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Top PA Q&A

Cath Cunny, PA to Tom Bloxham MBE, Chairman Urban Splash

Published on August 23rd 2010.

Top PA Q&A

The SK Greater Manchester PA of the Year Awards on October 7th will see the cream of local PA’s recognised and rewarded for their achievements in helping boost the productivity of local firms.

As the closing date for nominations (end of August) races towards us, we quizzed one of the city’s highest profile PA’s, Cathy Cunny, who works for Urban Splash Chairman Tom BloxhamMBE, about what her job is really like

How long with Urban Splash?
13 years in March

What made you apply for the job?
I'd heard and read lots of interesting things about the entrepreneur Tom Bloxham and this unique and innovative brand called Urban Splash and I believed that this was the job for me! (the only problem was I was 2 weeks late applying past the deadline!).

Is there a typical day working for the Chair of Urban Splash?
No two days are the same and it’s always busy, that's for sure. I'll start with a meeting with Tom where we'll run through everything important, then it's a mix of arranging meetings, taking telephone calls, dealing with incoming correspondence, managing the unbelievable level of requests Tom gets to speak at conferences, appearances on television or to join third party boards - that's just for starters!

Sue Kilshaw Recruitment’s recent business survey showed, on average, business bosses believe their PA increases their productivity by more than 25 percent. Did that surprise you?
No! We play an integral role! Then again Tom is always a productive person and he expects and wants the same in return, so I would up the stakes

In such a senior role, how important is your working relationship with your boss?It's imperative that Tom and I have a healthy working relationship. He is so busy and it’s vital that someone in my role understands that - and understands how to manage it. We get along great both in and out of work and I feel very committed to Tom and Urban Splash as a whole having seen it grow over the years and seeing how Tom and the board have managed that.

How have you developed your role over the years?
I'm so fortunate. Tom is such a busy man involved in so many different organisations; the Tate, Manchester University, Manchester United Foundation, something I get to get involved in too. As his career has propelled, so has my own. There's been a lot of initiative I've had to apply as his various roles have diversified, but I've enjoyed every minute, I've dealt with and met some fantastic people because of this job and even sold a flat or two along the way!

Most memorable moment in the role
Being one of Santa's little helpers (aka Tom Bloxham) at an Urban Splash staff Christmas RAVE!

Best advice you've ever been given.
It's not where you're from, it's where you're going

Do you think PA’s need awards?
These new PA awards are a brilliant idea. PA's play a really important role in the business world - and I know PAs in the Manchester business community who really deserve recognition like this (and a bloody pay rise!) It's also a great opportunity for us all to celebrate how hard we work and our collaborative achievements.

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