Cybersecurity for Digitally Dependent IMA Members

by Shelagh Donnelly


Cybersecurity is a critical issue at the best of times, and it’s all the more important given the COVID-19 pandemic. IMA members and their employers have become increasingly dependent on digital communications as 2020 progresses. The World Economic Forum is one of many bodies to have recognised the significant increase in cyber risks all of us face given transformations to how we do business.

Whether you’re working remotely, in the office, or embarking on a hybrid arrangement, you’re likely relying on a combination of employer and personal hardware and servers. We’ll take a look at the potential implications a cyber breach can have for individuals and employers, and the tactics cyber criminals employ.

While the risks are real, there are practices you can adopt to mitigate both personal and professional risks. You’ll come away from this time with Shelagh with some simple, proactive measures you can take to reduce your cyber vulnerabilities. Join Shelagh in this session, and you’ll see why she’s called the cybersecurity whisperer.

Key learning points

  • The implications of a cyber breach
  • Recognizing risk
  • Mitigating risk: best practices


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



What did you do in the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Key learnings will be:
- Mental health in the new Covid world.
- Learning to love what we have.
- Preparation for the new world of work.

Bio Angela
Angela Mortimer is the Founder and Director of one of Europe’s most successful recruitment consultancies, Angela Mortimer Plc. Established in 1976, her company currently employs approximately 150 staff in offices across London, New York, Brussels, Paris and Sao Paulo. The company has developed the careers of more than 300,000 individuals, mainly female, since its foundation.
Angela believes passionately in the need to encourage everyone especially women, to achieve their maximum potential. She seeks to inspire confidence and positive thinking by sharing insights developed over 40 years through training, public speaking and her blogs.
In 1995, in recognition of her company’s outstanding contribution to business life, Angela was made a Freeman of the City of London and is a member of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers. Angela is an International Speaker, delivering lectures helping women understand social and employment trends in order to achieve personal objectives. In 1996, she joined the Council of International Management Assistants, IMA (formerly known as EUMA) where she serves on the Affiliate Council advising on employment matters. Angela was a visiting lecturer on the Mountbatten programme in New York for over 20 years supporting graduates in finding placements after their Internship. Angela has made numerous appearances on television, including The British at Work on BBC2, Women in the Workplace, which was aired on television and radio, and produced a short documentary in collaboration with the Telegraph Business Club, highlighting the unique nature of the company she owns and in 2003, Angela was awarded the European Women of Achievement Award.
Angela is a patron and founder sponsor of the National Youth Ballet with an involvement motivated by the desire to foster the themes of women, youth and excellence. For several years Angela worked with the International Centre for Prison Studies counselling prison governors.
For over 12 years Angela served on both the Confederation of British Industries SME Council and The London Council of the Confederation of British Industry. In 2009 Angela was the winner of The First Women Awards for Business Services in association with Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets and supported by the CBI, and, in July 2003, Angela won the European Women of Achievement Awards in the Entrepreneur section. More recently, Angela was recognised by the Staffing Industry Analysts as one of the top 50 in their Global Power 100 – Women in Staffing list 2018.


How to Manage your Manager in a digital world!

The focus of this program is to learn how to manage your boss and will look at tried and true methods admins have used for years, new methods that have come into play as technology became more widely used and how to find the correct balance for your working relationship. Attendees will discuss how technology has and continues to change the way admins work, the importance of building and maintaining a sound working relationship with your manager, and how the importance of staying current with trends and technologies allows them to be a better resource/working partner with their manager.

Learner Outcomes:
- Identify/understand your manager's style
- Identify what you can control (and what you can't)
- Identify tasks you can take on that will provide your manager with time to focus on higher level projects
- Build your working relationship/learn to be resource to your manager
- Improve your communication skills

Bio Juanita
Juanita Mort, CAP, OM, PM, MOSM is the Executive Assistant and strategic business partner to the Vice President, Information Services and Technology/CIO at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. This role supports the learning experiences of the students by enriching their education through technology. She is also an adjunct faculty member on the Adult Education|Workforce Development team and provides small setting learning opportunities in the Microsoft Office platform.
With over 25 years of experience as an executive assistant supporting senior executives and CEO’s, Juanita has built a record of accomplishments through strong performance in high volume, high pressure environments. She skillfully manages administrative duties and is a staff trainer and mentor to new executive assistants.
Education and continued professional development are important components of Juanita’s personal growth/career plan. She holds associates degrees in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems. She also holds several industry certifications: IAAP Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) with specialty designations in Organizational Management and Project Management, Microsoft Office Specialist (2010, 2013) and Microsoft Office 2016 Specialist Master. Advocacy for the administrative profession is one of Juanita’s great passions. Juanita’s core belief is that admins and the vital roles they play in the success of their companies should be understood, recognized, and appreciated. Their voices should be heard and regarded as valuable. Passion drives success and success drives passion. Through her membership in the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), she has grown her network and enhanced her leadership skills through leadership roles at the local, regional, and international levels of the association. She is the current chair of the IAAP Board of Directors. Juanita is active in her community and currently volunteers her time with HACC-related opportunities on the Administrative Office Management Advisory Board and the President’s Next Generation Task Force. She also serves on the Finance Committee and community project “The Church has Left the Building” with her local church.
Juanita lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA with her husband, Jerry. Between them, they have four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and enjoying the fun of being Mimi and Pop-Pop.


How to whip your boss into shape from home

What we know up to now about coronavirus is that it had forced us to invest time and effort into redesigning a new work experience. In the webinar we tackle these points:

Starting from a joint Working from Home bunch of problems, we will provide you with a practical checklist to create a new routine, with the help of our Trello Kanban board for remote team activities.
At the end of our webinar you should be able to:
1. develop strategies to identify and reduce the hidden time stealers working from home
2. explore the psychological factors affecting remote e-worker's well-being and work-life balance
3. create a new working routine to manage remote work effectively.

  • Bio Michela
    I have 10+ years of experience as Manager Assistant in different company realities, and I blend all the skills acquired so far in my business: Daily Facilitator Virtual Office Manager, Training and Web Marketing services.
    Training is an essential part of my business. In recent years I have developed various workshops on Personal Branding and LinkedIn strategies, as well as Digital Education; I worked on distance learning and mentoring for Executive Assistant, and I participated as a speaker also in international contexts.
    I am a member and part of the Academy of IMA (International Management Assistants), former NPRO IMA Italy for two terms. At present, I'm the deputy head of Women Network Leader for my region.

  • Bio Selvaggia
    I am a Strategy Mentor with 15+ years of experience as Executive Assistant & Business Partner. My mission is to support managers to achieve their goals within the team, with the help of a training and mentoring path. I am passionate about start-up and innovation but also about improving business processes and information-flow. I have an Executive MBA from MIP-Politecnico di Milano. I am on the Italian Board of IMA Italy as National Treasurer and President of the Umbria Business Group Association, which aims to create business through networking.


Personal Branding and LinkedIn Profile

Today, more than ever, it is necessary to know how to move on the web. This is a historical moment in which all our ways of communicating and getting in touch with others are moving on internet, that is why our digital presence becomes fundamental to present ourselves at our best. We have to become owners of our digital footprint and decide how we want to be perceived. Carla Harris says ‘perception is the co-pilot of reality’.

Bio Gabriella
Gabriella Picca is an event manager for Linkedin Italy and Linkedin Iberia (Spain and Portugal). She is official Brand Ambassador of Linkedin and Manager Assistant for Linkedin Italy and Linkedin Iberia. As LinkedIn Brand Ambassador she carries out training sessions and workshops (live and online) mainly addressed to universities and schools, associations, companies and users. She is firmly convinced that Linkedin is today more than ever the social platform essential for personal development and professional path.
Gabriella has also being recently nominated by Capital Magazine as one of the top 50 assistants in Italy.


Demonstrate your worth!

Our Role our Profession as Assistants was already changing rapidly and now we are in Wharp speed to so many changes both at work, professionally as well as in our personal lives. The EA/PAs of today need to demonstrate their worth, and this does not mean long hours of work, bringing coffee or just being nice. We need to take the next step forward, today, rather than tomorrow. It is about managing crisis as we experience today, resilience, forward thinking, pro-active and definitely about learning to communicate effectively and with assertive and positive attitude and mindset. I want to bring you some ideas, motivation and personal experience as well as input from my own Executive. Together we can do this!

Bio Laura
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).


    Management Assistants - taking action for our planet!

    Sofie Koark shared her thoughts about sustainability related to our role in this webinar.

    Climate change due to global warming is an urgent & devastating threat. As an individual, you can feel powerless to stop this chain effect, but doing something is better than doing nothing.
    How many Management Assistants are there in the world? What would happen if we all decided to work against climate change?
    As Management Assistants, we are leaders and we are buyers. We can start to make conscious decisions in our daily choices in order to reduce the negative climate impact.
    If all of us start to put climate change on the agenda, it will make a difference and inspire others. Let's be leaders, innovators and good role models for sustainability.
    We are doers, solutions-oriented and through our global network we can share ideas and inspire each other to take good initiatives.

    Sofie is Training Officer in IMA Sweden and a member of the Swedish board.


    Laura Belgrado shared her experience not only how she works and manages her Executive remotely, but especially now during the current CV-19 crisis – how in our Profession and our Role it is key to ensure our own safety and well-being and that of our loved ones.

    Some techniques on ‘behavior management’ in times or crisis and how to take a pro-active approach with your Executive.

    Laura also feels that this current situation is a great opportunity for many Assistants out there. How can we be ready with a plan B and revisit our personal skills.

    To close Laura will share some important do’s and don’ts for remote working.

Professional Master for Executive Assistants

Online Training Program - co created by IMA

– an online training program for taking the role to new levels.

  • Earn a tangible online degree
  • +20 exclusive video presentations featuring industry leaders such as Adam Fidler and Laura Belgrado
  • Based on online lectures, presentations, podcasts, reading materials, assessments, manually graded assignments and more
  • Online learning community: Discuss and collaborate with global colleagues
  • IMA members gets discount. Check our Members offer


Past Webinars 2019


    Protect your time: Your diary is your BOSS, anticipate weekly, monthly and yearly

    Mina Dhifali, 39 years old, French, born, raised and educated in Paris. She is a single mother of a 7 years old daughter, a passionate professional and a go-getter woman. Being raised in both French and African cultures has been a blessing for her. She started travelling at 7 months to Algeria for holidays, and she has never stopped since then, discovering new countries, new cultures and, connecting with people have always been a spiritual quest. She founded My French PA in September 2017, an agency of business support services. Her mission is to reinterpret the traditional corporate role of an executive assistant within the digital age: she is often considered as a strategic business support partner by her clients.

    She proposed virtual and on-site several services for English speaking international businesses and individuals in Paris, as French bureaucracy, PA services, event management, to name a few.

    Her main expertise is Time Management: a whole-solution approach to take care of the day-to-day in the professional life so that my clients may focus – clearly, cleanly – on their core business.


    Description Webinar: This was a presentation of a clear strategy with tools and process of how to protect your time in workplace.


    What to do when the sky falls

    Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. So just imagine: you have a path mapped out for yourself, you’re happily on your way and then something happens that stops your life in its tracks. It could be a huge, life-changing event, losing your job, being the victim of a crime or the day to day events in the office that take a different turn that you just didn’t see coming. Whatever it is, it’s unexpected, it’s unwelcome and it’s upsetting. So what do you do?

    In this webinar, Helen shared her experiences, tips and techniques about what you can do when the sky falls.

    Helen is a former Executive Chairman and Association Secretary of EUMA (now IMA) and after more than 30 years experience as a Secretary, Management Assistant, PA and Team Leader, she has founded Monumental Assistance: training, mentoring, coaching, writing and speaking at conferences for Assistants all over the world. She’s passionate about our profession and believes that we all have an obligation to ‘pay it forward’ by encouraging Assistants at all levels to continuously improve and never stop learning.


    Coaching skills for Assistants – A constructive approach for your interaction and communication

    Assistants, by the nature of their roles, hold interface positions. They are like the spider in the centre of their webs, pulling all the strings in terms of coordination and communication, overseeing all that is going on. Also by the nature of their jobs, they have little hierarchical power. AND … from the centre of the web they can exert a lot of influence … and that’s maybe even more powerful than power.

    Exerting influence for the sake of creating win-win situations is “servant leadership”. To serve is also the basis of a coaching relationship.

    In this webinar we will explore the coaching approach for your communication and interaction. You will learn that this is much more than a few techniques. A coaching approach means that you are willing to take responsibility for your mindset and to act from intention. You will acquire some easy to apply skills. We will do a number of exercises and … come prepared to commit to a homework assignment, like in a real-life personal coaching session.

    The webinar will be led by Karen Nanninga, experienced Trainer and Certified Coach (CPCC, PMC). She was National Chairman of EUMA Netherlands and Executive Chairmen of EUMA, now IMA. Karen 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.


    So You Think You're a Strategic Business Partner - But What Does that Mean? By Lucy Brazier, CEO of Marcham Publishing

    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.

    We looked 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.


    The Executive Assistant Manifesto™ – What it means and why it should matter to every EA

    A special webinar recorded exclusively for IMA by the UK’s leading provider of training and education for EAs, Adam Fidler of Adam Fidler Academy

    In this webinar, Adam, a former corporate EA of 20 years, covered:

    • The story behind the Manifesto, why and how it was written.
    • How to articulate the true Executive Assistant role.
    • How Assistants can use the Manifesto to set stretching goals and develop new capabilities to future-proof their roles.
    • Why Executives also love the Manifesto, and what it means to them (the bosses).
    • How Assistants can build better-buy in from their Executives using the Manifesto.
    • Key considerations, and challenges, for the future of the EA role in light of global trends, competency frameworks, innovation and change.


    The influential assistant


    Lauren has over 10 years experience as an admin across the globe. Having worked in the USA, UK and as a virtual admin for companies in Australia and Thailand. In 2016, she was named one of OfficeNinjas‘ All-Stars, an award given to top performing admins. She is passionate about connecting fellow admins and in 2015 she founded The Officials to empower admins through community, courses and coaching. She is a working admin, networker, brand ambassador and public speaker. She currently lives in London, UK where you can find her constantly neglecting her cup of tea and operating on shockingly little sleep while juggling career and family (2 adorable daughters!)

    To learn more visit:


    Brand Reputation + LinkedIn - how to create a star profile

    LinkedIn Connect to Opportunity: choose yours

    If you ever thought "I have a profile on Linkedin, but I don't know what to do with it" then this introduction to the first professional social network is for you.

    Your reasoning is correct: having it and not using won't bring you clients, nor will land you a job. Hence, what are the "hidden secrets" of successful people who use it properly? A premium version? Nope! They use it with a strategy and an intention.

    In this hour we manage to learn: How does it (really) work and why you have to use it, as a professional. Five necessary key points to start with and lead to an A-star Profile

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

    Michela 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 her a lot in the transition from EA to entrepreneur”. Michela has been an active IMA member since 2014, where she served as a PR Officer in IMA Italy.


    Maximise your brain for excellence!

    Sue taught us how to: - Use neuroscience tips to build and maintain confidence - Understand and maximize your brain’s potential - Apply a tool for overcoming the “fear” factor - Tips, tools, and techniques for boosting your brainpower

    Bio Sue:

    Sue is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner, qualified learning and development practitioner, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, A Fellow of the Institute of Administrative Management, an experienced and award winning assistant and internationally renowned coach and trainer. Sue is a neuroscience enthusiast and combines it with Neuro Linguistic Programming to give a powerful and empowering presentation. Sue is the author of the award winning “The Definitive Executive Assistant & Managerial Handbook” and “The Definitive Personal Assistant & Secretarial Handbook.” Sue is offering a discount of 20% off each book when you purchase from by putting the word FAVOUR in the code box and she will personally sign the books for you. You can also contact Sue by email if you have any queries.


    Working with millennials - meet the new manager generation of the digital age

    Diana shared her advice on how to tackle millennial executives who are becoming more and more common as the new manager generation in the digital age. She has been working with them for almost two years and will introduce this new "species" of micro-managers, digital natives and 24/7 executives to us by describing their management and leadership style. You well learn a lot about your own strengths and many opportunities that come with the new manager generation for our profession.

    Bio Diana:

    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, ratiopharm and Mister Spex. Diana has a strong background in Communications and is an active networker. She joined IMA in 2006, and is a Member of the Board serving as Acting-Public Relations Officer for IMA Germany and is also chairing the Regional Group of IMA Berlin / Germany. She continuously supports the role of the management assistant by speaking at international events and publishing various articles in Germany and abroad. Diana writes her own blog The Socialista Projects and is influencing the industry with her creative initiatives such as launching the hashtag #WeAreInThisTogether

Cyber security for digitally dependent IMA members

Cybersecurity is a critical issue at the best of times, and it’s all the more important given the COVID-19 pandemic. IMA members and their employers have become increasingly dependent on digital communications as 2020 progresses. The World Economic Forum is one of many bodies to have recognised the significant increase in cyber risks all of us face given transformations to how we do business.

Whether you’re working remotely, in the office, or embarking on a hybrid arrangement, you’re likely relying on a combination of employer and personal hardware and servers. We’ll take a look at the potential implications a cyber breach can have for individuals and employers, and the tactics cyber criminals employ.

While the risks are real, there are practices you can adopt to mitigate both personal and professional risks. You’ll come away from this time with Shelagh with some simple, proactive measures you can take to reduce your cyber vulnerabilities. Join Shelagh in this session, and you’ll see why she’s called the cybersecurity whisperer.

Key learning points

The implications of a cyber breach Recognizing risk Mitigating risk: best practices