The Department of Business Management will bid farewell to five long-serving colleagues at the end of 2022.
Prof Johann de Villiers and Dr Mike Lamont are retiring from the Investment Management focal area, while another colleague from this focal area, Dr Riëtte Carstens, will be joining Portland State University in the United States in 2023. Dr Awie Vlok from the Strategy and Innovation focal area is also retiring. Departmental assistant Mr Denver Anthony will be moving to the Faculty's computer users' area, FHARGA in the new year.
Staff reacted with heartfelt tributes to the five colleagues for their selfless dedication and tireless contributions over the years.
Prof Johann de Villiers
The former lecturer, department head and Dean who joined the Department in 1997, was lauded as a “unique human being with an amazing intellect and sense of humour".
“We often joke about Johann walking up and down the third floor of the Schumann building reflecting on the meaning of life. I will personally miss him terribly," said Prof Suzette Viviers, Chair: Financial Management focal area.
Dr Mike Lamont
Lamont, who was appointed as a senior lecturer in Investment Management in 2012, brought exceptional knowledge to the undergraduate and honours programmes in the Department. This after two important and highly successful careers at the Reserve Bank and at Standard Bank's Corporate and Investment Bank respectively.
“Mike's subject knowledge is exceptional. He knows all about Fixed Interest Bearing Bonds that there is to know," said Prof de Villiers. “Another area where Mike's experience proved to be valuable was in his relationship with his students. Mike prepared students for the workplace by simulating the working environment in his interactions with students.
“Thank you so much for the knowledge you brought and were able to share with us and the students. And thank you too for the facilities you negotiated for us. But most of all, thank you for the wonderful colleague you were to all of us in the Department. Thank you for your kindness and humour, and the positive attitude you have consistently conveyed. You have made the world a better place for me and your other colleagues."
Dr Riëtte Carstens
“Riette has an incredible work ethic and bright future," Prof Suzette Viviers said of the departing lecturer who joined the Department in 2015.
As part of the Investment Management focal area, Carstens was responsible for the honours module entitled Real Estate Investment and Finance. She
also presented the third-year investment management modules focussing on property management and fixed income instruments. Her research interests
include textual tone in corporate disclosures, real estate investment trusts (REITs), corporate real estate finance, property management, real estate and international REIT investments.
She will be joining Portland State University as an assistant professor in Real Estate and Finance.
Dr Awie Vlok
“Awie played a pivotal role in establishing the field of Innovation Management at Stellenbosch University," said Prof Gert Human, chairperson of the Strategy and Innovation Management focal area.
Vlok joined the Department in 2011 to build on his work experience in Innovation Management.
“For most of his career, Awie has been directly involved in innovation projects and practices in different countries and disciplines in managerial, functional a
nd organisational capacities," said Human. “Students and colleagues especially benefited from his experience, which included senior positions at Sigma Motor Corporation, Infoplan (Pty Ltd) and the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), among others."
This keen sportsman, who led the Matie personnel soccer team to victory in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournament this year, joined the Department in 2012. As of January 2023, he will join the Faculty's computer users' area as full-time Assistant Technical Officer.
“Denver is one of those persons who cannot easily be summed up in just a few words. I have so much appreciation for his willingness to always want to help, for his knowledge to always solve a problem... and that always with a smile," said Prof Edwin Theron, the module coordinator of Business Management 113 (with an enrolment of approximately 1 900 students). Denver was instrumental in assisting with the administration of this significant number of students.
Annali Maass, the Department's postgraduate coordinator, said: “What a privilege it was for me to be able to work with you from 2016. Always friendly and
always helpful. I'm thankful that we're not going to part ways completely and that I'll still be able to work with you on a regular basis. I'm going to miss you on the third floor but I grant you the new challenge!"
- Photo by Andrew Knechel on Unsplash.