Liz Morrish & Executive Assistant Fi
The CEFLEX initiative is a growing collaboration of a European consortium of more than 140 companies, associations and organisations representing the entire value chain of flexible packaging. CEFLEX’s mission is to further enhance the performance of flexible packaging in the circular economy by designing and advancing better system solutions in all European countries through a wider collaboration by the full flexible packaging value chain. Liz is a consultant that is part of the CEFLEX team that manages and delivers the initiative on a day to day basis.
Fi has provided day-to-day support to the CEFLEX team since January 2019. With a background in food manufacturing Fi has a genuine interest in their mission “to make flexible packaging circular”.
I met Sandy over fifteen years ago! It has been great to see Sandy establish and grow Elite PA Solutions over the last few years. When the CEFLEX initiative started to expand I realised we needed some additional support and turned to Sandy to see if she could help with finding us a Virtual PA to take over some of the administrative tasks which were taking us away from our responsibilities as project managers.
My path crossed with Sandy when one of her clients was working with my former boss a few years ago. We built a relationship over the phone, as PA’s do, and when I decided to set up as a freelance PA, Sandy was the first person I contacted for advice. It was soon after this Sandy approached me to provide support to a new client she was onboarding.
The CEFLEX team is based remotely across Europe – in the UK, France, Switzerland and Belgium. We communicate primarily via email plus regular calls via Zoom.
The work that Fi supports is a mixture of longer-term activities such as planning our general meetings which are held three times a year, plus shorter-term tasks such as answering queries from companies interested in becoming involved in CEFLEX plus registering and welcoming new stakeholders to the initiative.
Fi and I regularly review the task list together, agree priorities and deadlines.
I’m all about structure and organisation. I’m a creature of habit and tend to structure my day by checking my emails when I log on and prioritising any that needs responding to straight away. I’ll then remind myself what is in my follow up email folder, what is outstanding and if there is anything, I can tick off my list. I love a list, so my To Do list is next!
Much of my day is spent making any phone calls, using my initiative to progress my work and managing the changing priorities of the wider CEFLEX team. We have regular 1:1 and team calls which I join as often as possible. It was brilliant to meet the entire CEFLEX team (all of us are virtual) earlier this year in Brussels.
It has been great to have some additional resources and support in the CEFLEX team. Fi has been able to help with a great deal of the day to day tasks involved in managing a consortium of over 140 companies and organisations. More recently she has also taken on additional responsibilities such as registering and welcoming new stakeholders and updating our website. This has freed up time for the rest of the team to focus more on the delivery of the more technical activities in CEFLEX.
The additional support of a Virtual PA has really made a difference to CEFLEX. The approach works well for us and having the additional support when needed has been beneficial.
“Sandy quickly understood what additional support we needed in CEFLEX, even though the sector is not one she has worked in previously. She really matched our requirements to Fi’s skills and experience and has helped to provide a key team member for the CEFLEX initiative”.
Well, apart from the obvious, my short commute! My quality of life has improved, and I find overall, I’m so much more productive.
I find the CEFLEX initiative fascinating, of great interest to me on a personal level and with my background within food manufacturing, I understand the mission we’re working towards – to solve the flexible packaging issue.
As a Freelance PA, I enjoy that I can be more selective about who I work with and set my own schedule. Also, being able to take the time to learn new skills such as creating websites and broadening my skills in other areas.
“If you’re often overwhelmed and missing deadlines a virtual PA will create calm out of chaos. They can take responsibility for as much or as little as you need, save you time and money, and give you confidence that the admin and organisational side of your business is running smoothly”.