Standard Bank Rising Star Awards 2015 announces call for nominations

Laura Barker, MD of BlackBark Productions.

The Standard Bank Rising Star Awards has announced that nominations are now open for its fourth annual event.

The fourth annual awards ceremony recognises, inspires and celebrates young South African individuals, between the ages of 28 and 40, who have made outstanding contributions to their organisations and the future of the nation as a whole.

Laura Barker, MD of BlackBark Productions, organisers of the Rising Star Programme, says there is much excitement about the wealth of talent in South Africa and the African continent as a whole. 

“Over the last three years, we’ve seen a surge in organisations recognising the value of their employees, both internally and externally. This has boosted our confidence in local business, and we believe more than ever that we have an incredibly talented workforce,” she adds.

According to Barker, Rising Stars are polished, brilliant talent with tremendous promise and who excel for reasons that go far beyond their technical abilities alone. “They are go-getters who are committed to achieving their goals. They are innovators who create real value for the organisations they work for.”

There are twelve categories that can be entered for the Standard Bank Rising Star Awards, covering a broad spectrum of different professions within business specific sectors. These include banking & financial services; energy & chemicals; construction & engineering; entrepreneurship; ICT; transport, logistics & supply chain; media & advertising; mining & minerals; professional services; manufacturing, retail & FMCG; public & private services; as well as tourism, leisure & hospitality.

The awards are part of a greater initiative that aim to establish a living community of young South African talent that will be developed, mentored and provided with necessary platforms for development and communication. This will enable them to become role models, opinion leaders and the inspiration for future South African talent. 

As title sponsor of the Standard Bank Rising Star Awards, Standard Bank’s Amelia Muller (Head of Resourcing) says that their collaboration with industry icons such as the Rising Stars has always been the objective of sustainable engagement – a way to express Standard Bank’s long-term commitment to the youth of the African continent.

“This inspirational platform allows for our young stars to shine and be recognised, reflecting the legacy of skills development and leadership progress that represents the core of Standard Bank’s ambitions in Africa,” Barker says..

The initiative of the Rising Star Programme further includes the ArcelorMittal Rising Star Summit, and the Rising Star Network. Barker says the Summit gives the stars the chance to speak out – speaking to employers about what they really want in these changing times, what’s important to them and how they choose future employers. It is their platform to speak to the employers and tell them the challenges they face in corporate life, such as managing older people, achieving work and life balance, ethical choices and suchlike, from the self-titled ‘McDonalds’ generation. 

The network, made of all the Rising Star finalists since 2012 from SA and Kenya, is designed to connect the Rising Stars, giving them access to each other’s wealth of knowledge and experience. This is achieved through an online portal, face-to-face social events and regular newsletters. The finalists are also invited to complimentary business seminars and learning events, and receive 12 months complimentary access to over 600 online learning courses. 

Companies wishing to nominate their ‘Rising Stars’ need to complete a ‘Nominate a Rising Star’ form at The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2015. The Standard Bank Rising Star Awards finalists will be announced in June, followed by the gala dinner on 24 July 2015 (Sandton Hilton in Johannesburg.)

A stringent assessment process is followed for the Rising Star Awards, culminating in a panel interview with CEOs, HR Directors and leading talent and industry specialists.

The illustrious panel of judges for the Awards includes Dr Michael Glensor, group human resources executive at LIVIERO GROUP; Ivan Moroke, CEO & MD at TBWA; Rre Elijah Litheko, CEO & executive director at IPM; Shaun Rozyn, executive director: Corporate Education at GIBS; David Conradie, executive head: TTS Leadership Academy; Scott Gibson, group CEO at Britehouse; Busi Mashiane, executive: Human Resources at African Rainbow Minerals; Princess Thwala, group executive: Compliance and Stakeholder Relations at African Rainbow Minerals; Hennie Heymans, MD SA at DHL Express; and Wikus Jansen Van Vuuren, business development director at Henley Business School.

The Standard Bank Rising Star Awards are supported by Standard Bank, USB, Sasol, ArcelorMittal, Technology Innovation Agency, merSETA, SITA, Hilton Worldwide, ASTD and Who’s Who, among others.