Donavine Smith

Membership Communication & Co-ordination Manager, WAN-IFRA, South Africa

Donavine Smith, WAN-IFRA’s Membership Communication & Co-ordination Manager has a mandate to craft and facilitate exceptional member experiences for Members and Partners. Her vision is to streamline and redefine engagements and communication for better value and growth in WAN-IFRA engagement and membership.

At WAN-IFRA, Donavine started at Women In News (WIN) as the Advisory Strategy and Innovation Consultant, Trainer and Coach. Her particular achievement was in Media Digital Maturity and Transformation implementation – some may be familiar with the WIN Stability Tracker, and the WIN Digital Maturity Rapid Diagnostic Tracker which she co-facilitated. In addition, Donavine also collaborated on and presented the Digital ABC course. Finally, she was the technical lead on the business process automation and data migration project – to streamline Business Intelligence and MREL Reporting to funding partners.

A Hult Business School MBA graduate and certified Management Consultant specializing in Strategic Innovative Digital and Business Transformation, Donavine’s experience with multinational corporations and greenfield start-ups span Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Telecommunications, Media & Publishing and FMCG industries. She carries over 20 years of Innovation, Advisory and Leadership experience across the USA, Middle East and Africa. This has equipped Donavine with significant experience in International Business and multi-cultural dynamics, having managed teams and projects across disparate cultures and time zones.

Significant career highlights for Donavine include being part of the team to start up the Middle East operations of a very well-recognised African Telecommunication brand, being part of the team to advise Sephora San-Francisco on a growth strategy for a particular product category; as well as being head-hunted for Media24 APEX Future Leader Programme where she constructed a Revenue Growth Strategy to increase advertising revenue for a tabloid newspaper by R30 million (11%) within one year – exceeding expected advertising revenues by R5 million in the first quarter. This also included the engineering of a Digital Strategy for a mass-market online product, which generated 75% of expected revenues for year 1 within the first 3 months, and subsequently sold for R20 million over the next 2 years.

 Exposure to global technical functions in disparate markets and sound technical and business knowledge has enabled Donavine to effectively connect technical and business solutions across industries for increased value. She sees the bigger picture and how digital and technology can realize strategic objectives and support business strategy and holds a track record for delivering best-in-class technological initiatives to raise the overall capabilities of an organization.

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