When did you know you wanted to be a hotelier and in particular, a General Manager?
When I finished university I worked in a restaurant at a ski resort in Northern California and fell in love with hospitality. Although life took me on different journeys from the gold mines to owning my own businesses, hospitality has a magnetic effect and draws one back in
Where have you served thus far as GM?
Seasons in Africa, Ellerman House and Delaire Graff
Have you had any mentor(s) along the way & how important were they to your development?
Brian Morris at Sun International who when I was HR Manager told me that if I wanted to progress I should from Day 1 go outside the scope of my job. He gave me great freedom and respect. Brett Nichols at Sun Int was an incredible mentor.
Jack Brotherton with Seasons in Africa was a brilliant leader and friend.
Paul Harris is the most phenomenal leader and mentor I have ever worked with.
Have you ever had to open a hotel or lodge and would you say that requires a unique skill set? If not, would you be interested in doing so or not?
I have never opened a hotel but have been involved in many major refurbs.
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?
Trust your gut and work for and with people that are decent human beings
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)?
Life is an adventure and hoteliers are generally free-spirited and adventurous and better suited to change than most.
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?
Make the most out of a difficult situation. Working at food distribution stations every week put life in perspective and was the inspiration to raise over R1 mil doing Music for Meals
Paul I believe you are now doing Hospitality Consulting. Your favourite thing about serving at your current post?
Not having a permanent position is an opportunity to work in a myriad of different environments.
How important is it for general managers, such as yourself, to visit other properties?
Essential. One tends to become complacent if one does not constantly look at how others are innovating.
How have your previous establishments contributed to the greater good & making the world a better place?
When I was at Ellerman House I admired the family’s commitment to social causes. ArtAngels, the Johnny Clegg collaboration, Music for Meals were initiatives that made a real difference.