Over 250 guests, including legendary Leeds United players Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray, as well as Emmerdale cast members including Chris Chittell and Matthew Wolfenden, were in attendance at the inaugural black tie dinner, which recognised the best in the business across 11 award categories.
The evening was hosted by Harry Gration, and international training company, Pitman Training, were the headline sponsor.
Marion Lowrence, Director of the PA Hub said: ‘The awards are a fantastic way to recognise assistants for the amazing job they do and the support they provide to their companies every day. Winning an award will give them the confidence and self-assurance they need to excel further in their role as well as allow them to stand up and be in the spotlight.’
Winners included Sarah Caswell of Clarion who won the prestigious Yorkshire PA of the Year award and Cathy Newboult of Lupton Fawcett Denison Till who took home the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Leeds Beckett University were one of the night’s other big winners, taking home four trophies between them, including Yorkshire’s Best Team of PA’s, Yorkshire PA Newcomer (Sarah Hough), PA Contribution to the Community (Linda Hepworth) and Employer of the Year.
The awards have gained fantastic support from other regional businesses including Virgin Trains East Coast, first direct arena, Malmaison Leeds, Radisson Blu and Clayton Hotels (formerly Bewleys Hotel).
The guest speaker slot was filled by former World Cup referee Howard Webb. In 2010 Howard became the first person to referee both the UEFA Champions League Final and the World Cup Final in the same year. Howard has recently announced his departure from PGMOL to undertake more freelance professional services work.
The judging panel is made up of four highly experienced professionals in the PA industry including Victoria Darragh, Executive Assistant to the Group HR Director and Group Technology Director for Hays Specialist Recruitment, Katie McEwan, Executive Assistant to Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers, Jamila Juma-Ware, Marketing Manager at Pitman Training and Christopher Juliff, Private Secretary to Earl Howe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (House of Lords).
Katie McEwan, Executive Assistant to Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers said: ‘It’s a great privilege to have been invited to sit on the judging panel for these fantastic awards. Still too often PAs do not get the recognition they deserve, and I think that awards on a regional level provide a really important service. There is so much talent in the Yorkshire region; the awards are an opportunity to showcase the true stars of the industry.’