Noelene established her own event management company, Sho-Sho-Lo-Za Marketing in 1995. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Noelene has assisted in the organisation of small and large conferences, launch functions, road shows and trade forums, both locally and internationally, counting among her clients many of South Africa’s largest blue chip companies.
Noelene is as passionate about her causes as she is about everything in her life, including her family, and can be seen at several events with her family alongside, supporting the cause.
Where did this all start? With a dream…
A pioneer in fundraising for CSR initiatives, Noelene has become an acknowledged leader in the industry. PinkDrive NPC, a health sector NGO, was founded in 2009 by Ms. Noelene Kotschan, on the premise that “Early detection saves lives.” PinkDrive, is the indispensable, tangible breast cancer Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) powering mobile mammography and educational units through our country.
Noelene, endured her own hardship with cancer and lost near and dear family members to cancer. She made the conscious decision that “Cancer” would become her mission and that she would be make a change in the cancer space. “When people ask me: How did PinkDrive come about, I jokingly say: through a spark of insanity. But I realised that breast cancer was on the incline in South Africa, and that the cancer space was ready for a tangible solution that could take health to the people. And so PinkDrive was born.” Says Noelene.
One of her greatest achievements was the launch of the three PinkDrive trucks, which have been maintained and kept on the road for the last 9 years. These trucks have helped over 500000 women and men to know their breast cancer status, which in turn would possibly have saved their lives.
Furthermore, Cause Marketing Fundraisers, has launched sustainable campaigns, which still to date raise millions of rands for the charities which continue to run them. Some of these are:
- CANSA Shavathon - 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2008
- National Women’s day project - “Show your hands, show your heart” - 2006, 2007, 2008 involving 65 charities nationally, which all receive NO government funding and focus on abandoned, abused, child headed households and the aged
- Walk a Block for CHOC and Hospice – 2006
- Shake ‘Bake for Choc – 2009, 2010, 2011
- Cup for a Cup – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- Quads for Quads - QASA – 2008, 2009
- Breast Cancer Lunch fundraisers 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 – these funds went to build South Africa’s first mobile mammography unit
- 2009 – Winner of Feather’s Award – Entrepreneur of the Year
- PinkDrive – SA’s first Mobile Mammography unit – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- PinkDrive – SA’s first Women’s Health Cancer Unit – 2014
- World Cancer Congress – China 2010: - was one of only 3 NGO projects world-wide, and the only one out of Africa invited to participate at the World Cancer Congress in China in 2010. We can proudly say that our model is now being used to role out to other developing countries.
- Invited by Pfizer USA to present at the Geneva Health Forum in May 2012 (2000 attendees)
- Invited to present by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, President of the ‘GlobalPOWER Women Network Africa’ held in Zimbabwe in May 2012. (1000 attendees)
- Invited to present at World Cancer Congress – Montreal August 2012 (4000 attendees)
- More Balls than Most (Prostate and Testicular Cancer)
- Call centre with a ‘heart’, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
- Finalist in TopCo - Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) Award – August 2014
- Invited to present at World Cancer Congress – Brisbane December 2014
- Attended and exhibit at AOTRIC Conference, Morocco Marrakesh 2015
- Invited to present at World Cancer Conference – Paris November 2016
- Finalist and Category Winner - Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government 2016
- Invited to present at World Cancer Conference – Kuala Lumpur October 2018
- Launched 3 Women’s Health Cancer Units – July 2018
- Finalist - Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government 2018.
- All of this in a poor economic climate with no governmental funding, is a huge achievement.
Her continued belief that no matter what company you are, how big or small you brand is, there is always room for Corporate Social Responsibility. With this in mind the vision for the future is optimistic and hopeful that one day it will be mandated, that every company in South Africa supports a Corporate Social Responsibility campaign, and that the South African Government sees the value of these campaigns.
Noelene says, “My family and I believe in honesty, integrity, a passion for life, a positive attitude and sheer determination, this is what gets me out of bed every day and gives me the strength to press on. As a fundraiser, care giver, nation builder and overall cause marketing advocate, these attributes have become part of my everyday life.
Without this “can do” attitude and the unwavering support of a strong family unit, in particular, that of my husband Roy, I
would not be able to do what I do. He is the one who listens to me at the end of a long day and encourages me to continue. When the chips are down and I feel that I can’t go on, he’ll say, “So if you don’t do it then who will?”
In my role as a fundraiser and cause marketer, it is always apparent that it takes a mother to raise a child and women to uplift a nation. All South African women must stand together, look towards the future. My key lessons in life which play a role directly in the way I do business are to never give up, always look for the positive in a bad situation, accept the challenge of change and be willing to run with it, always be a good citizen and be prepared to share the wealth; be it in the form of money or knowledge”.