Women in Wheels | Meet the dynamic duo who 'fuel the Ferrari legend' in South Africa

Caroline Venter (left) and Chanelle Zackey (Scuderia South Africa)
Caroline Venter (left) and Chanelle Zackey (Scuderia South Africa)

• Chanelle Zackey and Caroline Venter joined Ferrari in 2012.

• Both ladies know the requirements of making the most of opportunities.

• Zackey is an award-winning Ferrari employee.

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I suppose it's a dream for many to one day work for an illustrious company like Ferrari, but these two formidable women turned their dreams into realities.

Chanelle Zackey and Caroline Venter joined Scuderia South Africa in June and October 2012, respectively, and would go on to become cornerstones in the automaker's marketing division. It is by no means an easy task ensuring that everything runs like clockwork, yet they are guaranteeing that Ferrari's image is upheld across South Africa.

Zackey says that the words of former Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo, 'We don't sell a car, we sell a dream,' is something they aspire to, before adding: "We represent a company in which tradition and innovation are guaranteed each and every day to fuel the Ferrari legend."

Engaging with these two formidable ladies, you would never guess that they, too, had to work to be where they are today. Both are qualified graduates, but had to earn their stripes before more prominent responsibilities came their way.

When Venter joined the company, it was as a receptionist. Despite having a BA degree in Corporate Communications, she owned her space and embraced the new job. However, it was never part of her plan to sit idly by and not grab opportunities. She grew with each passing year, empowering herself and not taking her days for granted. It all manifested in her occupying the position of Public Relations (PR) and Marketing Executive, alongside the National Marketing Director, Zackey.

Zackey was made for the marketing world, becoming part of the Ferrari family as a marketing assistant. She learned first-hand what it took to be at the marketing forefront for such an established company, that when she slotted into her new position as National MD, it was a natural fit.

Chanelle Zackey, Caroline Venter,ferrari,

Chanelle Zackey (Scuderia Ferrari)

Embracing the responsibilities

Zackey and Venter both have job titles that come with its requirements, but neither woman is not up for the challenge. Zackey says that her role requires her to oversee and manage all marketing, PR, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) related functions across the Ferrari dealerships in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. That includes developing strategic operative marketing plans and budgets to meet local commercial targets, and ensuring that the local arm's activities and campaigns align with Ferrari Global's requirements.

Venter is the official liaison officer between Scuderia SA and the media. Apart from this, she lends support to marketing activities for local and international events, and has to ensure that their department meets its KPI (Key Performance Indicators) targets. She is also the key link to the Sales and After Sales departments and ensuring that commercial objectives are met.

Both women have an astounding sense of responsibility and will go above and beyond for the job at hand. Venter says that they are passionate about what they do because Ferrari is a lovemark. She notes: "Our history, values and products make Ferrari a lovemark, not just a brand. A brand is what people know, but a lovemark is what they love. A brand tells a story, a lovemark creates a legend."

That lasting impression

Of course, the question of which Ferrari left a lasting impression after driving it had to be asked. And both women had no qualms about which car to choose: the Ferrari 458 Spider. Venter says that this naturally-aspirated V8 machine was the first Ferrari she drove and that the "unique sound and onboard comfort are a few of the many characteristics that made it, without doubt, one of the most exhilarating experiences."

Zackey exclaims that it is 'unquestionably' her favourite model of all-time, but of late, the GTC4Lusso T grabbed her attention again. She says: "The GTC4Lusso T is the first four-seater in Prancing Horse history to sport a turbocharged V8 engine and showcases a whole new GT concept. It is by far the most sporty, versatile, and practical model in the range, and is perfect for daily driving!"

Ferrari 458 Spider

Ferrari 458 Spider (QuickPic)

Don't be doubtful, be courageous

Both Zackey and Venter are aware of the challenges one faces in life's journey, but are adamant that everyone starts somewhere. Each of our journeys is different, but it does not make yours any less relevant or less important.

Zackey, especially, can testify that hard work and dedication pays off, because in January 2015, just two-and-a-bit years after joining the Scuderia family, her department was awarded the 'Top Marketing Performer' award by Ferrari Middle East, Africa, and India. In October 2018, she was awarded the 'Global Ferrari Testa Rossa' award for Top Marketing Executive by Ferrari Global. And in August last year, Women Torque and MFC presented her with the 'Marketing Achievement' award at the annual Motoring Woman of the Year Awards.

For both women, it's essential to inspire the next generation of ambitious young ladies. Zackey says: "Don't be doubtful or opposed to humble beginnings - we all had to start somewhere. Do everything to the best of your ability and be consistent in delivering excellence in all that you do. Work hard, persevere, and take initiative wherever you can."

Venter adds: "Paying meticulous attention to detail and always ensuring professionalism are essential contributing factors to achieving excellence. Be true to yourself, lead by example, be courageous, and stay inspired."

Do you know a phenomal woman who's made an impact or difference in any sphere of the auto industry? Email us your/their story, with images.
Chanelle Zackey, Caroline Venter,ferrari,

Chanelle Zackey (left) and Caroline Venter (Scuderia Ferrari)

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