The Security Industry Buff

COLLEEN GLAESER. 44, has been CEO of the AxonnSoft SA security-solutions company since 2016. She lives in the Midlands with her husband Daniel, 43, and has a daughter, Sharon, nine. She also owns Karkloof Safari Villas and the Platinum Samsung Telecoms dealership, Dynamic Communications & Surveillance Solutions (DCSS) Dropping out of school at 16 was risky but it did pay off. Traditional schooling wasn't for me, so I dropped out, with my parents support, to enrol at a college to study sales and marketing My dad was a salesman in the property industry so it was in my blood. I established my telecoms business at 22, and my sales background has since helped me close corporate deals for all my businesses I spotted a gap in the market and filled it. My clients were happy with the CCTV system we were installing through DCSS but I worried it was reactive rather than proactive- shop owners could only look back through footage hours after a crime was committed. I went to various local security companies, but couldn't find a solution. Finaly. I came across AxonnSoft in Russia. Their facial-recognition and camera systems were unparalleled. I bought Axonn Soft Southern Africa and signed a partnership with Moscow's HG.

What we do is like the real-life version of tactics employed by 007. Im very proud of our sweet hearting' algorithm, where camera systems monitor point of-sale scanners and actions by till operators in retail stores, to check that the number of swiped and paid-for items is the same, It's revolutionised the way stores handie security. My other mission is to start up safe-city projects, helping to eliminate everything from car jackings to petty theft. Our streets should be safe I am often the only women in the boardroom, but that doesn't scare me. The industry is very male-dominated, but because I love my job and know what I'm taiking about, I'm never intimidated. AxonnSoft has offices in 43 countries and I'm the only female CEO on the international board. I wish it was more inclusive, as it's the combo of men and women that works. There's no place for an 'either or' attitude in this day and age. I believe women can have both -a thriving career and a happy family. It's not easy, but if you make the decision to succeed in both worlds, you'll find a way to do it. For me, that means answering work mails late at night and early in the morning when Sharon's asleep, so I can watch her hockey game that afternoon, knowing I'm up to date. My husband is also an amazing support, which helps Karkloof Safari Villas is a little piece of heaven. It's where I go to unwind. I took ownership last year to help diversify my business portfolio and it's now a place I associate with family, as we often take holidays there. I have a brilliant team at Karkloof, so I can relax without worrying.

MY SECRET INDULGENCE : l love series and documentaries about the British royal family. If my husband suspects I'm in a bad mood, he hints I should watch one of those movies with the big dresses and crowns' to lift my spirits-he's not wrong!

Lady Colleen Glaeser partners with Afrique Diamond Corporation and Miladys.

Lady Colleen Glaeser is fast becoming a household name when it comes to international motivational speaking, travelling all over the world, sharing the stage at international conferences with some of the world’s top brands and inspirational speakers. She also has a fantastic social media presence, encouraging her 65 000 + followers on Instagram to find their confidence and live their best life. Lady Colleen lives what she speaks, and truly loves to inspire others to follow their own path to success. Colleen is a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur, owning three companies and is the only female to serve on the board of International Directors for the Russian Software Company - AxxonSoft.

Therefore, it was only fitting that Lady Colleen collaborate with some of South Africa’s most exclusive and luxurious brands. A lover of bespoke diamond jewelry and beautifully made garments, the partnerships with Afrique Diamond Corporation and Miladys were natural fits and brand alliances.

Shawn Smith, the Managing Director of Afrique Diamond Company, is the third generation of his family to run the company. Since its inception in the 1920s, Afrique Diamonds has been a family run business spanning nearly 10 decades. When the Belgium diamond polishers came to Kimberley in the late 1920s to train young South African men to become diamond polishers, Shawn’s late grandfather, Samuel Jooste, was among that group who first learned the trade. Following a 5-year apprenticeship and over the course of his career, he became well respected within the industry as a very knowledgeable, trustworthy and honourable man. He went on to become Vice Chairman of the Master Diamond Cutters Association of South Africa, Chairman of the South African Diamond Workers Union and served on the Arbitration Committee.

Nicolaas Jooste, Shaw’s uncle, followed in his footsteps. He became Chairman of the Master Diamond Cutters Association of South Africa, served as an executive member of the Diamond Club of South Africa and he too served on the Arbitration Committee. Shawn took over the management of the company from his uncle and has also worked in the tourism industry. The core values instilled in him from a young age, still ring true today, and he is passionate and committed to furthering his late grandfather’s vision and retaining his excellent name.

Lady Colleen is a now a brand ambassador for Afrique Diamonds, and you will be sure to see her at her engagements and on social media, donning a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet or exquisite diamond broach, curtesy of the diamond company. “Collaborating with Shawn and his fantastic company is a dream come true. I have always been a diamond lady, and I am so excited to be able to showcase Afrique’s superb masterpieces. They are all fine examples of true craftmanship,” says Lady Colleen.

Afrique Diamonds will also be available for purchase from Karkloof Safari Villas, the magnificent property Lady Colleen owns in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands. This ultra-luxurious five-star destination, with 16 exclusive and private villas, overlooks the rolling Midland hills and is home to some of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife and bird life. “A beautiful property calls for exclusive partnerships such as ours with Afrique Diamonds. Guests who visit this magical destination, will be able to purchase an extraordinary piece of jewellery to remind them of their wonderful experience at Karkloof Safari Villas. It’s the perfect fit,” concludes Glaeser.

Lady Colleen has also just signed on to become a brand ambassador for local fashion brand, Miladys. Lady Colleen has always loved Miladys and the confidence the brand gives women. She says, “I have been a big supporter of Miladys for many years. We share a similar ethos – to inspire women to be their best selves, exuding the confidence within, accompanied by what they wear. Miladys is chic, of excellent quality and stylish. I look forward to working with this brand closely. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little sparkle and a beautiful outfit to complement your confidence”.