Meet The Team
Founder & CEO
Johan graduated from NMMU (then UPE) with a double major in Computer Science and Psychology. He has been doing software development, design and architecture for the better part of 2 decades, primarily for bluechip corporates in the financial services industry - both locally and in Europe.
Johan started development on Commspace in 2006 as a side-project, initially for a single IFA office. After seeing the enthusiastic response of the early users, he decided to develop it into a fully-fledged solution for the broader independent financial services market.
He believes that if it ain't broke, fix it anyway because there is always room for improvement.
Martha studied at Stellenbosch and qualified as a chartered accountant. Along with extensive international experience, she also worked in various South African industries, including management consulting, interior decorating and franchising. In 2008 Martha joined the Torre group and served as Supply Chain Executive for 7 years. She joined Headspace as Managing Director in 2015.
Martha also plays hard, being a triathlon national champion, competed in numerous Iron Man challenges both locally and abroad and even represented SA at the Ironman World Championships.
For relaxation, she does trail running, since knitting is not really her thing.
Customer Success Manager
Sanette has been in the service industry for many years and understands what it takes to look after client needs. She is passionate about getting things done the right way and keeps everyone around here honest when it comes to staying focused.
She takes customer success very seriously, as many of our clients can attest to.
In her spare time .... errr ... we have no idea when that might be, because she seems to be around all the time.
Head of Client Onboarding
Not being able to accept average as the norm, this “plaasmeisie” studied at both the University of Stellenbosch and the Katholieke University in Leuven Belgium, smashing a double major in both marketing and financial management.
She always goes the extra mile when it comes to planning and optimisation of client accounts.
She eats process optimisation for breakfast, lunch and dinner, since apparently there's always a better, quicker, faster way to get things done.
Having recently become a first-time mother, she's trying to master the work/life balance thing.
Born and bred in the Karoo, Elsa briefly tried her hand at teaching (which she quite enjoyed), but then continued to build a career in financial administration, along with a healthy dose of IT admin.
Being blessed (or is that cursed?) with a strong sense of perfectionism, she takes pride in her work and won't stop until the last cent is accounted for. After working as an Account Manager in the company for 2 years, she’s accepted the challenge to head the Training Department.
Elsa enjoys spending time on the bowls green and in the outdoors. She also has a creative side and likes to do arts and crafts.
Head of Managed Services
Niekie completed high school at Paarl Gymnasium and went on to study Marketing and Business Management.
After starting off his career in retail management, he pivoted to the financial services sector, spending time at the likes of Sanlam and PSG, where he gained experience as a finance and commission administrator.
Niekie is a natural born leader who not only empowers his team to reach new heights but is also a calming influence on his colleagues when the pressure is on.
"Hiking, camping and spending quality time with family and friends" ... a finance geek with a life. Now we've seen it all.
Amanda was born in Durban, raised in Paarl, became an adult in Oudtshoorn, and now finds herself ... back in Paarl!
Her career pursuits have been just as interesting - from a flight attendant course right after school, to becoming a dance instructor. After starting as an admin assistant at Commspace, she has quickly proven herself extremely capable and has recently moved into a team leader position.
She loves working with people, travelling and music. Her personal motto is "In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take". Well, Amanda, we're sure glad we took a chance on you!
Louida joined Commspace in 2019 and quickly became part of the family. She has ensured that she understands our system and the needs of clients. Client focus comes naturally to her, and she gladly goes the extra mile to keep clients happy.
Louida completed her 3 year Bachelor of Theology degree in just two and a half years whilst gaining work experience, proving her dedication as well as focus on getting the job done. She is currently completing her Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
When Louida is not working hard she can be found baking cakes, playing piano or watching a movie with a friend. Whether at work or at play she is always looking out for the people around her.
Cheryl stepped into the financial services industry in 1999 specialising in offshore investments and commission administration. In 2000 she joined a multi asset management company where she fulfilled numerous functions within the business including secretarial, HR, operations, finance and system implementation.
She admits to being a perfectionist “strength or weakness I embrace it”.
Outside the office she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. If planning was a sport, Glenda would compete at the Olympics and take the gold - failing is not an option for Glenda. Determination is her middle name. This is evident from the fact that she started out as an office assistant of a prominent IFA practice and within 6 years rose through the ranks to be appointed as director – all whilst completing her B.Com in Business Administration.
She excelled in and managed all areas of the business - including finance, operations, valuations, client services, risk mitigation and infrastructure management.
On the flip side, Glenda has a strong connection with nature, most weekends you’ll find her pottering in her garden or dreaming of her next holiday on family farms in Namibia.
Graham was born in the heart of Johannesburg, but raised in the quiet, but busy town of Paarl. He is the child of an Engineer and an Artist, bound to be an interesting person, right?!
He attended Paarl Boys’ High and went on to obtain his Honours Degree in Financial Management at the University of Stellenbosch. A fresh graduate out to prove to the world that millennials don't always deserve their bad rap.
He is a big fluffy sponge that can soak up a lot of information with the intent to always learn something new.
Graham’s life moto: “There is a big difference between change and transformation. Change is merely an improved past, but transformation is creating a better future. Be a transformer, not a fixer”
Lauren graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Logistics Management from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a motivated and hardworking young woman that has a heart of gold! When she is not overachieving in the workplace, she is an inspiring philanthropist helping her local church.
Lauren grew up in the small town of Wellington where most of her passions were “brewed”.
She is a family girl and if she has free time, you can count on it that she will be at some weird and wonderful restaurant/wine farm with her family and friends. She is also our in-house wine connoisseur.
Her motto in life is: “Live life to its fullest. Have no regrets.”
Junior Account Manager
Alexander obtained his B.Com Economics and International Trade degree from the NWU Pukke. Also, he did his Business Management Diploma (NQF 8) at the NWU Pukke Business School.
He started his career off in FNB after graduation. He then went to South Korea to teach English and experience a new culture. He always strives to be the best he can be, to learn and grow as a person.
He enjoys a good laugh and always strive to be positive. It is not how hard you fall but how you stand up.
Junior Account Manager
Sasha-Lee, who matriculated at Linden High School all the way from Johannesburg, finds herself in the heart of Paarl at the Commspace Team.
She is juggling that work-study life as she’s currently a third year B.Com Financial Management student at the University of South Africa. Not only would Sasha-Lee make an excellent financial manager, but she also aspires to become a lawyer within the next 10 years. She makes it her mission to always exceed her clients' needs and to be there when a helping hand is needed. Sounds like she's already on the success express! Choo Choo!
Sasha lives by the words of the great Babe Ruth : "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."
Junior Account Manager
Rohan studied B.Com Business Management as part of an Elite bursary program at Akademia.
For three years he worked at a number of companies like King Price and Subaru as part of the experience building side of the program.
He has a passion for programming and travel since he went on a tour through Europe in 2018. Motorcycles and fitness will flow through his blood for ever as will his drive for success.
Brendan is a 20+ year veteran of the IT and Financial Services industries working in a traditional bricks and mortar behemoth of the South African Insurance landscape.
He strongly believes that, in order to thrive, organizations must be flexible to change yet resilient in the face of upheaval. He proselytized this vision with some success, before eventually coming to the conclusion that real organizational change requires a critical mass of like minded leaders. Finally, he left a leadership position in Enterprise Architecture to pursue this dream further by joining Commspace.
When not pursuing “Pinky and the brain”-style aspirations, he runs half-marathons and the occasional marathon.