WRC bids farewell to three experienced employees
Getting good employees to join the organisation may be a difficult activity but when experienced staff members leave the organisation it becomes even more difficult. An employee who has spent many years with the organisation has tacit knowledge that is not easily transferable. The Water Research Commission bids farewell to three of its highly experienced staff members who will be going on retirement as from January 2010.
Mrs Nakkie Uys, Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Dr Rivka Kfir, Ms Ingrid Buchan, Science Editor for the peer-reviewed scholarly journal, Water SA, and Mr Judas Sindane, Publications Officer, will be simultaneously leaving the organisation.
Mrs Nakkie Uys
Nakkie has worked for the WRC since 1991, occupying various positions until she was finally appointed as Secretary to the Chief Executive Officer. After working with Piet Odendaal, former WRC CEO, she spent eight years with Dr Rivka Kfir, the current CEO.
‘As the PA to the CEO, I would say, is a very challenging position, not only because it is such a demanding position, but also because it comprises many different facets. ‘The PA does not only work for the office of the CEO, she is also very much involved with the Board and Executive functions’ says Nakkie.
‘Working as a PA required me to do a lot of logistical preparations for Board meetings (a part of my job which I really loved). The smooth running of Executive meetings needs a lot of dedication and good time management’ says Nakkie. Organising meetings at very short notice and to ensure that the CEO’s office runs smoothly all the time is part and parcel of the job.
‘The WRC has taught me the importance of teamwork in the real sense of the word. I have also learned a lot from her, not only work-wise but also about other values in life’ she says. ‘One highlight that I think is really worth mentioning about our CEO and which I shall always treasure, is her “good heart”. She is forever showing empathy towards her subordinates, irrespective of who the staff member may be, everyone is treated equally when it comes to their needs, whether it be an illness, a family member passing away or anything else, that staff member is well taken care of during their time of crisis or need. The WRC is a “caring” organisation!’
‘On retirement I plan to be involved in church activities and to be of use to my fellow ”senior citizens” in the retirement village to which I have moved at the beginning of December‘ says Nakkie.
Mr Judas Sindane
Judas has loyally served the WRC since 1976. With a lot of experience working in the library, managing and processing the publications and managing orders, he will be leaving the organisation. ‘Working with different people has developed my communication skills at different levels’ says Judas.
‘My advice to my successor would be to guard against ”back orders”. There is a need to respond promptly to the publications requests which I hope I managed very well’ says Judas.
Ms Ingrid Buchan
Ms Ingrid Buchan leaves an indelible mark at the WRC after her hard work in taking the peer-reviewed scholarly journal, Water SA, to greater heights. Her great achievements in communicating science to the water sector have recently been acknowledged by the Water Institute of Southern Africa through an honorary Aqua Vita Est Award 2009.
A few highlights of Ingrid’s career deserve mention: ‘The year 2005 was momentous for the journal Water SA: its first ever external editorial board was appointed, and the journal moved from being mainly print-based to being primarily electronic, becoming a free online journal’. Although Ingrid had reservations about the move, and had anticipated a huge loss in readership, she was pleasantly surprised by the resilience and depth of the journal. Since then it has gone from strength to strength and surprised her once again when it achieved an ISI Science Citation Index Impact Factor of 1.120 in 2007, its highest ever, thereby setting its own benchmark.
‘I have no doubt that Water SA will achieve ever greater heights in the years ahead. Another highlight has been the move to digitise all back copies, creating a digital archive of the entire Water SA collection, dating back to its very first edition in 1975’ says Ingrid.
Ingrid adds: ‘The WRC sets high standards and has great expectations of its staff members; however, no sooner has one met the expectations, the bar is raised, and one is spurred onto achieving even greater things. This has been the hallmark of the WRC and has made it what it is today − an exciting organisation to work for and to be associated with, and highly respected everywhere’.
‘I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to each and everyone out there, as well as to WRC Executive, Management and great colleagues who have made it all possible. It has been an exhilarating rollercoaster ride of a lifetime!’ she concludes.
Contact: Hlengiwe Cele
Tel: 012 330 9006