Meet the Fantastic Five: These Vanguard Leaders are Reshaping Industries and Inspiring Change

Meet the Fantastic Five: These Vanguard Leaders are Reshaping Industries and Inspiring Change

In a dazzling display of corporate prowess, Transcorp Hotels Plc recently etched its name in the annals of Nigerian business history by surpassing the remarkable valuation of one trillion naira. This monumental achievement not only propelled the company into the prestigious league of SWOOTS but also positioned it as the first hospitality group in Nigeria to achieve such financial eminence.

At the helm of this triumph stands Dupe Olusola, the indomitable CEO of Transcorp, whose strategic acumen and leadership finesse steered the company to this unprecedented milestone.

Olusola is one of the “Fantastic Five” we’re celebrating – a cadre of exceptional women leaders who have not only shattered barriers but have also become luminaries of excellence, innovation, and transformative leadership in the Nigerian business landscape. 

In this article, We’ll delve deeper into the remarkable journeys and contributions of each member of this distinguished quintet, uncovering the inspiring stories and impactful contributions that over the last few years have reshaped the dynamic landscape of Nigerian business.

Dupe Olusola: Pioneering Excellence in Hospitality

Dupe Olusola’s ascension to history as the first female CEO of a publicly quoted company in Nigeria with a market capitalization exceeding one trillion naira is nothing short of groundbreaking. As the Managing Director and CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, she demonstrated exceptional resilience and strategic acumen during the tumultuous period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Olusola’s leadership, Transcorp Hotels not only weathered the challenges posed by the pandemic but emerged stronger, achieving a staggering 600% growth in its share price within a year. This remarkable feat is a testament to Olusola’s visionary approach and dynamic management skills.

Notably, Olusola’s visionary leadership extends beyond the traditional hospitality sector. The launch of Aura by Transcorp Hotels, a digital hospitality platform connecting people to unique accommodations and dining experiences, reflects her commitment to innovation and staying ahead in the ever-evolving industry.

Recognition in the form of the Leadership CEO of the Year 2023 award further solidifies Dupe Olusola’s status as a key influencer in Nigeria’s corporate sphere. Beyond her professional achievements, she serves as a role model and inspiration to aspiring women leaders in Nigeria and beyond.

Chizor Malize: Transformative Leadership in Financial Services

Chizor Malize, at the helm of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), brings over two decades of transformative leadership to the financial services sector. As a catalyst for strategic and transformational projects, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry both locally and internationally.

Chizor’s commitment to empowering women in leadership positions is evident through her roles at Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) Women Directors Development Committee (WDDC). Her numerous accolades, including the 2022 Stevie Awards for Thought Leaders, showcase her global impact and innovative contributions to the industry.

Chizor has been a catalyst for strategic and transformational projects, both locally and internationally, in the financial services sector. Her leadership extends across various domains, including strategy, product marketing, electronic banking, retail, wholesale, private banking, and brand repositioning. As the Founding Partner and CEO at Brandzone Consulting LLC, she played a pivotal role in the consulting practice, serving major international and indigenous organizations while establishing thought leadership to propel businesses forward.

Under Chizor’s guidance, FITC has evolved into a world-class institute, providing cutting-edge learning, advisory, and research services within the Financial Services Sector across Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

Chizor holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with specialization in Marketing. Her commitment to continuous learning is evident through her status as an Executive Education Alumna of the London Business School, UK, and Columbia University, New York, United States.

Her outstanding contributions have earned her prestigious accolades, including the Marketing Personality of the Year 2016 and the African Leadership Excellence Award 2017. Chizor’s global impact was recognized when she was nominated in 2019 as the only African Jury Board member on the REBRAND 100® Global Awards Board.

In 2020, she received the “Inspirational Leader Award” for her innovative and game-changing work at FITC during the global pandemic, resulting in organization-wide transformation and positive impacts on the Nigerian financial sector. Notably, she was nominated for the ‘African Rising Woman’ 2020 Edition by CNBC Media and clinched the 2022 Stevie Awards for Thought Leaders.

Tokunboh George-Taylor: Visionary Communications Leader

With a distinguished career spanning over 30 years, Tokunboh George-Taylor is a trailblazing figure in the realm of communications. As the Founder and CEO of Skot Communications, she has crafted an illustrious career marked by leadership, strategic acumen, and impactful contributions to global communications.

Tokunboh’s journey began at Oando Plc, where she spent over 14 years heading Corporate Services and Corporate Communications divisions. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish Skot Communications, where she continues to shape communication programs at local, regional, and global levels.

Her expertise spans executive development, internal and external communications, advocacy, strategic guidance, stakeholder engagement, and campaign development. Tokunboh has worked with global clients such as Canon, Visa, Netflix, and Shell, leaving an enduring mark on the communications landscape.

An alumna of the University of Wisconsin, USA, Tokunboh holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. She is an active member of professional bodies such as the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), Public Relations Association UK (PRCA), and Institute of Directors (IOD). Additionally, she is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative-West Africa and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Tokunboh’s leadership extends beyond her professional roles. She serves as the Acting Chairman of the Oando Foundation, a Board Member of Legacy Office, Advisory Board Member of Terra Kulture & Studios Limited, Advisory Member of CSR-in-Action Advocacy, Member of the Board of Governance for Greenwood House School, and Vice Chairperson of the Wiscar PR, Events, and Marketing Committee..

Owen Omogiafo: Pioneering Leadership in Business and Philanthropy

Owen Diana Omogiafo is a distinguished Nigerian business executive and strategist, renowned for her impactful contributions to various sectors. As the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), a leading conglomerate with strategic investments in Power, Hospitality, and Oil and Gas, Owen has charted an impressive trajectory in her professional journey.

Owen’s extensive corporate experience spans over two decades, encompassing diverse roles that have shaped her into a transformative leader. She served as the Managing Director/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, where she orchestrated positive transformations in renowned establishments like Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Transcorp Hotels Calabar.

Prior to her role at Transcorp Hotels, Owen held key positions, including Chief Operating Officer at the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Here, she oversaw a groundbreaking $100 million programme aimed at identifying, mentoring, and funding 10,000 entrepreneurs over a decade. 

Owen’s journey includes notable roles such as Director of Human Resources at Heirs Holdings, Chief of Staff, and Human Resource Advisor at United Bank for Africa (UBA). Her tenure at Accenture, specializing in Change Management, showcased her versatility in navigating the complexities of organizational dynamics.

Owen’s outstanding contributions have garnered numerous accolades. In 2018, she was named in the YNaija! Power List for Corporate Nigeria. Subsequent years saw her recognition as one of the Top 100 Female CEOs in Africa and one of Nigeria’s Leading Ladies in Corporate Nigeria. Her impactful leadership earned her a spot in the 2022 Definitive List of Women CEOs across African Stock Exchanges by

Olufunke Isichei: Transformative Leadership in Financial Services

Olufunke Isichei stands as a prominent figure in the realm of financial services, recognized for her strategic prowess and commitment to excellence. As a distinguished payments services expert, she has earned acclaim for her contributions to agency banking, digital platforms, and customer experience within the financial industry.

With a wealth of experiences that traverse various facets of finance, including banking, asset management, stockbroking, and fintech, Olufunke recently added another milestone to her illustrious career. Her appointment to the Board of ZEST Payments Limited as a Non-Executive Director is a testament to her leadership acumen and expertise in expanding and optimizing digital payment solutions within the esteemed Stanbic IBTC Group.

Olufunke’s ambidextrous management approach is evident in her multifaceted skill set, which includes Customer Experience Design and Implementation, Relationship Management, Retail Banking, Wealth Management, Sales, and Operations Management. Her ability to effectively lead teams and deliver outstanding results across diverse disciplines has set her apart as a dynamic force in the financial services landscape.

An alumna of the University of Manchester, Olufunke holds an MBA in Finance and a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy. Her commitment to continuous learning and personal development is underscored by her certification as a John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer, and Coach.

Beyond her individual achievements, Olufunke’s expertise lies in growing people, transforming businesses, and instituting a legacy of standardization, strong ethics, and sound governance. Her strategic appointments to the boards of Stanbic IBTC subsidiaries reflect not only her personal accomplishments but also her commitment to maintaining robust oversight and delivering top-notch financial services to clients.

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