Executive Leadership Support Forum: Speaker Interview

Charmaine Francis is Manager
Admin Support
BMO Financial Group. 

Charmaine Francis is Manager, Admin Support at BMO Financial Group. She has been in her current role since 2008 supporting Corporate Groups in Risk, Finance and Corporate Audit in Canada and the USA, having joined the Bank of Montreal in 2006 as an Executive Assistant. As a proven leader, she develops productive, high-quality executive support staff to maximize their contribution and value to their departments. Her ability to connect with all levels of staff has fostered strong working relationships with management, peers and direct reports. Charmaine has varied experience in supporting business strategies and operates as a partner to her management teams.

Charmaine will be one of the contributors at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Mississauga on April 11-12.

Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum important for Executive Assistants?

The forum gives Executive Assistants an opportunity to learn from business leaders and to exchange ideas with their peers in order to grow from their shared knowledge/experience.

Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?

I regularly attend BMO People Manager’s workshops and ongoing training through work. For the last 2 years, I attended the Global Leadership Summit hosted by Willow Creek Association.

Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud. 

I have staff operating in Toronto, Chicago and Milwaukee and received a note from staff in Milwaukee wishing me “Happy Bosses Day”, expressing thanks and appreciation for our open communication lines.

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?

If you don’t enjoy your job, it is up to you to make a change for yourself and your future career development.

How do you define success within your role as an Executive Assistant?

As a manager of Executive Assistants and also for myself, success would be defined as developing and expanding on your skillset; embracing new opportunities and growing, while overcoming the challenges along the way.