Advisory board

Our Advisory Board provides high-level intellectual and strategic guidance to the team. It is designed to assist in driving unbiased yet knowledgeable dialogue on the constantly evolving GRC landscape. The board members provide insight into the latest trends, breaking news, topical and relevant topics, as well as who the experts are both locally and internationally, on behalf of the Summit, and offer guidance into the overall structure, layout and programme development.

We are enormously grateful for their ongoing guidance and support.

Max Blecher, chairperson of South African National Standards Body mirror committee on IT Service Management and IT Governance and MD, Virtual Alliance Max Blecher chair of the South African National Body mirror committee to ISO
on IT Governance and IT Service Management (JTC1 SC40), SABS
chair of the South African National Body mirror committee to ISO
on IT Governance and IT Service Management (JTC1 SC40), SABS

Max Blecher is the chair of South African National Standards Body mirror committee on IT Service Management and IT Governance. He heads the South African delegation to ISO for this committee (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC40) and was the international project editor of ISO/IEC 38501 - the implementation guide for the ISO/IEC 38500 standard on the Governance of IT.

Blecher has more than 25 years' experience in the IT industry and is the managing director of Virtual Alliance, a company that provides IT governance, risk and compliance services to large organisations in South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours from the University of the Witwatersrand and is CGEIT certified from ISACA.

In 2016, Blecher participated as a member of the Technology and Information task team developing the King IV report. He is a past President of the South African chapter of ISACA and has previously served on the IT Governance Committee of the USA based IT Governance Institute (ITGI). He has also been actively involved in the development and review of CobiT and related material from ISACA.

Blecher is a regular speaker at conferences on IT governance and risk management. He is also an accredited ISACA trainer and has previously lectured on IT Strategic Operations Management at the Milpark Business School.

Max Blecher, chairperson of South African National Standards Body mirror committee on IT Service Management and IT Governance and MD, Virtual Alliance
Paul Francis, AVIS Budget Rent a Car, South Africa Paul Francis AVIS Budget Rent a Car, South Africa
AVIS Budget Rent a Car, South Africa

Paul Francis is responsible for IT Operations, Governance and Compliance at Avis Rent a Car. He has 20 years of IT experience spanning from programming, business analysis, project management and general IT management. Paul Francis holds a BA, MBA and a PG Dip Information Systems.

Paul Francis, AVIS Budget Rent a Car, South Africa
 Brian Pinnock Regional Manager of Sales Engineering, Mimecast MEA
Regional Manager of Sales Engineering, Mimecast MEA

Brian Pinnock manages an international team of sales engineers across the Middle East and Africa, providing technical sales functions to Mimecast's sales staff, reseller partners and customers in each region.
He most recently headed up innovation at Internet Solutions. However, he believes the future of technology services organisations lies in the cloud, and was drawn to Mimecast's "born in the cloud" cyber resilience capabilities.

Portia Simelane Portia Lindi Simelane Group IT Governance and resilience, Airports Company of South Africa
Group IT Governance and resilience, Airports Company of South Africa

Portia Lindiwe Simelane is the Group Manager: IT Governance and Resilience at Airports Company South Africa (ACSA). She has 15 years of IT experience across a variety of industries in both the private and public sectors. Her strengths are in IT governance, Information Security, IT Compliance and IT Risk management. As a head of IT Governance and Resilience at ACSA, Portia is responsible for overseeing data governance and knowledge management, IT Governance, IT Disaster Recovery and IT Risk Management and IT Compliance. Portia was first introduced and trained on the protection of personal information act in 2009 whilst working for Deloitte. The act is only less than 5 years in South Africa but other countries like xx have enacted the protection of personal information as early as 1974.

Portia Simelane
Bridgette Vermaak, Head of IT asset disposal, Xperien Bridgette Vermaak Head of IT asset disposal, Xperien
Head of IT asset disposal, Xperien

Bridgette Vermaak, head of IT asset disposal at Xperien, has developed and currently manages POPI compliance at end of life and IT disposal for three retail banks. Her clientele also includes insurance corporations, medical and legal firms. Vermaak implemented a corporate solution that has helped to establish best market practice for the ITAD industry in South Africa. She is a certified hardware asset management professional and a member of the International Association of IT Asset Managers.

Bridgette Vermaak, Head of IT asset disposal, Xperien

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