Executive Leadership Support Forum: Toronto: Speaker Interview

Lori Smithlori smith
Executive Assistant to the CHRO
BMO Financial Group

Lori has over 25 years of experience in administrative support roles, in the following industries, telecommunications, real estate, legal and financial. She has been an assistant at BMO Financial Group since 2006, supporting her senior leader in his roles as Head of BMO’s Corporate University and when he was promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer. She has always worked in a fast paced and demanding environment. She is passionate about her role, and supporting her executive.

Lori will be one of the distinguished presenters at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Toronto.

Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Toronto important for executive assistants?
I love that EA’s can get together, get training, have fun, and it can be taken back to the office and utilized immediately.

Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?
I have been a member and board member  “IAAP” (International Association of Administrative Professionals) for 10 years. That keeps me on track with training, and best practices for our profession. I attend their yearly “Summit” education conference. I also love attending other conferences, to network and share experiences.

What is one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at the ELS Forum?
How others balance their work and family life.

Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.
When I was recognized by the President of the company, for being instrumental in locating a billing error and negotiating a refund and future sayings.

In your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?
I’d be lost without my “BlackBerry”, it’s my connection to the office and my executive.

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?
Listen and learn, from others.

How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?
When my boss tells someone, he couldn’t do it without me.