It is part of the SA Events council’s policy to rotate its leadership every six months. August 2021 sees Ellen Oosthuizen, Chair at Professional Conference Organiser’s Alliance, hand on the SAEC Chairmanship to EXSA (Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa) Chair, Gill Gibbs for the next term of office.
Gill is well-known within the Exhibitions and Events industry as a passionate leader who is excited by challenge and change. She heads up EXSA, the Association for exhibition and event suppliers, venues, role-players and service providers. EXSA embraces mentorship, diversity and inclusion, with a collective knowledge and experience that drives value and best practice to transform, engage and empower the Industry community.
In over 23 years of priceless experience in the Industry, Gill attributes her success to having worked with and been mentored by, some worthy industry stalwarts, from her initial introduction in the Organising sector, to that of exhibition and event design, manufacturing, supply, implementation and services. Her journey to date has reaffirmed the foundations of the group of companies that she serves, as CEO of CG Group, including bluCube International, which in turn, serves EXSA and the SAEC.
“Our coalition of 14 Associations desperately needs to achieve the green light ‘go date’ from the policy makers to re-open our Industry safely, under the necessary regulations and strict health and safety protocols. Getting through this crisis together as a united force and working collaboratively will provide strength, resilience and sustainability,” she says.
Raylene Johnson steps up as SAEC Vice Chair, taking over from Glenton De Kock , CEO of SAACI. Raylene is a small business owner with an Events, Catering and Hiring company, which is still suffering the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic.
She is currently also CEO of the Township Events Business Council (TEBCO-SA) which aims to create sustainable solutions to industry challenges and unites the township events industry. TEBCO-SA was established to liaise with Gauteng Tourism Authority “GTA”, Gauteng Economic Department and Gauteng Department of Sports Arts Culture and Heritage, Gauteng Industry Stakeholders, Organisations, Agencies and Gauteng City Regions on matters common to all segments of the Event Business Industry.
”For things to turn around and for the narrative to change, the input, the opinions and the feedback from the members of the various Chambers need to be addressed,” says Raylene. “Because of my background and expertise in various leadership positions, I believe that I can be a valuable asset to the SA-Events Council as Vice Chairperson. I am looking forward to working closely with Gill as Chairperson and I know that together we will be a force to be reckoned with!”
““Gill’s skills, knowledge and expertise will take her beyond her call of duty,” says Ellen, “We have seen her passion for the industry in the way she has been fighting tirelessly for the sector and her humble and honest approach is much appreciated. I know she will carry our banner with pride during her term as Chairperson. Raylene’s expertise and her position as CEO of TEBCO-SA will close the gap between the Township Events Industry and our other segments. It has been a pleasure seeing how busy TEBCO-SA has been over the past 6 months despite the challenges and attending events in Soweto representing the SAEC has been enriching.”
It has been a difficult six months for the industry and Ellen’s undimmed positivity has lit the way for the SAEC through some of the darkest times in the history of the Events and Exhibitions industry. Glenton provided the perfect counterpoint in the role of Vice Chair bringing his precise understanding and relentless determination to bear on the ongoing fight to reopen the industry.