Flow Communications believes in empowering and growing its own. So when it was decided to expand the company’s board of directors, it made sense that the new blood would come from within.
The Flow board decided in November 2018 to broaden its membership and skills mix, and unanimously resolved to offer a place to the company’s head of content, Edwina van der Burg (or Eddie, as we know her).
Flow chairperson Bheki Shongwe says that Eddie’s inclusion on the board stems from the company’s growth and the long-standing Flow practice of promoting from within. She was identified as a new board member against the backdrop of her loyalty to the company, her skills set and her temperament as both an employee and a manager.
“We felt we had cultivated a Flowstar who could make a substantive contribution to the growth of Flow,” he says.
A respected and popular manager, Eddie joined the Flow content team in April 2015. She boasts a strong journalism background, including management positions at Media24, the Mail & Guardian and the South African Press Association.
At the latter, she was one of the first women to occupy the position of deputy chief subeditor; she went on to be appointed as a managing editor at both the Mail & Guardian and Media24.
The invitation to join the Flow board “came out of the blue”, says Eddie.
“I was very honoured and humbled that they [the board] had all put this amount of trust in me,” she continues.
But while her appointment is “scary” – taking on responsibilities beyond managing her team and having to adopt a more strategic, company-wide approach, which “adds a whole new dimension to my role at Flow” – Eddie relishes the chance to grow within the company.
“I also see it as a learning opportunity for me. It’s a way of operation that’s not familiar to me,” she says.
Eddie says she hopes to bring fresh perspectives to the board, and be a voice “for those of us at the coalface” – the staff involved in the day-to-day running of the company.
Eddie was an ideal choice for the board, says Tara Turkington, Flow’s CEO.
“Edwina’s a highly experienced professional who has more than proved her commitment and value to Flow. She’s wonderful to work with, too: unflappable, emotionally intelligent, scrupulously fair and also fun,” says Tara.
“She cares about our company and, importantly, the people who work for Flow. As such, I believe that she will be an invaluable asset to the Flow board.”