Management team

Antoinette Wilcox (Co-Chair)

Antoinette was appointed Senior Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of Police in October 2020.  Prior to this she was the Executive Manager to the Chief Executive at the Ministry for Social Development for three years, the Executive Assistant to Dave Gibson, Chief Executive at the New Zealand Film Commission from April 2014 and for the six years before that was the CE’s EA at Te Papa Tongarewa.  Antoinette has extensive EA experience having worked in Government departments since arriving in NZ in 2000.  She previously worked in London for commercial property and advertising companies for 16 years and has worked at CE level for more than 30 years.   She is passionate about animal welfare and in her spare time volunteers at HUHA, a non-profit, no kill, animal shelter based in Otaki and the Wellington region.

Antoinette joined the PACE Management Team in 2013 and has been a member of PACE for more than 15 years. 

Ciaran Hyslop (Co-Chair)

Ciaran is the Manager, Office of the Chief Executive at the Earthquake Commission.

Ciaran joined the Management Team in October 2017 and was elected Co-Chair with Antoinette Wilcox in October 2020.


Brigid Kavanagh-Dee (Treasurer)

Brigid has worked at Massey University based in Palmerston North since 2004 and in 2008 was appointed Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor.  Prior to returning to the Manawatu she had been employed in various administrative roles in the private sector in Auckland, the Australian local government NSW and the Royal New Zealand Air Force which took her throughout NZ and overseas.  Her spare time is spent at home working on the farm with her husband and enjoying the company of her many pets.

Brigid has been a member of PACE since 2015 and joined the Management Team as Treasurer in 2017.

Philippa Shierlaw (Membership Coordinator)

Philippa has a wealth of experience and knowledge and is a true advocate of the EA profession.  Having worked at the most senior levels in central government and the private sector, she now owns and operates her own company, BizPro Limited which provides professional off-site executive assistance, board and business support services.

A member of PACE since September 2012 and on the Management Team from October 2014, Philippa was the Chair of PACE for three years from October 2017 - October 2020.


Rebecca Dobbs (Event Coordinator)

Rebecca is EA to the Chief Executive at Greater Wellington Regional Council, having worked for the General Managers of Corporate Services and People & Customer previously.  She joined GWRC in 2019 after spending 12 years as Business Services Manager at Hospitality New Zealand .

She has been a member of PACE since 2007, and been part of the management team for much of that time.  She has previously held the position of Membership Coordinator and was Chair from 2014-2017.

Emma Holmes (Secretary)

Emma has been a member of PACE for a number of years and joined the Management Team in October 2019. Emma works as the EA to the President at NZ School Trustee Association. Previously she was EA to the CEO and Board at WellingtonNZ, the regional development agency which markets Wellington to the world; and EA to CEO of ServiceIQ, the Industry Training Organisation for the service industry. Prior to that Emma worked at Parliament for 17 years, being Rt Hon Sir John Key’s EA for 12 years including 6 years as the Prime Ministers Personal Private Secretary. As relaxation Emma enjoys reading, cinema, travelling and medieval history - currently being Chair of the New Zealand branch of the Richard III Society

Cath Tate (General Member)

Cath joined PACE in October 2016, within months of starting her first role as an Executive Assistant at Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA).  She willingly admits she underestimated the role of an EA before ‘taking it on’.

Until October 2020, Cath was juggling multiple work-steams as Operations and Membership Manager. Now, as TIA’s Manager-Executive, Cath is delighted to provide fulltime focus supporting the Chief Executive, Board and Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust. 

As a newbie to the EA world, Cath has been very appreciative of PACE, and by joining the Management Team in October 2020 she hopes her association management experience can contribute to PACE’s continuing success. 

Pam Berry (General Member)

Pam joined the Management Team in April 2018.  She has been a member of PACE since 2008.

Pam is currently the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Education at Victoria University of Wellington.  Previously, she has been the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive at the Education Review Office following 11 years at Foreign Affairs which included postings in Suva and Brussels.

As well as those postings, Pam has also spent time overseas where she had a three year VSA office training assignment with a small NGO in Buka, Bougainville, followed by two years in Newman, Western Australia, as a teacher aide for special needs students – something she always wanted to do. 

Her spare time is spent with friends and family (including three Wellington-based grandchildren), and she is an active member of the Karori Lions Club and the Port Nicholson Geriatrix Hash House Harriers.