Meet the SA Chamber of Commerc

Meet the SA Chamber of Commerce nominees – Part 2

The South African Chamber of Commerce Awards are around the corner, and we’ve put together a list of the second group of nominees.

Meet the SA Chamber of Commerc
Woman in Business of the Year

Carolyn Andrew

Carolyn was born in the Eastern Cape, studied a Bachelor of Business Science (Marketing) at the University of Cape Town, and worked at Ogilvy Johannesburg for six years. Then she headed to London to work at Lowe & Partners on their global Unilever business.

She joined Quirk in 2010 from an advertising background and took to digital, assisting brands and businesses to develop their digital offering. She manages Quirk’s capability and training offerings globally, from scoping through to delivery of varied initiatives and formats that have proven to be inspiring, customised and practical across markets.

She is a Director at Quirk London and has been integral to the development of the business over the past 4.5 years, helping to build the office into a successful agency (recently acquired by WPP) with largely year-on-year growth.

Carri leads Quirk’s partnership with SABMiller, including the global capability programmes, which has seen her travel to 10 different countries to work with local marketing teams for the global brewer.

Pily Mirazi

Born in Durban, Pily is the founder and CEO of South African Fashion & Culture Week (SAFACW) in London. She is also founder and CEO of Spotlight Fashion Models. Pily helps businesses from South Africa set up and market in the UK and vice versa.

Pily is also a television personality who regularly appears on British mainstream television. As an event organiser and promoter of her own company Pilyvan Consulting, Pily organises the South African Fashion & Culture Week (SAFACW) in London. SAFACW is one of the top fashion events in London attended by major celebrities and VIPs. SAFACW works closely with the South African High Commission with support from UK Trade & Industry and the Mayor London Office.

Pily has her own Celebrity Column titled “Pily’s World”, a monthly feature in Panache magazine, showcasing her organised events, attended events and the personalities she mingles with.

Odile Ham

In 2007, Odile packed up her life in South Africa and headed for “The Big Smoke” where she worked in contract catering operations for a year. Looking for more excitement, she joined the Famous Brands family as a Wimpy franchisee in 2008 and has now acquired two Wimpy restaurants. In 2013, she launched the much-loved Steers brand in the UK to bring a taste of home to South African expats in the UK. She is now preparing for the opening of a second Steers store at Twickenham this month (April 2015). Odile has been a guest speaker at the Breakfast Indaba before.

Natalie Immelman

Natalie is a South African Chartered Accountant and has been living in London for the past four years. In those four years, she has worked at Deloitte in advisory as Senior Manager. She is a Director of the Nedbank Charity Golf Day, which is the largest charity golf day in Europe and raised £100,000 in 2014.

Natalie is the longest serving member of the SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) UK Committee. This involved the monthly organisation of continuous professional development courses, the social events and charity events for the 2,500 South African Chartered Accountants living in the UK.

Natalie served on the executive committee for the South African Chamber of Commerce in 2013. This includes the co-ordination of events to promote trade, community and investment into and out of South Africa.

Tolene van der Merwe

Tolene started her career in 1997 at a private travel company in Cape Town, and worked her way up to senior travel consultant and sales manager. After 5 years at Exclusive Getaways, she was headhunted to manage the sales team at Gatsby International Hotels, being responsible for local and international marketing. In 2005, she moved over to the UK and to head up the Africa division at Affair Travel before starting her own Tourism Representation company in 2007. Boutique Travel Marketing started when the economic downturn happened and pushed through to 2014 when she was offered the role of Country Manager UK & Ireland for South African Tourism. She is now responsible for the biggest tourism inbound market to South Africa running a team of 6 to manage the image and the brand of the country in this role. Tolene has served on the board of SATOA for 7 years, 3 of which were as Chairlady and  served on the board of SKAL International Travel Club for 5 years. For two of those years, she has been vice president.


Rising Star of the Year

Eugene Zietsman

Eugene is a trained account, matriculating in 1996 as, Deputy Head Prefect, and completing his articles in Empangeni KZN in 2002. Eugene relocated to Pretoria and Johannesburg in 2003 to obtain meaningful experience and exposure with various companies in the financial services and management industries. From 2007-2011 Eugene migrated between the UK, the UAE and South Africa, completing mostly financial management contracts and finally settling in London in 2012 with his wife and daughter. In 2014, Eugene and two others have taken over GJ’s Sports Bar Wandsworth.

Petrus Madutlela

Petrus’ route to culinary success was a circuitous one. He had to cook for his siblings and the food had to taste good which is where he turns for his strong sense of flavours. Petrus is extraordinary driven, from kitchen cleaner to culinary awards, head chef and judge.

Carlos Menezes

Carlos was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Before joining Quirk Carlos studied Financial Accounting at the University of Cape Town, pursuing a career in finance before deciding to join the growing local digital marketing field. Carlos started at Quirk as an intern & within 8 years became Managing Director for the agency’s UK office. Learning the ropes at Quirk’s Cape Town headquarters, Carlos moved to the UK in 2009 & set up several new departments for the digital marketing agency in London, including its Search, Media, Data & Social teams.

Dibabatso “Diba” Masooa

In the four short years Diba Masooa has been in the UK, she has seen her career go from strength to strength. Securing her first UK managerial post with major closed life fund company Phoenix Group back in 2011, she gained a wealth of experience of the UK market, adding to her extensive experience in her native South Africa. Within just one year, she took a huge leap of faith and set up Masooa Consultancy Ltd on a mission to provide solutions and support for companies faced with legislative changes by providing actuarial services such as problem solving, calculations, analysis, documentation, research, system testing and contribution to help them implement new legislation in project-based work. Not an easy task, considering the tough transition between UK and South African jargon and legislation – not to mention being so far away from home and immersed into a totally different culture. But, Diba has risen to the challenge, remaining focused and disciplined whilst tapping into her natural optimism and adventurous streak. Her passion for numbers, building relationships and providing genuine help and support has equipped her with an attitude to succeed. As a result, she’s nurtured her business by investing her time and passion into building her book of clients, and now has many key accounts, including the NHS through the placement company Equiniti. Diba is also a Forex Trader and has a vision to teach young people how to trade. Diba is passionate about engaging with the next generation. For example, she delivers motivational speeches back in South Africa with plans to do the same here in the UK.

Adele Walker

Adele is a giver by nature. Not being content with running SAFFA events. A lot of her time is given to helping the SA expat community in the UK, as well as raising funds for good causes back home. She has spent tireless hours helping to raise support, financially and emotionally, for many SA families living in the UK, through social platforms that she setup on Facebook. Most recently having a helping hand to raise over £2400 for Teenage cancer trust. She is a much loved ‘quirky personality’ on the social media spectrum with her outspoken outlook and fierce support of everything South African.