The role of Executive Support has changed forever! Are you ready to embrace that change and fulfil your potential?

28 - 29 February '20

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Welcome To Executive Secretary Live - Johannesburg

28 - 29 February '20

28 - 29 February '20

Join us for two days of unparalleled workshops, training, motivation and networking

Limited Spaces Available

Limited Spaces Available

We purposely limit our numbers to 100 to ensure maximum engagement with the speakers & your peers.

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Discovery Group Head Office

Discovery Group Head Office

1 Discovery Place


Johannesburg, 2196

South Africa

11 Incredible Guest Speakers

11 Incredible Guest Speakers

Hand-picked to ensure you receive cutting edge training from the world’s most inspiring speakers and trainers.

Meet Your Speakers

Click on the images for full biographies

Ayanna Castro

International speaker and author with expertise in helping others see their potential and overcome self-imposed obstacles in pursuit of their goals.

Anel Martin

International Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, Author, Storyteller, Time Management Coach

Teri Wells

Teri is an international speaker, past Head of the Academy of Excellence and a past Vice President of the Professional Association for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (PAFSA). Currently, Teri is the Executive PA to the Chief Executive Officer and the Financial Director at Redefine Properties.

Dinah Liversidge

Writer, speaker, no box thinker helps people go from “thinking outside the box”, to “no-box thinking”.

John Shaw

Former Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Rhonda Scharf

International speaker, Trainer and Author, based in Ottawa. Recently inducted into the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame.

Sandy Geroux

Since 2000, she has conducted over 125 motivational keynotes, training programs and workshops for 15,000+ administrative professionals, helping them become “invaluable,” create career opportunities and achieve their personal and professional dreams.

Vickie Sokol Evans

Microsoft Certified Trainer to Bill Gates’ Assistants

Marlize Schneider

Marlize Schneider

Executive Assistant

Cynthia Thomsen

EA to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

Lucy Brazier

Your host, CEO & Publisher of Global Training Resource, Executive Secretary Magazine

Don't Miss Out

Here are some of this year's highlights

Don’t miss this opportunity to spend two days focusing on your career progression and development! Engage in meaningful conversations with colleagues and speakers, expanding your administrative resource network.

Learn to lead alongside your executive and your teams.  Come away with new, updated, and practical skills.

We know you will leave inspired to challenge your role, and excel your career as an Assistant.

See you in Johannesburg ~ Lucy

Book Now

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Day 1 28 February '20
9:00 am

Half-Day Masterclass - Project Management for Admins -  Rhonda Scharf - Professional Speaker, Trainer and Author based in Ottowa 

We are hearing the phrase and terms everywhere. People are talking about their projects, and how to manage them. We are being asked to run projects and participate in project teams, yet we don’t always know what the expectations are or exactly what the terms mean.

That ends here.

Learn the terms (so you can feel informed), identify the steps (so you can participate), and open your eyes to a whole new world.

– What is, and what isn’t project management (to clarify when you really are working on projects that can help your career)
– What do all those terms really mean
– What are the stages of project management, and my role in each stage
– How do I incorporate the language of project management into my daily routine

There will be a networking break at 10.30 am

Rhonda Scharf is a Professional Speaker – recently inducted into the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame – a Trainer and Author, based in Ottawa. She has spoken to tens of thousands of people in 20+ countries.


12:30 pm

Networking Lunch

1:30 pm

Half Day Masterclass - Jaw-dropping Tips & Tricks Using Microsoft Office 365 - Vickie Sokol Evans - Probably the top Microsoft Trainer in the world

Every year you tell us you wish she had longer, so for ExecSecLIVE Johannesburg 2020, we are excited to announce that Vickie Sokol Evans will be hosting a half-day workshop on Office 365.

Literally making the audiences’ jaws drop, Vickie Sokol Evans, author of the bestselling “100 Tips” series for both PC & Mac, is one of the leading tech trainers in the world right now.

Who knew that Microsoft Office could be so fun? She’s witty, sharp, pointed and knows more about how to get the most from Microsoft Office – teaching Assistants tricks to turn what usually takes hours into solutions that take minutes, by learning how to use the programs to their full potential.

Vickie is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, specializing in Microsoft, Google and Apple productivity platforms such as Microsoft Office, OneNote, SharePoint, Skype/Lync, Office 365, Google Apps, Gmail, The Cloud, and more!

Vickie has taught at every LIVE event and is our most requested return speaker, with 98% of our audiences wanting her back.

There will be a networking break at 3 pm

5:00 pm

Soapbox Challenge

6:30 pm

Informal Networking Dinner

Day 2 29 February '20
9:00 am

Welcome speech from Lucy Brazier


9:15 am

Top Skills for 2020 - Future Proof Your Career for a New Decade - Anel Martin - Award-winning Former Assistant, Trainer & Author

The World Economic Forum in conjunction with HR and Strategy leaders globally has compiled a list of the Top 10 Skills for 2020. Is this list good news or bad news for today’s assistants?
In this session, we review each skill, how it applies (and potentially elevates the role to the next level) and how it can be enhanced/acquired. Being focused on these skills will make our careers more future proof and the profession, as a whole more relevant. Are you ready for the future and the rise of AI?
Anel Martin is an award-winning former assistant with 15 years’ experience in the corporate world. She has been training assistants since 2009 and is a published author.


10:05 am

Don’t Drop the Ball… Methods to Help with Multi-Tasking - Sandy Geroux

In the old days, support staff had limited responsibilities and could focus on one task at a time. No more! Today’s admin typically has not only routine daily tasks but also undertakes special projects, managerial responsibilities, and teamwork. That’s not to mention the unexpected and urgent things that come up each day. Help is here. This fast-paced session provides realistic techniques for setting priorities, tips on managing time so that the unexpected doesn’t control you, and ideas for boosting your ability to focus and reduce distractions.

In this program, you will:

  • Discover the critical distinction between multi-tasking, background tasking and switch-tasking
  • Prioritize and categorize what should be multi-tasked and what should not
  • Learn how to manage your time, your actions and your emotions
  • Uncover how to optimize your best time
  • Obtain strategies for maximizing your strengths and those of your team
  • Learn effective methods for allocating your time and breaking up your activities
  • Discover tools and techniques to help you get more organized.

Since 2000, Sandy Geroux has conducted over 125 motivational keynotes, training programs and workshops for 15,000+ administrative professionals, helping them become “invaluable,” create career opportunities and achieve their personal and professional dreams.   


10:55 am

Networking Break

11:15 am

Work Your Package: Using What You Already Have To Be Extraordinary - Ayanna Castro - International Speaker and Author

An international speaker and author with expertise in helping others see their potential and overcome self-imposed obstacles in pursuit of their goals, Ayanna Castro will give you insight into taking your existing knowledge and skillset to the next level.

  • Listening to the Birdie – Following your intuition to make better decisions
  • Board of Directors – Surrounding yourself with people who push you to do better
  • Managing the 168 – Recognizing what’s really keeping you from doing what needs to be done
  • The Mind Mapped Action Plan – See your goals in a different way to create a better strategy to achieve them


12:05 pm

A Life Less Ordinary - Lucy Brazier interviews John Shaw - Former Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

John Shaw is a small-town boy who grew up in a very rural community in the American South. At 18 years old and living in Nashville, he was thrust into the world of privilege when he began his career as an executive assistant supporting country music royalty.

After 13 years of providing administrative support to award-winning recording artists and celebrities, John left the entertainment industry to broaden his knowledge and skills, and to hone his talent further with a move into management consulting.

He eventually returned to the world of entertainment, supporting the head of marketing of three major television networks, but John still felt he had something bigger to offer to the world.

He found the opportunity he’d been looking for to make a bigger impact as part of his career when he was hired in 2014 by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO, Sue Desmond-Hellmann to be her executive assistant. This session explores the lessons learned through his incredible story. John will explain how seizing pivotal moments can shape our career & life.


1:45 pm

The Multiple Manager Manifesto - Teri Wells - International Speaker, past Head of the Academy of Excellence and past Vice President of the Professional Association for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (PAFSA)

The prospect of working for more than one boss need not be intimidating or overwhelming and with the correct approach, working for more than
one boss can be exhilarating and good for your personal growth and career.

Take the time to understand the dynamics and learn the skills to assist
with mastering the challenges of managing multiple managers.

Train yourself and educate/train your bosses on how to best use your talents and
time accepting that this is a learning process for all AND maintain your sanity while doing so.

Currently, Teri is the Executive PA to the Chief Executive Officer and the Financial Director at Redefine Properties.



2:35 pm

No Box Thinking - Dinah Liversidge - writer, speaker, no box thinker helps people go from “thinking outside the box”, to “no-box thinking”.

How often have you been asked to “think outside the box” in your role? What if all this does is limit your options and limit your ability to see the
really exciting possibilities?

Dinah will take you on a journey of discovery, to a place where your choices, your creativity, and your approach to finding solutions, is not limited by any box. We’ll look at how much of what we do is restricted by the limitations we buy into on a daily basis, and how you can change that pattern to allow yourself to experience real no-box- thinking.

With practical tips, actions you can take straight away, and experiences I’ll share that give you the confidence to embrace the possibilities, we’ll break down some long-held limiting beliefs and explore what your goals and aspirations, challenges and frustrations might look like from this new perspective.


3:25 pm

Afternoon networking break

3:45 pm

Lucy Brazier Interviews Marlize Schneider - Former Office Manager at The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation

Desmond Tutu rose through the ranks, from Dean of Johannesburg to Bishop of Lesotho, Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches, to Archbishop of Cape Town. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his contribution to overcoming apartheid. Upon his retirement from the church, he headed the newly-democratic South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2011 he announced his retirement from public life – but continues nonetheless as chairman of The Elders, and to spread his global mission for a fairer more caring world.

As an Executive Assistant with day to day access to a living legend, Marlize had to balance not only her demands as an Assistant but also the demands of representing the Tutu Foundation brand to those she came into contact with. In this exclusive interview, Marlize will share stories and tips from her time in this extraordinary role.

This session will include an audience Q&A.

4:35 pm

The Power of Partnership - Cynthia Thomsen - EA to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

In this empowering session, Cynthia will reveal the lessons learned on her journey working alongside one of the world’s most successful business leaders, and how she has built an unbreakable partnership with the man who restored Microsoft to relevance and changed not only its business strategy but its culture as well.

This session will include an audience Q&A.

Ends 17:00

7:00 pm

Gala Dinner at The Codfather

Our host is the Discovery Group Head Office

Discovery Limited is a South Africa-based financial services group that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with its headquarters in Sandton.


Here are just a few comments from previous events:

I feel truly energised to provide an even higher level of service to my executives… I’ve started researching a topic that I would like to write an article on & have spoken to one of my execs about leading a project to unify the EAs across our company… to use Dinah’s phrase “I’ve removed the box

Colette Martin

Executive Assistant, Bard/Beckton Dickinson

I am reassured, rejuvenated, reminded and remotivated that I am in the right profession, a position that requires endless skill sets and constant demand…we do it all and with a smile. It takes a special person to do what we do everyday and we are phenomenal at it. It is a career that I love

Amber Manezes

Sr. Administrative Assistant, Seattle Genetics

I enjoyed each minute, I cannot say anything else. That is the truth

Cathy Van Mastrigt

EA to CEO, Hull Speed Associates

I am in awe… so utterly fantastic to have been a part of it!!

Alison Palm

EA to the CEO & Board, Sandvik Process Systems

I loved meeting a group of people who understand our role. We are unique and sometimes people do not understand what and why we go to the lengths we do. Those at the conference just get it

Carol Lloyd

Enesi Pharma Ltd, EA to CEO

I walked away with a spring in my step with renewed motivation and determination to be the best I can, using what I had learned over the course of the two days.

Lorraine Tresnak

Senior Business Administrator, Specialist Services, NHS Blood and Transplant

Aside from the amazing content, I gained so much from networking with the other delegates and speakers.

Carol Prince

PA, Marwell Wildlife

I was excited about how much I learned, not just in technology, but in other areas of the career as well. Plus it was very empowering and I feel more energized by my career than ever. I can’t wait to teach other admins in my office some of the things I learned, hopefully empowering them as well.

Kayla Hutchens

Executive Assistant, Jacobs

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