Cathy Harris is an Executive Assistant to the CEO of Discovery Invest and has been with Discovery for over 19 years. She has over 40 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, training and facilitating nationally and globally, and is recognized as the expert in creating internal networks for PA’s and assistants within their organizations, and has authored “The Executive Secretary Guide To Creating An Internal Assistant Network”, published in London and 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 for the implementation of International Certifications/Qualifications, Team. Cathy headed up the Office Professionals of South Africa (OPSA) National Awards for over 10 yeears, 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 SETA recognized accreditation. She is the past President of the OPSA Leadership Institute, and also held the position of Director of OPSA before pursuing her dream of creating the Platinum Assistant Network – South Africa. www.platinumassistsa.org.za
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 develop the newer members of the team to take over the leadership role in the near future.
Initiatives which Cathy has either initiated or co-created include the Discovery PA Centre of Excellence, a PA Induction program; the Chartered PA program and the National Certificate for Business Administration program. She has facilitated strategic sessions on “How to create an Internal Network” for organizations such as SABMiller, RSV, Altech, Gijima, WesBank, Eskom, and most recently assist with providing guidance to a large US based organization, to create an internal network. Cathy continuously shares her extensive knowledge on this topic nationally and internationally on a daily basis.
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.