Warren Te Brugge
When Warren Te Brugge left South Africa, he knew he would come home one day to fulfill a childhood dream. He just didn’t know that it would be a 30-year journey that would include 39 countries and business success in varied roles and industries. The experiences and connections gained during that journey have all brought Warren to where he is now, leading a vibrant and innovative community development foundation in South Africa.
Warren established My Arms Wide Open Foundation in 2009 with the purpose of working with children in South Africa to enable them to break the chains of their parents’ past prejudice, preserve their culture and contribute to their communities as confident, caring individuals. This is the fruition of a vision that Warren first articulated as a child. His father Edward says Warren was nine years old when he announced that he was going to become a successful businessman so he could help fix South African families. He proceeded to do exactly that.
As a teenager, Warren began working with his father’s company, Comprifix (Pty) Ltd. After completing his Bachelor of Commerce at the University of South Africa (by correspondence, so he could keep working in the family business), Warren helped with international expansion, setting up manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States.
After emigrating to Canada in 1981, he went on to specialize in Finance and Administration, taking a lead role in tech companies such as Compugen, Nextra and Liazon Communications. Warren took his finance and leadership skills to the complementary health products industry, serving as Managing Director for USANA Canada Inc., where he achieved substantial revenue growth. He co-founded the Complementary Health Products Alliance and prepared a regulatory framework that provided an alternate approach for regulating complementary health products.
Warren has also served in senior management roles with Lifestyles Global Network and Isagenix where he gained significant experience working with diverse cultures worldwide, helping people create their own businesses and futures,
Climbing the corporate ladder was never Warren’s ambition. In 1998, he decided that his extensive global business experience and commitment to “social entrepreneurship” could be of tremendous value to companies with international operations. He founded Manzimvula (from the South African word for “place of water, new life”), a management consulting firm based on a values-based approach to business.
Warren’s work with Manzimvula included working with Sanoviv to establish a complementary and alternative health care facility in Mexico. He led project development from needs analysis to successful completion six months ahead of schedule. As a certified Project Manager with The Pacific Institute, Warren has facilitated management training with numerous public and private organizations.
Warren might still be consulting around the globe today if not for a simple question from his son, Kyle. During a trip to Australia where Warren was again combining business and pleasure, he was stopped in his tracks by this simple query from his son: “Why don’t you stop charging around the world and do what you’re supposed to be doing?”
The words of a young man reminded his father of his dreams as a child.
Several months later, Warren launched My Arms Wide Open Foundation, a registered Canadian charity dedicated to helping South Africans. He has been inspired by the enthusiastic reception from corporate partners, educators, South African community leaders and families. You could say he has been welcomed with arms open.
Kyle Te Brugge
Kyle has no intention of following in his father’s footsteps…he would rather be working beside him. Just like his father Warren, Kyle has been working alongside his father from a young age.
Kyle is at the start of his career. In addition to his work with My Arms Wide Open, he is studying at York University in Toronto, Canada with a focus in philosophy. Kyle is a creative and innovative thinker who brings a clear and grounded perspective to the My Arms Wide Open team.
Kyle’s career to date includes working with long term care, retail, financial and communications-based organizations. His ability to communicate effectively and engage individuals is an important element in the success of My Arms Wide Open.
Kyle’s special talent is identifying the common interests across a group of people, enabling them to collaborate more effectively. By being able to clearly see problems, patterns and issues, he provides realistic and workable solutions to create success.
Kyle believes in family and community and that each of us, as individuals and a group, are important in contributing to and developing who we are as a culture and a whole.
Edward Te Brugge
Edward Te Brugge is capping a successful career with work that comes straight from the heart. He brings to My Arms Wide Open a wealth of wisdom gained over a successful 45-year professional career.
Edward's experience has included civil engineering, heavy industrial manufacturing, gold, copper and coal mining exploration, and development. His first venture as an entrepreneur was in a manufacturing and distribution in the construction industry in Southern Africa. His experiences and abilities earned him many senior management appointments including CEO and a number of directorships prior to his move to Canada in 1981. He continued his professional career as an entrepreneur in Canada in the manufacturing and home health care industries until his retirement in 2000.
Edward has gained tremendous understanding, respect and appreciation for the abilities of the many cultural groups he has worked with and appreciates the difference it has made to his own life. Edward believes in family and cherishes the relationships he has with his sons, daughter and his grandchildren. It is with arms wide open that he welcomes the magical opportunity of being associated with a venture that will unite peoples of the earth and also give them an opportunity to look back with pride, humility and a sense of achievement as a contributor and an example to all to unite not divide.
Madelaine is an expert in the field of public relations and marketing communications. The principal of Granville Communications, she has over 35 years of diverse business experience with private, public and non-profit organizations. Madelaine brings a calm, pragmatic but creative focus to helping organizations tell their story. Blessed with a contagious enthusiasm, she is well known for inspiring and galvanizing teams to create dynamic marketing and public relations campaigns.
Madelaine has designed and executed local, national and international media relations campaigns that have resulted in front page coverage in national newspapers, high profile articles in daily newspapers, and interviews on leading radio and TV programs. She was responsible for all aspects of a non-profit organization’s rebranding, which resulted in a dramatic increase in enrolment in their education programs for children with developmental disabilities. She has provided project management for the development of award-winning collateral materials, videos and ad campaigns.
Madelaine’s responsibility with My Arms Wide Open is to help build awareness among all stakeholders groups. This is a natural role for someone who has a strong commitment to directing her skills and energy towards making a contribution to her community, both local and global.
Lionel J. Fransman
Lionel is a consultant and trusted advisor for My Arms Wide Open in Cradock, South Africa. As a member of the first group to undergo training in the Iziko Labahlali program, Lionel brings an in-depth understanding of the benefits of training as well as valuable local knowledge.
Lionel’s work experience includes web design and video production; his skills include HTML programming, webpage design and desktop graphics. He is a high school graduate who has studied entrepreneurship and small business management at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Lionel is a hardworking, reliable team member who is committed to strengthening his community through his many contributions to My Arms Wide Open.
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