Meet the Brains Behind the Operation

Founder & Director of TEARS – Mara Glennie


Mara is a published BEE project management specialist and has been a crusader for social issues over the past two and half decades. She is the driving force and facilitator behind numerous skills-bridging, black business development conventions and training initiatives.

An in-depth understanding of Southern Africa’s cultural and ethnic groups is a contributing factor to her many successes. Mara also served on the sustainability committee for the IoD, heading the BEE desk for a number of years.

Mara Glennie says, “My motivation comes from a deeply personal space.I myself was a victim of violence and tried to report it at the local Police Station. I was told to come back on a Monday between 8.00am and 4.00pm. It was 6.00pm, Friday! I felt helpless and desperate and did not know where to turn. The memory of that feeling has never left me. Each of the women involved in this initiative or someone close to them, has had their own experience, and understands how it feels to be powerless and hopeless.”

TEARS Director – Kerry Marshall

TEARS TeamFinancial Management- Wits business school

An accomplished writer and art director, with a specialty in design, Kerry’s career in advertising and marketing spans 30 years. In that time she has developed campaigns for blue chip clients across a variety of industry sectors. Along the way she has had the opportunity to contribute to various social and community initiatives. She is known for her empathy and deep commitment to any project she undertakes.

TEARS Director – Michael Johnson

Michael is a loyal member of the TEARS Team and has been a director since its inception. Michael is an entrepreneur offering a wide range of support services in the field of high technology electronics. He enjoys a reputation for his expertise in providing practical solutions to complex engineering challenges. Although his main activities are in the business sector he supports the TEARS Foundation with business expertise and financial aid whenever he can, and is inspired by the TEARS innovations and dedication to fill a definite need in our society. For the individual to flourish we need a healthy and free society and TEARS provides a much needed support system for the individual overwhelmed by a sometimes uncaring collective. Michael feels honored to be associated with the work of TEARS and its contribution to society.

TEARS Advisor – Prof Lynn Pamensky


PHD, MHRP Clinical Psychologist, Director of TAGSA

Lynn is a practising clinical and organizational psychologist. Founder and director of TAGSA (Transformation Action Group South Africa), a human dynamics and training organization, she is a highly regarded broad-based empowerment and employment equity consultant, who is a respected authority on governance, people development and productivity. She has more than thirty years of knowledgeable experience in business, business education, social and community, medical, hospital and government sector consulting. She was a trail-blazing pioneer for change in SA and was at the forefront of influencing the political road to the 1994 elections. Lynn continues to contribute to the onward journey of contemporary political SA.

TEARS Advisor – Dr Aquina Thulane

TEARS TeamMBChB, Bsc MedSc (Hons) Reproductive Medicine, MBA,MPPM

Aquina’s professional experience within the healthcare industry spans the public and private sectors as well as the developmental and non-governmental sector.

Aquina’s leadership competences are in the areas of political-economy of health, politics, economics and public policy management. She is the Technical Specialist on Health Economics and Advisor on National Health Insurance (NHI) in the Department of Health. Aquina previously ran a full-time family practice in Thembisa, focusing on Reproductive Medicine, Reproductive Health and Gender-Related Violence within the townships.

TEARS Advisor – Debbie Harrison


Organisational Development Director – Life Online

Debbie Sue is the Organisational Development Director of Rape Crisis Pietermaritzburg, Natal.

During her 20 years with Lifeline she has been responsible for the establishment of an independent Childline in Pietermaritzburg, partnering with the local City Council to establish a referral network of resources for HIV positive persons, and mentoring and supervising the placement of trained AIDS counsellors in all 22 City Clinics.

Debbie serves on various related councils and committees, and is the author of several papers and publications within the field.

TEARS Advisor – Dr Corné Davis

TEARS TeamSenior Lecturer – Department of Strategic Communication

Dr Corné Davis is senior lecturer at the Department of Strategic Communication, School of Communication, University of Johannesburg.

Her current research focuses on gender-based violence (GB V) prevention and intervention, corporate social responsibility and stakeholder theorising.  Her primary objective is to contribute to the development of victim support programs and community action networks aimed at addressing GBV at community level through inter organisational collaborations (IOCs), cross-sectional partnerships (XSPs), and community action networks (CANs). She collaborates with NGOs, such as TEARS Foundation, in GBV research projects and programs.