Founder

Category: About

 

Elmarie Bouwer

 

Soli Deo Gloria

 

God is indeed Elmarie’s CEO …. In her own words “I’m passionate about our Maker - He motives me, inspires me and guides me and I love Him with my entire being”

 

Elmarie lives and works according to her favourite quote – "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

 

Tell Elmarie something is not possible, and watch her rise to the challenge with gusto and passion…..

 


Place of birth

With her mom nine months pregnant, Elmarie’s parents travelled through Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, to their farm, when Elmarie decided – “seems like a great place to be born” – and right there and then surprised the entire family by making her appearance.

 

Mom had to be rushed to St Catherine’s nursing home, where the nuns welcomed the content little lass into the world.   ( City hall of Queenstown.)

 

The nickname of the town Queenstown, 'Rose Capital of South Africa', comes from the large gardens and open places for flowers (especially roses) in and around town.

This is most probably where Elmarie’s love for roses stems from, resulting in her having won an award for her garden in Stellenbosch, decades later.

She planted every shrub, plant, flower, rose, bush – herself.

 

  

 Holidays were always spent at grandpa and grandma’s house in Durban.

 

  Aged three (centre front) with her siblings and cousins in Durban. Elmarie has many very fond memories of days on the beach, luscious fruits and hours of playing in the huge garden with her cousins.

 

School Years

Elmarie matriculated from Paarl Gymnasium, where she was primaria of the hostel, and served on the SRC of the school.  

 

Her parents lived in Kokstad at that stage, but at the age of fourteen, Elmarie decided – in order to further her music – which she took as a matric subject, only the best school in the country – as far as music is concerned, will do.

Without her parents being aware of her ambitious plans, Elmarie had hand-written the head master of the school, applying to be admitted to Paarl Gymnasium.

As Paarl was  literally “on the other side of South Africa” – Elmarie only traveled between Kokstad and Paarl twice a year – and that entailed a three-day trip per steam train. She fondly shares memories of – handpacked sarmies, sleeping on the top bunk bed, expectantly waiting for De Aar train station – as that was half-way home…..

Paarl Gim

 

Qualifications and Career


She qualified as Maths teacher, only taught for one year, and then ventured into the exciting world of IT. Elmarie holds a vast number of global certifications in Business and IT. Her CV will be sent to you on request.

In those days women were frowned upon in IT, programming was done by means of punch cards, and computers filled rooms the size of a rugby field.

Elmarie delighted in the challenges and the very creative and rewarding world of information technology, and typical Capricorn, quietly worked her way up to the top echelon of the industry.  

Elmarie (second from left) was a very successful global Business- and IT Consultant

 

for 36+ years,

 

having represented global market leaders – the likes of Oracle Corporation, 

 

Oracle

 

Siebel Systems 

and

Atos Origin

at global industry leaders, amongst others ABN Amro in the Netherlands –

ABN Amro

 

 

 

Reuters in London – who doesn’t know about Reuters?

Reuters

and British Telecomms in the UK - British Telecomms

Elmarie furthermore consulted to major banks and telcos in African countries Kenya,

 

Nigeria, Algeria and Cameroon.   

 

Elmarie delights in sharing experiences like – being proposed to in Douala, Cameroon.

She quickly  interjects – “The people of Cameroon have something that we have either lost, or have not found as yet. The most sincere, loving, non-materialistic, kind, generous and caring people I have ever met – I loved! working in Douala”.

Then – a brief description of the time when Elmarie arrived at Algiers airport for a two week stint at a telco in the city, and was met, together with the other passengers from Paris, by gunmen armed with AK-47s, on the runway – rifles aimed at the stairs leading from the plane.

 

Elmarie always believes “A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do” – and took all of these wonderful experiences in her stride, making the most of every second of every day……

All the major banks in South Africa (and others) were clients of Elmarie during the exhilarating years she spent as global Business- and IT consultant.

 

Some of the inputs, awards, comments and references Elmarie received throughout the years –

- Three week overseas trip as an award for excellent service for COBOL training 

   presented at SATS

- Award for excellent service as Business Analyst on the Collateral System at the

  South African Reserve Bank

- Employee of the month as well as employee of the year awards, while employed at

  Oracle

- “Elmarie’s teams are always known as the A-Team, as she invests in her people, 

  shares her knowledge and experience and builds every team member up as a 

  colleague as well as a valued person”.  DS – Snr Director Alexander Forbes

  Technology

- “Elmarie has balls of steel” – TC - Snr Manager at Price Forbes to the Board of

  Directors at Price Forbes, after the successful implementation of a very trying

  Customer Management System

- “I am yet to come across someone with such detailed knowledge and practical

  experience in a suite of products, as Elmarie. It was an immense pleasure attending

  every lecture presented by her”. AvdW – student of Elmarie at Oracle

- “This woman is so ‘in my head’ – as she implements everything exactly as I want it,

  always according to the book. She just has the knack of diplomatically convincing 

  everyone on the team to do everything the ‘right way’”. NK - Director at Standard

  Corporate and Merchant Bank

 


- Hi Elmarie – your business idea sounds very interesting and I am certain that it will

  be a great success given your passion, drive and talent. I consider you one of my

  greatest role models and truly feel that I am the person I am today – especially in

  the professional world because of your influence. Thank you. SPM – Integration

  Manager for Africa at Multichoice

- Wat 'n voorreg en inspirerende paar weke was dit nie gewees om jou hier by ons te

  kon hê nie. Jou entoesiasme en ondernemingsgees is aansteeklik,  om nie van jou

  ervaring en kennis te praat wat opsigself boekdele spreek nie. WvD – Relationship

  Manager Global Georgia

- Elmarie is a dynamic, driven and very focused business women. She is talented,

  creative and embraces everything she does with enthusiasm and gusto. Elmarie

  displays enormous compassion, empathy and tolerance for colleagues and a very

  high EQ in all her dealings. She achieves set targets and goals with much flair and

  no task is too big or small for her to tackle.

 

  Elmarie displays a very strong sense of career identity, self-efficacy and insight. She

  has strong leadership skills with future directed behaviour according to positive

  values and an integrated life philosophy.It has been an absolute pleasure to have

  had the privilege of working with Elmarie. LO’C – Sales Executive Global Georgia

 

- When I first met you my initial reaction was that this was going to be a ‘tough

  cookie’, to a certain extent I was correct but that is what I admire so greatly about

  you, your no-nonsense approach juxtaposed with your sheer compassion for those

  around you.You have managed to create a perfect balance of being both an

  excellent business woman as well as an extraordinary person. I soon found myself

  like a sponge when around you. Hanging on to every word and absorbing all the

  information and advice being offered by you.  

 

  I am always in awe of people who walk into a room and immediately gain

  respect without having to demand it - you have this quality ! 

  It has been an absolute pleasure working with you. For my own selfish reasons 

  I would love to stay in contact as I regard you now as not only a mentor but as

  a friend. KEW – Web and Communications Global Georgia

 

 

Elmarie studied PDM at Wits Business School. 

 

During her time at WBS, she was Class Representative for the PDM group, as well as Faculty Representative of the group.

 

 

 

 

She completed her SMME Management

                                                      Cum Laude at UNISA in 2016

 

Elmarie now runs SMME Management Workshops, covering the full spectrum of what it requires to be a successful Small, Medium or Micro Enterprise Business Owner.

 

Elmarie founded Conductive Education in South Africa  –

 

for children suffering from cerebral palsy, after a two-week stint in Hungary at the Petó Institute in Budapest – the cradle of Conductive Education.

 

After many years of being based in Johannesburg while working abroad, Elmarie decided to “settle down”. 

 

She joined British American Tobacco South Africa on a consulting basis as a Marketing IT Business Consultant.

BATSA

 

She totally fell in love with Marketing and beautiful Stellenbosch, where she spent four glorious years in the Western Cape.

Elmarie established life-long friendships with so many friends from Stellenbosch and surrounds, and shares with passion –

“I was immensely happy every second of every day during the four years  in Stellenbosch – waking up in the morning, overlooking the beautiful mountains and vineyards, traveling to work in less than ten minutes –

to the best client I’ve ever worked with, enjoying all of the unique hospitality of the lovely, warm people of the Cape, indulging in fresh seafood and the best wine in the world – my soul is whole

 

when in the Cape”.    

 

 

During her first year in Stellenbosch, Elmarie  founded “Unfold Your Talent”

– an initiative enabling underprivileged South Africans to develop their God-given talents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After thirty-six years in IT, including three perfect years at BATSA, Elmarie bid the IT industry farewell, and furthered her studies with the global leaders in Social Media Marketing

 

– Jay Kubassek (Canadian) and Mike Dillard (American). 

Elmarie was the first South African ever to be invited to the “CCPRO Power of Ten” conference in

Las Vegas, thanks to her rapid grasping of the concepts and “making things work” in very little time.

 

Elmarie’s love for her children and grandchildren “spans the universe”, and she relocated to Pretoria in 2010, where she immediately started “August’s Support Group for People with Disabilities” –

whereby children and adults with physical and mental challenges may enjoy social outings on a regular basis.

 

 

 

 

 

She joined the Bridge Group, and initiated, designed and executed 30 very successful Marketing Campaigns, including promotion of the Republic of Georgia, within 6 months.   

 

 

 

   

 

She is very well known for the elite cocktail events she initiated, managed and hosted on behalf of companies she represented - bringing businesses and prospects together successfully.

 

  

 

 

 

Social

Elmarie loves anything “outdoorsy” - 4x4ing     

 

  

 


 

     scuba diving, sky diving    

 

 

 

white water rafting, mountain biking   and

participating in fun walks  on a regular basis.....

 

Elmarie loves to travel  – in order to explore new countries, cultures and cuisines. 

 

  

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She believes “she who reads is never alone”,

 

 

and finds it challenging to walk past a good bookstore without popping in.  

 

She designs and makes most of her own outfits, and nowadays also those of her

granddaughter,   

 

as she feels “happy are the hands that are busy”.

 

Music is her first love – or is it?..... and she finds time for her sax 

 

and piano whenever she can.

 

Elmarie is very keen on dancing, and has done flaminco and belly dancing but her

most favourite is the tango ...

 


 

Elmarie is a devout and committed christian, and in her own words sums it all up –

 

“I stand in absolute awe of the Higher Power orchestrating our lives in the finest detail, and I'm immensely grateful for all the ongoing amazing privileges and blessings in life.

 

My love for my children and grandchildren spans the universe and beyond.... my unique family and friends - I hold close to my heart.

 

Wow! I love playing my sax, 4x4ing my Jeep, working in my garden 'til late at night, designing, making and wearing those outfits, reading 3,4 books at a time, working with little kids, cooking up a storm for my friends, listening to "30 Seconds to Mars" at full blast

 

and late at night, when my mind slows down, I thank God for being there all along”.......

 

Elmarie's FaceBook Page

 

Should you have any questions, drop Elmarie an email to elmarie@fortitudesa.com 

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