south african business link to experts

leadership team

Donovan Neale-May, Global Coordinator of SABLE Accelerator

Neale-May is founder and executive director of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council (, a global affinity network of more than 16,000 senior marketing executives in 10,000 companies controlling nearly $1 trillion in annual, aggregated marketing spend. He is also the founder and executive director of the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network (, a global community of executive change agents dedicated to transformation, business remodeling, process innovation and corporate renovation.

Neale-May recently formed and leads a new Growth Officer Council for chief growth, revenue, commercial, finance and business development leaders and RevTech innovators. The first thought leadership initiative, dubbed Growth Engineering: Mapping Routes to Revenue, includes an online content resource (

Neale-May also serves as president of GlobalFluency, Inc., an international demand generation marketing firm and innovator of thought leadership content marketing using an Intelligent Market Engagement® model. Previously, he held senior management roles at marketing, promotions, and PR agencies, including Ogilvy & Mather, in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York, and London. During his four decades as an international marketing and brand strategist, Neale-May has consulted with over 300 leading multi-nationals, new venture starts and emerging growth companies.

A native South African, Neale-May also founded and runs the SABLE (South African Business Link to Experts) community, a trusted group ( of global expat South Africans. These domain experts provide mentoring, coaching and advisory services to South African companies, entrepreneurs and institutions seeking to fund or commercialize innovation, as well as enter, grow, and partner in worldwide markets.

Neale-May served for 18 years on the board of directors of Travelzoo (NASDAQ: TZOO). He chairs the Rhodes University Trust in the USA and sits on the university’s board of governors in South Africa. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Seoul National University in South Korea. Neale-May left South Africa in 1974 to play rugby professionally in Italy. He now keeps a home in Simon’s Town, South Africa to escape the California crush in Santa Cruz.

Werner Mansfeld, Global Coordinator of SABLE Accelerator

Mansfeld is President of NetLine Corporation, the tech industry's premier B2B lead generation provider with the most comprehensive lifecycle customer acquisition platform, integrating e-mail, internet, social media, and mobile. Mansfeld draws from over 20 years of executive management, financial, sales, strategy, and operations experience. He was also founder of a specialty foods company, bringing a well known traditional South African dessert into mainstream American grocery stores through national distributors, online markets and regional buyers. Previously, Mansfeld held senior positions in operations, finance, and new product development at Hardware Street in Reno, and at International Game Technology, where he managed new products and business alliances. Mansfeld holds an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and a B.Com degree in accounting from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 

Kurt Pakendorf, Global Coordinator of SABLE Accelerator

Pakendorf, 46, has over 20 years of multinational legal and business experience in operations, regulatory affairs, M&A, software, and services across a broad range of industry sectors. Most recently he was CEO of MobileWave Group PLC, a London based AIM listed mobile technology and services company. Prior to that, Pakendorf was the Vice President & General Counsel at Havok, an Intel Capital owned and separately operated company. Previously, he was the Assistant General Counsel of i2 Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITWO), a public supply chain software and services company based in Dallas, Texas. Pakendorf has served with the United Nations as a Legal Officer for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, worked in London and Brussels for the international law firm SNR Denton, and practiced as an attorney in South Africa. He holds a law degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and is an admitted attorney of the High Court of the Republic of South Africa.

Rowan Philp, Contributing Editor of SABLE Accelerator

Rowan Philp served as Chief Reporter and Foreign Correspondent for the Sunday Times in South Africa for most of the past decade—a period broken by stints at the Washington Post as Deputy News Editor; a Harvard/MIT fellowship; and two years as London Bureau Chief. He is currently a US contributor for the Sunday Times and Mail & Guardian, based in Boston, where he specializes in reporting on South African expatriates and diplomats, as well science and innovation.

In his 20-year career, Philp has reported from 27 countries around the world, from Haiti and Libya to the civil war in the Philippines and the World Economic Forum at Davos, as well as covering the past four US presidential elections. He has twice been awarded South Africa’s highest national print reporting prize, the Vodacom South African Journalist of the Year.

Kerry Swift, Country Director of SABLE Accelerator

Kerry Swift most recently served for more than six years as Executive Director ofAdvancement at the University of Johannesburg, which has some 50,000 students and is one of the largest residential universities in South Africa. At UJ he was responsible for Marketing and Communications, Alumni Relations, Community Engagement, Fundraising and the Arts and Culture Centre. Kerry holds a Journalism degree from Rhodes University and an MA from the University of York in the UK as the recipient of a Rotary Journalism Fellowship. He is a published author in South Africa (Don Nelson and Jonathan Ball) and the UK (Robert Hale) and has written for numerous publications in South Africa and abroad. As a journalist he worked on various newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Times and Drum magazine in the seventies, and for a number of years was engaged in corporate communications where he assisted numerous South African blue-chip companies with their communications requirements. He has won two of the country’s top specialist writing awards, the Siemens Award for Technical Journalism and the overall Transnet Award for Journalistic Excellence. He helped launch City Press and, as a publication designer, redesigned Business Day and the Herald in Port Elizabeth. For a period he taught at Rhodes before venturing back into publishing both locally and in the UK. Hereturned to Rhodes in 2002 as Executive Director of Development, assisting the university and its consultants establish its Development Office in preparation for the university’s highly successful centenary in 2004.