Speakers we recommend

We are happy to provide you with IMA members and partners, who are available as speaker or trainer. Please contact them directly for any further arrangements.

Speakers we recommend

We are happy to provide you with IMA members and partners, who are available as speaker or trainer. Please contact them directly for any further arrangements.

Menekşe Ahbab

Menekşe, graduated from Istanbul University Classic Philology, Latin Language and Literature. She received the training formation of the trainer from the same university. Currently having her master’s study on Marketing Communication at Maltepe University.

She started her career in 1995 as a personal assistant of the founder and CEO of a London-based education company, FutureMinds Educational, in Istanbul. Menekşe has more than 25 years of experience in different industries such as education management, management consulting, information technology & services and mechanical & industrial engineering in international and multicultural companies such as Johnson Controls, Deloitte and Hewlett Packard etc. Positioned in different jobs and titles such as Office Manager & Marketing Coordinator, multiple positions as Executive Assistant to Regional General Managers and Managing Directors, Assistant to Indirect Sales Lead Virtual Assistant, Personal Assistant. She also has been internal trainer in many of the companies she worked in.

Menekşe is working at one of Marmara University in Istanbul teaching “Meeting and Presenting skills” to future assistants since 2018.

Menekşe has extensive experience in the profession and a truly passionate profession- al. She has been joining Executive Assistant events as a keynote speaker and trainer for many years. She is continuously elevating the profession by attending university conferences as an industry expert. Menekşe is also an Erikson Coach and actively coaching.

She joined IMA (International Management Assistants) in 2015 and led IMA Turkey’s establishment as a national group. Menekşe is the Chairman of IMA Turkey. She was a finalist for EA of the Year Middle East at the 2019 Executive PA Awards.

Menekşe is based in Istanbul, married, and a mother of two girls. She is a strict fol- lower of all education programs and activities related to children.

For more info on Menekşe's speaking engagements, please see here.


Menekse.ahbab@gmail.com 00905301772031 https://www.linkedin.com/in/menekseahbab/

Laura Belgrado

Laura Belgrado has over 30 years of experience working in an International Corporate environment; 10 years as Executive Assistant to the Global Managing Director of Microsoft Global Strategic Accounts. She continued her career as EA working for the President and 2 VP’s at MARS Inc. for the Mars MultiSales markets and was promoted 2 years ago to Project Coordinator and EA to the President 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). She has long and vast experiences working with top global CEOs as their trusted EA and advisor.

In the past 12 years, Laura has been designing and delivering training and coaching programs for Executive Assistants, Personal and Administrative Assistants. Her experience in Event and Project Management for over 18 years is now proving to be a great asset and a much needed experience and knowledge to take part in the ‘Crisis Team’ Video calls with her Executive and LT as well as reaching out the Assistants communities around the globe to give guidance and tips on how to manage the current COVID-19 situation as well as some great tips on ‘Working from Home’ and Communication with your Executive(s).

For more info on Laura's webinars and workshops feel free to send her an email at Laura.belgrado@effem.com

Diana Brandl

Bio: Diana Brandl holds a Degree in International Administration and Management, specializing in Office Management. Throughout her career, she has worked successfully for C-Level Executives within global corporations such as Sony.

Diana has a strong background in Communications and is a dynamic networker. She joined the professional network IMA (International Management Assistants) in 2006, and is an active member proudly looking back at her involvement as Board Member and Chair of Regional Group of IMA Berlin.

She continuously supports the role of the management assistant by speaking at international events and publishing various articles in Germany and abroad focussing on Digital Transformation, Personal Branding, Strategic Networking, Mentoring, Diversity and Social Media. Diana writes her own blog The Socialista Projects and is influencing the industry with her creative initiatives such as launching the hashtag #WeAreInThisTogether.

Diana Brandl describes herself as Digital Native and has recently worked in the start-up world, where she rediscovered her role as a management assistant with 17 years of professional experience within the New Work generation. She teaches first-hand what it means to work with Millennial Managers and how important storytelling is in sharpening a profile.

Current speaking portfolio includes:

  • Digital@Office (Digital Transformation, Office 4.0, Digital Leadership, New Work, Working with Millennials)
  • Personal Branding (Social Media Marketing, Self-Marketing and Self-PR for Management Assistants)
  • The Power of Networking (#WeAreInThisTogether, the empowerment movement for Office Professionals)
  • The Management Assistant Talent Factory: How to create your top-notch playbook

Speaker fee to be negotiated and with special arrangements for IMA. Travel costs have to be covered.

Diana's blog: https://www.facebook.com/BlogWithMe/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/diana-brandl/
Email: diana.brandl@gmail.com

Lucy Brazier

Lucy Brazier is one of the world’s leading authorities on the administrative profession.

As CEO of Marcham Publishing, specialist publishers of Executive Secretary Magazine – a global training magazine dedicated to the professional development needs of senior and aspiring administrative professionals - Lucy works with the best trainers of Executive Assistants from around the world to deliver the most up to date and current training in the market.

Her passion is for the Assistant role to be truly recognised as a career and not just a job. Her formidable training expertise and speaking style have given her opportunities to train, present and emcee events in over 50 countries at over 450 events including Chairing the 2015 World Administrator Summit in Papua New Guinea and co-facilitating the same event in Frankfurt in 2018. This has created much-needed discussions ranging from encouraging Executive Assistants to work towards becoming centres of excellence within their companies, to explaining why college students should see the Assistant role as a proper profession with a career path. The work being conducted worldwide on career paths, job titles & education for Assistants is one of her key drivers and she is working with some of the most recognisable companies on the planet to consult on restructuring and training their Business Support functions.

Lucy has a unique overview of the role and where it is heading. With access to the most forward-thinking, passionate and knowledgeable trainers and administrative business leaders in the world as well as personally meeting and speaking to literally thousands of Assistants over the last nine 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.

In 2018, Lucy was awarded an Honourary Fellowship to the Institute of Administrative Management - one of the oldest management institutes in the world having inspired professional business managers and administrators since 1915 - in recognition of her work to drive the profession forward. She was awarded the YPA Special Award 'International Ambassador for the PA Profession' in 2016 and in 2015 the ‘PA Contributor of the Year Award’ by Office* Show. The magazine has been a finalist in the PPA Business Magazine of the Year Award, the PPA Media Brand of the Year Award and the PA-Assist Members Awards.

Lucy has worked in publishing for over 30 years. She has previously worked as a Publishing Director for Wilmington PLC as well as for EMAP, The Times, The Independent, Centaur Communications and Glass's Guide.

Lucy Brazier CEO, Marcham Publishing | Publisher of Executive Secretary Magazine | International Speaker | Conference Chair | Expert on the Administrative Sector

What We Do! A Guide To What We Offer You At Executive Secretary Magazine. You can access a full list here!

Interested in booking me to speak? My biography, speaking topics and testimonials are here

To subscribe visit www.executivesecretary.com

Executive Secretary LIVE

Atlanta 15 & 16 November 2019
Johannesburg 28 & 29 February 2020
London 27 & 28 March 2020 Wellington 28 & 29 August 2020

T: + 44 7875 477165 E: lbrazier@executivesecretary.com

Shelagh Donnelly

Canadian Shelagh (pronounced “Sheila”) Donnelly educates and coaches people who are focused on career fulfillment. After three decades in the career, and drawing on formal education in adult learning, Shelagh began speaking and writing full time in 2019. In addition to her Exceptional EA website, which she founded in 2013, she writes about governance and business for a major corporation. Shelagh speaks at conferences and delivers onsite training for government, higher education, governance and business audiences, including a stock exchange and corporations such as the NBA.

A recognised thought leader, Shelagh also invests time and care in staying attuned to developments in cybersecurity, governance, and the business world. She knows that what happens in these spheres will impact your career.

Given post-pandemic changes and challenges ahead, it’s wise to invest in learning from someone who thrived in your career though not only good economic times, but also during times of turmoil and recession. Shelagh has done just that. She was working alongside a COO at the age of 21. She’s been through a corporate merger, economic recessions, and the dissolution of one institution in order for two new ones to emerge. She left the career entirely while her children were little, then started again at the bottom of the org chart. She’s been a direct report to four CEOs and accountable to board Chairs, and worked alongside private and public sector C-level executives for most of her career.

Long active in Canadian and US professional associations, Shelagh’s been a mentor, led multiple initiatives, and served as the Chair of a national board of directors. Positive by nature, Shelagh is someone you can trust to speak realistically, yet with a healthy sense of humour. She’s someone to whom you can entrust the job of challenging and encouraging you as you make your way forward in your career.

For testimonials and abstracts of Shelagh’s image- and content-rich training sessions focused on how to navigate and succeed during pandexit times, see https://exceptionalea.com/for-event-planners/.

Email: ExceptionalEAs@gmail.com
Website: https://exceptionalea.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExceptionalEA
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shelagh-donnelly/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExceptionalEAs/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/exceptional_ea/

Shelagh offers webinars on a range of relevant topics. To learn more and register for upcoming events, see her Eventbrite page: https://exceptionalea.eventbritestudio.com/

PDF of Shelagh's expertise and training themes.

Adam Fidler

Bio: Adam Fidler is the Principal and Founder of Adam Fidler Academy, which offers insprational teaching and learning for PAs, EAs and business support professionals. His most popular courses ‘Get Ahead as an Executive PA’ and ‘The Strategic Executive Assistant’ have run regularly since 2011, in Manchester, London – and internationally.

Adam’s secretaryship spans more than 20 years. After graduating in 1999 with a first degree in Business Studies, Adam gained his broad, corporate experience as a Board/C-Suite Level PA/EA in a variety of blue-chip organisations including Boots PLC, Bank of America and as a Private PA to a high-profile Chairman.

In 2008, he qualified as a teacher and has, since then, taught secretaries and EAs all over the world in the capacity as international lecturer and thought-leader. He set up his own training organisation, Adam Fidler Academy, in January 2015. His most popular training sessions include (amongst others):

  • The Strategic Executive Assistant
  • Get Ahead as an Executive PA
  • Executive Presence for PAs
  • Leadership, Management and the role of the EA
  • Developing Strategic Thinking for EAs
  • Building Resilience and Managing your Emotions at Work
  • Emotional Intelligence: Behaviours Matter!

His practical and logical approach to the role of the Executive Assistant, and strategies to continuously improve performance and effectiveness, make Adam one of the most popular speakers and trainers in the industry. In December 2014, he appeared in the UK Channel 4 documentary 'Confessions of a Secretary'.

Adam's most recent role was Executive Officer to the Chief Executive of Salford City College (2009-2015). He is the former European PR Officer for European Management Assistants (EUMA), a professional association of Assistants, with members throughout Europe. (Now International Management Assistants, IMA.)

Adam is also the author of the ‘EA Manifesto: What I Am’ which elevates and articulates the true role of the Executive Assistant, a definition which has gone viral on social media with some 30,000 views on LinkedIn alone!

For testimonials, current programmes and Adam’s perspectives, see the website: www.executiveassistant.org

  • Twitter: @adamDfidler
  • LinkedIn: Adam Fidler
  • Website: www.executiveassistant.org
  • Email: adam@executiveassistant.org

Sue France

FCIPD, FInstAM, Master NLP

Sue France is passionate about helping EAs and PAs improved and develop. She is a renowned international trainer, coach & best selling/award-winning author of: “The Definitive Executive Assistant & Managerial Handbook” & “The Definitive Personal Assistant & Secretarial Handbook”. Sue worked as an Assistant for over 30 years & was awarded The UK Times/DHL PA of the Year. She had her own Assistant as UK Training Manager responsible for the development of 600 Assistants in a global firm. Sue set up her own training business for Assistants in November 2009 and has since worked in over 35 countries. Sue is a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic programming; Certified TetraMap® Behavioural Profiling practitioner; qualified Learning & Development practitioner & a Certified Coach. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development with a post-graduate Diploma in HR Management, as well as a Fellow of the Institute of Administrative Management. Sue is a neuroscience enthusiast and translates findings in neuroscience to help the EA/PAs in their world of work as well as helping them to understand themselves and others better.

Sue is available for creating bespoke workshops, speaking at conferences and chairing/facilitating events as well as one to one coaching.

What delegates say about Sue’s workshops

I would absolutely recommend this seminar to any assistant at any level to understand why we do what we do and how we affect our work environment It is as beneficial to the individual as to the company.” Jessica Panzesa, Montreal, Canada

"I would like to thank you for your efforts and contribution to really making a difference in my professional and personal life! Since your PA Master Class workshop in Dubai, I have now been promoted from PA to office Manager." Rima Hadda, Qatar

"Empowering workshop with a very dynamic speaker. If you want to get your PA to move from good to great then send them to Sue's training." Katia Munck, Novartis, Basel, Switzerland

"I enjoyed the workshop very much, it was not only valuable in terms of content but also very dynamic, fun and excellently presented!" Diana Moldoven, Bucharest

What delegates say about Sue’s books

The Definitive Executive Assistant & Managerial Handbook

5 out of 5 stars by Nicole - "I recommend this book because it has been inspiring me in my career. It made me see my work as a profession and myself as a leader. The amount of information in each chapter is well balanced, linking theory with practical tips and resources. I would say that this book has all crucial topics an assistant should know about in order to excel."

The Definitive Personal Assistant & Secretarial Handbook

5.0 out of 5 stars Wannabe Best Practice Girl "At my last appraisal my boss said he wished there was a book out there which showed him how he should best work with a PA (I am the first assistant he hasn't had to share!) so I know he will enjoy this book as much as I do! Thank you." Mel

5 out of 5 stars GREAT REFERENCE BOOK - "I've been an Executive Assistant for over 10 years and found this book to be extremely helpful! I've even ordered it for both of the assistants that I oversee and it’s helped them to truly understand the assistant role and what is expected of them. GREAT BOOK!" TL

There are free downloads available at www.suefrance.com such as Problem Solving Form, Goal setting Form, Personal Development Plan and lots more including a chapter to share with your boss on best practice for working with your Assistant. You can receive a 20% discount on my 2 books by putting the word FAVOUR in the code box at www.suefrance.com

Sue can be contacted by:

E-mail: sue@suefrance.com

Mobile: +44 (0) 7747118914

Michela Luoni


Michela is Virtual Office Manager, who founded her own brand company in 2017 and started the challenging process of being a solopreneur after having spent the whole life as an employee.

She has been a Manager Assistant for over ten years after having worked almost as many as handling agent at Malpensa Airport; she changed several positions while looking for a profession in which soft skills, language skills and passion for new technologies were fully used. “My career path, viewed from outside, has been quite unusual; nevertheless, I had the opportunity to learn from each experience where I gave my vision, best practices, innovation, or sometimes merely replacing the concept of "we've always done this way". However, the unique mix of experience has led to what I am now, which is a true calling. Indeed, at present, she’s investing a part of her business in creating courses in her hometown with the aim to help women who had a pause in their career, to get on track again. “Teaming up with a psychologist and a finance coach, we enable women to exploit the digitalisation tools to be still at their best.”

She also collaborates creating tailored-made workshops for a web agency, to help clients to approach their corporate digital communication through a strategy that starts before building a website and using social media channels.

She firmly believes that networking is crucial for every MA and professional, whichever will be the path your career will take. “Being part of two professional networks helped me a lot in the transition from EA to entrepreneur. I have been a member of IMA since 2014 and a Board Member of the National Committee as PR Officer.

At present, I am in the board of Rete al Femminile Varese, the local office of the national "Italian Professional Women Association”.

Michela took the ACEA certification, is fluent in English and Spanish, writes and talks about topics she has practical experience in, such as organisation workflows, app and new trends, the transition from EA to another career, brand identity & brand reputation, communication in the digital era.

For speaking opportunities or webinars, please send me an email to training@dailyfacilitator.it. I will be happy to share my knowledge and experience in the above mention topics for IMA members, in person or through the video conferencing.

Andrea Macarie

Bio: Andrea Macarie worked for 8+ years in the direct leadership team of Pablo Rodríguez PhD, founding CEO of Telefónica Alpha. Alpha was Europe’s first moonshot factory, created by Telefónica to address some of the world’s biggest and most intractable challenges, by conceiving and delivering radical solutions and breakthrough technology. Andrea has a passion for creative problem solving, building high performance teams & setting up agile processes. Born and raised in Transylvania in a multilingual family, she is fluent in 5 languages and lives in the Barcelona metropolitan area since 2005. In addition to her full-time job @ Alpha, Andrea has been working with companies and business schools, doing consulting and training in areas like corporate communications, innovation, digital marketing, agile methodologies, design thinking, change management and self-leadership. For further information, please visit Andrea's website: www.andreamacarie.com

Andrea holds a BA in Translation and Interpreting, an MA in Management Assistance, a Postgraduate diploma in Marketing, several certificates in protocol and event management and is a facilitator of Oxford Leadership’s “Leading Self” programme at the corporate university. Andrea is fluent in 5 languages and writes and talks about a variety of topics she has formal training and practical experience in, such as innovation, change management, self-leadership and corporate culture & communication.

For further information, please visit Andrea's website: www.andreamacarie.com

To enquire about the fee and availability for speaking, training and workshops, please send an email to andreamacarie@gmail.com including as much details as possible about the event you are organizing. Special discounts apply to our valued IMA members and partners.

Helen Monument

Bio: A longstanding member and former European Chairman of IMA, Helen Monument is an experienced Executive Assistant and Team Leader. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with like-minded professionals across the world as a Mentor, Coach, Conference Speaker, Trainer and Writer. She believes that Assistants have a responsibility to share their knowledge and experience. Her goal is to ‘pay it forward’ by inspiring Assistants to be the best they can be.

Helen says “I would not be in the position I am today if it had not been for IMA and the growth and development that I achieved while actively serving the association. It was the best leadership training I ever experienced”.

Helen never set out to become a support professional. After working in the Hotel Industry, she moved with her family from the UK to The Netherlands. She combined caring for her two children with learning Dutch and coping with the major culture shift. Her re-entry into the workplace was as Assistant to the European Engineering Manager of The Dow Chemical Company in Rotterdam. During her 12 years with Dow, she increased her skills by contributing to Dow’s Quality Improvement programme, training the Secretarial team in problem-solving techniques and improving work processes. She made a break with engineering in 2000 to venture into the world of telecommunications, working as PA to the Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at KPNQwest in The Hague, where she was again involved in secretarial team building and improvement processes. Later, she moved back to the petrochemical industry, working as Office Manager for an American Consulting Company after which she spent four years as PA to the VP of Progress Software. In 2008 she took on the role of Office Manager and Assisstant to a VP at a major international energy company, where she developed a Mentoring Programme “Secrets of a Successful Assistant”, sharing her experiences and helping PAs with their professional development.

Helen holds the Professional Certificate of Management from the British Open University Business School.

Helen speaks at international conferences for Assistants on a variety of subjects relevant to the profession, including:

  • Leadership Skills for Executive Assistants
  • What to do when the sky falls? The Art of Resilience
  • “This is a Man’s World?” Surviving in a male-dominated industry
  • Innovative Thinking for Executive Assistants
  • Quality Decision Making

Helen has created a mentoring programme “Secrets of a Successful Assistant” aimed at Assistants who are looking to enhance their professional development by sharing their experiences and learning from each other.

Helen offers one-to-one confidential coaching sessions, empowering Assistants to take control of their career.

Helen offers interactive workshops for Assistants on a variety of subjects including:

  • High Performing Teams
  • Group Problem Solving
  • Communication Skills

To discuss your requirements and Helen’s availability, please contact: helenmonument@gmail.com

Karen Nanninga CPCC PMC

Karen Nanninga, after a career as Executive Assistant at Management and Board level, has been a Trainer, Consultant and Speaker in the field of management support for over 25 years. She is also a Certified Business and Life Coach for Professionals. Karen runs seminars, workshops and courses for (training) companies in Germany and The Netherlands. She is also an accredited trainer for the European institutions in Brussels. She is an experienced Moderator of (international) conferences, panel discussions and company events. Her working languages are German, English (both fluent) and Dutch (mother tongue). Born in the Netherlands, she has lived with her family in Germany since 1991.

Karen is passionate about accompanying people on their personal development paths: when delivering training to a group or when coaching individuals. Her objective is always to develop and mobilize personal potential and inner wisdom, to encourage people to take steps, to empower them to set and reach goals, to inspire them to live the life they want. She strongly believes that each individual can make a difference in his/her own environment, no matter what position (s)he holds. Each person’s role goes beyond his/her job description, as we all bring unique personal competence, talents and interests to the workplace. Leadership is her motivation and message in all her professional areas and activities.

Karen’s main subjects for training, seminars and workshops:

• To build the team manager/assistant
• To shape added value from the role and the position
• To understand organizations and to learn management tools
• Tools for setting and reaching goals
• Mental training for personal effectiveness
• (Intercultural) communication
• The international Assistant
• Coaching skills for the assistant
• Priority and time management
• Project management

Karen is a longstanding member of IMA (formerly EUMA), was Chairman of EUMA Netherlands and EUMA Executive Chairman (European Executive Committee).

Karen is also a Certified Medical Coach. Medical Coaching supports clients (patients and caregivers) to develop emotional and mental resilience in a (chronic) disease situation or illness-related crisis, and to cope with their challenges. Karen’s experience as a Trainer and Coach is combined in her voluntary program "Embrace Life!", that contains psycho-oncological support, medical/life coaching and a workshop series for women with and after breast cancer.

For more information, availability and fees contact Karen Nanninga at

Email: info@karen-nanninga.com
Website: www.karen-nanninga.com

Julia Schmidt

Julia Schmidt has worked as an Executive Assistant for over 25 years, holding roles in Brazil, her home country, and Norway, where she has been living since 1998. She has worked in industries as different as Public sector, Publishing, Oil & Gas services, IT, and Bank and Finance. She is known for being a passionate advocate for people development and in helping others succeed and embrace their leadership skills.

Julia has written many articles to Executive Secretary Magazine and blogs about Organizational Health and Wellbeing, Leadership, and Career Development. She is an influencer, public speaker, mentor and proud graduate of the University of Norway with a Masters' Degree in Portuguese Language and Literature and has also studied Business Administration.

She is the author of The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a Successful Career Strategy. In 2017, she was awarded PA of the Year Scandinavia. In 2018, she represented Norway at the 10th World Administrator’s Summit in Frankfurt, Germany, hosted by IMA.

In her public speaking engagements, Julia is sharing her knowledge and experience within
• Career Development
• Organizational Health and Wellbeing
• Becoming an Agile Executive Assistant

Julia is the author of the book The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a Successful Career Strategy and deliver workshops and masterclasses about the topic.

For further information, please connect with Julia on LinkedIn

To inquire about the fee and availability for speaking, training and workshops, please send an email to julia_schmidt@hotmail.com. As a proud IMA member, Julia loves speaking to IMA national groups.