Teams and individuals from across Yorkshire celebrated at last night as the winners of 18 categories were announced at the Yorkshire PA of the Year Awards, held at The Pavilion, Leeds United Football Ground – a ceremony headlined by former PA to John Lennon, May Pang and BBC Look North’s Tanya Arnold.
Melanie Richardson, EA at Bettys & Taylors Group Ltd took home the title of ‘Yorkshire PA of the Year’ – an accolade that highlights the precision, organisation and motivation for ensuring the business doesn’t just function, but it is nurtured to grow from the root up. As part of her prize, Melanie was presented with two Aer Lingus return flights to New York flying from Leeds Bradford Airport to JFK.
Melanie was nominated because of her commitment to the business, adding influence and playing a key role in strategic decisions – not just supporting her director but working as a mentor and business partner, which has proved fundamental to the successful growth of the Yorkshire-based family-run business.
Melanie was highly commended by this year’s judging panel, which consisted of a high-profile team: International Executive Assistant Consultant Adam Fidler; Executive Assistant at William Grants and Sons and former Scottish PA of the year Kelly McAulay; and last year’s Yorkshire PA of the Year and Executive Assistant at Clarion Solicitors Sarah Caswell.
Commenting on Melanie Richardson’s nomination, the judges said: “Choosing a winner is never an easy decision to make, and definitely not one that we took lightly. After hours of deliberation and an evening of interviews for a selection of the categories, we came to an agreement for each category.
“Melanie is a role model EA to her colleagues at Bettys & Taylors Group and also to others in the PA community; she is a worthy winner of this year’s Yorkshire PA of the Year. The quotes from her colleagues made us proud to be assistants and clearly demonstrate how valued her voice is.
“What was great to see was that Melanie clearly recognises and appreciates that Bettys & Taylors Group is a great organisation to work for and that they have great commitment to training and development, yet she firmly believes that this goes hand in hand with her responsibility to take on new challenges and embrace change and she relishes these opportunities.”
Linzi Evans, PA at Hitachi Leeds took home the title for ‘Rising Star of the Year’, winning £500 in training vouchers from local training provider Pitman Training. Described by her boss, “Linzi is continually demonstrating her commitment to myself and to the company, always going above and beyond her role, looking out for risks, issues and potential opportunities. Her insight into continuous improvement extends far beyond her position and into a function that affects £24 million in Opex budget. She is well regarded, trusted and integral to the working of the complete function.”
The judges added: “Linzi is a well-deserved winner of the Rising Star award. She not only drives the business values but approaches challenges and new opportunities with clear logic and with drive to deliver on projects.
“Linzi’s ability to apply strategic knowledge day to day ensures that she is always aware of risks and issues and can produce high-quality solutions in short time frames.”
Marion Lowrence, Director at The PA Hub, organisers of the awards, commented: “We really are overwhelmed by the phenomenal caliber of entries from across Yorkshire this year. We started the awards last year in a bid to put Yorkshire PAs on the map and really give them a voice. What has happened since has astounded us. Yorkshire PAs have not just found their voice, they have found their feet, and joined forces as a united network, challenging their roles and actively taking up career development programs to be the best support teams across the region. Yorkshire businesses truly are very lucky to have such a highly motivated, ambitious network of assistants taking the reins and helping to take Yorkshire forward.”
For full details on the winners from the evening, and to find out more about The PA Hub, please visit thepahub.co.uk.
List of winners in 2016 awards:
- Runner Up – Rising Star Award: Alex Renton, Arup
- Winner – Rising Star Award: Linzi Evans, Hitachi Capital
- Winner – PA Contribution to the Community Award: Becky Wood, Minster Law Ltd
- Winner – PA in Business Award: Gemma Walton, Portfolio PA
- Winner – Best Business Client Award: Tarte & Berry
- Winner – PA Hub Members’ Member York Award: Helen Adams, SES (Engineering Services) Ltd
- Winner – PA Hub Members’ Member Leeds Award: Laura Taylor, Deloitte LLP
- Runner Up – Best Organised Event Award: Sarah Hough, DM Keith Ltd
- Winner – Best Organised Event Award: Vice-Chancellor’s Office Executive Assistants, University of Huddersfield
- Winner – Employer of the Year Award: Bettys & Taylors Group Ltd
- Winner – Best Internal PA Network Award: Wakefield Council
- Winner – Best Social Media PA Award: Kerry Dawson, Leeds Beckett University
- Winner – Best Team of PAs Award: Executive Support Team, St Leger Homes of Doncaster
- Winner – Best Boss Award: Mark Fletcher, Arup
- Winner – PA Lifetime Achievement Award: Heather Riley, Xerox UK Limited
- Special Award – International Ambassador for the PA Profession Award: Lucy Brazier, Executive Secretary Magazine
- Runner Up – Yorkshire PA of the Year Award: Jessica Hardwicke, BHP Chartered Accountants
- Winner – Yorkshire PA of the Year Award: Melanie Richardson, Bettys & Taylors Group Ltd