Conference Speakers in 2021

The Corporate PA Summit attracts a fantastic mix of inspirational speakers, celebrity speakers and leading EAs. The 2021 Summit will build upon this tradition, with an agenda packed full of exceptional presentations.

Photos and bios of confirmed speakers are available below. This page will be updated regularly as speakers confirm their involvement.

Would you like to be considered as a speaker at future ThinkTank events? You can submit an application here.

Sacha Coburn

Sacha Coburn is a Waikato based leadership consultant who combines her love of coaching other leaders to leadership mastery with active involvement in her own family-held company, Coffee Culture. Sacha has also worked closely for over 20 years with the Les Mills International group, coaching and developing teams all over the world. Her obsession with unlocking the latent potential within everyone has transformed the way thousands of people turn up to work.

Sacha’s side-hustle with Tonia Cawood, The Company You Keep, offers two day immersive programmes that accelerate leadership development and growth as well as bespoke executive coaching. Working with senior and emerging leaders, the focus is on getting right to the heart of what matters most for high performance. Coffee Culture is a New Zealand group of boutique coffee shops with 300 staff in 20 locations. Sacha is the C.O.O and walks her talk every day delivering messages that matter, and leading her team with humanity and humour. A former lawyer with a masters degree in education, Sacha is uniquely qualified to talk about the challenges of leading from the inside-out.

A recent recipient of a Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship, Sacha is currently enrolled at Harvard Business School and is passionate about sharing what’s she’s learnt.

Jacqui Maguire

Clinical Psychologist Jacqui Maguire is one of New Zealand’s key science communicators, providing authentic and relatable thought leadership on global mental health and wellbeing issues. Bringing her scientific knowledge of wellbeing to life, Jacqui translates the evidence into practical strategies that support people to optimise their wellbeing, work and relationships. Her entrepreneurial history and business acumen make her a keynote favourite, and she is known for engaging a diverse range of people, including those who may be sceptical of the benefits of psychological interventions.

Jacqui is TVNZ’s go-to psychologist and a regular contributor to Stuff, NZ Herald, Radio New Zealand and Newstalk ZB. She is also the founder of the #1 ranking Mind Brew podcast, where she has interviewed some of the world’s leading psychologists.

Her career has been anchored in corporate wellbeing. Jacqui works closely with clients to understand the unique needs of their organisation and develop tailored programmes to best fit. She draws on both her psychological and business expertise in this process, making sure her services are both effective and delivered to a high standard; lifting organisational performance by developing the resilience and wellbeing of employees.

For personal interest, Jacqui sits on the Board of Life Squared Trust. A trust dedicated to improving mental health in the legal profession. She is also a marriage celebrant, proud to utilise her communication, rapport and writing skills to support people on their special day.

Alicia McKay

Alicia McKay is New Zealand’s leading voice in strategy, change and leadership. Former strategy consultant and facilitator, Alicia has led critical conversations with New Zealand and Australia’s most senior leaders in government, business and community.

Alicia helps people level up their lives, work and leadership by focusing on what really matters, even as the world goes mad around them. She’s spent the last decade supporting leaders to make hard decisions, transform their organisations and bring their vision to life – and now she’s sharing those lessons with the world.

Co-host of “What’s on Your Mind?” podcast, LinkedIn addict, prolific blogger and author of two books: From Strategy to Action: A Guide to Getting Shit Done in the Public Sector and the forthcoming You Don’t Need An MBA: Leadership Lessons that Cut through the Crap, Alicia reaches global audiences, cutting through the complexity for a new world of work. No buzzwords. No bullshit.

David Downs

David Downs

David Downs is the co-author of a number of books in NZ, on serious topics written in a humorous and accessible style. David is an engaging and regular public speaker and presenter.

David’s early career started as an actor, writer and stand-up comedian, before pursuing a corporate career that has seen him be very successful as a business and now government leader, always bringing with him the belief that you don’t need to be solemn to tell a serious story, and that humour in the workplace and in home life is one of the best ways to lift performance.

Lauren Parsons (masterclass facilitator)

Lauren is an award-winning wellbeing specialist who believes that everyone deserves to thrive. With 19 years’ experience in the health and wellbeing profession she is a sought-after speaker, coach and consultant.

TEDx speaker, author of real food less fuss, and Seven Fitness Myths to Overcome, founder of the Snack on Exercise movement and host of the THRIVE TV ShowLauren helps busy people re-discover how to feel vibrant, confident and energised.

Described as inspiring and life-changing, Lauren is a dynamic and highly engaging presenter, and master story-teller who will have you laughing, moving and learning in a memorable way. You will leave Lauren’s session feeling uplifted and empowered to create positive change, today!

Lauren lives in Palmerston North, New Zealand, with her husband and three children, she can often be found hosting dinner parties, spending time outdoors or playing board games. Lauren travels regularly to speak at conferences and in-house, and specialises in helping organisations create a high-energy, peak-performance team culture, which enables people to thrive.

Digby Scott (masterclass facilitator)

Digby works with people and organisations that are on a mission to make a difference. His aim is to help people to think and act in new ways so that they nail it.

Creative, curious and a master communicator, Digby has a unique perspective on the leadership and workplace challenges that we are all trying to navigate. As a former National Manager for Robert Walters in New Zealand, and having established and sold numerous businesses, Digby understands the harsh realities we all face, and what it actually takes to succeed.

He’s the author of two books, Change Makers and Out There. As well as the co-host of the popular podcast series ‘What’s On Your Mind?’. He’s also fallen flat on his face more times than he cares to remember. The good thing is that he’s taken those lessons and applied them to helping thousands of leaders to learn how to develop themselves, and grow others, so they create lives worth living and cultures worth being a part of.