MY MISSION

My mission is to help individuals and businesses unlock their untapped potential.

"I believe that we are able to do and become far more than what we dare imagine.

My life work is to help you and your business to become the best you can be, to thrive in the fullest sense, and in the process to make the world a better place for all."  

~

Creating something extraordinary by the unlikely combination of the ordinary

I bring innovative perspectives and new ways of achieving desired outcomes, borne from the nexus of my 20-years of work in business strategy, sustainability thinking, organizational transformation, human psychology, the science of happiness, personal growth, high-performance sport and nature-based adventure for accelerated change. 

Strategy and organisational change

Erica has over 20 years of experience in the corporate world, having held several senior strategy and organisational change positions for companies in SA and the UK, and most recently leading as Head of Sustainability Strategic Transformation for the Old Mutual Group. She has worked for high-profile strategy consulting firms, including Bain & Company, and holds a B.Sc. and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. She is a visionary and has demonstrated a keen ability to spot big picture trends and leverage these to the competitive advantage of her beneficiaries, be it shareholders, employees or society alike.

 

Coaching and optimizing human performance

She has an equally long parallel vocation in optimizing human performance and combines these business and people careers for extraordinary results. She has a B.Sc. degree in Psychology and a Masters’ Degree in Positive Psychology, from which she has hand-picked the scientifically proven best practices for enhancing well-being to super boost employee performance. She is a qualified Co-Active (CTI) Personal Coach as well as an Organisational, Relational, Systems Coach (ORSC) for facilitating transformation in individuals, relationships, organisations and large, complex systems.

International endurance champion

Erica really walks the talk. She is an accomplished endurance athlete, during the past 15 years having won many international multi-day endurance feats that defy the mind. She is one of South Africa’s top adventure-racing women, representing South Africa in the Olympics of Adventure racing in New Zealand (2006 AR World Championships) and a leading international trail runner having won numerous 7-day Desert races (Sahara, Atacama, Turkey, South Africa, Namibia, Utah) and many 100km-200km single stage races. She has used these extreme challenges to pressure-test the practices she advocates in the boardroom. 

Making a difference for Children

Erica serves on the Board of the Human Values Foundation, an NGO which has been bringing values education to schools in the UK, India and SA for the past 25 years. Erica’s passion is to help reconnect our children to Nature in response to what Richard Louv calls a growing Nature Deficit Disorder. She is also a Youth Leader with the National Trust in the UK, leading young people to actively participate in environmental conservation. She has also done extensive fund raising for Starfish and Whizz Kidz, NGOs who respectively supports aids orphans and children with mobility disabilities.

Enabling growth through Adventure

She is the founder of Teach a Girl to Fish in Greece, an adventure company that fosters personal growth for women. These out-of-the ordinary outdoor experiences boost confidence, a sense of agency and exuberant vitality. While facilitating these adventures over the past 6 years Erica has witnessed the profound transforming effect of going back to basics, nature immersion and embodied, small-group experiences. She believes this immersive approach to be the next frontier for organisations looking to accelerate positive change in their human resources.

Character, the x-factor

What sets Erica apart, beyond her deep and broad experience, qualifications and achievements, is who she is and how she shows up for her clients. Her three top trademark character strengths (*VIA character measure) are Hope, Love and Perseverance, showing up in how she inspires and gently guides people to achieve the unimaginable – their highest dream. She brings a quiet wisdom and an unwavering belief in the unlimited potential of every human being, ‘She believed she could. So she did’, is her motto.

THRIVE GURU

THE DETAIL

ADVENTURE RACING

  • Member of South Africa’s top adventure racing team; completed and won a significant number of 100km, 200km and 500km races over a 5-year period from 2002, e.g. OFM Moolmanshoek 100km, Wartrail 260km, Swazi extreme 200km, Surf to Rock 200km, Bull of Africa 200km, Eden Eastern Cape 200km and many others

  • Represented South Africa in Scotland, Wilderness ARC August 2005

  • Represented South Africa in the Adventure Racing World Champs in New Zealand, 2006

LONG DISTANCE TRAIL RUNNING

  • Winner of ONER UK 136km non-stop trail race 2013, 2nd in 2014, 1st in 2015, 1st in 2016,

  • Winner of London to Brighton 100km footrace 2013, 2014, 1st lady 2015, 1st lady 2016,

  • 1st lady in Sahara 250km racing-the-planet desert running race, 2009

  • 1st lady Wild Coast Extreme 270km, 2012

  • 1st lady in Lycian Way Turkey 270km, 2015

  • 1st lady and 2nd overall in 2016 Mizuno Enduro 24hr/ 208km non-stop foot race

  • 1st lady in Run Fire Cappadocia Turkey 270km, 2016

  • 1st lady in Utah Grand to Grand Ultra 270km, 2017

  • 1st lady Kalahari Extreme Marathon 2018

  • 1st lady Otter Challenge 2018

  • 1st lady Kalahari Extreme marathon of 255km, 2002

  • 1st lady in brutal Dorking Nutter 28km obstacle course 2013, 2014, 2015

  • 2nd lady in 250km Atacama Desert race in Chile, 2010

  • 2nd lady 220km Namib desert challenge, 2011, raising £10,000 for Whizz Kidz in the UK

  • 2nd in London Parks Ultra 2014

  • Age category winner, The Whale Trail 53km trail race, 2018

  • 2nd lady Kalahari Extreme marathon of 255km, 2019

  • 2nd lady Addo Elephant Trail Run 160km, Africa's wildest race, 2021

  • Comrades 2006, Comrades Bill Rowan 2018, 2019 and Comrades Virtual 2020, 2021, Wartrail 350km, 5 Two Oceans Marathons and approximately 125 marathons since 2001

OTHER SPORTS AND INTERESTS​

  • Obstacle racing – many races in the UK, including Hell Runner, Spartan, Beast from the East and Dorking Nutter (won the latter three years in a row, the winter edition of which had never previously been completed by a woman), 3rd in highly competitive Bear Gryllis obstacle race, etc. 

  • An interest in triathlon, completed Iron Man Wales, September 2011 and Iron Man Barcelona, October 2011

  • Mountain bike stage racing (Sabie Extreme 250km, Sani to Sea 250km, Noon-to-moon 200km, Joburg to Sea 860km 2017, etc.) and Cycling (Argus, 94.7 Challenge and many others)

  • Swimming (Midmar Mile), Surfing, 4x4 overlanding (Richtersveldt expedition leader in 1998), River rafting (Orange, Doring and Breede Rivers, advanced river and sea proficiency qualification), Diving (advanced qualification), Mountaineering (Member of UCT Rock Climbing Team; Reached summit of Kilimanjaro in 1999)

  • Touring by mountain bike, having completed two tours of 800km+ in South Africa and a 10,000km tour through Asia in 2006 to raise funds for Aids orphans in South Africa (Starfish Foundation).

  • A passion for travelling on a shoe-string, on foot or bike, to be immersed in local culture and to get off the beaten track. Best tour yet, hitch-hiked from Cape Town to Somalia on a budget of R750

QUALIFICATIONS, ACHIEVEMENTS​ AND COMMUNITY WORK

  • Completed a degree in B.Sc. Surveying, a Master’s degree in Business, a B.Sc. degree in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Positive Psychology; a Coaching Qualification in Systems transformation (ORSC), a Personal Coaching qualification – CTI, a certification as Barrett’s Values Coach and in use of the Time to Think methodology (Nancy Klein) and currently studying towards a certificate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

  • Qualified and worked as a Youth Leader for National Trust working holidays, UK, educating young adults (16-18 years) in maintaining the natural environment.

  • Serving as Trustee on Human Values Foundation Board UK to bring values education into schools in the UK, SA and India.

  • Habitat House building in Khayelitsha, Alexandria and Orange Farm, invited to sit on their SA Board. 

  • Won the Outward Bound/Veld & Vlei Leadership & Good Fellowship award, despite being the youngest of 120 young interns. 

  • Won the Nedbank prestigious top team award for leading culture transformation in 2005.

  • In early 2012, started an outdoor adventure and personal development company, Teach a Girl to Fish, taking people on hiking, biking and paddling adventures in the UK and Greece, to reconnect with nature, simple living and to build personal confidence.

  • In 2017 started a unique and integrated well-being, personal development and team building business under the umbrella of Thrive Guru. 

  • Writing (have completed a first novel and  in process of working on a volume of poetry) 

  • On and off study of basic conversational Spanish, Greek and Xhosa