Be the Ultimate Assistant Podcast

Be The Ultimate Assistant Podcast Bonnie Low-Kramen

Join international speakers and trainers, Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans as they tackle the burning issues for Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants, their executives and teams in today’s complicated and demanding workplace. Listen in and stay up-to-the-minute with Bonnie, Vickie, and their guests. Bonnie and Vickie have been professional colleagues and friends for more than a decade. Since 2011, they have been traveling the world teaching “Be the Ultimate Assistant” workshops, speaking at international conferences, and training inside corporations. They are both passionately committed to affecting positive change in the global workplace through tackling the burning challenges for today’s professional assistants and managers.


Carrie Ann Miller


“I love the podcast! I have listened to every episode and some more than once. They are compelling, funny, and thought provoking and about real-life issues that happen to every assistant and manager. What Bonnie and Vickie have done is amazing. There is nothing like this out there.” Carrie Ann Miller, EA Salt Lake City


About the Hosts:

Bonnie Low-Kramen worked as the Personal Assistant to Oscar-winning actress for 25 years and is the bestselling author of “Be the Ultimate Assistant.” Microsoft Certified Trainer, Vickie Sokol Evans is the trainer to Bill Gates’ support team and a bestselling author of the 100 Tips series. She is a former Executive Assistant and now CEO/Founder of The Red Cape Company (RedCape), the global leader in engaging Microsoft, Google and Apple productivity training for the world’s busiest superhero assistants and their teams.

Workplace 2.0 The Future is Now with guest Melba J. Duncan | Ep.22

Workplace 2.0 The Future is Now with guest Melba J. Duncan

Recorded live in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Executive Secretary LIVE Conference on February 18, 2017. As a prominent and respected workplace expert and NYC-based recruiter for 30+ years, perhaps no one has her finger on the pulse of what is happening in our workplace better than Melba J Duncan, Founder and President of The Duncan Group. What is Workplace 2.0? Hear up to the minute information about what working as a “strategic business partner” really means and if you want to be one, what do you need to do to get there? According to Melba Duncan, the role of Executive Assistant is misunderstood and undervalued, and it is time to change this perception. Bonnie. Vickie, and Melba talk technology, salaries, skills, and much more. Listen in to hear Melba’s sage advice for EAs and the CEOs they support. To see the video on YouTube click here.

Related links:

Melba J. Duncan

Book: The New Executive Assistant


Subscribe to » BTUA Podcast with Bonnie & Vickie

Connecting the Dots: A Key Attribute of the World’s Top EAs with Guest: Debbie Gross, CEA at Cisco | Ep. 21


Bonnie, Debbie, & Vickie
From left: Bonnie, Debbie Gross, & Vickie at Executive Secretary LIVE Dubai, Nov 2016
John Chambers & Debbie Gross
Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers presenting Debbie with the Colleen Barrett Award in 2015.

Debbie Gross is respected as one of the top assistants in America. She has been working as an administrative professional for 40 years and for the past 25 years, as the Chief Executive Assistant to John Chambers, former CEO, now Executive Chairman of Cisco in California. Read more

Building an External Assistant Network in Your City – Guests: Ike Saunders & Julie Kavanaugh | Ep 20 (Part 2 of 2)


In our complicated workplace, external assistant networks are trending all over the world as a way for Executive and Personal Assistants to find the answers they need – fast.

Bonnie and Vickie continue the conversation with Ike Saunders, EA to Christopher Kennedy and Founder of REACH in Chicago and Julie Kavanaugh, EA to Craig Bouchard and member of the REACH leadership team. REACH stands for the Regional Executive Assistant Cocktail Hour.

In Part 2 of 2, Ike and Julie explain how they are able to keep REACH free of charge to the members by working with vendors who generously and enthusiastically supply the meeting space, food, drinks, raffle prizes and goody bags in some of the coolest venues in Chicago! Find out how REACH has made a name for itself without a website and how people find out about this powerful network. Ike and Julie tell us exactly how they did it and how you can do it too!

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”~ Napoleon Hill

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Building an External Assistant Network in Your City with Guests: Ike Saunders & Julie Kavanaugh | Ep 19: (Part 1 of 2)


An Executive Assistant or Personal Assistant is only as good as their resources and their network. Any assistant who is serious about their profession needs to be involved in at least one networking group, especially one that is local. If one does not already exist in your city, you can create one yourself. But how do you do that?  In a two-part conversation, Bonnie and Vickie interview two experts on this subject. Ike Saunders, EA to Christopher Kennedy and Founder of REACH in Chicago and his colleague Julie Kavanaugh, EA to Craig Bouchard and member of the REACH leadership team will spill the beans and share the secrets of their amazing success building one of the most successful external assistant networks in America. REACH stands for the Regional Executive Assistant Cocktail Hour.

In Part One, find out what inspired Ike and Julie and a core group of committed colleagues to grow the network from fewer than ten people over drinks to over 200 in less than three years. They reveal the many benefits of joining and participating in a network like REACH which include not only having access to talented colleagues and high quality resources, but great service and lower prices on top of all that. Executives and leaders will quickly see why it makes so much sense to support assistants to get involved in an external network.

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The Tech-Savvy Assistant: How to Stay Tech-Savvy | Ep 18 (Part 3 of 3)


Tech-Savvy expert Vickie Sokol Evans interviewed on stage at Executive Secretary LIVE in London by Bonnie Low-Kramen

Tech-Savvy InterviewUh oh. Technology has changed – again. How can assistants possibly keep up and stay up being tech-savvy? We know. Take some deep breaths…and listen to an eye-opening discussion between productivity expert Vickie Evans and Bonnie Low-Kramen recorded live from London on SAT APRIL 9, 2016. Read more

How to Build an Internal Assistant Network at Your Company with Guest Victoria Darragh | Ep 17

Internal Assistant Networks Can Help the Bottom Line Too. Learn how. (RT 57:43)

Internal Assistant Network discussion with Vic Darragh
Recorded on location in Johannesburg, S Africa at the Executive Secretary LIVE Conference, Feb 2016. From L: Bonnie Low-Kramen, Victoria Darragh, & Vickie Evans

She knew what she wanted to do with her life from the age of 12. Eager to start, Victoria Darragh began working as an assistant in the U.K. at age 16. Now, sixteen years later, she is CEO of her own company (EPAA) and traveling the world sharing her remarkable and inspirational story. How did she do this? Tune in to hear about the power of an internal assistant network and how it can transform your career and your company. Read more

Landing Your Dream Job in 2016 with guest recruiter Chris Taylor | Ep 16: (Part 2 of 2)

Landing Your Dream Job 2016 (Part 2)


Dream Job facilitator Chris Taylor of Christopher Taylor Associates
Chris Taylor of Christopher Taylor Associates

Guest recruiter Chris Taylor goes granular with the nuts and bolts of how to land your dream job. He discusses the do’s and don’ts of resumes vs CVs, the job interview, thank you notes, and the all important follow up.

Listen in to find out what Chris thinks is the secret sauce for candidates that can make all the difference. We dig into the hot button topic of money and negotiating. Best of all, Chris tells us how to contact him for a meeting over Skype or in person if you are in London. He has offered to answer any and all questions regarding your job search. Read more

Landing Your Dream Job 2016 with guest recruiter Chris Taylor | Ep 15: (Part 1 of 2)

Landing Your Dream Job 2016

Recruiter Chris Taylor

Is 2016 the time for you to land your dream job? A job where you are being paid what you deserve while working with managers and peers who respect and appreciate you. After all, it’s never been a better time to work as an Executive or Personal Assistant than right now. However, there has never been a more complicated time to be an assistant than right now. These complications have made job searching particularly challenging. Read more

Working as a Celebrity Assistant – Behind the Curtain with Guest Kelly Engstrom | Ep 14 (Part 2 of 2)


Assistants all over the world ask us: how do you land a job as a celebrity assistant? Tune in to Part 2 of Bonnie and Vickie’s conversation with Kelly Engstrom, Personal Assistant to NCelebrity Assistant Kelly Engstrom with her principal Nate Berkus-ate Berkus and President of New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA.) So where do you even begin to look for a job working for a famous person? Kelly talks about what skills to have, networking with the right people, and being in the right place at the right time and lots more. How do some assistants work for certain celebrities for years and others experience “Devil Wears Prada”-type experiences? We discuss what assistants can do right from the interview to set themselves up for success. And once you land the job, what do you do then? Tune in to find out! Read more

Working as a Celebrity Assistant – Behind the Curtain with guest Kelly Engstrom |Ep 13: (Part 1 of 2)


You asked, we listened! Find out what it’s really like to work as a celebrity assistant. Bonnie & Vickie welcome Kelly Engstrom, Personal Assistant to celebrity designer Nate Berkus to the podcast. Kelly tells us how she landed her job with Nate, why he calls her the “Queen of Boundaries,” and how Nate came to makeover her entire kitchen and living room which ended up in a magazine. As the mom of a one year old daughter, Kelly  discusses her passion for work-life balance. She has the secret ingredient to living the life you want which includes enjoying time with family and friends. As the President of New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA,) listeners hear about why belonging to a professional organization is critical to success. And oh yes, Kelly even tells us about the most unusual thing she has ever been asked to do involving a 300 year old rare violin, plus words of wisdom from Norm, her dad!

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