Two winners at last night’s MOST Awards received standing ovations from the 500-strong crowd that packed the Il Grande venue at Montecasino. They were the recently retired Peter McKenzie, former head of DStv (previously Oracle Airtime) Sales and The Media Shop’s Johannesburg managing director, Virginia Hollis.
McKenzie was voted the media owner legend, while Hollis took the honour of being awarded the title of media agency legend.
Harry Herber, when announcing that McKenzie had won the media owner legend honour, told the audience that he first met him in the mid 1980s. “He was with SAAN, which became Times Media Limited (now Avusa) and thought he was a fantastic negotiator. But actually, I just never understood what he was saying with that (Irish) accent!” said Herber.
“I can also say that this is a man who ran over a nun, and let down the tyres of his mother’s wheelchair. Seriously, in 20 years, I have never heard a bad word about Peter McKenzie. He is a moral, deeply smart human being. This award is richly deserved,” said Herber.
McKenzie said he was “flattered and humbled” by the award. “I think that when one looks back on one’s career, you hope that made changes, made a difference. I think this award says I did. Thank you.”
Hollis received her award from Ads24’s Linda Gibson. “Ginny is a woman who takes the new babies under her arm, and walks with them, some of them from being sales reps, then managers and even CEOs. This is a very well deserved honour.”
“I’m overwhelmed,” said Hollis afterwards. “I thought it would go to Harry Herber, not me!”
Hollis said that youngsters entering the business who wanted to do well had to realise that they should “work bloody hard” in order to achieve. “If you want to go far, you must know this is no nine-to-five job. You have to be prepared to work hard. And play hard. Which I do with my friends. Now, where’s my shooter?”
PHOTO: Virginia Hollis (above)
PHOTO: Peter McKenzie with Chris Botha from The Media Shop (top)