The Sandton Hilton set the scene for an awards evening to top all others last night – after a long and vigorous process, the winners of the 5th Annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards were announced.
The past four years have seen these awards grow from strength to strength, each year identifying, recognising and celebrating the young talent that South Africa has to offer.
“We were thrilled to see the calibre of entrants this year – I am encouraged by the talent coming through the ranks across all industries in South Africa,” said Laura Barker, Managing Director of BlackBark Productions, organisers of the Rising Star Programme.
“It has been wonderful to walk the journey with this year’s entrants, through the decision rounds and now to see them honoured as winners. I am proud of each and every one of them!”
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The awards are for young, talented individuals in the 28-40 year age category, and form part of a unique platform where winners can go beyond just the recognition for work already done, and participate in a leadership and development programme throughout the year after winning. They also have a unique opportunity to network across industry sectors, with both their fellow winners, and top minds in the country through a mentorship programme.
“We are always impressed with the young talent coming through the Rising Star programme, and we know that this year’s winners will go on to do great things,” said Standard Bank’s Global Head of Resourcing, Amelia Muller.
“Every single one of these winners deserves their spot on the podium, and has worked hard to be here. Their futures are in their hands, and many opportunities now lie before them for growth, development and achievement.”
In the Entrepreneur sector, this year’s winner was Grant Gavin, Owner of RE/MAX Panache in Durban. Gavin has built his various businesses on the back of an incredibly successful tenure as the owner of the largest real estate company in the North Durban suburbs.
In 2014, Gavin became the youngest recipient of the National RE/MAX Franchisee of the Year Award, and is currently Chairman of the National RE/MAX Broker/Owner Advisory Council. He is founder of the Durban Entrepreneurs Club and a public speaker on the subjects of entrepreneurship, personal development, property ownership and education. Gavin’s passion is inspiring others to become the best possible versions of themselves through his public speaking business.
The awards were well-attended, with representatives from every industry excited to see which winner would represent their industry this year. Hosted by MC Siv Ngesi, the evening was opened by Standard Bank’s Lincoln Mali (Group Head of Card and Emerging Payments Across Africa in Personal & Business Banking), who encouraged this year’s Rising Stars to soar to great heights, but to always remain grounded and remember the lessons learned by those who came before them.
The guest speaker was Dr David Molapo, management consultant, educator and well-known motivational speaker, who shared his experience in dealing with challenges, and encouraging the audience to understand that a life without challenges is a life without strength, and that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
The evening was a night to remember, for none more so than this year’s winners. “I’d like to congratulate each and every winner here tonight, you are all an inspiration to young, talented individuals all around the country,” said Barker. “I look forward to working with you on the Rising Star network and programme, and seeing you grow into even bigger successes!”