In the Spotlight: Kelly Toma, EA to CEO & SMT Support Manager

As part of our series to highlight our fabulous workforce, we are delighted to shine a light on Kelly Toma, EA to Oximio’s CEO and SMT Support Manager. The perfect example of the “iceberg theory”, Kelly radiates strength and calm above the surface but we know that she is juggling many balls behind the scenes. In this article Kelly tells us what inspired her to become an EA, what she enjoys most about her role and how she spends her free time.

   Kelly Toma, Oximio

What inspired you to start work as an EA?

From a young age, I felt a calling towards the role of Secretary (as it was known back then). My auntie, who was a PA in a prestigious firm in London, UK, served as a strong inspiration and role model for me. Witnessing her dedication and the impact she made in her role fuelled my aspiration to follow in her footsteps. I’ve always found fulfilment in supporting others and playing a behind-the-scenes role in ensuring smooth operations. The prospect of making a meaningful difference in someone else’s work life was what initially attracted me to pursue this career path. As an EA, I’m able to leverage my organisational skills and attention to detail in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, which aligns perfectly with my professional aspirations and personal inclinations.

Tell us a little bit about your role and what a typical day looks like?

Kelly Toma, Oximio

My role is centred around delivering comprehensive support to our CEO while collaborating closely with Oximio Board members, the senior management team, and various teams within Oximio. A typical day for me begins by meticulously managing calendars, scheduling and coordinating meetings, and handling incoming correspondence with precision and efficiency. I prioritise tasks diligently to maintain efficiency and ensure that essential deadlines are met and key objectives are accomplished seamlessly.

Acting as a gatekeeper, I manage communications and requests to ensure that pertinent matters reach the CEO and senior management team promptly. Additionally, I am actively involved in managing various projects and initiatives aimed at driving organisational success.

Another integral aspect of my role involves overseeing internal communications and fostering collaboration among colleagues to facilitate smooth workflow and effective teamwork, particularly in our global environment. 

What do you like most about your role?

What I appreciate most about my role is the opportunity to be a pivotal part of a team’s success. I enjoy the diverse range of tasks and challenges that come my way, as each day presents new opportunities for problem-solving and growth. Additionally, collaborating with all staff members and departments allows me to contribute to a cohesive and efficient work environment. The sense of accomplishment that comes from helping others achieve their goals is incredibly rewarding.

What would you say was your best achievement or you are most proud of in your role?

Kelly Toma, EA Summit, Milan 2024

One of my proudest achievements to date is spearheading employee-led innovation initiatives, such as Ideabox and Accelerator. These programmes have not only promoted creativity and collaboration within Oximio but have also resulted in tangible improvements in our processes and services. Additionally, having the opportunity to present at the EVG PA/EA forum in Milan recently stands out as a particularly gratifying accomplishment. It allowed me to share insights, exchange ideas, and network with peers on an international platform, contributing to my professional growth and the recognition of Oximio’s innovative efforts.

Is there something you are looking forward to within your job function in the year ahead?

I am particularly excited about the opportunity to further develop my skills and take on new challenges in my recently acquired management role.  Leading on administration, data & KPIs, innovation, and humanitarian efforts – all areas that are close to my heart. I’m eager to delve into these responsibilities, leveraging my skills and passion to drive positive change and make meaningful contributions to our team and organisation. I see this as an exciting opportunity for personal growth and professional fulfilment, and I’m committed to making a lasting impact in these key areas.

When you’re not working at Oximio, how do you like to spend your free time?

Kelly Toma and much loved pet dog, Lenny

One of my main focuses this year is enhancing my fitness, which I’m achieving through regular walks with my beloved dog, Lenny, with the goal of transitioning to running.

Spending quality time with my family and friends is important to me.  Travelling, especially with my husband and daughter, is a shared passion, as it allows us to explore new cultures and create lasting memories together.  We’re particularly excited about our upcoming trip to Morocco during Easter.

Kelly Toma and Marti

Music has always held a special place in my heart, particularly from my youth. Meeting Marti Pellow, who was the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet, was a highlight for me last year, despite feeling a bit starstruck and at a loss for words – which is unusual for me! I’m excited to see him perform live again at the end of March.

Although I love to read fiction, it’s been a little challenging lately with my energetic 6-year-old daughter keeping me busy!  But we do sneak in some reading time together whenever possible.

Do you have any personal/business goals you would like to achieve in the year ahead?

I am dedicated to exploring innovative strategies to optimise efficiency within our workflow, recognising the importance of staying ahead in a rapidly evolving work environment. Additionally, I am enthusiastic about pursuing further professional development opportunities to broaden my skill-set and enhance my contribution to Oximio’s success. I am particularly excited about embarking on a learning journey with the NOVA Chief of Staff qualification, which specifically aims to empower Executive Assistants like myself with the resources and education to elevate impact in our roles. Furthermore, my ongoing participation in the recently launched Oximio Leadership Academy underscores my commitment to continuous growth and development. These initiatives will not only deepen my knowledge but also equip me with the necessary tools to contribute even more effectively to the success of our team and Oximio.