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 is an Executive Assistant to the CEO of Discovery Invest and has been with the Discovery Group for over 20 years. She has over 41 years’ experience in the Executive PA profession, having commenced her career as an Office Professional way back in 1979.  With a Diploma in Accounting, and certificates in various secretarial disciplines, Cathy’s experience and expertise in the administrative profession has gained her international recognition.

Nominated South Africa’s National Secretary of the Year for 2006/2007, Cathy used the opportunity to continue her involvement with various Secretarial initiatives including mentorship, training initiatives within her organization, facilitating training and development both nationally and globally, and is recognized as the expert in helping her peers create internal networks for within their organizations. Cathy has authored “The Executive Secretary Guide to Creating An Internal Assistant Network”, published in London and available on amazon, as well as Mobi- Jane: Self Development and Innovation, which is also available on Amazon.

Cathy is the founder and Director of the Platinum Assistant Network – South Africa; a registered not for gain, Assistants Network aimed at providing resources and training initiatives to both local and international assistants. She is also on the World Assistants Summit’s Advisory Council (WAS), for the implementation of International certifications and Qualifications.  Cathy headed up the Office Professionals of South Africa, (OPSA) National Awards for over 10 years, initiated and was instrumental in formulating all the assignments and carried out all assessments for the OPSA CPD and Designations certifications which is now officially a South African SETA recognized accreditation.  She is the past President of the OPSA Leadership Institute and held the position of Director of OPSA.

Having also held the role of Chairperson of her organization’s Internal Network for many years, Cathy and a fellow executive assistant, Susan Engelbrecht now co-manage the Discovery PA Centre of Excellence as a progressive initiative to continue to support and drive training and development initiatives for all 120 Assistants within the organization.

Cathy has initiated various programs for their internal network, which includes the Discovery PA Centre of Excellence Induction program, the Chartered PA program, and the National Certificate for Business Administration program.

She continues to look for opportunities to connect with other administrative associations globally, and to actively play a role in uplifting the profession, inspiring, and educating her peers to be formidable business strategists.

She is part of the elite speaker’s line-up for the Executive Support Speakers Bureau, an internationally acclaimed secretarial body located in London. She is also an Executive Support Live (ESL) circuit speaker and shares the stage with other internationally acclaimed secretarial movers and shakers, including Bonnie Low-Kramen, Vicky Sokol Evans and Peggy Grande just to name a few. Cathy was invited as a guest speaker at the IAAP Summit in New Orleans in July 2018, one of the US’s biggest PA events, and has spoken in the UK, most of Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

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, co-founder, and Director of PANSA.

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-summit.com/ 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.