Melinda Stark majored in psychology at the University of the Orange Free State (UOVS), completing her studies at an International Bible College where she graduated top of her class. She is married with 4 children and has been in business since 1988. She is owner of a Central Reservations Agency, Conference Centre, Information Centre and Executive Guesthouse, partnered with an International Travel & Lifestyle club, was a ‘Business Woman of the Year’ national finalist in 2008, top 3 finalists and runner up in “Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government” in 2014 and is a leader in her field of business with a passion to help others succeed in life and business.
Melinda at first declined a leadership position at SACBW when it was first presented to her in 2007, however after much deliberation and self-examination realised that this was a roll which she needed to take up as she felt that with her determination she could make a difference. The slogan for the SACBW, ‘Unlocking potential’, was what hooked Melinda as this is her passion as well. “I take pleasure in seeing women unlock the potential within themselves, and become motivated to succeed”, stated Melinda, “and if I could help be a part of women reaching their full potential, then this was a role I needed to take up”. After serving on the National Executive of the SACBW and chairlady of the Ermelo branch for a year as well as being one of the top 3 national finalists in the SACBW Business Woman of the Year competition in 2008, Melinda was nominated and voted in as Vice President in 2008 and again in 2009. In October 2010 Melinda was unanimously voted in as President, serving just over 3 years before stepping down at the end of the SACBW’s financial year in December 2013.
Melinda’s whole focus during her term as President was to bring the SACBW back to its ‘glory days’. Melinda helped the organization reach the next level of excellence and imprinted the organisation with her vision, dedication and implementation of her skills to aid women in growth and recognising their potential. Her additional goals achieved during her tenure was to refresh the brand, bring it into the new age of technology by reinventing the website, getting it active on the social media platform and in the third year to facilitate more visibility which culminated in not just print and radio media, but also highlighted by an interview on ‘Morning Live’ in October 2013. Melinda was one of the signatories in Parliament with the signing of the MOU with COGTA, the AHI and BUSA in June 2013. Under her leadership, a strategic plan was drawn up and put in place that would assist in leading the organization to greater heights in the years to come.
Melinda has a passion to see women succeed and her position as President of the SACBW afforded her the opportunity to make a larger impact on the lives of women in business across the country.
Position: HLM (CEO)