About IMA UK

“Networking is the key to professional success and the most powerful skill you can use to advance your career.”

Elizabeth Wakeling, Chair, IMA UK

“Networking is the key to professional success and the most powerful skill you can use to advance your career.”

Elizabeth Wakeling, Chair, IMA UK

44 years of Developing Excellence for Management Assistants

IMA UK is the UK arm of International Management Assistants (IMA), a member-led, not-for-profit professional PA network.

Independently run by member volunteers, we support members to boost their PA career through quality, interactive networking events, training and a host of other benefits.

Founded in 1974 as the European Association for Professional Secretaries (EAPS) by Sonia Vanular, the association was renamed in 1999 to European Management Assistants (EUMA). We became International Management Assistants in February 2017, to reflect the growth in our profession and the globalisation of the business world.

IMA Commitment

IMA is committed to supporting members develop senior-level skills and competencies as well as promoting the contribution and importance that PAs and support staff make to business.

IMA encourages administrative professionals to:

  • Debate and reflect on professional issues
  • Develop your professional knowledge, understanding and skills
  • Network with fellow professionals in the UK and worldwide
  • Focus on life-long learning
  • Promote the role of management assistant as a strategic business partner

Being a member of IMA enables you to belong to and connect with a strong international network of professionals. It provides opportunities for both personal and professional development, with an emphasis on the importance of lifelong learning.

IMA is represented in 25 countries worldwide and provides members with a unique opportunity to connect with international professionals.

Through us, members make an important contribution to educational and professional development programmes, enhancing the professional status of personal assistants and support staff.

Meet the team

  • Elizabeth Wakeling - National Chairman UK

    Elizabeth Wakeling is a Lecturer in Business Administration and UK Chairman of IMA - International Management Assisstants.

    Elizabeth teaches, consults, writes and speaks on a number of topics including business skills, communication, career development, leadership and interpersonal skills. She has designed and delivered training programmes on a wide range of topics for both the public and private sectors.

    Prior to teaching Elizabeth worked as a PA/Office Manager for an Artificial Intelligence software company and as a bilingual PA for the CEO of a Venezuelan international company.

    Elizabeth has a BA (Hons) in Education, is a qualified teacher and trainer and a member of the Society for Education and Training. Elizabeth's recent academic research explored 'The Experience of the Male PA'.

    Contact email


  • Cristina Gee - London Chairman

    Cristina has extensive experience providing senior management support in the financial sector. Most recently she was the Office Manager/PA to Managing Partners at Growth Capital Partners, a private equity company. Previously she was PA to one of the Group Executive Directors at Close Brothers Group, a merchant banking group; and prior to that she was at a Japanese finance company.

    Cristina has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from Kings College, London University and a BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences from the Open University. She has been an active member of IMA for 9 years, attending local and international events, and was on the organising committee for the 2013 Annual Conference & AGM held in London. Cristina is currently serving her third term as London Chairman and provides support to the National Chairman as acting Deputy National Chairman.

    Contact email


  • Cynthia Martell - UK Treasurer

    Cynthia has many years’ experience as an EA/Office Manager, supporting senior management as well as CEO and Chairman level. She has worked in the financial sector, including investment banking and insurance. She also has experience as an event organiser within investment banking, where she organised IPO road shows.

    Cynthia has worked in healthcare, both public and private, including medical research. She has also worked in engineering consultancy and in editing, translating and interpreting.

    She has worked in France and North Africa and speaks fluent French, Italian and has a good knowledge of Spanish.

    Contact email
    membership@uk.ima-network.org treasurer@uk.ima-network.org

  • Tracey Paton - Birmingham Director

    Tracey is an Executive Assistant to the CEO, Chairman, Financial Director and Legal Counsel at Dignity Plc in Birmingham. She joined the business in 2014, having previously worked for 19 years in similar senior positions, predominantly within the financial sector.

    Tracey is passionate about the role of the assistant and was a finalist in the Hays/Executive PA Magazine National PA of the Year Awards in 2012. She joined IMA in 2012, becoming Chair of the Midlands Region and leading its launch in 2016.

    Contact email