Leadership change at the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org)

Friday, 28 January, 2022
Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Educati
The Board of Directors of the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org) today announced that its CEO, Mrs. Ingrid Louw, will be stepping down from her position with effect 31 January 2022.

Aware.org is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the alcohol industry to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol with a focus on Drink Driving and Walking, Underage Drinking, Binge Drinking, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Responsible Trading, Responsible Marketing and Social Norms, Public Education and Awareness campaigns.

Mrs. Louw joined the predecessor to aware.org – the Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) – at the end of 2016, and was the driving force behind its evolution to aware.org, which she launched a year later. The strategic intent of aware.org was to place the harmful consumption of alcohol at the centre of the industry’s social responsibility and harm reduction strategy.  

From 2017, one of aware.org’s key imperatives was to build strategic stakeholder relationships for the industry at a national, provincial and local level. The results of this enabled agreement on guiding principles, the restoration of key partnerships and a collective consciousness on the harmful consumption of alcohol among all role-players in the complex alcohol eco-system. During her tenure, Mrs. Louw bridged the gap between industry, government and communities in a meaningful way that delivered direct and tangible outcomes for beneficiaries of aware.org’s targeted, evidence-based interventions.

Aware.org Board Chairman Gavin Pike expressed appreciation for the leadership provided by Louw during her time as the CEO. “During her tenure, Ingrid strengthened governance and transformed aware.org into an organisation that all players in the alcohol value-chain could invest in as part of their responsibility to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol in the country.”

Testament to this was that the liquor industry invested more than R450million in funding programme interventions and social norms initiatives to make South Africans aware of the need for socially responsible alcohol consumption to reduce alcohol harm. Pike said that one of the biggest breakthroughs was the adoption of the Industry Code of Communication, a self-regulation framework for alcohol advertising.

“Ingrid has been able to mobilize the whole industry to subscribe to this code which promotes responsible alcohol adverting including limiting access for people below legal drinking age,” said Pike.

Louw said that she is pleased to have contributed to addressing the major problem of alcohol misuse in the country. “The ability to change behaviours with regards to alcohol harm requires a multi-stakeholder, multi-faceted approach which included taking interventions back to the heart of the community and creating opportunities for change that can grow into sustainable impact in the long-term.”

Mrs. Carmen Mohapi has been appointed interim CEO for aware.org, effective from 14 February 2022. Mrs. Mohapi has more than 15 years of leadership experience within the South African alcohol industry, serving most recently as a board member and marketing director for Heineken South Africa. Before that, she held several managerial roles at South African Breweries. 

Leadership change at the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org)
Leadership change at the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org)

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