About Us

The Platinum Assistant Network South Africa (PAN-SA) is dedicated exclusively to the MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT profession.

We are a unique brand of management support strategists, who have evolved from typists to strategic team players, contributing to the day to day organisational, decision making and efficiency within our organisations, to ensure optimal support and service excellence to our executives and their teams.

We see ourselves as a forward-thinking group of passionate Management Assistants Support Network, who strive to help, develop, and grow our peers in a profession that has evolved from typist to C-Suite strategic Management Assistants.

Cathy Harris Founding Member and Director

CATHY HARRIS | Executive PA :CEO Discovery Invest | Founder Director PLATINUM ASSISSTANT NETWORK SA | South African PA of the Year 2006 | WA-Alliance Member | Isipho Bursary Mentor |Author |Trainer |Internal Networks | Dip. Bookkeeping.

 As an Executive PA to the CEO of a forward thinking and innovative organization for over 20 years, and a wealth of knowledge and experience based purely on a passion for my profession, and am constantly striving to be exceptional in every facet of my role as both an Executive Management Assistant, an advocator for our profession, an enforcer of the Creating an Internal Assistant Network, and continue to inspire my peers to rediscover their true value. Moving  from ordinary into extraordinary!

Along this extraordinary secretarial journey, I have learned and gained so much; I have been given opportunities that I seized. Let me share some of my milestones with you. I was nominated as South Africa’s National PA of the Year for 2006/2007 where, since then, I continue to be involved with various Secretarial mentorship programs, training initiatives globally, facilitating workshops, chairing conferences and being invited as a keynote speaker at various initiatives around the world, including participating and facilitating a workshop on Internal Networks for the highly acclaimed Executive Secretary Live events hosted in London, Australia and New Zealand. This International PA event showcases the world’s top administrative trainers, sharing the stage with Ronald Reagan’s PA Peggy Grande, Bonnie Low-Kramen, one of the worlds most respected voices in the profession, Vickie Sokol Evans a world class Microsoft Trainer and Lucy Brazier OBE, the host, CEO and publisher of the Executive Support Magazine, to name but a few. Please do visit them at www.executivesupport.com

In 2016 I felt the time had arrived for a new kind of Assistant Network and my dream was realized in founding THE PLATINUM ASSISTANT NETWORK SA. Of course, it would not be as successful as it is today without having the phenomenal Susan Engelbrecht aboard as co-founder and Director. Her drive and passion for our profession is par excellence!

It was also around 2015 that I initiated the reformation of my organization’s in-house internal network, the Discovery PA Centre of Excellence, where I share the management role with a dear friend and colleague, Susan Engelbrecht. Internal Networks is one of my initiatives that I am hugely passionate about, to the extent that I have been instrumental in assisting PA’s set up their own Internal Networks both at a national and International level. I have also authored the book “The Executive Secretary Guide to create and Internal Assistant Network, publish by Marcham publishers and available on Amazon. My very first internal network initiative took place over 40 years ago while working for Tek Electronics (Pty) Ltd.

In conjunction with all these amazing adventures, I was also the Chairperson of the Office Professionals of South Africa (OPSA), created the Accreditation Assignments for both Certified Office Professional (COP) and Certified Management Office Professional (CMOP) which is currently the only recognized and registered SETA approved certification for our profession. I encourage all Management Assistants to go through the certification process. http://www.opsa.org.za/ I headed up the OPSA’s Annual National Awards for over 10 years, and am now proud to include the initiation of the Platinum Assistant Network South Africa’s Awards to this, which was celebrated this year where we awarded in 4 categories.

One of the most humbling opportunities was being invited to participate in the Isipho Admin Bursary, heading up their bursary assessment team and being a mentor to new students. Founders and Directors, Anel Martin, Lucy Brazier and Teri Wells put in place a dream they had to give back to society by uplifting impoverished communities in South Africa and provide entry to the PA for previously disadvantaged young people. For more on Isipho and how you can assist too, go to www.isiphoadmin.org.za

Other initiatives I have been honored to be part of over the years, include my first authored book Mobi Jane: Self Development and Innovation (available on Amazon), setting up the Mauritius PA Association, administrating the first ever Mauritius PA of the Year Award, being invited to be a member of the World Administrative Alliance, and many other wonderful opportunities and initiative to grow awareness and raise the bar for our profession globally.  At every opportunity I also look to elevate Management Assistants to help them create their own unique brand, and become ambassadors for our profession.

She has written many articles over the years for various secretarial magazines both locally and internationally; has compiled secretarial workbooks and bespoke mentoring programs for the secretarial profession, and has currently completed the first of 4 anecdotal administrative  books namely Mobi-Jane: Self Development and Innovation which is also available as an eBook on Amazon.

Cathy is also one of four mentors on the Isipho Admin Bursary initiative, where previously disadvantaged young black South African women have an opportunity to develop into the secretarial profession.

She has written many articles over the years for various secretarial magazines both locally and internationally; has compiled secretarial workbooks and bespoke mentoring programs for the secretarial profession, and has currently completed the first of 4 anecdotal administrative  books namely Mobi-Jane: Self Development and Innovation which is also available as an eBook on Amazon.

Cathy is also one of four mentors on the Isipho Admin Bursary initiative, where previously disadvantaged young black South African women have an opportunity to develop into the secretarial profession.

Susan Engelbrecht – Executive PA

Susan Engelbrecht is an Executive PA: CEO Vitality Health International | Co-Founder Director: Platinum Assistant Network SA | WA-Alliance Member | Isipho Bursary Senior Academic Advisor & Mentor | CESP™

With over 40 years of experience as an executive assistant supporting senior executives and CEO’s, Susan has built a record of accomplishments through strong performance in high volume, high pressure environments. She skillfully manages administrative duties and is a mentor to new executive assistants.

Advocacy for the administrative profession is one of Susan’s great passions. Her core belief is that PAs and the vital roles they play in the success of their companies should be understood, recognised, and appreciated. Their voices should be heard and regarded as valuable. Passion drives success and success drives passion. Through Platinum Assistant Network SA (PANSA) https://pansa.co.za/ , she has grown her network and enhanced her leadership skills.

Susan is currently co-managing the Discovery PA Centre of Excellence (in-house PA Forum) which includes various initiatives such as an annual PA Summit and workshops. She is the Senior Academic Advisor for the Isipho Admin Bursary team http://www.isiphoadmin.org.za/ and actively involved in mentoring the students. She is on the World Administrators Alliance https://wa-alliance.com/home/ and task force lead on Harassment in the Workplace.

Susan’s mission is to create a sense of spectacular. Her life is about helping others. She believes in making the world a better place and knows the importance of working together. She always strives to do her best and to help others realize their own potential and thrive. Her commitment and Initiative help her complete her mission and people are inspired by the warmth and good will with which she lives her daily life.