When did you know you wanted to be a hotelier and in particular, a General Manager?
This was not on my radar! I come from an accounting background, but my journey has brought me here. I head up the collaborative leadership team at Ellerman House.
Where have you served as GM?
This is my first rodeo!
Have you had any mentor / mentors along the way & how important were they, to your development?
My parents, everything I am they helped me to be.
Have you ever had to open a hotel / lodge and would you say that requires a unique skill set? If not, would you be interested in doing so or not?
Haven’t had to open one, always up for a challenge though if that was on the cards.
From the first day you served as a GM, until today, you must have learnt so much. If you could share any one piece of sage guidance, to new GM’s, what would it be?
Look for the strengths in each team member, build on that and empower them to become the best that they can be.
I imagine that being the GM of a property, in a small town, would come with different dynamics to being the GM of a property, in a big city. The same would go for managing a beach property on an island or a bush lodge in a remote corner of the world. Can you share how one adapts to managing in different locations (environments)?
I think I would use the same principles in managing any property, you can’t do it on you own. Build the best team and together you can conquer the different challenges that come up in the various environments.
Being the general manager of a hotel, during the Coronavirus Pandemic must have been very challenging. What was the key to survival and did you ‘gain (or learn)’ anything, from the adverse situation?
It was a really tough time, the financial constraints leading to the loss of staff is something that lives with me forever. What we did gain is a stronger team, everyone being conscious of the way this world event negatively impacted lives, if it was freedom of movement, financial losses, or loss of loved ones, a better sense of compassion developed within the team for each other and there is more willingness to help each other out in any way needed.
Your favourite thing about serving, at your current post?
Having the opportunity to share the very best of what South Africa has to offer with the world, this magnificent place, an incredible art collection, the delicious food and wine, and our hospitable staff, who are like family – at Ellerman House you feel at home. How lucky am I to get to do this every day?
How important is it, for general managers, such as yourself, to visit other properties?
So important to have good relationships with industry peers and sharing best practices, ultimately benefits everyone.
How is your establishment contributing to the greater good & making the world a better place?
We partner with Click Learning, a non-profit organisation that was established by our owners, in particular Nicola Harris. It is dedicated to early learning literacy and numeracy in under privileged communities, also equipping learners with technology skills required for future success and affording the best possible start in life.
Interesting Insights about the General Manager:
What is your ideal or favourite vacation destination?
Tropical island, warm sea, hot sun, and toes in the sand is my absolute best!
What is your favourite wine?
Besides “The Ellerman” for red wine, I love a good bubbly!
What is your favourite dish?
I am a small town girl, a juicy tender steak, béarnaise sauce and chips for the win.
What favourite hidden gem, near your establishment, should we visit?
In Cape Town there are so many, so it depends on what interests the guest then I would tailor the suggestion.
Best question you were never asked or a fun fact about yourself?
My mantra –Don’t give up!