Work Experience

Michael McElwee - Lightworks Logo

Company director; Production & Design Director; Project Manager

February 2009 – December 2010

In June 2008 the opportunity arose to produce eco-friendly furniture for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be hosted in South Africa. A collaboration between Zukarra and Lightworks Imaging won the contract in December of the same year.  It was agreed with FIFA for contractual ease that a new business be formed under the name Lightworks Innovations.

Roles and responsibilities:

Production and team management – engineering and production of furniture items; mass production of these items for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup; training of the various implementation teams around the country.

In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup we also secured the contract for all stadia directional signage and specialised décor elements.

Design & engineering, production, logistics, team management – full design and engineering direction, internal & outsourced production management; overseeing all logistics and implementation functions for the 10 stadia; motivate, direct and manage implementation teams.

Over 150 items making up a total 16000 units, totaling more than $10.5M in sales, were distributed to 10 stadia across the country for implementation over a 4-6 week period.

  • Production management
  • Project management
  • Logistics management
  • Design management
  • Training and implementation
  • Supplier analysis and negotiation
  • Business unit budget management
  • Team-building
  • People management


Adidas (Clothing, Germany); Budweiser (FMCG beverages, USA); Castrol (Motor Oil, South Africa); Coca Cola (FMCG beverages, USA); Continental (Tyres, South Africa); FIFA (Football, Switzerland); Match Hospitality (Event Hospitality, Germany); MTN (Mobile Telecommunications, South Africa); VISA (Financial Services, USA)

Michael McElwee - Zukarra Logo

Design consultant & project management

February 2007 – December 2011

Zukarra was the result of identifying a commercial need for the specialised design skills required for Xanita’s product range, specifically with regard to finished goods. I started the company to incorporate other design disciplines through a contracted freelancer model, which allowed the business to capitalise on revenue opportunities outside of the direct skill set of  industrial designers and therefore create a more diversified client base. This was coupled with an expansion of services from pure design into production management and on-site implementation.

Business focus areas

Design, production management, on-site implementation.

Roles and responsibilities:
  • Product Design
  • Product development
  • Production and manufacturing development
  • Project management
  • Account management
  • Financial management


Afrisam (Cement, South Africa); Geneva-Ad (Metal Manufacturing, South Africa); 4th Right (Promotions Agency, South Africa) Really Great Brands Company (FMCG beverages, South Africa); Hirt & Carter (Print, South Africa); Boo Media (Media & Promotions, South Africa); Brand Unlimited (Advertising, South Africa); Delta Display (Manufacturing, South Africa); Graphic Laminates (Print, South Africa); Kyta Industries (Manufacturing, South Africa); Live Wire (Advertising, South Africa); Match Hospitality (Events, Germany); Nando’s (Fast Food, South Africa); New24 (Media, South Africa); Oasys (Events, South Africa); Old Mutual (Finance, South Africa); Omni Express (Print, South Africa); Pro Nature (Garden products, South Africa); Woolworths (Retail, South Africa); Xanita Oceana (Distribution, Australia); The Design Company (Interior Design, South Africa)

Michael McElwee - Xanita Logo

Business Development, Head of Design, Marketing

February 2005 – January 2007

Xanita was established as a company primarily manufacturing a durable, eco-friendly paper-based board. I was hired at the onset to assist with business and product development.

Roles and responsibilities:

Business & product development – Involved in the setup of the business from business strategy, core value implementation through to product development.

Head of design – product development and market application; investigate the full potential, limitations and utility of Xanita’s core board product, including converting methods and tools, fasteners, fittings and fixtures to be used in conjunction with the board. Where adequate existing solutions could not be found, I was required to conceptualise these; identify market opportunities and develop practical applications of Xanita’s product for identified industries, including the conceptualisation and design of specific products for all particular clients within those.

Marketing – translate the results of my design and research work into marketing material for both investors and potential clients.

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