EPAA General Advisory Board

Our General Advisory Board is made up of a group of volunteers, who all come from a background of Business Support.  All board members are members of the Association and have an undivided passion for the long term future of the profession.

Please note our board does not have or bear legal or fiduciary responsibilities for the running of the Association and purely act in an advisory capacity only.

The board meets four times per year, often over a weekend.  They provide direction and advice an all aspects of EPAA UK’s strategy and long-term plans.

Katie McEwan

Katie McEwan has been Executive Assistant to Jacqueline Gold CBE, CEO of Ann Summers for 8 years.
Before taking the role for Jacqueline, Katie had quite a colourful career in television and film working her way up the ladder from production runner, to production assistant and finally production secretary. During her time in television and film, Katie was fortunate enough to work on a number of award-winning productions, including Waking the Dead and The Diary of Anne Frank for BBC 1 and the international box office success, Run Fat Boy Run starring Simon Pegg and directed by David Schwimmer.
Katie’s role working for Jacqueline is quite extensive and has grown in recent years to include people management, business project management and also the leadership of the (small but mighty!) Ann Summers Executive Support Team.
In the last two years, Katie has been incredibly fortunate to present at a number of conferences most recently including the Hays PA Network, the PA Hub, Manchester PA Network, ACE’s Scotland, and the Office Management and PA Conference, as well as proudly judging the Executive PA Magazine awards in 2012 and the Hays High Achieving PA of the Year award 2013. In 2014 Katie was awarded the SecsintheCity award for Social Networking PA of the Year and finally, in late 2015 Katie took up the post as Chair of the EPAA General Advisory Board – the best achievement yet!

Sean Steel
Deputy Chair

Sean Steel is Executive PA to the Head of Great Britain – Willis Towers Watson, with over 10 years’ experience in the PA industry. Sean plays a key role in the smooth running of the Executive office and provides personal support to the Head of Great Britain, which allows him to fulfil his role both effectively and efficiently.

Sean has previously worked at a number of companies including AIG, ABN Amro Bank, The Pensions Management Institute and Marks & Spencer.

Sean holds the RSA Diploma in Administrative & Secretarial Procedures and is Deputy Chair for EPAA. He is an advocate of the PA profession and has a huge passion for the benefits the role can bring to an organisation, as well as the qualities necessary to become a truly successful PA.

Sean was a finalist for the 2013 Executive PA Magazine | Hays PA of the Year award and has also featured in both The Times and Daily Mail newspapers. He also regularly speaks at PA events across the UK.

Dalya Perry-Bernstein

Dalya is an award-winning Executive Assistant with a wealth of experience within the EA/PA industry. She has been Executive Assistant to a high profile/high net worth Entrepreneur since 2010 and has a wide range of skills including extensive diary management, corporate travel management, event planning, social media management and property/asset management.

Dalya holds a Certificate in First Line Management and a Diploma in Personal Assistance. In 2013, she won 1st runner up in the Executive PA Magazine PA of the Year Awards and in 2014 won the Pitman Training Super Achievers PA of the Year Award.

This has allowed Dalya to be invited as a guest speaker for many networking events throughout the UK and Internationally.

Outside of work, Dalya is a mum, wife, owner of 2 geese and 1 large dog. In 2014, Dalya raised over £9500 for charity by running 2 half marathons and successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kelly McAulay

Kelly joined William Grant & Sons in 2006 and currently supports the Chairman, Company Secretary and Group HR Director. The company employs 1800 people globally and is the owner of iconic brands such as Glenfiddich, the Balvenie and Hendrick’s Gin.

Kelly has a wealth of experience as both a Personal and Executive Assistant with a wide range of responsibilities from extensive diary and travel management to event planning and project management.

A passionate advocate for the PA profession, she is currently an Ambassador for the Scottish PA Network, founder of Lanarkshire PA Network as well as co-founder of William Grant & Sons Internal PA Network, launching an Admin Academy in 2017 to focus on training and development opportunities internally for those in admin roles. Kelly has a mission to inspire other PA professionals to succeed through networking, mentoring and continued professional development.

Kelly holds a Diploma in Personal Assistance and was voted Scottish PA of the Year 2015. This has afforded her opportunities to attend and speak at many PA events in the UK as well as judging the Scottish PA Awards & Yorkshire PA Awards in 2016.

Louise Whitehead

Louise is a senior level Executive PA with over 12 years’ experience, working across a wide variety of sectors and industries, including the NHS, Property and Financial Services. After graduating from University with a degree in English Literature, she worked in charity fundraising and recruitment before moving into the PA industry and has never looked back. Passionate about raising the profile of the PA industry, Louise enjoys networking and developing relationships with her fellow PAs and industry leaders around the country.

Louise always works to underpin and drive forward her Director’s strategic objectives, demonstrating emotional intelligence, tenacity and drive.

On top of her demanding PA role, Louise also manages the delivery of multiple cross service line projects, liaising with key clients on behalf of her Department and acting as support lead on two high profile initiatives in the North East. A highly organised and experienced event organiser, Louise particularly enjoys the process of planning, managing and delivering both internal and external events and is skilled in working with multiple, complex and challenging diary management.

Louise has travelled widely, spending extended periods of time in South and South East Asia. She credits her exposure to different people, places and cultures for honing her well-developed communication skills and helping her ability to adapt to different personalities; qualities which are invaluable for an Executive PA.

Nilimin Francis

After completing her undergraduate degree in Classics and Welsh language as a mature student, Nilmini began her career working in the Parliamentary office of a Welsh MP. After taking on that challenge she moved into financial services and has worked for over a decade supporting fund founders and C-suite executives with a speciality in financial services compliance. She has also worked supporting executives in other sectors including cosmetics. She currently works at an international bank in London and is immensely enjoying the exposure to the business that the role brings.

Nilmini has always believed that skilled support staff add huge monetary and social value to an organisation and has recently completed the Winmark Business Executive Academy to enhance her business knowledge and skills. After watching the evolution of the workplace and the role of PA/EA since 2000 when she graduated she is committed to the development of a strong pipeline of future talent and the security of those already in the workplace.

Mauricio de Jong Oliveira

Mauricio de Jong Oliveira is an Associate at CDC Group, within The Africa List team, although his tenure at CDC started as the EA to the CEO’s Office.

Amongst many of his achievements Mauricio supported the transition from Diana Noble to Nick O’Donohoe in 2017. His strengths lie in relationship management as well as travel and events management.

Prior to joining CDC, M was the PA to the European General Manager at Revlon and has also worked at the New York Stock Exchange.

In addition, Mauricio is a Non-Executive Director for EPAA and is also a qualified Mindfulness Coach.



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