Meet the winning team behind VA Connect

Karen Wessels

Karen Wessels

Co-Founder & CEO

It all started with an idea, to help and support small business owners with their admin and getting their business off the ground. Now, 9 years down the line we can truly say we have come a long way, what an amazing and rewarding journey it has been. Meet the founder of VA Connect, Karen Wessels. Karen has extensive business savvy and expertise when it comes to running an office effortlessly. She considers herself an admin geek and loves creating effective work spaces for her clients to excel in. Keen to make life easier for others, Karen is quick to solve workflow processes and come up with exciting systems that are results based. Prior to establishing VA Connect, Karen spent over 13 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. Having worked with MD’s, SME’s and professionals, she is very familiar with managing different workloads within tight deadlines. This equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run a successful VA business. Working tirelessly in your business so that you can work on your business, is the order of the day.

Albert van Zyl

Albert van Zyl

Co-Founder & CMO

Albert van Zyl is a Marketing Maven and Sales Conversion Guru. Albert has more than 15 years’ sales experience, all the way down from door-to-door all the way up to the highest level well-established corporate companies. Albert has a very fun and highly focused approach to business and is continuously seeking ways to improve and speed-up processes. He is obsessively passionate about marketing and can talk for hours on end if you give him any chance to. He fully understands and believes in the power of outsourcing to Virtual Assistants. He loves the scalability of staff to assist with fluctuation in workflow and how easy it is to get a myriad of skills, at your finger tips, remotely. He will stand VA Connect and all our clients in good stead in taking us to the next level.

Lynda Wessels

Lynda Wessels

Office Manager

Lynda comes from a very strong accounting and administrative background, and brings expert office management skills to the table. Lynda has become a social media fundi and takes due diligence with every project she’s presented with, whether it be creating and maintaining databases to reminding you that it’s your better half’s birthday coming up soon. Besides keeping us on track, she manages the day-to-day logistics of running VA Connect seamlessly and profitably.
Jennifer Botha

Jennifer Botha

Virtual Assistant

Jennifer’s administration skills are of a high standard and she pays particular attention to detail, accuracy and has a keen eye when proofreading and spotting discrepancies.  She is very experienced in handling and meeting deadlines and remains calm under pressure.

Jennifer is motivated, very conscientious, trustworthy and diligent and strives for excellence in whatever task she takes on.  She gets on well with those she works with and is passionate about customer service and building good relationships.  She takes pride in a job well done.

Thriving small and start-up businesses is what Jennifer really loves to see.  She believes that business owners should be free to dedicate their time to doing what they do best and to rather delegate the office administration to a virtual assistant.

Henriette Howell

Henriette Howell

Virtual Assistant

Young and vibrant! At the age of 22 , I believed that a women needs to be able to work from home. But how? With this in mind , I started searching for way how and this was how I found about VA Connect. I am a dedicated person, I love new challenges every day! Even if I focus on detail, that does not mean I work slow, I learn fast – diligent by thorough. I have over 5 years of experience in Administration duties and problem solving, creating of new Administrative systems. I am passionate of what I do, to improve productivity for myself and others. In my experience, I believe to be truthful, to be organised, to be focused and committed make me a great Virtual Assistant.

Melissa Nicholson

Melissa Nicholson

Virtual Assistant

Melissa is a Virtual Assistant, based in Pretoria, Gauteng.  She has 14 years administrative experience, 6 years of which has been spent as an Executive Personal Assistant to C level executives in the corporate sector, as well as the government sector.  Melissa also has experience working internationally with people based across various time zones.  Melissa prides herself in her passion for excellence in all administrative and PA tasks. Melissa also has a great passion for all things business related and is currently studying a Bachelor in Business Administration in order to gain access to knowledge of every aspect of a business, therefore helping her to have a better understanding of a client’s business.  Melissa is at her happiest performing all administrative tasks, no matter how small, making client’s lives easier and organisation is her specialty.

Chantel Griffin

Chantel Griffin

Virtual Assistant

My name is Chantel Griffin and I am Virtual Assistant, based in East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa. I have a combined 23 Years’ experience as a Personal Assistant to the Directors of a large corporate company. I am passionate about my work. I pride myself on completing my tasks assigned to me with accuracy and speed. I am a professional, loyal and enthusiastic person always willing to learn and work as part of a team. As my Client I will always strive to do my best to assist you in reaching your goals and or targets.

Debbie Phillips

Debbie Phillips

Virtual Assistant

I am a virtual assistant based in the beautiful Mother City of Cape Town.  I have over 20 years of administration experience in various sectors.  My administration roles have included Office Manager, Events Manager, Executive Assistant and Admin Manager.  I have extensive knowledge, skills and experience to get the job done and have dealt with national and international administration responsibilities. I am a self-starter and can work independently as well as part of a team.  I pay close attention to detail, am super-organised, loyal, enthusiastic, communicative, supportive, trustworthy, persistent and perceptive – I am just what you need!  My passion is administration and I enjoy working to make a difference in people’s lives. After years providing support in the NGO and corporate sectors I have decided to use my home office, skills and experience to support my clients directly so that you can spend more time doing what you do best – growing your business – and leave the admin support to me.

Tracey Barkus

Tracey Barkus

Virtual Assistant

I am a Virtual Assistant based in Durban.  My professional background includes over 10 years working in Marketing for various large corporate companies in the UK and more recently freelancing for companies here in South Africa. I am able to perform both basic and complex Administrative duties as required, as well as provide Marketing related help to clients such as copy writing, social media management, data work and email marketing. I am easy to work with and believe good communication between client and Virtual Assistant is the key to success. On a personal note, I have two young daughters that keep me busy and I love the vibrant outdoor life here in Durban.

Tammy Nortier

Tammy Nortier

Virtual Assistant

After being in retail industry for over 13 years I decided to take my marketing and administrative skills into my home based office and have being working virtually as a freelance transcriber for 3 years now as well as completing various simple admin tasks for a few small businesses in South Africa.  I have a passion for helping people and making life easier where possible.  I really enjoy connecting with people of all walks of life and putting my organizational and administrative skills into practice as often as I can.

Melinda Pennells

Melinda Pennells

Virtual Assistant

I am based in Randburg, Gauteng, I am a passionate, reliable, hardworking perfectionist and have a sense of pride in the work I do. I have a total of 15 years experience in the Administration field with 10 of those years being an Executive Personal Assistant, working in the Motor Industry and also Beauty where I worked for Clarins SA. I also currently do Administrative work on behalf of a contractor for Neotel. I assist my mom with the care of my 2 grandmothers, who need help with certain things. I am lucky to have a supportive caring husband who supports all my endeavors. In my spare time I’ll be reading, listening to music or on my mountain bike, playing golf and spending quality time with my husband and family. I strive to be there and make the people I work for lives as easy as possible, to the point where they can’t live without my help.

Rene Blanc

Rene Blanc

Virtual Assistant

Rene has a sparkling personality, exceptional communication and organization skills, with a passion to help a business run smooth and effectively. She is a Virtual Assistant based in Pretoria, Gauteng. Conscientious, meticulous and detail-oriented, she operates on a high level of excellence, dedication, quality of work and client satisfaction, always striving for excellence, efficiency and profitability. Some of her professional experience and invaluable skills over 15 years includes, Business Administration, Office Management, Personal Assistant, Accounting, Conference and Event Coordinating, Tourism, Dental Assisting. She is well equipped to assist you in running your business effectively.

Marinda Meiring

Marinda Meiring

Virtual Assistant

I am a Virtual Assistant in the Jacaranda City (Pretoria).  I have in excess of 25 years’ experience as a Secretary and Personal Assistant for various companies including the largest Facilities Management Company in Africa and Deloitte Consulting. The last couple of years my forte and focus is project co-ordination / management in the project/property/facilities management field. Apart from attending to all the aspects of being a Project Co-ordinator, I have gained extensive and valuable experience in the Management of Documents, Tenders, Timesheets and Stakeholders. I am professional at all times when dealing with customers, fellow colleagues and suppliers.  Furthermore, I am loyal, hard-working, reliable, can work independently or as part of the team and take pride in my work. I ensure the wheels do not come off, I am meticulous, pay attention to detail and am deadline driven.  I have good communication and inter-personal skills and am strive to give my best at all times.

Annie Francis

Annie Francis

Virtual Assistant

I have more than 24 years of experience in working as an Executive Assistant and Office Manager. The last 3 years, have been spent working from my home based office providing administrative support to my clients.  I have a fully functional home office which allows me to provide a comprehensive service to all my clients’ ensuring their administrative needs are taken care of.  This, in turn gives them the freedom to concentrate on expanding their business.  I am meticulous, loyal and professional with extensive experience in administrative work and I have good computer skills.  I am able to work both independently and as part of a team.  As your Virtual Assistant, I will strive to provide you with both a professional and reliable service.

Deepti Jeram

Deepti Jeram

Virtual Assistant

Deepti comes from a very strong accounting and administrative background, coupled with her flair for design. Deepti has become a tech geek and gives her utmost best in every project that she is given. Whether it creating images for social media, generating blog posts, or creating systems for companies or maintaining a CRM database, Deepti has the experience and know how to get things done. After running two businesses of her own, Deepti knows how and what a business needs to succeed. Deepti has gained invaluable experience in Sales, Marketing, Social Media, Website design and Admin.

Michelle Wilbraham

Michelle Wilbraham

Virtual Assistant

My name is Michelle Wilbraham and I am based in Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa. I have 10 years’ experience working as a medical secretary together with 17 years working as a PA. I pride myself in my ability to complete all tasks given to me and am always prepared to go the extra mile. My knowledge and experience in office administration and secretarial duties ensures that I meet and exceed all client expectations. I am passionate and committed to my job and look forward to putting my experience into action by adding value your to business.

Carrinna Buthelezi

Carrinna Buthelezi

Virtual Assistant

I am based in Wilropark, Gauteng. I am a versatile, reliable, and efficient administrative professional with a solid 20 year track record of supporting senior executive’s in various industries, including Healthcare, Software, Media, Recruitment, Event Management and Property Development. I am an industrious professional adept at handling official, confidential correspondence and generating the same as per instructions. Diversified skills include event management, client relations, human resources, recruiting, project management, and administrative support. I have superb written and verbal communication skills, am extremely discreet and ethical and a self-directed problem-solver. My main aim is to ensure that the lives of those I work for are made easier through the delegation of work on the time-consuming aspects in your business, allowing you to focus on your core functions within your workplace.

Jenni Plaistowe

Jenni Plaistowe

Virtual Assistant

I am a Virtual Assistant based in Randpark Ridge, Gauteng. I have always been in an administration role which is where my strength lies. Organisation, event planning, and general admin duties is what I enjoy, ensuring that these duties are done with accuracy and professionalism. I was privileged enough to take some time out while my daughter was at school and now that she has gown-up (age 20 to be exact), it is me time again. I felt that with technology advancing so drastically there had to be more opportunities for at-home-businesses and so the search began. During this search, I came across VA Connect and as the say…the rest is history. A couple of years ago I also challenged myself and completed an Medical Transcription course which I passed and achieved my certificate.