My role within the AIDS Consortium is Chairman of the Executive Board of Directors; therefore I have first hand knowledge and experience of the impact achieved by Maxine to this organisation. Maxine is a professional filled with boundless energy, always willing to try out new ideas, and see them to fruition. She is very innovative in her approach, both in her professional and personal capacities. It requires a person with humility and a sense of great empathy to head a national network of community based organisations, dealing with a highly volatile area like HIV/AIDS, and Maxine proven herself to be this type of person. During her tenure as the Acting Executive Director, Maxine has achieved many accolades, and these are best demonstrated in the strength and public confidence that the AIDS Consortium now enjoys, and will do so in the long term to come. Over the last four years Maxine has proven herself to be a valuable “friend” of South African organisations. July 9, 2007 (abridged testimonial)
Mabalane Mfundisi, Chairperson, AIDS Consortium, South Africa
“Maxine was probably the best CEO (even though in acting capacity) that the Aids Consortium ever had. She was consultative and listened carefully, even though she took over the reins of a deeply divided organisation at a time when President Thabo Mbeki's AIDS denialist policies added stress to everyone involved in any way with AIDS work or infected. Her excellent organisational skills ensured that the hundreds of organisations under the umbrella of the Consortium were kept informed and were actively involved in the work of the Consortium. She was sensitive to the ways in which the media could assist the organisation and also an effective website and devoted sensitive attention to both. I would highly recommend her.” November 23, 2009
Charlene Smith - Writer, Journalist, Activist
“ I have had the great fortune of working with Maxine Smith in two organisations in South Africa, namely AIDS Consortium and Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit (RHRU). Our first encounter was when Maxine was CEO of Aids Consortium and from the outset I was taken by her passion, professionalism, and dedication to getting the AIDS Consortium back on track. Maxine has vision, and more importantly she has the ability to share her vision and inspire her team to buy into the vision. She is a dynamic communicator and this was evident in her ability to attract and retain donor funding, which was the life blood of the organisation. Maxine managed to take the AIDS Consortium from an organization that was on the point of closure and turn it into a viable entity. When she left she had a team that had been re-energised, inspired, given new skills and direction by her leadership.
Maxine then took up the role of Operations and Communications Director of the RHRU. Again, Maxine’s ability to “hit the ground running” was incredible. She quickly assessed the needs of the organisation and clearly saw the way forward. Her inclusive and participative leadership style, together with being a skilled communicator saw her engage with all stakeholders and influencing them to take on the vision of the organisation.
Working with Maxine was very rewarding; she saw each project through to the end, with a hands on supportive approach to implementation. I believe Maxine is a true leader. March 2012
Frances Light CPCC, ACC, Managing Member, PeopleActiv
“I worked with Max for the best part of two years in which she both organised, and presented at, a series of conferences. As any manager will know, it is a huge relief to have someone you can rely on to just make things happen - accurately, correctly and without supervision. Max takes immense amounts of hard work and initiative, combines it with commonsense and attention to detail, and delivers on time, every time. If you want a safe pair of hands, Max is it. And yes, I'd work with her again like a shot. She's that good." November 22, 2009
Steve Deeley, Programme Manager, Technology Strategy Board
“I work with Maxine at the Technology Strategy Board. Recently we have worked closely together on a funding competition and I have been positively impressed by Maxine's organizational, personal and professional ability. Maxine is also very good people skills and I have been particularly impressed by how she presents in public. Maxine is also a very pleasant and well mannered person - a view that I am sure all our colleagues share.” December 1, 2009
Maurizio Pilu, Lead Technologist, ICT, Technology Strategy Board
“Maxine is an Operations Manager par excellence. Her professional skills and personal attributes distinguish her in her current role. Maxine is characterized by exceptional time management skills, her flexibility and ability to adapt and create positive outcomes in a fast pace environment, her ability to lead and coordinate multi-disciplinary groups, as well as her knowledge and understanding of managing people to get the best of their performance. Her ability to take the initiative and to problem-solve in complex situations underpins the reason she is often viewed by colleagues as an essential and integral part of strategic as well as operational decision-making processes. Her broad knowledge base and intellect are undisputed and facilitative of her ability for multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary communication. I highly recommend Maxine without hesitation for her transformational leadership style which is fundamental to team spirit, performance, cohesion and success. To work with Maxine is to be a part of a focused, motivated, valued and excited team.” November 23, 2009
Jackie Marshall-Cyrus, Lead Specialist ALIP, Technology Strategy Board
“Maxine played a key role in the development of the operations function with the Reproductive Health and HIV Unit. She is a diligent worker and self motivated individual who functions not only at the strategic level, but is also comfortable with dealing with the detail when required.” December 21, 2009
Alfred Farrell, CEO, Wits Health Consortium
Maxine Smith - “Quite an extra-ordinary individual”, is how I would describe her. An analogy that springs to mind is like ‘a dog with a bone’. Once the green light is up, she is on the case and she will not let go until it has been, positively completed or resolved. Her tenacious nature ensures that no short cut is taken en route to her execution, which is delivered to perfection.
My business went through a major transition in during 2007-2009 and Maxine literally managed and implemented the entire process and left me with a fully functioning business, operationally intact with systems, policies and procedures in place. Her overall engagement was to conduct a viability assessment on the business and establish if the level of change she was to identify could be successfully applied to the business. Some very difficult decisions had to be made during this period and whilst Maxine was the driver of the change, she was also able to soften the blow of the hard decisions in such a way that we were embracing the change rather than fearing it. Her role was very complex as it had to accommodate all aspects of a business review implementation, which included acquisition, negotiation of a new lease, HR, team development processes, high level business development amongst other structural strategies. Maxine’s reputation is such that she is able to pull in a range of experts to assist where necessary without presenting high costs or having the fee line shifting.
In 2010, I attended an 80th birthday celebration, Maxine Smith was the event organiser. She was the event manager from start to finish and the celebration was a surprise for the 80th birthday girl. Maxine delivered a splendid event and the surprise remained intact up to the point of entry of the unknowing receiver. To give you an idea of the level of Maxine’s organisational skills and discipline, she arranged this event for a UK function of just under 100 people, but whilst she was working and living in Saudi Arabia.
You really should take the time to read through the pages of Maxine’s website because if you do, you will probably and understandably raise a question of “how can such a range of skills be possible within one resource”, it is a fair question but one that immediately becomes redundant when you engage Maxine Smith Business & Events Services. She is an individual specialist with a range of resources and support at her disposal all being seamless to the client. Thanks to her, I have been able to manage and enjoy my business for the last three years, which I never expected would ever have been possible with the challenges I faced back in 2007, Maxine is far beyond a fee based service." March 2012
Gail Hall, Director, VIP Rooms London
"On behalf of the C-MAR Executive team and Managers, I would like to thank you for all your hard work in making the management event at the Lensbury such a success. We really appreciated your expertise and the arrangements and organisation was at a very high level, a first class service. The event has been a great success. It is always a challenge to bring in a global team, provide appropriate stimulation for useful discussion for delivery of desired objectives. We believe we made considerable progress which was only possible due to your management of the event and arrangements so we could focus our attentions to the business in hand. With sincere thanks and very best wishes." 1st March 2012
Peter Aylott, Chief Operating Officer, C-MAR Global Solutions Ltd
"I had been bitterly let down and disappointed with my last two website companies and the finished results, so it was with some reluctance that I embarked upon this project with MSBES.
From the outset, I felt a difference; the enthusiasm, communication and professional yet informal approach was, instantly, reassuring. Maxine made me feel as though my project was the of equal meaning to her as a contract with Virgin Media.
To get a good perspective on my requirements, Maxine interviewed me as though she was a newspaper reporter and from that, she was able to establish the feel for my website, something which neither of the two previous companies had done.
Maxine, demonstrated that she understood my requirements and went on to deliver the best website I have ever had. It totally exceeded my expectations and for the first time in my company's history, I have been proud to direct my clients to view it. It is fully functional with access to social media and the feedback that I have had from my clients is all positive. There is a natural flow to the site and all the pages have a similar look and tell the story of what my company represents. From start to finish, it took a total of two weeks - a week and a half ahead of schedule. Her inspiration and excitement never waned nor did her professionalism and dedication to the task. She was 100% organised and diligent and it was an absolute pleasure working with her.
She has my highest recommendation and I am more than happy to supply any additional information (written or verbal) if required”. August 2012
Gail Hall, MD VIP Rooms London
“It was a great pleasure to work with Maxine at Vee Tee Ay; it was often a roller-coaster ride with the demands of the Chairman being many and varied, and yet Maxine was able to steer a clear course through all of this and make those objectives achievable and consistent. Despite all of the stresses this created, Maxine was always able to manage effectively and fairly. I would have no hesitation at all in working with Maxine again.” February 3, 2010
Paul Johnson, Management Accountant, Vee Tee Ay Media Resouces
Copyright: Maxine Smith Business & Event Services Ltd (MSBES Ltd) TM 2012