Grassroot Soccer is thrilled to welcome Feryal Domingo to the team as GRS South Africa’s new Managing Director.  With over twenty years of experience in the corporate sector, working in Corporate Social Investment for a multinational corporation, Ms. Domingo is well prepared to lead the growth of a strong, sustainable, South African organization.  Ms. Domingo will replace GRS Co-Founder Kirk Friedrich in this role, as he becomes the Executive Director of GRS’ African Programs.

Read more about Ms. Domingo in the interview below:

How did you first hear about GRS?

My initial interest in Grassroot Soccer started a couple of years ago, while exploring the idea of adding a life-skills component to a soccer development programme at grassroots level.  My attraction to Grassroot Soccer was further solidified by the knowledge that the organisation used the concept of role models to inspire and educate young people to stay HIV Free.

What was your professional background, prior to coming to GRS?

I joined Grassroot Soccer on the 15th July, 2010, after building my career in the corporate sector.    My previous place of work was at a multi-national corporation, as the regional corporate social investment manager, responsible for strategic community engagement in eight countries within Southern Africa.   I served this multi-national giant for 22 years before ‘making my move”.

What were your first impressions of GRS when you arrived at the Cape Town office?

I arrived at the Hout Street offices in mid-July, in the aftermath of the World Cup. Even though the World Cup was over, there was still a huge amount of energy and vibe in the Cape Town offices.   At this time, the office staff bid farewell to the group of interns who had spent their past twelve months elevating GRS processes and methodologies to greater heights. This knowledge was inspirational and heart-warming, and I was envious of not having had the pleasure of knowing and working with such committed and caring individuals, who had come to my country of birth to ‘make a difference’.

What are your plans over the next few months?

My next few months at GRS South Africa will be spent strengthening existing relationships, while pro-actively seeking new, mutually beneficial partners to further the aims and objectives of Grassroot Soccer.  My plan is to get closer to the programmes to get a feel of what GRS is all about in the communities where we operate.  I further plan to get to know the staff better, so that I can understand what is needed to ensure that GRS has the most competent and prosperous employees – as I truly believe that human resources in any organisation is its most valuable asset.    A very optimistic future lies ahead for communities – the beneficiaries of GRS interventions, as we commit to doubling our efforts in the next 12 months.  I am excited to be part of this significant contribution to reduce the number of people who are infected by HIV/AIDS.

And finally, what keeps you busy outside of work?

I am married with two sons.  I enjoy the outdoors, and road running gets me on my two feet very easily.  I am in the last few months of my post-grad studies at the University of Cape Town’s business school.  Outside of my formal job, part-time studies and family commitments, I serve the community in a number of ways as my personal contribution towards human progress.