5 questions to: Jo-Ann Held (née Strauss)

2014-02-01 10:03

Former Miss SA, business woman and TV presenter Jo-Ann Held (formerly Jo-Ann Strauss) has been appointed to the board of Media24. Nokuthula Manyathi asks her how she juggles it all.

When did the relationship between you and Media24 start?

When I was 17, I attended a youth leaders summit hosted by Die Burger and had the pleasure of meeting Koos Bekker of Media24. At the time, I was accepted to study medicine at Stellenbosch University, but after being invited to visit the Naspers building and learning more about the media industry, I decided to do a more general degree and explore the world of media.

Who was the first person you called about your appointment?

The process started late last year so I’ve known about the possible appointment for a few months. The first person I called was my dad – he was so excited and proud. He was actually with me at the youth leaders summit all those years back and was initially disappointed when I decided not to pursue a career in medicine, but he has always been very supportive of my career.

You are the director of partnership investments, you serve on the Western Cape Board of Ubuntu Botho, and you are on the board of M&C Saatchi Abel, you frequently present segments on Top Billing and you are about to be a new mom. How do you juggle all these commitments?

They say: ‘Give a busy person a task to complete and they’ll get it done.’ I enjoy being involved in various businesses.

How – if at all – did your year as Miss SA prepare you for this role?

That was more than 13 years ago, but I suppose I sharpened my time-management skills during that year too.

Who is your mentor?

I have various mentors who have impacted my life and vision along the way – ranging from my parents to a number of business icons I respect.

Held, who holds a BCom Law degree from the Stellenbosch University, will officially start her duties at Media24 in the coming weeks. “The world of media is a constantly evolving one and that’s why I’m proud to be part of a company that is embracing change. South African media has a responsibility in nurturing our relatively young democracy and I’m excited to be part of that journey,” she says.

» City Press is a Media24 publication

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