Her current role at Visionary Finance, has allowed Jody to take on a very broad range of responsibilities - from project managing and training new CRM implementation, to accounts and IT work. Jody’s perseverance and confident yet humble attitude won over the judges. ‘I love my job. It's challenging, but it's also incredibly rewarding. I am so grateful to have been recognised for my accomplishments.’

‘Nominating myself for an award felt like stepping outside my comfort zone in front of an audience. But after reading the encouraging words from last year's winner, who said ‘just go for it,’ I thought, ‘why not?’. I was humbled and shocked to be invited for an interview. I'm so proud that I took that initial step and nominated myself and have the satisfaction of knowing that I gave it my all.’

As her nomination noted, ‘we really couldn’t run the company without her - she holds the business together.'


Legal PA of the Year - Lauren Sweeney, Legal PA and Team Leader at Eversheds Sutherland

Working as a Legal PA and Team Leader at Eversheds Sutherland, Lauren has conducted a range of PA and EA roles. The judges were impressed with Lauren’s clear enthusiasm and championing of her team - with great work for their gender support committee, and many firm wide initiatives including the buddy support system for support staff returning from mat leave, helping bridge the gap between the traditional working environment and a side of the workforce often without a voice.

A glowing nomination from her Operations Director, who stated, 'I don't know what we would have done without her. She has set the bar very very high.'


Office Manager of the Year - Caroline Rees Williams, Operations Manager at The Valesco Group

Caroline has been with global real estate management firm, The Valesco Group, for the past three years - where she works as joint Office/Operations Manager and EA to the CEO. As Caroline stated, ‘no one really knows what I do - the invisible job’. The judges were hugely impressed with the extensive impact that Caroline has had across the business, bringing an energetic, fresh and ambitious approach to the role - clearly an invaluable asset to the operation and an effortless nomination for Office Manager of the Year.


Outstanding Achievement Award - Victoria Gaston, Executive Assistant to Nick Gordon at NGJG Holdings

Victoria has been a PA at NGJG Holdings for the past two years, a UK based entrepreneurial family business, currently running 15+ different operations. As Victoria stated, 'joining there was a baptism of fire, with tasks including getting the owner's boat from Tunisia to the UK!'.

'Victoria is a remarkable PA', stated her CEO - 'her unwavering dedication, even in the face of battling cancer, showcases her exceptional commitment to supporting both me and my family. Her resilience and tireless work ethic, combined with her advocacy for bowel cancer as an ambassador, not only make her an outstanding PA but also a source of inspiration and support for countless others.'

The judges were in complete agreement, blown away by Victoria’s professional abilities and unwavering enthusiasm to get the job done - a fantastic nomination and well-deserved finalist.

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