Karen is the Executive Director of SAEOPA (Southern African Essential Oil Producer Association), and has been involved in many industry studies in the field of essential oils since 2000. She has lectured at various universities in subjects Botany, Bio-entrepreneurship, Biotechnology and Environmental Science. Karen has presented papers at IPUF (Indigenous Plant use Forum) since 2000 and on international level at WOCMAP (World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants), ISEO (International Society of Essential Oils) , ASNAPP (Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Product), Green Gold, SAAB (South African Association of Botanists) , African Corp Science, Agricultural and Training World Conference, CHEMRAWN (Committee on Chemical Research Applied to World Needs), Industrial Crops and Rural Enterprises. She has also contributed to publications for the Department of Trade and Industry, Agriculture and Forestry and Acta Horticulturae.
Wim Du Toit
Wim has been involved in administration, event organising and project management most of his working life. Subsequent to obtaining a BA degree at the University of Pretoria (majoring in English and Biblical studies), he was appointed as Secretary to Pelindaba’s Department of Electronic Engineering. He then became Group Secretary of the Northern Transvaal Chamber of Industries (NTCI), being responsible for the administration of 14 not-for-profit chambers and industrialists’ associations.
Following an amalgamation of the NTCI and the Transvaal Agricultural Society, the company was renamed the Tshwane Business and Agricultural Corporation NPC (Tshwabac), incorporating the Pretoria Show and the Pretoria Show Grounds, event organising and facilities management. He served as CEO from February 2012 through November 2018, having represented industry and agriculture on numerous representative bodies and serving as director for various companies.
Wim is now self-employed, providing administrative and secretarial services to the Southern African Essential Oil Producers’ Association (SAEOPA) and other entities, and act as Project Manager, mainly for initiatives in the agricultural sector. He also does professional text editing, proofreading and translations.
He passed SA Vryskutskrywer’s Certificate in Proofreading with distinction in 2018, is a member of the SA Translators’ Institute, and is on the verge of completing Enterprises University of Pretoria’s Programme in Project Management.
One of Wim’s passions is to promote and support socio-economic development initiatives and projects, be it in the private or public sector. He carries a torch for sound and responsible corporate governance, as is evidenced by his membership of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa and Unashamedly Ethical.