The ACA Announces 2024/25 Board of Directors

The Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) South Africa is pleased to announce the new Board of Directors for the 2024/25 fiscal year.

The industry leaders responsible for overseeing the ACA’s commitment to the marketing and communication industry’s transformation, self-regulation, ethics promotion, advocacy, and global guidance, among others, for members, were elected at the 77th Annual General Meeting, held on May 22, 2024.

Sharleen James, Director at Accenture Song, will serve as the Chair, with Luca Gallarelli, Group CEO of TBWA/South Africa, elected as Vice-Chair. The Exco comprises Brenda Khumalo, Founder and Managing Director of Lobengula Advertising; Wayne Naidoo, CEO of DUKE Group; and Gillian Rightford, Executive Director of the ACA.

The newly elected Board is as follows:




Sharleen James: Chair Accenture Song Director
Luca Gallarelli: Vice-Chair TBWA/South Africa Group Chief Executive Officer
Brenda Khumalo: Exco Lobengula Advertising Founder and Managing Director
Gillian Rightford: Exco Association for Communication and Advertising Executive Director
Wayne Naidoo:  Exco DUKE Group Group Chief Executive Officer
Adeshia Singh Singh & Sons Managing Director
Alison Deeb Metropolitan Republic Group Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Brand Ninety9cents Chief Executive Officer
Derek Coles McCann Joburg President
Gareth Leck Joe Public Group Chief Executive Officer
Haydn Townsend Accenture Song EMEA Agency Chief Growth Officer
Jarred Cinman VML SA Chief Executive Officer
Kagiso Musi Meta Media Group Managing Director
Karabo Denalane TBWA\Hunt Lascaris Chief Executive Officer
Koo Govender Publicis Groupe Africa Chief Executive Officer
Leo Manne Net#work BBDO Managing Director
Mpume Ngobese Joe Public Co-Managing Director
Musa Kalenga The Brave Group Group Chief Executive Officer
Pete Case Ogilvy South Africa CEO & Creative Chairman
Preetesh Sewraj The Loeries Chief Executive Officer
Roxana Ravjee Dentsu South Africa Chief Executive Officer
Sarah Dexter MullenLowe South Africa Chief Executive Officer
Sharon Bergmann-Stanley Association for Communication and Advertising Finance Manager
Tebogo Skwambane WPP Country Manager
Thabang Skwambane: ACA Lead: MAC SA Sector Charter Council Nahana Communications Group Group Chief Executive Officer

Speaking at the AGM, outgoing Chair, Thabang Skwambane, reflected on his tenure, acknowledging the exceptional dedication and support from the Exco, including John Dixon, Wayne Naidoo, Sharleen James, and ACA Executive Director Gillian Rightford, all of whom played a crucial role in the association’s turnaround over the past year.

Skwambane highlighted the strides made in representing the broader industry, despite regulatory, economic, and technological shifts. He emphasized the ACA’s focus on diversity and inclusion, including initiatives such as the Women in Leadership Program, MICT Seta internship partnership, and MDDA Funding.

Additionally, he cited the association’s advocacy efforts, including championing the Labour Relations Act proposal, the Copyright Amendment Bill, and the Performers Protection Act in Parliament. “Our advocacy efforts have been relentless. The ACA is well-positioned to foster a resilient, compliant, constantly transforming, and innovative advertising industry,” he said.

Although no longer on the Exco, Skwambane will continue to play a pivotal role in the ACA’s activities through his position as  ACA Lead: MAC SA Sector Charter Council.

Outgoing board member, John Dixon, presented an overview of the ACA’s future-facing industry strategy, based on a more connected industry and the strategic focus of which is underpinned by the formation of industry six tribes and a portfolio team. The “tribes” are not ACA branded or controlled, but rather a collection of voices from the broader industry, all coming together to drive a common cause and ultimately influence the overall future of the sector. This initiative focuses on Creativity; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Education; Regulation; Research; and Future-proofing. Dixon addressed the AGM, outlining the organization’s plans for growth and visibility as a central industry voice.

ACA Executive Director, Gillian Rightford, detailed the ACA’s resourcing, growth strategies, and plans to enhance its industry relevance and value to members Rightford highlighted the new focus on communication with ACA members and key industry players, strides made in terms of education and development for members, and industry recognition and awards. Rightford further provided a comprehensive update on the Effie Awards program, its growth and noted the ACA’s consideration of expanding the Effie Awards into the African continent. In closing, Rightford thanked the ACA secretariat for their extreme dedication and hard work in driving the ACA’s mandate and activities forward.

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