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Meet the team 2017-06-05T09:52:15+00:00

Our Valuable Team Members

Hilda de Beer
Hilda de BeerCEO

As co-founder of Newkidz on the Block, Hilda’s brings years of experience in finance and administration as well as her time as manager of the Masigcine Children’s Home to the general management of Newkidz. With insights into both the project management side of an organization, as well the incredibly personal side of caring for orphans in children’s homes, Hilda’s work in planning, coordinating and organizing of the complex makeover projects as well as taking care of the large volume of day-to-day administrative tasks, has ensured the maximum benefit to all Newkidz beneficiaries, especially the children supported. Hilda and her husband, Michael, adopted their son as a result of the very first project they were involved in with Newkidz. At the end of 2013 they fostered an 8-year old beautiful little girl, who they are now in the process of adopting. In 2016 their family grew again with the addition of a 4-year old little girl. They are also host parents to two teenage girls at the Heatherdale Children’s Home in Athlone. They recognize that the makeover projects provide real opportunities for similar success stories for other children and families, believing that “there is no such thing as an unwanted child, just an unfound family”.

Barry Ross
Barry RossChairperson

Currently the Human Resource Manager at the prestigious Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, Barry brings over 15 years of management experience to Newkidz, with a successful track record in designing, implementing and managing people-focused projects, systems and processes in the service and hospitality industry. As Chairman, Barry provides strategic level guidance and focus to Newkidz, combining a passion for helping vulnerable children with his business perspective. A natural leader and relationship builder, his intuitive grasp of organisational culture dynamics is helping Newkidz grow and deliver through every person involved in the organisation. Barry and his wife Rhona have 3 amazing children, one of whom is adopted, making the vision and mission of Newkidz very personal and real to him.

Venessa Nolan
Venessa NolanVice Chairperson

Venessa’s years of experience as a freelance Digital Engagement Officer (DEO) and passion for social media networking and online marketing, ensure that as Vice Chairperson, she plays more than just a leadership and management role. Venessa’s warm, engaging and friendly nature is apparent across all online and social media platforms, as she takes responsibility for recruiting of volunteers, activists and donors, as well as marketing, public relations and otherwise guiding the social media presence of Newkidz on the Block. Venessa also works closely with Newkidz activists, supporting them in the use of the GivenGain portal, and creating online awareness for projects. In addition to engaging and communicating, Venessa also coordinates the monitoring, filtering and analysis of the social media platforms.


Marshall Kudzai Kanengeziba
Marshall Kudzai KanengezibaSecretary

As Secretary, Marshall works closely with the CEO and Chairman, providing the necessary administrative support required for effective Board oversight and governance. A Certified Accounting Technician (CAT), currently holding a position at Quotient Financial Solutions, Marshall also provides Newkidz with accounting and financial advice, with a particular focus on tax matters and SARS requirements to ensure compliance at all times. An active Newkidz makeover volunteer, he “loves to put smiles on peoples faces”, and “finds nothing as fulfilling as lending a helping hand”.

Neal Butler
Neal ButlerBoard Member

Neal brings many years of experience in the IT industry, and a personal calling to see the lives of marginalised children improved, to the technology-related activities Newkidz engages in. In addition to providing hands-on IT support, Neal also coordinates a small team of volunteer IT specialists who ensure the organisation’s website and databases are effectively maintained and managed. Neal’s IT skills and knowledge, high professional standards and passion for the work Newkidz does, are reflected in all the services he provides to the organisation.

Toni T.Muvirimi
Toni T.MuvirimiTreasurer

Holding a Finance and Operations management position for the Harfield Church which is part of the Assemblies of God (AOG) group, Tony has experience in financial reporting, budgeting, cashflow management and forecasting, and brings these and other financial management skills to the role of Newkidz Treasurer. His heart for vulnerable children is balanced with a head for numbers and he plays a vital role in ensuring the fiscal health of the organisation. Tony’s personal vision is to see the difference Newkidz makes being made beyond the borders of South Africa.

Michael de Beer
Michael de BeerMarketing Director

A co-founder of Newkidz on the Block, Michael is driven by his care for children and a vision to see orphans moved out of institutional homes and into family homes. A “big-picture” thinker, he is able to apply more than 20 years experience in sales and marketing in the pharmaceutical industry to his role as Fundraising Co-ordinator, a role vital to ensuring that Newkidz remains sufficiently funded to continue and grow the work it does. A Board visionary, Michael’s primary focus is stakeholder engagement and partnership building, specifically with a view to growing the financial support for the organisation.

Peter Hendricks
Peter HendricksBoard Member

A qualified principal attorney, Peter has knowledge, skills and experience in both governance of social/non-profit enterprises (NPOs) and law. In addition to his knowledge of various areas of the law, he also has experience in research, facilitation and training. Peter has authored various resource material titles which include “Effective Governance for Non-profit Boards”, a concise guide to the Non-profit Organisations Act 71 of 1997. He has also served as a co-researcher in a study entitled “Governance Practices of National Non-profit Bodies and National Networks”. Peter’s vast theoretical knowledge, coupled with practical experience with civil society organisations and insight into legal matters gained from his professional practice, assist with ensuring that effective governance is practiced at Newkidz at all times.

Jurgen Kuhnel
Jurgen KuhnelAdvisor to the Board

Founder and owner of Cape Core Construction, Jurgen plays a vital role in quantity surveying and costing of Newkidz projects. He also provides valuable insight, knowledge and skills during projects to ensure the best possible experience and sustainable result for the beneficiaries. Jurgen is often a team leader or project manager at projects and is committed to providing Newkidz with the highest level of quality workmanship, maintaining the high standards employed in his own business.

Liesl van der Reeder
Liesl van der ReederAdvisor to the Board

Having gained knowledge and experience in strategic and business planning, in the role of Knowledge Manager in the internal audit division of Old Mutual plc and the Competition Commission of South Africa, Liesl shares advice and provides support to the Board for the strategic and operational management of Newkidz. Liesl also assists with the development, documentation and communication of policies, processes and procedures and other information that supports the work Newkidz does.

Carmen O' Connor
Carmen O' ConnorAdvisor to the Board

Carmen is a social worker who is passionate about working with children and families. She completed her training through UNISA, and has several years experience in an NGO setting working with communities around Cape Town with matters relating to fostering and adoption. Carmen is currently based at a local primary school working with children who face barriers to learning in an academic and emotional capacity. She believes strongly that children belong in families, and works to promote the healthy development of both children and their parents. Carmen is excited to be in the team as she believes strongly in the work and mission of Newkidz!

Shirley Samie
Shirley SamieWarehouse Manager

Shirley’s knowledge and background in construction and on site supervisory skills make her a valuable member of the volunteer family at Newkidz. Since 1973 she has held multiple administrative and managerial positions, and even taught English to children at Sony International, Nagasaki, Japan.  In 1999, due to the ill health of her late husband, Shirley began to assist with his carpentry business.  This further increased her skill base as she assisted with ordering materials for various sites, being present on site, supervising and ensuring quality control of the work being done.  Since 2009 Shirley has been unable to work full time due to her own illness, however this has not affected her generous heart.  She has stepped into the role of Newkidz warehouse manager in charge of receiving donations and distribution of the same, and attends most makeovers as a team leader.