What does she do at Riverbend?

Elmien is an Executive Client Advisor at The Riverbend Group as of February 2020. We are delighted that she is officially on the team, having been a long time friend of ours! Through her formal education and diverse experience, Elmien has built up extensive expertise in driving organisational growth through people, strategy, brands and innovation. She looks forward to sharing this with clients in South Africa and abroad – all in an effort to add value to them personally and professionally. She will act as the lead advisor with some existing Riverbend clients and hope to bring new accounts to the Riverbend family.  Elmien is particularly interested in how Riverbend continues the embedding of principles and projects in companies following customised workshops. This ensure the learning becomes behaviour, which turns into habits, and then into culture.

What did she do before joining #TeamRiverbend?

Elmien had been with Kimberly-Clark for much of her career and in a variety of roles. Most recently she was EMEA Sector Leader of BCC. In her role as International Sector Leader for Baby & Childcare, she was responsible for mom’s entire journey with the beautiful brand, HUGGIES, across Europe, Middle-East and Africa. This covered everything from insights into front-end-innovation, moving to development & production and finally into commercialization and communication.  She led a direct team of 65+ people and a complex matrix structure with all country teams within the region and therefore sees her ability to build and develop virtual teams, as a key strength. Before managing the baby care portfolio, she managed the Adult & Femcare portfolio. This portfolio includes brands like KOTEX, DEPEND and POISE.  Elmien started her Kimberly-Clark career in the business-to-business division with Healthcare & Professional brands, where she learned (and later loved!), all about the integral interaction between the patient and provider or the “user & chooser” in these service-systems. She served as General Manager for the MEA region for 5 years before moving to consumer divisions.  Before joining Kimberly-Clark in 2002, she spent 7 years in the pharmaceutical industry, with Sanofi Aventis, in various sales and marketing management roles.

Where did she study?

Elmien would say that her most valuable studies have been at the “University of Life!” – but she did complete some formal education as well – in the form of a Honours degree in Business Communication, at the University of the North West.  She does love to stay relevant and has completed various post-graduate diplomas since then. These include a ELP at Stellenbosch University Business School (2004), SLP through the Emerge-leadership group (2008), a GM accelerator course at INSEAD University France (2017) & a Digital Marketing Certification through Circus Street (2019).  She is also a member of GILD (Global Institute for Leadership Development).

What does she do other than Riverbend?

You can find her being active, outdoors, with those she loves whenever there are no more pressing things waiting!  With 7-year old twins in the house, this is often next to a soccer, rugby or cricket field. But, when she gets her own choice of activity, it would be running or skiing down a mountain or up a river.   This is well balanced with her love for all things cultural, including playing one of her favourite instruments, singing or dancing away (mostly when no-one is watching!)…She continues her love for teaching also in this area, where she has been a choreographer for various school productions over the last 20 years.  Hubby Glenn joins in the sporty stuff – but tries to steer clear of any cultural activity – except support & appreciation!

What’s her favorite Riverbend workshop or experience?

Watch this space – she is still learning & loves everything at the moment…! Which she finds as a delightfully dangerous place to be 😊