Helen Nicholson – CEO (Chief Excitement Officer)

Helen Nicholson has been called “The Networking Queen” by many of her clients. Helen began her career as an accountant after studying at Wits University and has since evolved into a passionate entrepreneur. She is the director of The Networking Company, specialising in teaching people to Master the art of networking. She has recently published the business best seller: “Networking- How to get your black belt in business success”

Helen lived in the Middle East for five years where she developed and sold her own successful business in Dubai before returning to South Africa. She also gained international corporate experience in the IT industry, co-ordinating the marketing Middle East operation for Novell.

On her return to SA, Helen consulted and lectured at Wits Business School. Helen has a bi-monthly regular column in the Star Newspaper on the power of Networking.

Helen is a passionate South African and thrives on the meaningful work she does as a consultant in the area of leadership development. Her clients include FNB, Standard Bank, Citadel, Investec, Ernst & Young, RMB & Old Mutual. Helen is a mentor at Shanduka Black Umbrellas for aspiring black entrepreneurs and is a founding member of the Professional Speakers Association of South Africa. She is a single mother of identical twin girls, and is an avid reader and runner.

Helen completed the New York Marathon in 2011  and said it was one of her life highlights.

Paula is The Networking Company’s Office Manager and is the backbone of the office. She assists in coordinating all the programmes, and helps to make sure that everything is running smoothly in the day to day operations of the business.

She is all about making sure that everything is kept in order so that the programmes can be conducted in the best way possible for the clients. She is excellent at forming client relationships and makes sure that all the delegates needs are met on the day, as well as the days running up to the programmes.

Paula adores children and has two kids of her own. She also has a huge love for animals and nature.

Ricardo comes from a strong retail marketing background and now joins The Networking Company Tribe as a Learning Consultant and the ostensible “Digital Millenial”.

What started as a passion for consumer behavior quickly evolved into one of human behavior thus propelling Ricardo into the leadership space with the intent of developing human potential.

He is enthusiastic, family-orientated and could just about eat his own body weight in cheese if given the chance.

Caitlyn has a marketing and creative background. She is in charge of coordinating all of the marketing efforts for the The Networking Company tribe. She is focused on digitising TNC’s offerings and providing a millenial view of business.

She is extremely passionate about creating successful brands and optimising businesses by giving them the digital edge in the modern day environment. Women’s leadership in the workplace is also a huge focus for Caitlyn and she is excited to get involved with “No One is Coming” demonstrating empowerment and upliftment for all women.

Caitlyn is very interested in travel and has had oppurtunities to travel to some exotic places such as the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest. She also took Zulu for eleven years.

Magan has come on board to work as our Axonify Customer Success Manager – work closely with Canada to make sure that there is customer success and efficient implementation of Axonify in South Africa.

With a background in learning and development, Magan is passionate about being able to show and quantify the impact of training and learning in the business environment.

He enjoys hiking and photography and lives his life by the motto “with everything you do, try to leave the world in a better place than you found it”.

Andy Golding is an employee experience specialist and co-founder of Still Human. Her main focus is the impact of employee experience on innovation readiness and business capability. She works with companies and leaders in businesses across all sectors to become places where the best talent wants to be, chooses to come to, and chooses to stay at.

Andy has personal experience working in awful work environments as well as awesome work environments across various sectors. She grew fascinated about the difference in performance, retention and dedication that these different spaces create and foster for their people. This fascintation lead her to a massive research exercise that included spending time inside some of the best companies to work for both locally and abroad. The findings, combined with her personal experience working in different environments, led her to starting a business focused on company culture and employee expeirence that later merged into Still Human.

Andy is driven by helping companies better understand the experience that their people are having on a daily basis and how this impacts business capability and the ability to innovate. Working with businesses she helps them leverage and maximise the effectiveness of both of these assets to create better employee experiences and vastly improved business outputs. She has worked with and spent time inside of companies of all shapes and sizes, from fintech start ups to established, century old organisations.

A keen researcher and blogger, Andy has written for and continues to contribute to many publications at the forefront of Human Capital.

Brad Shorkend is an agitator & thought provoker, and the co-founder of Still Human… he works with business leaders around the world helping them to be constantly innovation ready and to create exceptional employee experiences that translate into kick-ass innovation, constant relevance, and significant revenue.

He walks his talk as a leader, entrepreneur and innovator and is currently an active shareholder in 8 businesses across numerous sectors.

His professional career kicked off with him founding and building his own architectural practice and specialising in architecture for business for over 15 years. It was here that he discovered his love for entrepreneurship, leadership, people development and the “thinking” space and he successfully diversified into more than 20 exciting business ventures in technology, telecommunications, real estate, retail, beauty, fashion and building construction to name a few.

Brad has been coaching, mentoring and facilitating across all industries working primarily with CEO, MD, Exco, leadership at all levels of organisation, high potential individuals, teams and entrepreneurs.

His clients are an exciting array of many of the top blue chip organisations in South Africa and globally as well as exciting early stage start-ups.

Brad is an accredited Consciousness Coach (2007), Results Certified Workplace Coach (2009), Accredited Professional Trainer (2008), Multipliers Master Facilitator (2014), Design Thinker Accredited Facilitator (2013), NBI brain Preference Practitioner (2015), Evolved Coach Certified (2011), Evolved NLP Coach Certified (2011), Evolved NLP Practitioner Certified (2011), 9 Conversations in Leadership Accredited – Level 1 (2009), Purposeful Teams Accedited – Level 1 (2009) and Heart of Leadership Accredited – (2010),  to name a few… he is also adjunct faculty at GIBS.

Claire Julsing Strydom is a registered dietitian and co-founder of Nutrition Solutions, one of the largest dietetics practices in South Africa. She is the past president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa She completed her Master of Science Degree in Dietetics through the University of the Free State. She is currently serving on the ICD 2020 organising committee (as head of marketing) that will host the next International Confederation of Dietitians (ICD 2020) Conference in Cape Town in September 2020. She has presented nutrition educational content to health professionals both locally and internationally. Claire has developed and implemented interactive nutrition education initiatives for various schools including the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. Claire is an expert within the corporate wellness space and has developed nutrition intervention programs for both local corporations and large multinationals. She consults to the food and pharmaceutical industries and regularly contributes to magazine publications and has been hosted on a number of health-related television and radio shows. She is registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and is a member of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the USA.

Using her extensive qualifications and 20 years of experience, Karin has owned and managed a number of Biokinetic practices.  Currently she is based in her private practice within the Melrose arch virgin active. Using her educational talents, she has also guided numerous Biokinetic interns into running their own successful practices.

Furthermore, Karin is a specialist in orthopaedic rehabilitation and a strong proponent of illness prevention. She prides herself in treating patients holistically.

Karin frequently presents papers at conferences and has lectured at the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand. She has been published in journals and the medical chronical.

In 2014\2015 she was awarded the top Biokineticist at Virgin Active in South Africa.

She is married with 18 year old boy/girl twins, and loves people and a challenge.

Natalie Hinde has over 20 years’ experience as a facilitator and coach and is passionate about developing people.

Before joining The Networking Company, Natalie spent time in the corporate environment working for both local and international organisations.  It was during this time that she spent in people-management positions that she developed her ‘people first’ philosophy which is underpinned by the belief that empowered, motivated individuals are the foundation of successful organisations.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree, a post-graduate qualification in Business and Executive Coaching as well as an Occupationally Directed Education, Training and Development Practitioner (OD ETDP) accreditation.

Natalie loves being outdoors and is an avid traveller and foodie.

“I struggled with my weight all my life and had to learn how to dress my body to hide my flaws. My friends could not believe I was the weight I was and were always  amazed that I still managed to look good and dress well. I began writing down my tricks and trade secrets, and when I saw it all on paper I realised I had something to offer in the area of personal image consultancy. Then, at the same ti me a friend of a friend called me and asked me to help her through a difficult time. Her husband was having an affair, she had 2 girls to take care of and she desperately needed a change. She had a small shopping budget, but I couldn’t wait to see what I could do within her means. I completed the shop and revealed her new look and wardrobe to her. It affected her in a way that I can’t describe in words. I saw how her self-image and confidence went through the roof. That was a real turning point for me, and that day a shift happened. I knew I had a talent for shopping for women and a personality that was identi fi able, and seeing how using my skill renewed and inspired a friend was all I needed to motivate me on a new path. I hope to share some of my experience and passion with you, so that you too can become ALL that you are.” www.houseofanine.co.za

Italia Boninelli is Executive Vice President: People and Organization Development at AngloGold Ashanti, an international gold-mining company with 20 operations across North and South America, 8 countries in Africa and in Australasia and which employs more than 63,000 people. Prior to that, she has held executive positions in the Human Resources functions of Gold Fields (mining) and Netcare (hospital group) and was both HR Director and Marketing Director at Standard Bank. She is a registered industrial psychologist with a Masters in Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand and a post-graduate diploma in labour relations from UNISA. She is a founder member of the National Human Resources Research Initiative of the South African Board for Personnel Practice.

She has previous board experience in the gold mining sector and is currently on the advisory boards of two universities. She continues to lecture and teach at business
schools and universities, and for national bodies such as the Institute for People Management. She is passionate in her support for women’s leadership development programs and has been an executive coach to many successful executives. She is also the author of numerous publications including three books and numerous articles. 

Niven Postma works at a senior and executive level in business, civil society and the public sector. Her career has seen her constantly move between strategy development and execution, working with diverse people, in diverse contexts, to pioneer strategies and deliver results. She consistently does so in a way that builds strong and effective teams; teams that in turn, successfully build the reputation and capacity of departments and organisations.

She is currently consulting in the leadership, culture and strategy space, having just completed a contract position as Head: Leadership and Culture for the Standard Bank Group during its strategy cascade; one which spanned all the countries where the Group operates and extended to all 55 000 employees. Prior to taking up that role she was the Head of the South African Reserve Bank Academy, responsible for the delivery of learning and development across SARB. She was initially appointed to the central bank in 2010 as its first Head of External Strategy.

From 2002 until 2004, Niven was the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Businesswomen’s Association (BWA); the largest association of business and professional women in South Africa. The BWA has run the Businesswoman of the Year Award since 1980 and under her leadership, inaugurated an annual South African Women in Corporate Leadership Census. From 2005 to 2007 she served as the first Chief Executive Officer of NOAH (Nurturing Orphans of AIDS for Humanity). NOAH was one of the largest children’s NGOs in South Africa and franchised community-based models of orphan care in over 110 communities across the country until it transitioned the majority of its projects to the Department of Social Development in 2014.

Niven then worked independently for a number of years, designing and delivering leadership, systemic change and innovation projects in the social sector. Her clients included the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), Convene Venture Philanthropy and the Freeplay Foundation.

She started her professional career as a consultant with the global strategy consulting firm Monitor Company, where she worked for three years on cases for clients that spanned mining, retail, healthcare and government, in South Africa, Boston and Turkey.

Prior to undertaking her BA degree (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, Niven backpacked around the world for 4 years. She completed her EMBA at the UCT Graduate School of Business in 2012 and her PG Dip Futures Studies (cum laude) at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in 2014.

She was an inaugural Fellow of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Programme in 2002 and an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow in 2007. She has addressed conferences on three continents and been a guest speaker numerous times at GIBS. She has served as a volunteer police reservist and as a board member of a number of charities and NGOs. She is currently on the board of Cotlands (www.cotlands.org.za) a leader in the Early Childhood Development space in South Africa.
Niven enjoys reading, running, hiking, improving her French, learning to play bridge and travelling. She lives with her partner in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Deshun Deysel is a pioneer, adventurer, entrepreneur, wife and mother.

Her thought provoking presentations leave audiences with a sense of “just go out and do it!” energy, which carries them for months and even years. She has addressed thousands of audiences worldwide, with her remarkable story of overcoming the limitations that the Apartheid regime has set for women of colour, to conquering the world of mountaineering and then spearheading new cognitive technologies in the world of business.

In addition to becoming the world’s first Black female high altitude mountaineer, Deshun’s determination has led her to running an international business (Deshun Deysel & Associates) which provides Business & Executive Coaching for a new breed of digitally savvy leaders. Among
DDA’s clients are Fortune 500 companies and distruptive start-ups!

With over 20 years experience as an international speaker, moderator and coach, Deshun adds incredible value to clients and helps them achieve conference objectives.

Rebecca Kanoerera has over 20 years of experience in the ICT industry. She held various leadership position, supporting clients and teams in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Turkey.  She has worked for global organizations including IBM Corporation. Her passion for mentorship, coaching and training has seen her participate and contribute her expertise on multiple talent leadership development programs. Rebecca serves on various boards and is actively involved in charity organizations.  

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