Timaru employee wins inaugural New Zealand EA / PA excellence award

A Timaru staff member who goes above and beyond for her employer, colleagues and her community, has won the inaugural New Zealand executive assistant / personal assistant of the year award.

 Nyia Strachan of South Canterbury’s Alpine Energy won the 2018 New Zealand EA/PA Excellence Award because she stood out as going beyond mastery in her role as an EA and acts as several ways an executive officer at her energy company.  

 She also leads a team of receptionists, administration staff and a communication advisor.  

 She was also developing a process to deliver board agendas digitally. Judges says she was always looking for ways the business can improve its operations and effectiveness. She achieved $20,000 in travel savings in her first six months in the role.

 Strachan embodies the Alpine Energy brand, championing community causes and gets the buy-in and involvement of fellow employees, which in turn has fostered a strong community engagement and employer brand in South Canterbury.  

 She has helped raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation, co-ordination of a community blood drive for the New Zealand Blood Service and funding for Hospice South Canterbury’s solar panels for its new facility.  

 Her insight or perspective helps shape good decisions and outcomes for the company, its staff, and the community. 

 Judges said Strachan gets executives out of operational thinking to the bigger picture, bigger value, better results strategies. 

 “She knows how to get people passionate about the challenges in front of them. Her ability to cut through the jargon and get to the heart of the matter has earned her respect from staff across all sectors of the business. 

 “This is especially true when celebrating company successes and making them relatable for all staff members across the three companies,” judges said.

Strachan is the Alpine Energy voice to the community through social media. She often works late into the night during power outages to give people updates. 

Alpine Energy group corporate manager Michael Boorer said Strachan thinks strategically without overlooking the detail and is a valued member of the executive management team. 

 Last month Strachan won the employee of the year at South Canterbury’s annual business awards.

 Awards event organiser Paula Cleghorn, general manager events at Conferenz, says they were excited by the inaugural event and opportunity to recognise the super stars of New Zealand who are so integral to the success of New Zealand’s business organisations. 

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