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27 August 2021 | Story Dr Cindé Greyling | Photo Sonia Small
Lacea Loader, an award-winning communications professional.

Lacea Loader is an award-winning communications professional who heads the UFS Department of Communication and Marketing as Director. She works with a multi-talented team that takes care of all aspects of corporate communication and marketing at the UFS. 

What is the best thing about your job?
Having a portfolio that is ever-changing and that provides me with a broad perspective of the university’s business, which is enriching and insightful. Most of all, I enjoy the people I work with in every area of my job. In general, I stand amazed at the commitment and dedication of our staff, especially during the national lockdown. It has been encouraging to experience how my team has grown and developed their skills and transitioned to the virtual workspace during this time.  

What is the best and worst decisions you have ever made?
I learn from every decision, whether it has a good or challenging impact on my life. Marrying my best friend from school and raising two beautiful, strong, and independent children are the best decisions I could have made.

What was/is the biggest challenge of your career?
The balancing act. Balancing work life and personal life; this remains a challenge throughout my career. I am trying, but I still don’t get it right!

What does the word woman mean to you?
Being able to be powerful and assertive, yet kind, gentle, compassionate, vulnerable, and understanding at the same time. 

Which woman inspires you, and why?
I work with a team of exceptional women leaders who inspire me every day. Many women at our university have reached incredible heights and put the institution on the national and international stage with their achievements. I salute all my women colleagues in whatever role they play. Also, my involvement with professional organisations and international awards programmes has given me the opportunity to work with so many women across the world in the field of communication and marketing who are making a difference in our profession. 

What advice would you give to the 15-year-old you?
Grab the opportunities that may come your way, and always think of ways to enrich yourself personally and as a professional. Remember that your character is like a tree and your reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what others think of you; the tree is the real you.

What is the one self-care thing that you do? 
I make time to drink tea, and lots of it! Walking with my husband, spending time with my family and friends, camping and enjoying nature are some of my favourite things.

What makes you a woman of quality, impact, and care?
My intuition and sixth sense, positive mindset, and deep belief that nothing will get me down. If you ask my children, they will say it is my work ethic – as it inspires them in their studies, my kind heart, and my resilience. 
I cannot live without … my music playlist and a good night’s sleep.
My secret weapon is … knowing when to pause and to take time out.
I always have … a plan B.
I will never … jump from anything higher than five times my length.
I hope … to visit Easter Island, Alaska, and Norway.

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