Jury

Our esteemed communications specialists have been carefully selected as Jury members for the African Excellence Awards to ensure a fair and balanced evaluation of all applications. The Jury members’ range of expertise covers a wide scope, from the perspective of both in-house and agency communication departments. During an online voting session the Jury decides which entries are shortlisted, and who the recipients of the Excellence Awards are. The Jury evaluates the innovation, implementation, strategy and impact of the projects submitted, to reward the best in PR communications.

Chose Choeu

Chose Choeu

Divisional Executive, Corporate Affairs
ESKOM
Chose Choeu, a Fulbright Scholar, has numerous degrees including a Masters Degree in International Relations (University of Denver) and a Masters Degree in the South African Political Economy from the University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University).Chose Choeu has firmly established himself as one of South Africa’s finest Corporate Affairs Directors with an extensive career served in world-class corporations and Fortune 500 companies.The broad remit of his function has seen him lead highly skilled and specialist teams, including: Academic, Stakeholder Relations, Media Relations, Investor Relations, Government Relations, Public Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development, Risk Management, Community Affairs, Legal and Regulatory activities, Change Management, Internal Communications, Corporate Governance and Reputation Management.
Soha Eissa

Soha Eissa

Head of Marketing Division, Al Rehab
Talaat Moustafa Group
Soha Eissa has been engaged in the Communication and Marketing Community for the past 18 years. Since her early high school age she held an absolute passion for the Job and realized how A WORD affects thousands communities, nevertheless how A PICTURE speaks louder than a thousand words.She put all her efforts and time in developing both practically and academically to better serve the community.Soha now works as a marketing and communication consultant for UN Projects, private owned business, and some rising entrepreneurs in Egypt while holding a full time managerial job in marketing at the leading real estate company in Egypt.
Rudolf Hetzel

Rudolf Hetzel

Publisher
Communication Director
Rudolf Hetzel is publisher of international Communication Director magazine, which is distributed worldwide. He is founder and CEO of Quadriga University in Berlin and Helios Media GmbH – the publishing house of Communication Director magazine. Rudolf studied political science at the Free University of Berlin, where he later taught.
Janet Kimani

Janet Kimani

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Levanter Africa
Janet is a co-founder and Managing Director of Levanter Africa, where she works with clients to achieve measurable results from their strategic communications and business development activity.Her experience cuts across market research, corporate communications and marketing. She has built corporate brands, led sales and marketing campaigns and managed complex communication and change management projects targeted at clients, regulators, government and the public across East Africa. She has held key positions in a variety of industries, most notably development, professional services and telecommunications.
Sconaid McGeachin

Sconaid McGeachin

Senior Vice President EMEA
HILL+KNOWLTON STRATEGIES Dubai
Sconaid has spent over 25 years working in international communications across the UK, Russia, Poland, South East Europe, India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
Sconaid joined H+K in 2008, initially as COO of H+K Middle East and Turkey, before taking responsibility as CEO for the wider region including Middle East, India, Turkey and Africa. In 2016, Sconaid took on wider EMEA responsibilities as well as continuing the growth of H+K’s African operations. Sconaid has extensive experience of managing integrated corporate communications including devising cross border corporate reputation programmes, tailored to the local sensitivities of specific markets. In addition to her corporate leadership responsibilities, she has also served as a senior client leader on multiple accounts, including dnata, Emirates, Mubadala Aerospace, MasterCard, Intel, Dubai World Trade Centre, Etihad Rail, GAFI (Egypt’s investment authority), Egypt Economic Development Conference, Coca-Cola and P&G.
Sconaid is a Business Studies graduate, majoring in marketing and market research. Sconaid was Chair of the Middle East PR Association (MEPRA) in 2012 & 2013 and a Regional Director for Injaz Al-Arab.
Daniel Munslow

Daniel Munslow

Director
International Association of Business Communicators’ International Executive Board
Daniel Munslow, CPRP, is a director at MCC Consulting; director on the International Association of Business Communicators’ International Executive Board for the 2016/18 term; outgoing regional chairperson for IABC Africa, and was the 2014/16 IABC Africa Regional Chairperson.He has 15 years’ experience in business communication consulting and media, and has worked across multiple industries in numerous African countries as well as in the Middle East, US, Europe, and Asia.He specialises in strategic communication and stakeholder engagement, measurement, crisis communication, and skills development for senior communication practitioners and business leaders for a global client base.Daniel has worked in banking and financial services, energy, aviation, retail, mining, healthcare and pharma, motoring, media, paper and pulp, medical, telecommunications, tertiary education, and for the United Nations. He has developed and implemented communication and reputation management strategies by partnering with key decision makers and adopting a participatory approach to stakeholder management; often coaching or siting with executive committee members as a strategic advisor on communication.In addition, Daniel is a multi-year judge on the IABC Gold and Silver Quills Judging Panel; the 2010/2011 vice-chairperson of the PRISA Public Relations Consultancy Chapter; and chief judge in the annual PRISA PRISM Awards. He speaks at local and international conferences on business communication, and was voted an All-Star speaker at the IABC World Conference in 2012. In 2016, Daniel was invited to Speak at the World PR Forum on communication trends in Africa, speaking to a global audience from 30 countries about local communication practices.Daniel is a graduate of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, where he also majored in Industrial Psychology.
Jane Muriithi-Thomas

Jane Muriithi-Thomas

Head of Marketing and Communications
United States International University - Africa
Jane is a seasoned marketing and communications specialist with over 16 years of experience in various sectors- education, telecommunication, agency-airline, FMCG, NGOs and energy. In her current role at United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) she has revolutionized the PR department to a successfully functioning Marketing and Communications department that oversees the university brand, internal communication, digital communication and external and media relations. In her role she has rebranded the institution to commence its journey to being the premier academic institution with an African and global perspective. USIU-Africa is the first African university to received nominations and win awards from the renowned Marketing Society of Kenya Association and African Excellence Awards.In her previous careers she has led the development of retention programs for her customers, rolled out and sustained brands through creative marketing and communications activities and initiatives. Jane mentors students and peers in their career and personal development, as a way to give back the knowledge she has gained from her accomplishments and successful failures! Jane has a Master’s degree in International Marketing Management (Leeds University UK) and an Executive Master’s degree in Organizational Development (USIU-Africa).She in a believer that the people are the brand, as they can envision the endless possibilities. Her mantra is Believe It. Achieve It!
Nicola Nel

Nicola Nel

Founder and Managing Director
Atmosphere Communications
Nicola Nel runs Atmosphere Communications, the most awarded public relations consultancy in South Africa. Atmosphere has been named South Africa’s best Mid-Sized Agency of the Year and it has secured the Campaign of the Year three times in the past five years - 2014, 2015, 2018 - the PRISMS (PR Institute of South Africa) awards ceremony. Over the past fewsyears its brand campaigns have secured numerous local and international awards – both for effectiveness and creativity. Nicola has been on the judging panel of the South African advertising awards (the Loeries) and has been recognised as one of SA’s most influential women in business and government by CEO Magazine. Before moving into PR, Nicola was a financial journalist and presented business programmes for breakfast TV and for the main news bulletins. She holds a commerce degree from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.
Patricia Obozuwa

Patricia Obozuwa

Director, Communications & Public Affairs
General Electric Nigeria
Patricia Obozuwa is the Director of Communications & Public Affairs for GE Africa – a position she has held since April 2012. She leads a team of communicators across Sub-Saharan Africa, building and protecting GE’s brand and image.Prior to joining GE, she was Head, External Relations, Nigeria and Corporate Communication Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa at Procter & Gamble (P&G). Patricia successfully pioneered the Public Relations function and built a team P&G West Africa.Before joining P&G in 2005, Patricia was the Arts and Sponsorship Manager for the British Council in Nigeria and before that she was the Assistant Curator of Nimbus Art Gallery in Lagos.Patricia likes reading, music and travel. She is passionate about Nigerian art and literature. She also serves as a teenage Class teacher at her local church.
Michael Okwiri

Michael Okwiri

Vice President Corporate Communications & PR
Airtel Africa
Sharon Piehl

Sharon Piehl

Director
FleishmanHillard
With over 20 years’ experience in the communications industry, Sharon Piehl was appointed as Managing Director of FleishmanHillard Johannesburg in May 2016. Prior to her recent appointment, Sharon spent four years as the lead of FleishmanHillard’s Brand Marketing portfolio. Having worked on an array of brands including Microsoft, Philips, Nokia, BMW, Nike, Commonwealth Games and Discovery Networks, Sharon’s expertise in brand positioning, creative counselling and reputation management has led her clients and her team to several PRISA PRISM awards. Sharon also heads up the Consumer Practice Sector for FleishmanHillard EMEA and runs the new business track for the Johannesburg.As an expert and thought leader, the industry often calls on Sharon to share her industry experience and trends insights on key topics, some of which include GIBS: Big Data, University of Johannesburg on the topic of the World of Communication, Integrated Marketing Conference for the Authenticity Gap and very recently being a judge at Loeries 2015.With the local media space, and the manner in which we communicate with them, constantly evolving Sharon believes the value and relevance of the media remain the same, even after 20 years. “What excites me is that communication and public relations are no longer a ‘support act’ but a clear driving force in the media environment. I believe more so than ever brands have the ability to shape conversations, ignite change and set agendas.”As a leader, Sharon inspires the team through her unwavering passion and self-commitment to excellence. She lives and teaches through her life’s philosophy, “Do it with passion or not at all. I believe that you should always push the boundaries and challenge yourself. Be proud of everything you do, no matter how small, and remember to have fun doing it.”Sharon is a mom to seven year old twins and spends all her personal time dedicated to them. She is also a professional ‘side-line’ sports enthusiastand fan to her Tri-Athlete husband. Her latest hobby and goal for 2016 is designing her new home – destination Utopia 2016.
Jordan Rittenberry

Jordan Rittenberry

Managing Director
Edelman South Africa
Jordan Rittenberry serves as the Managing Director of Edelman’s South African office. Based in Johannesburg, the office serves as the hub for the firm’s work in Africa and has supported blue chip and emerging brands in more than 30 countries across the continent, including Barclays, GE, PayPal, PwC and Shell.
An Edelman veteran with a decade of service, Rittenberry has held numerous leadership positions at the firm. Most recently, he lead Edelman’s Technology & Business Marketing practice in Chicago, where he played a lead role on a number of the agency’s key accounts, crossing both corporate and consumer-facing programs. He has also served as the client relationship manager for multiple global engagements and has supported organizations such as Bosch, Expedia, Groupon, eBay, Hilton, Motorola and Lockheed Martin.
Rittenberry is on the steering committee of the firm's Data Security & Privacy practice, helping clients navigate the increasingly complex environment surrounding the collection, use and protection of corporate and personal data. He also developed Edelman’s Emerging Technologies practice in Chicago, which fostered deep, long-lasting relationships throughout the start-up community.
His award-winning work at Edelman has been recognized by the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators and Business Marketing Association.
Rittenberry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations/advertising and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Houston.
Delia Sieff

Delia Sieff

Director of Communications Middle East Africa
Microsoft
Delia Sieff is the Director of Communications for Microsoft Middle East Africa, a role she has held for a year since joining Microsoft as part of the Nokia acquisition. Her current responsibilities include managing a regional team of comms professionals, each focusing on a core area of Microsoft’s business, as well as providing functional leadership for the entire MEA comms community, most of whom are part of the local business subsidiaries.Prior to joining Microsoft, she spent seven years at Nokia as Head of Communications for South East Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and then Director of Communications for Middle East Africa. She also headed up marketing and communications for Intel Sub-Saharan Africa for three years and was the consumer marketing communications manager for Microsoft South Africa. Before moving into the corporate space, Delia worked for a number of PR agencies in Johannesburg and ran her own PR and Promotions Company, Purple Planet.She lives in Johannesburg with her husband, six year old daughter, and four dachshunds. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, writing and shopping.
Prof. Sonja Verwey

Prof. Sonja Verwey

Professor and Head: Department of Strategic Communication
University of Johannesburg
Bridget von Holdt

Bridget von Holdt

Business Director
Burson-Marsteller
Helen White

Helen White

Director of Communications
Orbis Africa
Helen has 18 plus years’ experience in strategic communications that shifts dramatically from managing leading South African publicity agency Marcus Brewster Publicity as Chief Operating Officer to building the brand of the Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa’s leading paediatric fundraising organisation, for almost a decade. Helen joined international not for profit Orbis Africa in 2014. As a member of the Executive Management team Helen drives the communications and fundraising strategies to support programmes in Africa and realise the organisation’s vision to see a continent where no one is avoidably blind. Due to her wealth of experience in the design and management of communications and fundraising strategies for the development sector as well as the management of strategic partnerships across Africa, Helen is often called upon as a guest lecturer at a tertiary and executive level. Helen is the author of ‘Twenty principles for developing an effective brand’ in Striking the Rights Chord: Perspectives on Advancement from South African Non-Profits (Published by Inyathelo: 2012). Helen has been Project Leader on several award-winning marketing campaigns including the Direct Marketing Association 2011 Echo Leader award (Not-for-profit category) for the Careometer online campaign awarded at the DMA2011 Conference & Exhibition in Boston, MA USA.
James Wilson

James Wilson

General Manager & VP South Africa
WE Communications
James Wilson is a communications and marketing specialist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. As general manager of Waggener Edstrom South Africa, he leads a team of integrated communications consultants based in Illovo, Johannesburg. He believes that technology is an enabler at every level of society and have enjoyed the variety and dynamism of working in South Africa, the United Kingdom and across the African continent, in key markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Mauritius. His local and international client experience includes: MTN, Cell C, HP, Microsoft, Nissan & FlySafair. James is a proud 'Johannesburger' and South African. He is an avid consumer of all forms of media and in my spare time renovate houses.