2013 Judges

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Ari Seirlis

Ari Seirlis matriculated at Hilton College and after his National Service leading a platoon of Bushmen Trackers in Angola completed a 3 year Diploma in Marketing. He was awarded provincial colours in several sports. Just after completing the Comrades Marathon in 1985, he broke his neck in a diving accident whilst modelling for a TV commercial in Durban at the age of 23. This rendered him quadriplegic. After 6 months of rehabilitation, he chose Entrepreneurship as an avenue of becoming economically active. A clothing manufacturing business which exported, a signage company, a frozen yoghurt franchise and more interesting ventures saw him being one of three finalists in the Durban Chamber of Commerce “ Businessman of the Year”. Ari is the National Director of the QuadPara Association of South Africa leading their Strategic Plan “developing the full potential of quadriplegics and paraplegics”. His unique strategy, management style and partnership building skills have seen the organisation grow to serve its thousands of members with interesting and meaningful projects including a BBBEE company as a consortium of disability agencies, a Pick ‘n Pay franchise store and an investment in a Rehabilitation Hospital, in an effort to be sustainable and provide employment opportunities. His friendship with the late Christopher Reeves was acknowledged internationally and his relationship building skills are legendary. His hobbies are fly fishing, hand cycling (completed the New York Marathon in 2005) and quad biking (having ridden his adapted Yamaha 700 off road from Johannesburg to Durban 4 times). Ari has received many awards and sits on many boards.