PA of the Year 2018 Finalists

Charon Stander

PA at South African Mint

Nominated by: Meruschka Jugree Packaging Projects Co-Ordinator

Charon has been a PA/EA for almost 30 years.

She believes that she was nominated because she is totally committed to be the best PA/EA that she can be. She has the ability to be pro-active, looking ahead and confidently make decisions on her own to streamline her executives’ day or week. She is passionate about her role and not scared to take on more than what is expected of her.

A good PAOTY finalist, in her view, needs to love to serve! Also have good instincts, look ahead, be flexible and be able to handle stress under any circumstances. Another attribute is to be able to confidently make decisions which are best for her executive(s) and for the organisation at all times - ensuring that all decisions are always in line with the values/strategy of the organisation.


Nominated by: Brendan Petersen, Director: Finance

Hannah has approximately 12 to 14 years of PA/Executive Secretarial experience.

She thinks she was nominated due to the many years’ experience she has within the administration field.

Her thoughts on what makes for a PAOTY finalist is that he/she should at all times be professional;, have people-savvy; be passionate about your job and love what you do. A person who does not live by the job description but always strives to make room for new developments and growth.

A good candidate should note the importance of how he/she “brands” himself/herself in the workplace. Personality speaks volumes, so does being absolutely trustworthy.

A PAOTY finalist should mentor those who are entering the administration field. Skills transferring is vital especially for the young and upcoming PAs/EAs.

Lastly, the primary goal is to positively contribute to the organisation’s image by not compromising on integrity and being guided by what is right, just and fair.

Hannah Kirwood

Hannah Kirkwood

Executive Secretary: City of Joburg; Finance Transport Dept


Linsey Hulley

Linsey Hulley

Executive Assistant at ProductONE

Nominated by: Karen Langeveld and Chantelle Cooper

Linsey has been a PA for 23 years.

She was nominated by two people who believe and understand the passion, devotion and commitment she invests in her my career. My nominees have confidence in my ambassadorship qualities.

She believes what makes a good PAOTY finalist is a professional person with exceptional work ethics, unlimited enthusiasm, and a genuine love for their career, who supports the continuous development and evolvement of PAs/EAs, particularly now in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

She also believes that the winner of this award will have an incredible opportunity to become an influential, and powerful PAFSA and PA/EA ambassador, increase social media presence and enhance mentoring opportunities.


Nominated by: Clinton White, Managing Director

Natasha has held the position of PA for almost 20 years, mainly to Directors.

Natasha says it’s an honour to have been nominated for this award, because although over the years her bosses have conveyed that she is an asset, but to be formally recognised in this kind of forum is a huge compliment, and gives her a sense of achievement. She is really appreciative that her current boss nominated her.

Her thoughts on what makes a good PAOTY finalist are that the person should have a good work track record; be able to explain her role and the importance thereof; be the kind of person who would be able to mentor those who are in this profession and or are wanting to enter into the profession; can list their achievements as well as their disappointments or pitfalls & how to overcome them; display professionalism in the way that they dress and when conversing with people.

Last but not least, be a positive person, who can then inspire others to be positive.

Natasha Colyn 1

Natasha Colyn

Executive Assistant at CEVA Logistics


Sharon Künnemann

Sharon Künnemann

Personal Assistant, Meadow Feeds Paarl

Nominated by: Tiaan Auret Chief Operating Officer

Sharon has been a PA for the past 27 years.

She believes she was nominated for the integral part she plays on a daily basis to the management team and staff within her organisation, as she encourages, recognises and listens.

She believes what makes for a PAOTY finalist is a person: who can think on her/his feet; be able to assess a situation and place everything into perspective; who embraces her/his individuality and is willing to serve any community by way of trustworthy communication and seeing projects through to completion (walk the talk); with a set of core values who is committed, passionate, enthusiastic, meaningfully engaged and eager to learn every day; who is resourceful and willing to transfer skills for the greater good of any community.

She says that it is amazing what one can accomplish when you believe; whether in yourself or in someone else.


Nominated by: Johan Boshoff, Chief Operations Officer

Sonja has been a PA for 5 years and an EA for approximately 12 years.

She says that she incredibly fortunate working for a COO who is always willing to acknowledge and reward her efforts. She feels that he would want her to be recognised for her efforts on a wider level than on an internal company level. He knows how dedicated and proud she is to her work and that being a finalist for PAOTY would be an incredible honour and testament for her as an Executive Assistant.

Her thoughts on what would make a good PAOTY finalist would be that she would need a strong brand ambassador! Someone who represents PA/EA’s anywhere in South Africa and embodies that which we all deal with on a daily basis; long hours, project deadlines, thankless work behind the scenes etc.; yet loyal and dedicated to her company and our profession. An individual who can inspire other PA/EAs to always give their best and work towards being nominated to become PAOTY in the years to come.


Sonja Nel

Sonja Nel Senior Executive Assistant, Fair Cape Dairies (Pty) Ltd.

Senior Executive Assistant, Fair Cape Dairies (Pty) Ltd.


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