Who We Are?

Günther Zechner

Chairman / co-founder

Born in Cape Town and has travelled the world extensively. From offshore metal engineering and maritime repair to entertainment events management and extreme sports, there was no challenge too big. Has a deep love for wildlife and environmental conservation and its people, especially the Karoo. Roots lie deeply embedded in the Nieuwveld mountains and due to the legacy of his grandfather, an environmentalist and humanitarian, Chasing Zero was born.

Ingrid Schöfmann

Vice Chairman

Born in Cape Town and raised in the Overberg town of Caledon, studied in Port Elizabeth and travelled extensively throughout Europe & Africa. Worked as Project Coordinator, Parks & Forests Dept – Recreation Section: City of Cape Town. Involved with Educational Puppet shows, Greening the City Community Participation Projects. As managing member of CNC Rout Design, gained extensive project management experience in the architectural, signage and computer numeric control routing fields, as well as being part of a team nominated for Surface Design Award, London 2015. Currently residing in Loxton, doing voluntary work as Chairperson of Ubuntu Forum for Socio-Economic Development (UFSED), Ubuntu Region, Northern Cape and member of the Site_Specific Land Art Collective responsible for the Karoo Geoglyph projects.

Liz Zechner

Vice Chairman

Born in Bergen, Norway, Liz has extensive knowledge and experience in sales and marketing. She has a great willingness to create humanitarian assistance wherever possible. Liz has an enormous love for South Africa, especially the Karoo, like her husband, Liz wants to help bring change to those less fortunate living in a harsh and unforgiving environment, so after months of discussion and planning Chasing Zero was born.

Riaan Terblanche

SECRETARY/TREASURER

Born in George, South Africa, grew up in Kimberley, and worked in Cape Town and London, UK. Now retired in Still Bay, South Africa, and enjoy involvement in the local community via various organisations. Firmly believe that the irresponsible activities of an ever increasing world population has a significant detrimental impact on our environment. It is therefore vitally important to educate adults and children to save and respect world resources wherever possible. To this end, people who are able to invent and produce innovative methods of saving our scarce resources in a structured, organised, affordable, responsible and sustainable way, should be appreciated and supported. In particular, very fond of the Karoo as it has its own kind of charm which cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and would therefore love to see it kept unharmed for generations to come.

Debbie O'Sullivan

Co-Founder

Born in Bulawayo, grew up in KwaZulu Natal where she spent most of her life in the hotel industry. As a keen conservationist she also worked part time for the Natal Parks Board. Debbie has travelled extensively and lived in Malaysia for 10 years where she ran a small resort on an island where she got involved in the marine conservation projects, but the protection of turtles and coral was high on her agenda. On returning to the UK she began looking for other conservation, sustainable projects and that is where she crossed paths with Gunther & Liz Zechner, and Chasing Zero was born.

Diane Terblanche

Board Member

Born in Beaufort West, grew up on a Karoo farm which is now part of the Karoo National Park, Beaufort West. Studied, lived and worked in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. Moved to London, UK and worked there for 9 yrs. Now retired and living in Still Bay. Her father had a passion for Nature Conservation which had a big influence in her life. Owned own business before moving to the UK. Part of this business was taking children to the Karoo to experience farm life. Also having been trained as a scouter, was able to provide the city child with experience of the outdoors. As there will always be the love for the Karoo and its people, she will strive to do as much as possible to support any project to conserve the environment in a sustainable way.

Natali Williams

Projects

Born in Cape Town and traveled to Gauteng for work in her early career. Natali then immigrated to the UK and started a family. Natali’s love for her home country and her understanding of the ever growing climate crisis drew her to support this project. Natali works across project management, graphics, web design, social media management and consultation.

Julian Buck​

BOARD MEMBER

Born In Johannesburg, schooled at Marist Brothers, Joined the military shortly after school. He has had an extensive military career as a specialist that saw him travel and interact with many military establishments throughout the world. He has also owned and operated a few restaurants as a qualified chef. Has travelled Cape to Cairo as a test driver for Land Rover. Of the last 18 years he has been involved in corporate Real Estate and the last 12 as co owner of the Jawitz Properties Knysna Francize. He has a deep love for conservation and wildlife, and feels that Chasing Zero and its team are a good fit.

Rositsa Llieva

BOARD MEMBER

Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and currently living in Bergen, Norway for the last eight years. Rositsa has a broad experience from the hotel business, mainly with technical support, people development, project development and implementation. Currently she is working for the Scandic hotel chain and hopes to be a contributing part for the Karoo project by recycling hotel rooms during renovations and using furniture and other hotel amenities for humanitarian causes.

Chris Stymonds​

IT

Brendon Weyers

Accountant