Kathleen Drum extends a warm welcome to the new members of Executive Support Magazine’s advisory board

The members of Executive Support Magazine’s advisory board are experts in their field, dedicated to ensuring the administrative profession remains at the forefront of business. Board members regularly share their expertise within the magazine and provide guidance and inspiration on future topics and issues that are important to administrative professionals around the world.

I am delighted to introduce you to three new members joining the board: Cathy Harris (South Africa), internal networks expert and author of The Executive Support Guide to Creating an Internal Network; Heather Baker (United Kingdom), world-class trainer, best-selling author and creator of the Bakerwrite Speedwriting System; and Maria Cirillo (Sweden), Executive Chair of International Management Assistants. They join existing members Bonnie Low-Kramen, Diana Brandl, Eth Lloyd, Helen Monument, Joan Burge, Lizebeth Koloko-Green, Melba Duncan, Paula Moio, Pepita Soler, Rhonda Scharf, Richard Arnott, Sarah Richson, Sue France and Vickie Sokol-Evans, who are continuing in their roles.

I want to thank Melissa Esquibel, Michelle Bowditch, Nina Wickström (Aunula) and Vania Alessi for their service to the worldwide Assistant community and their contributions to the board over the last few years. Your expertise and insights have been invaluable.

Our cover story in this issue is from board member Richard Arnott, the lead presenter of the ACEA course, and focuses on the business sector’s mindset shift from looking at the world through a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) lens to a VUCA Prime lens. Richard explains how the principles of VUCA Prime (vision, understanding, clarity and agility) can be adopted by Assistants to help their leaders and organisations thrive amid uncertainty.

We consider Building Healthy Partnerships with Rhonda Scharf and explore how to become a more resilient professional with Inner Approval’s Impact on Professional Success (Jason Liem) and How to Cope With Setbacks (Carole Spiers). Joan Burge shares with us her Six Must-Have Skills for 2024 whilst Julia Schmidt encourages us to choose a theme for the year to help us focus on improvement and growth.

We also take an in-depth look at event planning. In 2023, in conjunction with our headline sponsor, Trafo Baden, we ran two surveys on the pain points for Assistants when planning events. Melanie Huber now shares the results of those surveys and provides practical solutions and tips to make event planning more efficient (and, hopefully, more enjoyable!).

As we move into 2024, I invite you to think about the impact you wish to make in your role in the next 12 months, and how you can use your subscription to Executive Support Magazine to help you make that happen. Our articles are designed to give you the tools to look at potential future roles and where your career could take you, as well as your current position.

As always, if there are any topics that you would like us to focus on in the coming issues, I invite you to get in touch with me at editor@executivesupportmedia.com. And, if you have a training topic you are enthusiastic about and would like to share with our audience, I am happy to receive submissions on that too.

Wishing you a great start to 2024.


Kathleen Drum’s mission is to bring thought-provoking, timely and inspiring content to administrative professionals worldwide, empowering them to succeed in their roles and excel in their careers. As the Senior Editor at Executive Support Media, she works ... (Read More)

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