When asked in an arts interview about what inspires and motivates her, Linda Zacks (a New York-based contemporary artist and art director) answered with a quote from a far-flung and surprising source – former Bulls and Springbok rugby coach Heyneke Meyer. "You can't coach guts and commitment."

Like Zacks, Barnard Personal Assistant Tanya Chowles would be a prime example of the sort of person Heyneke Meyer was describing. Her cool-under-pressure demeanour, determination and witty sense of humour are the product of experience and talent.

Tanya is an avid Blue Bulls supporter, having grown up in Pretoria, and remained a loyal supporter even after her family moved to Port Elizabeth. "My family life was full of fun with three siblings. I had a very strict mom who wanted us to do the right things, but also showered us with a lot of love and attention."

"My mother had a never-give-up attitude and that inspires me!" says Tanya. "My parents always pushed me to do my best. They always supported me – be it joining bible camp or moving overseas at the age of 19. Whatever I ever wanted to do, they always had my back – and still do."

Barnard is a Strength-based organisation. Tanya's CliftonStrengths® are a part of what makes her such a strong person and valued member of the Barnard family.

  • Tanya leads with the Developer strength. She is easily able to recognise and cultivate potential in others. She takes great pleasure in the signs of progress of those around her.
  • To those who know her well, Tanya's Competition strength comes as no surprise. She is quick to measure her progress against the performance of others and always strives to win first place. It's no wonder that in her free time she enjoys playing Action Cricket or watching any live sporting events (cheering on the Bulls, of course)!
  • Her Consistency strength speaks to her keen awareness of the need to treat people the same. She seeks out stable routines, rules and procedures that everyone can follow. Her colleagues describe her as crazy, naughty, and extremely funny, and add that she is tenacious and would go out of her way to help anyone.
  • The Relator strength means that Tanya enjoys close relationships with others, whether they are colleagues, friends or her family. "I have never worried about having the best car or house. I can be happy anywhere, as long as I have them."
  • The last of Tanya's top 5 strengths is the Belief strength. Her core values remain unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for her life.

When Tanya isn't inspiring her colleagues – or leaving them rolling on the floor laughing – she enjoys spending time with her family. One of Tanya's biggest dreams was to become a mom. That dream became a reality with the birth of her daughter, Storm, and son, Logan, where she continues to win the 'Best Mom' award.

Tanya, when you scream, "Bulle Bo!", we scream "Tanya Bo!". You are always a winner in our eyes, we're lucky to have you on our team.