New Businesswoman of the Year

Baronice Hans (centre) is the new Namibian Businesswoman of the Year. She is the Head of Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank Namibia, and she is one of the bank’s Executive Directors. Here she is flanked by the organiser of the awards and Marketing Manager of the Economist, Desèré Lundon-Muller (left) and the editor of the Economist, Daniel Steinmann. Ms Hans is also the winner of the Corporate & Private sector category in the Namibian Businesswoman Awards, an achievement which lined her up as a contender for the overall award. She received the award on Wednesday evening. (Photograph by Noriene van Wyk)

“Our strength as women lies in the uniqueness of who we are and how we use that to inspire and grow others” said Baronice Hans of Standard Bank Namibia minutes after she became the 17th Namibian Businesswoman of the Year at a glamorous Gala Banquet on Wednesday evening.

Ms Hans is the bank’s Head of Personal and Business Banking and one of its Executive Directors.
The Economist, together with its sponsoring partners, Telecom Namibia, SABMiller Namibia, Jaguar Windhoek, Roots Importers, Eleni Namibia and Regus Business Centre celebrated the achievements of Namibia’s leading business and professional women at the banquet where the sixteen nominees were introduced to an appreciative audience.
The adjudication process was conducted by two panels of judges comprising Ericah Shafudah, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and until Wednesday evening the incumbent Namibian Businesswoman of the Year, Lionel Mathews, the Managing Director of Nedbank Namibia, Elize Angula, the Director of law firm Angula Co. Inc., Jantje Daun, the Chief Financial Officer of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, Helene Vosloo, the Head: Economics and Sector Research at the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia, and Claudine Mouton, the Director of SME’s Competitiveness Consultancy. The results were audited by Talita Horn, a Director of PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
The atmosphere became electric when Ms Horn approached the Master of Ceremony, bearing the envelope containing the name of the winner. Seconds later, mild chaos erupted when Ms Hans was named the winner.
Hans said that she feels honoured in receiving the award and that it means a lot especially given the calibre of the other nominees that she has met
She advised women who are aspiring to be business leaders, to be themselves, to be better today than they were yesterday and to be relentless in achieving what they set out to achieve. But, she cautioned, high powered women must also have fun. “Be thankful for every good thing that comes from God and glorify Him in everything you do and also remember that people matter, treat them well and nurture key relationships in your life,” she added.
Her philosophy in life is to do what she does with passion, with clear focus and direction, to forgive easily and to set the bar higher. “Effectiveness in the boardroom is less about how much you have to say and more about the quality and relevance of what you share,” Hans added. She concluded by announcing that as part of winning the award she would like to start a trust fund for destitute mothers.
The other winners of the night were Tanya Stroh, owner and Creative Director, Turipanwe Design Studio, named Young Namibian Businesswoman of the Year, Carol-Jean Rechter, co-owner and Managing Director of Joe’s Beerhouse, who won in the category Business owner and Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, the Chief Executive Officer at The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, who won in the category, Community and Government Sector.
Past winners include some of Namibia’s most talented business leaders, whose career paths and individual achievements continue to inspire business people around the country.