Chantelle Ludski remembers her days as a law student at Stellenbosch University (SU) sitting on the steps outside the library with her friends, trying to figure out how to read all the cases they needed to. Friday wine and cheese lunches at Lanzerac were other points of discussion.
Chantelle, who grew up in Durbanville, Cape Town, says she wanted to be a lawyer from a young age. And in 1989, she obtained her BA law and LLB degrees at SU.
After spending the last three years working out of Amsterdam, as chief risk officer for Arcadis NV, a listed global engineering consultancy, she was looking for a broader role, directly involved in operations.
She was offered a position as chief administrative officer with Renewable Energy Systems (RES), which is a multi-national business involved in developing and building industrial scale wind and solar farms and battery storage. Her role has taken her to Colorado, USA.
“I am based near Boulder, which is a town a lot like Stellenbosch – a university town surrounded by beautiful mountains (the Rockies),” Chantelle says. She looks after procurement, estimating, fleet and equipment, human resources, business transformation, facilities, engineering and commercial management.
“It’s a very varied role, with something different happening every day. Working for a company doing great things – eight months in – I’m really enjoying it.” RES even has projects in South Africa.
What she enjoys most about her work is the ability to make a positive impact on the planet by working in renewable energy.
“I like being in a role and an organisation where my actions can have a direct impact and I like being in the renewable industry – we all have a role to play in reducing our carbon footprint and every action, no matter how big or small, counts.”
She believes resilience is the thing that gets people through life. “I tackle challenges in the same way that one proverbially swallows an elephant – one bite at a time.”
- By Elbie Els -