My professional background
My professional history has spanned over more than 40 years. I have had a range of leadership roles in large and medium-sized companies in South Africa and Canada. As the CEO of various companies, I have been involved in international business with Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, Europe, U.K., Denmark, Germany and China. I have led all aspects of business including importing, price negotiation, marketing, merchandising, distribution, administration, manufacturing, and human resources.
I have been an owner, employee and consultant for the businesses I was involved in. As a business owner, I experienced the stress of having the full responsibility, not only for the business, but also for my staff. As a senior executive working as an employee, I was accountable to the owners for predetermined financial forecasts. In this role, I was required to work within the company’s structure and provide advice to the owners, as well as leadership to the staff.
For 10 years prior to retirement, I provided business consultation to small and medium-sized businesses. In this role, I stepped into a struggling business, established the cause of the its poor performance and presented a plan for improvement. Once I had received Board approval for my suggested changes, I played a major role in their implementation.
Since retiring four years ago, I have been working with various charitable organizations as a voluntary mentor. My mentees include people who are looking to establish a business ,are underemployed or unemployed, newly arrived immigrants and people about to immigrate to Canada. My primary role as a mentor is to establish a relationship and build confidence and hope in my mentees. I help my mentees establish goals and practical strategies to move forward.
In all my professional, volunteer and personal relationships, I always show a genuine interest in people. I look for the good in people and this builds confidence and trust. In addition, as a problem solver, I ask pointed, pertinent questions to get to the crux of the issue at hand. I get enormous satisfaction out of helping others (be they individuals or companies) reach their potential. I am looking forward to playing a role in Associated Senior Executives of Canada.
How to work with me
What I can offer
I offer vast experience in all aspects of management to small and small-medium businesses. I provide support around administration, marketing, and business strategy, planning and analysis. For 10 years prior to retiring, I was a professional business consultant and always played an active, hands-on role in the implementation of changes that I recommended.
Thanks to my experience as a business owner and consultant, I am able to understand and solve almost any problem within a small to small-medium business environment.
I am available to my mentees as frequently and for as long as they need my support.
My expectations for a successful mentoring relationship
I take my responsibility as a mentor very seriously and require the same level of commitment from my mentees. Honesty and a willingness to work towards mutually agreed upon changes are essential qualities in the mentor-mentee relationship.
How entrepreneurs can prepare before we start
A mentee should come to our meetings with a solid understanding of their business and well-thought out, written questions for us to discuss. At our initial meeting, I expect a mentee to be well-versed in the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of their business.