Ricardo Gressel aka WarriorRic
BA: International Relations 1983, Stanford University
Internal Brand Engagement Specialist / Motivational Artist
My Vision for South Africa
To convince local citizens, employees and visitors to South Africa that
greatness does not come form overseas, it comes from within.
The WarriorRic brand was developed to inspire, motivate and transform
people and companies to be their personal and collective best through
alignment of actions to specific goals and objectives.
I have spent more than 20 years of my marketing communications career building brands of blue chip and SME companies in the US and Africa. Most recently, I have designed and implemented internal brand engagement strategies to address employee productivity, and to align personal vision and goals to the mission of the company. Some local clients who have benefitted include: Absa, Basil Read, MeatWorld, SkipWaste, Tsogo Sun’s Silver Star, Sun Coast and Montecasino. In Africa, Kenya Power, East African Breweries, First Bank Nigeria, Botswana Telecoms and Africom (Zimbabwe). My most notable work early in my South Africa career was my strategic role in the launch of ICT brands: Cell C, Virgin Mobile and Neotel. I was Content Developer and Creative Producer for SABMiller’s Latin America subsidiary, Bavaria, for their Spanish speaking 2012 Marketing, Sales and Distribution Conference in Cartagena, Colombia.
My Approach I am thrilled by the opportunity to change people’s lives, and am particularly energised by fulfilling dreams amidst adversity. The Jeep Warrior Race, SA’s largest obstacle course race series now in its third year, is a beautiful metaphor for life’s everyday challenges. Each day we’re faced with obstacles to overcome. The race is a practical tool that tests will, strength and courage through team building and fun. Even though they may not have expected it, once participants conquer a race, they become better equipped to meet life’s challenges head on, and without fear.
Whether as MC, motivational speaker, brand strategist, employee training facilitator or producer of a large corporate conference, making people comfortable and secure with change, coupled with years of relevant strategic business experience, is the key to obtaining desired results. I have witnessed the strongest of Warriors standing on the 6- metre platform of the notorious ‘Tower of Rage’ obstacle determined, but who won’t budge out of fear. I have led and facilitated discussions with employees that start with only senior management believing that they are leaders, due to organisational titles. However, an epiphany by the tea lady that she too is a leader makes my work rewarding and meaningful.
My effectiveness comes from a confident spirit that helps people to believe in themselves through listening and sharing what is possible- if they are willing to overcome fear. I have learned that one’s ability to stand up in front of an audience to dazzle and impress may be amusing and self gratifying, but does not allow for sustainable transformation. However, entertaining an audience with relevant content, exploring possibilities, listening and ‘walking the talk,’ helps individuals and me to engage deeper, to set goals and to take action for long term success, while having fun.
“People may not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou