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THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book

Shifting lessons from the classroom to the digital landscape: an education in disruption Mike van Tonder’s infectious energy, passion for the digital space, and willingness to share his skill and enthusiasm are just some of the reasons he’s the perfect fit for the MOST Media Owner Rising Star Award, writes LUCINDA JORDAAN. “WA SHRooM MEDIA is viewed as an incredibly tough space to sell, and therefore, it served as a great introduction into the media world – ensuring I learned the necesary sales, negotiation and teamwork skills.” The Media | wagthedog.co.za MEDIA OWNER RISING STAR It’s not unusual to find school teachers opting out of the education sector and finding their niche in the media. Many have made the shift from the classroom to the newsroom, or the publishing industry. Few though, break into advertising. And even fewer do so with the fluidity and success that Mike van Tonder has managed to achieve. Now sales manager at AdColony, Van Tonder made his entry into the industry via washroom media, which proved a baptism by fire. Describing the experience in his CV, he writes: “This media space is viewed as an incredibly tough space to sell, and therefore, it served as a great introduction into the media world – ensuring I learned the necessary sales, negotiation and teamwork skills, which are non-negotiables in order to complete sales in the space.” Ken Varejes, founder and CEO of Nfinity Media Group, first met Van Tonder when the former Crawford College teacher taught his daughter, and reckons he left a memorable impression on his former students. “He’s probably one of the most loved teachers – even now, when past pupils see him, they run up to greet him; it’s amazing to see the impact he made. He really gears himself to people, young or old, and it’s clear he was a favourite teacher,” says Varejes. Given the meagre salaries and limited prospects for educational sector staff, Varejes recommended Van Tonder consider advertising as a more viable and dynamic career. “There’s no financial reward, and it’s not easy raising a family on a teacher’s salary, even for a focused, driven guy like Mike,” reckons Varejes. Mike van Tonder P 41


THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book
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