Suzanne Ackerman-Berman

Director of Transformation, Pick N Pay

Suzanne graduated from UCT (University of Cape Town) with a BA in French and Politics. After graduation she furthered her studies in Europe and received extensive training in retail management before settling in France where, as an entrepreneur, she ran her own businesses for seven years. On her return to South Africa, she joined the family supermarket business - Pick n Pay - as a trainee manager in Fresh Foods. During her 22 years in the company, she worked in various positions in the business - ranging from Floor Management and Procurement to Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2007 she founded the Small Business Incubator that seeks to address the social and economic inequalities of the past created by the Apartheid era, by providing access to the formal market for small and previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs. A passionate proponent for equality, job creation and skills development, Suzanne assists many new entrepreneurs in all aspects of business and life skills through a detailed mentorship programme that ensures their sustainability as suppliers to the broader economy.
Deon Binneman

Deon Binneman

Professional Facilitator

Deon Binneman is a professional facilitator, trainer and accomplished keynote speaker. He is also a corporate management advisor, executive coach and thought leader. He works globally and has served numerous clients, such as Air Traffic Navigation Services and Vodacom - working across all industries of the private and public sector in 16 countries, over the past 21 years. He regularly conducts Reputation, Communication and Crises Management training, as well as chairing, speaking and facilitating management conferences and in-house strategic events. Deon is focused on challenging and educating management teams on why reputation is their most important asset, yet their most dangerous risk.

Craig Bond

Chief Executive of Partnerships, Joint Ventures & Strategic Alliances, Barclays Africa

Craig is currently the Chief Executive of Partnerships, Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances for Barclays Africa. He joined the group in January 2013 and was most recently the Chief Executive of Retail and Business Banking for the group’s operations across Africa, including Absa. Craig has over 29 years’ experience across leading financial institutions including Standard Bank, Nedbank and Investec. During his tenure at Standard bank, he gained international exposure as CEO Asia and CEO of Africa. Craig’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), Postgraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Tax Law (H.Dip Tax) and a Senior Executive Program from Harvard.

Aart van den Bos

Social Entrepreneur

Aart van den Bos has founded various companies which include Verbos Business Development, Soil & More International and Aqua Soil Group. Aart has always worked towards a combination of social, ecological and financial positive results. He is also active in sustainable agriculture linking important topics such as food security, climate change, water, biodiversity and sanitation through innovative revenue-models. Van den Bos is Covestor at Generous Minds. Aart holds an MBA from Rotterdam School of Management. Aart is married and has three children.

Marius Boshoff

Plant Pathologist, Villa Crop Protection

Marius currently leads the Marketing Department at Villa Crop Protection. He is a trained Plant Pathologist, holding a Master of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Pretoria. During his career, he gained more than 20 years’ experience in various roles in the Farming and Crop Protection industry. From farm management, product development and research, various marketing roles, sales and general management at Merensky Farms (Grower – Exporter), Novartis, Syngenta and DuPont. Additionally, he spent 2 years working with DuPont Switzerland as a Project Leader for Turkey, Middle East and Africa. Marius is also the current Vice-President for CropLife South Africa.
Cathy Burns

Cathy Burns

CEO, Produce Marketing Association

Cathy Burns is CEO of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), based in Newark, Delaware. She joined PMA on December 1, 2013, and is responsible for a number of strategic PMA initiatives, including those focused on increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables; development of PMA Board of Directors and staff; and applying expertise and exceptional insights as a retail leader to opportunities to help PMA members more effectively engage and communicate with consumers. PMA is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. Prior to joining PMA, she served as president of Food Lion, Harveys and Reid’s, and was a member of the Delhaize America Executive Committee. Her responsibilities there included banner operations, including store financial performance, merchandising, pricing, customer service and marketing. Burns has more than 25 years of experience in the grocery industry. She previously served Food Lion as Chief Operating Officer, senior vice president of retail operations-north, and senior vice president of fresh merchandising, distribution, and quality assurance. Burns joined Food Lion in 2002 from its sister banner, Hannaford Supermarkets, where she was vice president of fresh merchandising. She began her career at Hannaford as a part-time service clerk. She completed the grocer’s retail training program and held assistant store manager, perishable manager and store manager positions. She chairs the Board of Governors for Children’s Miracle Network and the Board of Directors for Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center. In addition, she is a past Board member of the Coca Cola Retailing Research Council and the Network of Executive Women (NEW). Burns was named a 2007 Top Woman in Grocery by Progressive Grocer, was awarded The Packer’s 2008 Produce Marketer of the Year award, named one of Supermarket News’ Power 50 in 2009 and was named one of Mass Market Retailer’s Most Influential Women in Mass Market Retailing in 2010. Burns holds bachelor’s degrees in management and marketing from the University of Maine and completed coursework in strategic retail management at the College of William and Mary. She enjoys spending quality time with her family, which includes her husband, Ty and their two daughters, Alexis and Maia. Their interests include cycling, surfing and photography.

Auguste "Gusti" Coetzer

Executive Search Director, Signium (formerly Talent Africa)

Auguste (Gusti) Coetzer holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma (cum laude) in Industrial Relations from the University of South Africa. She commenced her career in executive search in 1990. Prior to this, she was an academic and held executive human resources positions in the motor and retail industries, as well as with the Chamber of Mines. Over the years, she has gained credibility in the search industry in terms of delivery, tenacity and being a top biller. Gusti is a generalist executing largely executive level search assignments and the recruitment of Non-Executive Directors. Her clients include companies in industry sectors such as Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Mining and Industrial, Insurance and Energy. She is especially known for placing senior black executives not only in executive positions, but also in non-executive board positions. She has executed assignments in different African locations such as Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Cameroon.

Andy Connell

Director, A-Bar-C Services

Andy Connell has been involved in import & export supply chain logistics in both dry goods as well as perishables – deep frozen and fresh produce for over 20 years, Andy is now consulting to the broader import/export community in Africa and the UAE as a logistics specialist- also doing special tasks for the fruit industry bodies. Prior to this he worked almost 8 years for the Dole Fresh Fruit Food Group. Andy has also worked for a shipping line as their container division manager for South Africa. He has been involved in charters of both specialised reefer vessels and cargo aircraft and is equally comfortable with air, overland and sea freight logistics. Andy lectures part time for two shipping colleges in South Africa and has written a number of vessel operations and perishable import /export courses. Andy has also over 31 years volunteer service in maritime rescue and is currently the Station Commander of the Airborne Sea Rescue of the NSRI, South Africa. He sits on several advisory committees for both terrestrial and maritime rescue. Andy is also a brand ambassador for BMW Motorrad SA.

Brian Coppin

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Food Lover’s Market

Brian Coppin is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Food Lover’s Market, the largest fresh produce retailer in Southern Africa. At the tender age of 14, Brian began his career in retail as a cashier at OK Bazaars in Malvern, Johannesburg. After spending the majority of his teenage years working the tills at OK Bazaar, Brian entrenched himself in the day-to-day responsibilities of running a retail business. By age of 23, Brian and, his brother - Michael, resigned from their positions as OK Bazaar branch managers determined to succeed in the world of retail on their own. This eventually led to the successful launch of the first Fruit & Veg City at Access Park in Kenilworth, Cape Town in 1993. Their maiden store, initially known as Fruit and Veg City, is still operational trading as Food Lover’s Market Access Park. The Food Lover’s Market Group includes subsidiaries such as Food Lover’s Market and Food Lover’s Eatery fresh produce stores, FreshStop @ Caltex convenience stores, FVC international - the largest importer and exporter of fresh produce in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dried Fruit For All, Seattle Coffee Co. and Market Liquors.

Rich Dachman

Vice President of Produce, Sysco Corporation

Richard attended Colorado State University and began his produce career at his family-owned business in Denver. Following the sale of the family business he and his father opened a new foodservice operation in Denver for Kraft Foods, Inc. before joining Kraft’s corporate office in Chicago as national director of Produce in 1987. In 1992 he joined FreshPoint Inc. and was president of FreshPoint Operating Companies in Houston, Denver, Atlanta and their central procurement office in Salinas, California. When Sysco acquired FreshPoint in 2000 he was appointed to the position as Senior Vice President, Western Region and in 2007 was promoted to Vice President of Produce for Sysco Corporation. Richard was awarded the Foodservice Achievement award by the Packer in 2010, and served as Chairman for the Produce Marketing Association in 2012. Richard has four sons and resides in Sugar Land, Texas.

Alta van Eeden

Ulrich Gerntholtz


Ulli studied agriculture and worked for the Department of Agriculture at the Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Research Institute. He joined the Plant Protection division at the ARC-Roodeplaat in 1993 as a plant pathologist and nematologist. After 16 years in retail, Ulli joined NSF in 2015 where he heads up Consulting & Technical Services for NSF Africa.

Daryl Ilbury

Research and Senior Writer, Mindofafox

Daryl is a researcher and senior writer for mindofafox. He holds a degree in clinical psychology, a post graduate HDE in clinical assessment and counselling, and a Masters degree in science journalism from City, University of London. Daryl is a specialist in shaping public opinion, and draws on over 30 years’ experience in the media as a former award-winning broadcaster and writer, journalist and op-ed columnist, with over 250 articles published in leading South African newspaper and Leadership magazine. He is also the former founder and creative director of the science communications company Scienceworks; a former lecturer in business communications; and is a public speaker and corporate writer. Daryl has also researched three top-selling books on scenario planning and corporate strategy; and is the author of A Fox’s Tale and Tim Noakes: The Quiet Maverick.
Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Change Agent/Professional Speaker

An internationally sought-after speaker, Michael has more than 30 years of strategic business, marketing and communications experience. Trained in business strategy development and communication, he has worked personally for business leaders including Richard Branson and Bill Gates, as well many other leading global businesses such as Qatar Airways, HP, Goodyear and Barclays. He has presented to more than 1,500 groups worldwide, focusing on the subject of change in a business context.

Yolanda Louw

Group Financial Director, Food Lovers' Market

Zoli Macanda-Simbodyal

Director, Finance & Business Administration, John Deere

Maryla Masojada

Founding Partner & Managing Director, Trade Intelligence

Maryla Masojada is the founding partner and Managing Director of Trade Intelligence, South Africa’s pre-eminent source of retail and wholesale business research, delivering powerful FMCG Retail insights to the consumer goods business sector. She graduated with a B.Soc.Sc.LLB from Howard College at the University of Natal, Durban in 1992. After graduating she entered the Unilever Management Development Programme and worked in the Brand Marketing division at Elida Pond’s before joining the Category Management team at Lever Pond’s. Maryla then launched MotivationAfrica, partnering with MotivationAsia to address the needs of business-to-business communication working with major players in the industry. After the sale of the business, Maryla launched of Trade Intelligence in 2004. As Lead Analyst at Trade Intelligence, Maryla is immersed in the South African retail sector, engaging with key stakeholders across the FMCG industry. She also applies her time and efforts in the trade ‘from Malls to Markets’ – gathering insight into the dynamics of South African shoppers and the formal and informal retail and wholesale businesses that serve them. These insights inform an extensive library of published reports which are utilised by South Africa’s manufacturing community. Maryla is regularly called upon by South Africa’s leading, retail, manufacturing and wholesale executives to provide insight into industry dynamics, key developments and the trends at play. She is also able to provide context for annual strategic business planning conversations and business performance reviews.

Tyi McCray


Tyi McCray holds a PhD attained at Cornell University from the College of Agriculture and life Sciences. She conducted research in South Africa and is civically engaged and dedicated to social justice issues, specifically those that affect communities of colour. Tyi has also completed an 11-year tenure at Cornell University including serving as Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. She taught graduate courses at Cornell University for MBA students that provided strategies for leading diverse teams and effective cross-cultural communication. She is currently a diversity and inclusion consultant for the private sector, helping organisations in a range of industries develop tailored diversity strategies and workshops. Tyi has worked with companies such as Clif Bar, Airbnb, Genentech and Mozilla.

Michelle Moss

Founding Member of Signium Africa

Michelle is a founding member of Talent Africa, now Signium Africa and a shareholder. She heads up the Leadership Consulting Practice for Signium Africa and has worked on numerous small and large scale talent management projects with clients across a variety of industries. Michelle specialises in assessments at middle, senior and executive level for selection, development, training and succession planning as well as for team and organisational development purposes. She also has extensive experience in team coaching and leadership development. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Masters Degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology (cum laude) from the University of South Africa. She is a registered Industrial Psychologist with the Health Profession's Council and is accredited in many international assessment tools and methodologies. When she is not in the office you will find Michelle enjoying a good book, supporting the theatre or spending time with friends and family.

Barbra Muzata

Communications & Industry Affairs Head, DuPont Pioneer Seed SA

Barbra Muzata leads communications, industry and stakeholder affairs for DuPont Pioneer and DuPont Crop Protection in Africa. She joined DuPont Pioneer in 2013. Prior to working at DuPont, Barbra held senior communication roles at Dimension Data Middle East and Africa and Burson-Marsteller Africa, a leading global public relations and communications firm. She has experience working in a wide variety of sectors including agriculture, information technology, fast moving consumer goods, retail, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications.

John Oxford

President & CEO, L&M

John’s role broadly involves providing leadership in the expansion of this privately-held business by clarifying the vision and developing strategic plans to support it, driving the execution of critical projects at the tactical level, and by establishing scalable structure and sustainable management processes throughout the organization. Founded in 1964, L&M has grown into a fully-integrated, year-round supplier of fresh produce. They farm, pack, ship, and market product in / from the major growing areas throughout the United States, Mexico, and Central America. L&M helps customers succeed by giving them control throughout the supply chain in the following core categories: Vegetables, Potatoes, Onions, Apples, Pears, Cherries and Melons. From the very beginning, L&M has been committed to excellent service, unyielding integrity, and long-term relationships. John has been involved with the global fresh produce industry since 2001.

Zyda Rylands

CEO, Woolworths

Zyda Rylands, CEO of Woolworths (Pty) Ltd, holds a B.Com (Honours) completed at the University of the Western Cape. She also attained her articles at Kessel Feinstein (Grant Thornton International) and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1993. In her pursuit of education and self-development, Zyda attended the London Business School in 2005 and went on to enroll at Harvard University, graduating from the Advanced Management Programme in 2013. During her 20 years at Woolworths, Zyda worked as an audit manager, headed up financial accounting and corporate planning, and played a role as the financial executive for all of Woolworths’ stores. In 2004 Zyda was appointed Director of People, and in 2006 Zyda was the first female executive director to be appointed to the Woolworths Holding Board as the Director of People and Transformation. In 2008 she was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer: Support Services and then served as the Managing Director for Foods since 2010. During Zyda’s tenure with Woolworths Foods, the business saw an 83% growth in turnover as well as a 240% growth in profit. Zyda has won various awards which include the Women of the Year award by the Word Retail Congress awarded to her in March 2017. She was a recipient of the 2016 Frost and Sullivan African Visionary Innovation Award, the Impumelelo/BMF Top Ten Black Business Personalities Award and was a finalist in the Business Women’s Association of South Africa’s 2011 Business Women of the Year Award. In 2012 she won The CEO Magazine's Most Influential Women in Business and Government Award in the Retail category.

Colette Shannon

Head of Communications, Spinneys Dubai

Colette Shannon holds a BSc. Management and majored in Marketing from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently the head of Communications at Spinneys, renowned as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) largest and most successful food supermarkets. Colette is the driving force behind strategic communication initiatives, management of integrated marketing, public relations and communication that ensures continuity across the three brands under the Fine Fare Food Market umbrella which are Spinneys, Waitrose and Taste Kitchen.In the eight years employed by the company store numbers have grown tremendously from 30 to over 70 stores to date. Her hard work has resulted in the three brands winning prestigious awards for UAE’s Favourite Supermarket, Super Brand of the Year and Healthy Restaurant of the Year.
Lindie Stroebel

Lindie Stroebel

General Manager: Produce Marketing Association Southern Africa

Lindie Stroebel is the general manager for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) in Southern Africa. The PMA is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. Lindie matriculated from Newcastle High School and graduated from the University of the Free State (UFS). She was awarded best Honours student in agricultural economics at the UFS. Lindie completed a post graduate diploma in Agricultural Research for Development at the International Centre for Research in Agriculture in Wageningen, the Netherlands, in 2005. Lindie also obtained her MSc Agric degree with distinction in 2006. She joined the Agricultural Business Chamber, (Agbiz) from 2006 until February 2016, as the manager of agribusiness intelligence. Since 2015, Lindie serves as an extraordinary researcher at the TRADE research niche area, under the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the North West University (NWU). Lindie resides in Pretoria with her husband, Louis and her daughter Lia and son Ettienne.

Dr. Johan van Deventer


Tommie van Zyl

CEO, ZZ2 Farming Operation

Thomas (Tommie) Dreyer van Zyl was born in Modjadjiskloof (Duiwelskloof), Limpopo. He Matriculated from Merensky Secondary School in 1977 and then went on to complete his B.Com Honours Degree in Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University. He also obtained a Fullbright scholarship and obtained a MSc. Degree (Food and Resource Economics) at the University of Florida (USA) where he was awarded the Gamma Sigma Delta Award for excellence. Tommie grew up largely influenced and inspired by his father Bertie, his uncle Flippie and the Balobedu and Sjangaan-Tsonga speaking workers on the ZZ2 farm. Tommie showed a keen interest in cabbage, chicken, makou and pork farming during high school. His father, encouraged him to give his undivided attention to ZZ2's business instead. During Tommie’s 20 year tenure as ZZ2's general manager, he extensively grew the once humble tomato farming family businesses to include onion, avocado, mango, deciduous fruit, medal dates and cattle farming. The farms are located in Limpopo, the Western and Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Namibia. ZZ2 has more than 9,000 employees in its production, packaging, marketing, service departments such as finance, corporate services, logistics, agricultural professionals, engineers, information technology, security and transportation. Tommie serves on various boards and is also chairman of the South African Agricultural Products Agency (APAC), director of the USA-based Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and chairman of the PMA's Southern African Country Council. In 2015, Tommie is honoured with the Federation of African Cultural Associations (FAK) prestige award for outstanding leadership.

Dr. Jack Vera

Agricultural Counsellor for South Africa (and Angola) at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa

Dr. Vera and his staff at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are responsible for supporting Dutch business partners. His experience include rural development, market access, and import controls. He has been working at the European Commission in Brussels, in the Netherlands at the Department of Agriculture and at the Netherlands Food and Consumer product Safety Authority (NVWA). Within the NVWA he was responsible for import controls on food safety and animal health at the Port of Rotterdam and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Dr. Vera also engaged in short term missions in a number of countries including: Rome, USA, Canada, China, Oman, Morocco, and Iraq.