About Us

BlackBark Productions is an events and publishing company operating in the talent management and recognition space. Inaugurated in 2010 and operating in its current format since 2012, BlackBark Productions has 2 company directors; Laura Barker and Alister Swart and is a Level 4 BEE exempt micro enterprise.icon_down_arrow-black



Laura Barker

Managing Director, BlackBark Productions
Laura has over 10 years experience working in business media, both in the UK and South Africa. She has developed initiatives for clients including the British Retail Consortium and the Commonwealth Secretariat as well as having launched numerous awards ceremonies with great success – the most recent being the Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards.
Her previous employers include the Stationery Office (formerly Her Majesty’s Stationery Office) and Caspian Media in the UK, and Topco Media and Eco-Logic Publishing on South African shores.

Yusuf Seedat

Commercial Director

Yusuf has been in the event, publication and media industry since 2002. Having come through the ranks and starting off selling directory adverts for Jo’burg Tourism, Yusuf has in depth industry knowledge and extensive relationships across the corporate world. He has worked with clients in the US, Europe, India and across Africa.
In Print Media Yusuf was the Associate Publisher at Topco Media, working on titles like the Top500 – SA’s Best Companies, Top Empowerment Companies and Top Performing Companies. He has also worked on International Titles at Spintelligent – (Clarion Events) such as ESI Africa and Metering and Smart Energy International with worldwide distribution and key clients in Europe, The America’s, Africa and India.
He has worked on large scale expo’s in the power and utility space for Clarion Events, and within the construction sector at dmg Events, and brings his experience of having worked with two of the World’s Largest Event Companies.
He is passionate about sales and is responsible for growth at BlackBark Productions, with key responsibilities within the Gradstar portolio.

Tamsyn Lee Brown (Tammy)

From becoming an SA long boarder and Stand up paddle boarder who taught many women in South Africa how to surf in the first ever women’s only surf school, to becoming an on air personality at Good Hope Fm, Tammy’s life has been filled with hard work, passion and drive. When she won the FEM sports presenter search, she began on a 3 month contract which turned into 7 years of sports, contribution, news, surf and beach reporting, as well as producing the Ayanda Tini Dlamini show.

She is a proud ambassador against all forms of abuse and is am the Alumni and Events manager for the GradStar Awards as well as managing Social Media, Press Releases, Media liaison for both the Rising Star and GradStar Awards.


Lesly S. Musakwa

Business Development Consultant

Lesly is a brand consultant with over 8 years multi-media and media sales and marketing experience. Lesly has worked on African and South African development projects like NEPAD, National Development Plan, Sustainable Development Goals SA and had contributed to publications including Leadership, Vision2030 and events including Careers24 HR Summit and Skills Summits.

His career gives him great experience in both the public and private sector having organised interactions for both sectors at the highest level. He believes that there difference solutions for every client. Lesly is family man who enjoys spending time with family and swimming and is a strong advocate for sustainability.


Nick Kerr

Business Development Consultant

Over the past 21 years in the workplace I have had the opportunity to work in a number of environments.

Whether running around working 56 hours a week managing service station forecourts, tasting hundreds of wines and thousands of plated works of wonder, designing, planning and implementing a new menu release or sweating endless Friday nights away in my kitchen or trying to make as many phone calls on any given day … I have been blessed with the opportunity to engage with thousands of people from all walks of life in conversations based around threethings … what do I like … what do I want and … what I truly need!

As an out-the-box-thinker I believe I am able to change the world I live in one conversation at a time … and who would have guessed it … here I am … in a strange universe … surrounded by Stars!


Marc Neale

Business Development Consultant

I started my career path in Hospitality, where I managed a couple of private well known restaurants and franchised establishments. I had a passion for food, people and most of all service. In 2010 I decided to enter the travel and tourism game and started up my own company in short term rentals and a cleaning service, but my heart still fell on the food industry. I then took my food knowledge and management to another level when I entered the retail industry and was appointed as a Fresh Foods Manager at Checkers, running 6 individual departments with an average of 20 staff members per department. After promotion here, I moved to Bloemfontein after being headhunted by Pick n Pay.

On my return from Bloemfontein I bumped into an old friend who asked me to join his sales team at BlackBark Productions, where I’m currently working now as a sales and sponsorship manager. I do believe that I have always been a fair person with a great personality, I do enjoy daily humour as I feel that in the work place there needs to be a stimulating environment and a happy place to come to work. I like to pay high attention to detail and management has always been my strongest point in all business sectors.