All associations, networks and corporations are only as strong and effective as their leadership. It is vital that the EXCO of all such organizations has the respect and trust of its members or employees – and its community or industry.

The PCO Alliance has become a very well respected brand and voice in the industry, through the tireless efforts of its EXCO. The EXCO are all responsible for different portfolios. They have specific key performance areas which are set in line with the Alliance’s strategy.


The 2024 – 2026 PCO Alliance EXCO was recently voted in by the members. They are:


Chairperson – Melody Barber, Be Different Brand Builders. 

Be Different Brand Builders has been in business for 20 years with Melody at the helm. Her special brand of glamour and expertise in marketing, has ensured her business success. Her background is PR, marketing and brand building. She travels extensively in her personal capacity and is always on the look out for new event trends. 


Deputy Chairperson – Ellen Oosthuizen, Bebes Events and Promotions.

Ellen’s business is 29 years old this year. She is a natural leader and has spent her years in business guiding her clients with integrity and energy. Her years on the PCO Alliance EXCO have been no different and she combined her strong leadership skills with industry collaborations and mentoring of the members. 


PR and Communication – Cheryl Norwood-Young, Where Next Event Management

Where Next has been in business for 28 years this year. Cheryl has a background in PR and communication, and was involved with various wonderful Bush venues before opening her own conference and events business in 1996. She specialises in bespoke events and activations. Her passion is travel and people – her clients, her staff and her mentees over the years; and being involved with many outreach programs over the years. 


Site Inspections – Clare Coomer, Network Conferences

Network Conferences celebrated it’s 30th birthday in February! Clare came from the glamorous Zimbabwe Sun portfolio and has employed her impeccable training by providing her clients with flawless events. She is a great organizer and has specialized in arranging wonderful site inspections and educationals for the PCO Alliance – and will continue to do so. 


Administrator – Lyett Burger, Gooseberry Event Services

Lyett opened Gooseberry Event Services in 2011 although she has been in hospitality and events since 1992 and opened her own company in 1998. Her core strengths are organizational, financial and people skills and she will continue her tireless work in the PCO Alliance EXCO.


Treasurer – Lizette Worst, All Over Africa

Lizette specializes in inbound and outbound travel throughout Africa. She works tirelessly to ensure that every group and traveller has a meticulously planned experience. She has been the Treasurer for the PCO Alliance for many years and her financial skills are second to none. She will continue to serve in her capacity in this vital role. 



We wish them all a very successful tenure with great opportunities for growth and innovation.

The outgoing chairperson Ellen Oosthuizen was in office for 6 years, and she received a great send off at the PCO Alliance hosted after party of Meetings Africa on 28 February. This was held at the Hard Rock Cafe on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton.

This fabulous industry event was attended by industry partners and suppliers who had been exhibiting at Meetings Africa at Sandton Convention Centre. They enjoyed delicious canapés, well earned cocktails and great networking and the added bonus of attending Ellen Oosthuizen unofficial farewell.

Ellen worked tirelessly as chairperson, to keep all the members motivated and together during Covid and started collaborating with other Associations such as SAACI, AAXO and SACIA. Between them all the the SA Events Council was formed and the PCO Alliance became members. They also recently became members of the Event Greening Forum. Ellen has left a wonderful legacy.

The new chairperson, Melody Barber – brings with her very strong business acumen, innovative methods and ideas, and fresh new energy. She will be supported by a strong EXCO who have all been in the events industry for many years. Melody is extremely supportive of the members collective success and we are excited to be a part of her journey.

Written by: Cheryl Norwood-Young

Where Next Event Management