Conference Speakers in 2022

The Corporate PA Summit attracts a fantastic mix of inspirational speakers, celebrity speakers and leading EAs. The 2022 Summit builds upon this tradition, with an agenda packed full of exceptional presentations.

You can find the photos and bios of confirmed speakers below.

Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand

Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand is the First Lady of New Zealand theatre, she’s an actor, director and Te Reo Māori advocate. Over the last 40 years, the award-winning actress has amassed a list of stage and screen performance credits that would make the Encyclopaedia Britannica seem short.

She toured New Zealand and abroad with Harry Sinclair and Don McGlashan in music-theatre group The Front Lawn, starred to international acclaim in melodrama film Desperate Remedies and was a core-cast member in high-rating comedy sketch show Full Frontal.

Over the last 20 years, Jennifer has directed film, musical and theatre, as well as working as an intimacy coordinator for screen and stage. Jennifer was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and later was appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for her contributions to theatre, film and television.

Despite being non-Māori, Jennifer has dedicated a lot of her time to learning and promoting the importance of Te Reo Māori in New Zealand. This contributed to her being named the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Clarke Gayford

While studying at the NZ Broadcasting School, Clarke Gayford successfully pitched his very first TV project, Cow TV, to Dunedin’s Channel 9. Following this, he worked as a presenter for music channel C4, United Travel Getaway and Extraordinary Kiwis, as well as presenting on a number of radio shows on channels such as More FM and George FM. But it’s no secret Clarke’s life-long passion is fishing, which led him to launch Choice TV show Fish of the Day, which he still currently hosts. When he’s not spearfishing, Clarke has filled in as a host on Seven Sharp and RNZ ’s The Panel. 

Clarke has transferred his great TV presenting skills into MCing and public speaking very successfully. He has MCed all kinds of events, from the Sustainable Coastlines Auction Ball to the infamous Rhythm and Vines music festival. He has the ability to engage and entertain any audience, incorporating his own funloving nature while delivering important messages.

Cassie Roma

Cassie Roma is at the forefront of the rapidly expanding digital revolution. She has been recognised internationally as a leading expert in the field of social media strategy and the influencer economy. Born in San Diego, Cassie has lived in New Zealand for over 17 years, working with some of the biggest corporations in the country, including Air NZ, The Warehouse Group, ANZ Bank and NZME. Now Cassie is a fully-fledged entrepreneur working as both founder and director of CR &Co, a game-changing consultancy and media business built around the impactful areas of brands where creativity, content and coding collide.

As a keynote speaker, Cassie has shared her thoughts and stories of her incredible career at events around the world, from NZ Fashion Week to California’s renowned VidCon conference. Cassie speaks on a range of topics from business and innovation to motivation and advocacy.

By embracing change, actively driving innovation, growing positive community engagement, deepening customer service standards, and streamlining reporting across business units, Cassie has truly cut her teeth on the cutting edge. She’s also one big bundle of positive energy fuelled by the belief that great corporate culture is built on a foundation of kindness.

Outside of the office, one of Cassie’s biggest passions is working on projects that aim to put necessary, powerful and impactful stories into the world – most of which aim to lift others through education, diversity, and action. Her insights and discussions are inspirational, thought-provoking and and utterly fascinating.

Jazz Thornton

Jazz Thornton is an international mental health advocate who Co-Founded Voices of Hope. Following her own battle with mental illness, Jazz has now dedicated her life to speaking hope and creating change in the area of mental health through her organisation Voices of Hope. Her unique experience and practical message has gained worldwide recognition, being shared through media, international speaking engagements and now through a new feature documentary film, “The Girl on The Bridge” that premiered in 2020.

She directed the award-winning series “Jessica’s Tree” and is the author of the best-selling books “Stop Surviving, Start Fighting” and “My Journey Starts Here”.

In 2017 Jazz was named New Zealand’s youngest director to win the annual Doc Edge pitching contest, her series “The Silence Project” aims to shed light to the stories behind New Zealand’s suicide statistics while changing the way we have conversations about it.

In 2021, Jazz was awarded The Point of Light award from Her Majesty the Queen and was named the 2021 Young New Zealander of the Year.

Jazz is a talented speaker, and will show you how to be the change in the world you long to see.

Jehan Casinader

Award-winning journalist Jehan Casinader is one of New Zealand’s top storytellers.

For more than a decade, he has been a familiar face on our screens, reporting for primetime shows like TVNZ’s Sunday, Seven Sharp and Close Up. He was named “Broadcast Reporter of the Year” at the Voyager Media Awards in 2020, and “Reporter of the Year” at the New Zealand Television Awards in 2018.

In the aftermath of natural disasters, terror attacks, sporting triumphs and everything in between, Jehan has helped hundreds of Kiwis to share their vulnerable and deeply personal stories with the rest of the country.

“Each of us has a story about who we are,” says Jehan. “But where do those stories come from? How do our stories influence our wellbeing? And how can we tell more helpful, hopeful stories about our lives?”

Through challenging, inspiring keynotes, Jehan reveals how storytelling can transform every area of our life – including mental health, productivity and relationships.

As a survivor of depression, he wants every Kiwi to have a hopeful, helpful story to tell. He is the author of This Is Not How It Ends: How rewriting your story can save your life.

Nick Ginsburg

Nick Ginsburg is the Executive Assistant to the Provost and Senior Vice-President at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In 2018, Nick launched the Monash University Executive Assistant Network to share knowledge across the University bringing together over 250 administrative professionals. He is a professional speaker for the Assistant community and is a believer that shared knowledge is the key to success.

He is passionate about productivity, emotional intelligence, and helping the global Assistant community thrive. He was a finalist for the 2019 and 2020 CEO Magazine, Executive Assistant of the Year awards.

In 2020 Nick launched The Admin Collective, a judgment-free community for Admin Professionals worldwide where there is a strong focus on shared learning.

Samantha Garrett (masterclass facilitator)

Samantha is a highly experienced and respected technology trainer who works with education, business and government clients across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. She specialises in helping organisations make the most of their cloud collaboration platforms, including Google Workspace (G Suite) and (Microsoft) Office 365.

She is deeply passionate about helping people become more efficient, productive and organised. Samantha is well-known for her signature training style – delivering practical, relevant and easy-to-understand content with energy, enthusiasm and joy. You won’t get bored or lost in her training sessions!

So what does all this mean in practice? That Samantha LOVES helping people clean up their inboxes, organise their files, get in control of their task list and generally become more efficient in using their everyday tools.

Jess Stuart (masterclass facilitator)

International speaker, coach and author of five personal development books specialising in mindset, performance and women in leadership. A well known Imposter Syndrome expert with a background in Senior Human Resources roles and a decade working in leadership development.

A brush with burnout in her corporate career lead Jess across the world to train with Buddhist monks and Nuns. A decade later, after coming out, writing five books and running her own successful business she shares what she knows about mind-set, resilience and self-belief to empower people to unlock their potential.

Jess helps busy high achievers go from burnout to brilliance, to cultivate a mindset of peak performance, lead with confidence, fuel our tanks to ensure we are a sustainable resource and can achieve our potential to have influence and impact. Tapping into our brilliance creates a positive mindset, we have more fulfilling careers, because we spend time doing what matters, our to do list is aligned to our purpose.

We have the confidence to back ourselves, own our space and stop doubting ourselves, we don’t compare to others and we stop procrastinating. We develop impact and have more influence, we feel less fear and are able to lead with confidence to perform at our peak.

When we achieve our potential we make more money, develop our career, gain the confidence to go for the promotions and make better choices. When we’re full of energy we’re resilience, we have more free time, because we’re not overwhelmed trying to do everything for everyone. We’re also healthier and happier.
Highly acclaimed event speaker and proud member of the rainbow community. Featured on TV3, BBC, RNZ, Dominion Post, Stuff and NZ Business Magazine. Described as inspiring, articulate and relatable by audiences. Jess has a passion for sharing her knowledge and motivating others with her words.

Suzanne Waldron (Summit MC)

Suzanne Waldron is a behavioural change facilitator, interviewer and curator. Working globally with influential leaders, her focus is on embedding healthy relationships within ethical systems. For business, community and culture.

She’s an active ambassador for RUOK?, Nakuru Hope, she’s a Creative Director for Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, former curator for TEDx. A twice published author, Suzanne has also been nominated for Western Australian of the Year for her community work.

Ivette Salame

Ivette was born in Ecuador and migrated to the United States as a child where she studied Liberal and Media Arts in New Jersey. She came to New Zealand over 15 years ago where she has worked in administration and event management in various fields. Her passion is working on new projects to help her organisation’s strategy for growth. She finds passion in all things EA and alleviating stressors for her executive.

She’s a dedicated mother of two, loves travelling, keeping fit and spending time with her family.

Really wonderful summit. The quality of the speakers blew me away. I’ll definitely be back next year. Thank you.
Port Nelson