Womanpower boost for chamber
Armed with a slew of ideas and a vision for the future of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, the women on the newly elected board are rolling up their sleeves to bring the organisation to new heights.
The board, which now includes six women – aside from the chamber having a woman chief executive – was chosen at the chamber’s annual general meeting last week.
The board members elected at the meeting are: MC Botha, Dave Coffey, Wolf Edmayr, Siyabulela Mhlaluka, Jane Stevenson and Sonja Tifloen.
They join other board members continuing their terms, who include Simone MaoCheia, Bongi Siwisa, Tshiwela Mhlantla, Denise van Huyssteen, Robert Niemand, Rocco Joubert, Loyiso Dotwana, Hoosain Mohamed, Andrew Muir, Saki Macozoma, Christopher Mashigo and board president Thomas Schaefer.
Tifloen, of BLC Attorneys, said she was pleased to return to the board, after a three-year tenure previously.
“I want us to bring about change,” Tifloen said.
“Unless we do something – in this case, giving our time [in voluntary positions], we can’t affect change.”
Tifloen hoped to involve the youth more directly in the chamber’s activities.
“We need to drive the process and invite the youth to be a part of the chamber.
“I am passionate about the Top 40 under 40 [campaign] the chamber had before.
“Young entrepreneurs have different ideas, and we should start listening to them.”
She was also excited to be part of a board featuring several women in business.
“We have different ideas and management styles from men, and we complement each other.”
Stevenson, who has served two terms as a board member and is a former deputy president of the board, said men and women both had an important role to play.
“It is important for the board to be reflective of the demographics of the country,” Stevenson said.
“The balance of the multi-faceted board speaks of the country’s demographics.
“[As the chamber we have a role to play in] packaging ourselves as a city. There is work needed on infrastructure like roads and electricity, but there are also a lot of things that work.
“My personal vision is for us to start seeing the beauty we have to offer; we have amazing assets. We should be more excited.”
Chamber chief executive Nomkhita Mona said: “My team and I look forward to working with the new members, who join a dynamic board.
“I am delighted at the increasing number of powerful female board members.”