Elmarie Marais is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of GoCrisis. When she founded the company, her vision was simple: to build an organisation with global reach, that can provide excellent regional support at rapid speed with the best people. She started with the people she’d responded alongside in her career – those with the best front-line crisis experience, can-do attitude and those who uphold the company values of diversity and inclusiveness. Today, she is proud to lead the most experienced, diverse and passionate crisis management team in the world.
Her career in crisis management began in London where she managed a UK Government initiative to develop a Business Continuity Toolkit for London businesses to prepare, respond and recover from the aftermath of a disaster. Following that, she worked for several years for a global disaster response company in the UK, of which she later was a Company Director in Australia.
With over 18 years’ experience in crisis and emergency management, she has worked with global brands (including FTSE 100 companies), assisted multiple sector organisations (aviation, oil and gas, mining, bus and rail, maritime, manufacturing, education etc), NGOs and governments to review their corporate crisis management plans, build their crisis response capacity and trained crisis leaders. Her work has supported some companies to become leaders in their industry with their approach to organisational resilience.
She has extensive front-line crisis and disaster response experience having responded to aviation accidents, natural disasters (fires, tsunami, cyclones, pandemics), high profile corporate crises, political unrest, corporate evacuations, mass product recalls and data breaches.
Elmarie believes strongly in giving back and is an Incident Commander for the Red Cross where she has led interstate humanitarian responses to natural disaster, involving multiple evacuation centres.
Her passion for emergency and crisis management started in the aviation industry where she travelled the world as Senior Cabin Crew while she completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree, later studying Disaster Response and Relief at Harvard University.