2017 Conference - MEET THE SPEAKERS

alex finalAlex Granger is CEO of The Possibility of You, a niche mentorship and coaching business, also providing businesses with bespoke intervention workshops in leadership, high performance, and sales. He is also the CEO of Metro Conference Centre, a Global Business Speaker, and author of three books.

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Sisa, CEO of South African Tourism, has more than 15 years’ experience in leadership roles in the financial services, aviation and manufacturing industries. Before joining South African Tourism, he served as the Head of SME Banking at Barclays Africa. Sisa is an executive with strong commercial experience having managed and run business operations successfully across the African continent and in the Middle East.
As a thought leader and strategist at heart, Sisa often identifies opportunities and develops the necessary processes to effectively capture new growth.
He holds an MBA from GIBS and an International Executive Programme from INSEAD business school in France.

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Given is the Founder and Group CEO MSG Afrika Group. The company owns several companies in the Media and Communications industries.
Until 2009 he was a director of The International Marketing Council of South Africa, appointed by the President of the Republic of South Africa. Amongst other accolades he is the recipient of Men’s Health Business Man of the Year Award (2009) and The Financial Mail’s Top Ten most powerful people in advertising 2006 – 2010.

babaMohamed began his career in the taxi industry with his own metered taxi fleet serving the tourism industry. In 1995, together with his then business partner, Mohamed started Legend Tours with two vehicles and a contract with one of the City’s hotels. He is now owner of Ilios Travel, is the largest privately owned and run tour operator business in South Africa with operations based across the country in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Hazyview.

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Gail McCann Westphal has been active in the Tourism Industry for over 28 years and is probably best known to SATSA members as a previous CEO of the Association, Founding member of TBCSA and TOMSA.
Gail has developed many firsts in the industry such as Tourism Month and has always strived for fairness and credibility in business. She is a Marketing Expert and Project Manager amongst other things and now runs her own company MWTH (Pty) limited and also sits on the National Tourism Ministers B-BBEE Council where she continues to push the agenda for woman equality and fairness for all tourism businesses in the workplace.
Gail continues to be passionate about tourism and making a difference to peoples’ businesses as well as in peoples’ lives.

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Mncedisi is an SME funding and development specialist. He is the founder and CEO of Royal Fields Finance, an 8-year-old company that specializes in providing a fully integrated enterprise development solution to SMEs. The company has provided to date over R600 million worth of funding to over 400 SMEs, focusing on high growth industries.

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Martin joined the industry in 1988, at Tourvest Destination Management’s flagship brand Welcome Tourism Services, after which he was Chief Operating Officer up until his appointment as Chief Executive Officer in 2009. He has almost 30 years of experience in the tourism industry and oversees Tourvest Destination Management.

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Japie has been CEO of Bidvest Financial Services and Managing Director of Bidvest Bank since October 2013. Before this he was Managing Director of Endless Rewards South Africa and a partner in Nucleus Supply Chain Management.
Japie has been in Financial Services since 1998, where he held a variety of leadership positions in Insurance and Banking. He was also the CEO of Old Mutual Bank and has experience in FMCG working for the Coca-Cola Company.

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Rodger is the CEO and Managing Director of Airlink (SA Airlink (Pty) Ltd. He is a founding shareholder and he has led the company for over 25 years. Today Airlink is the foremost Southern African regional feeder airline system. It is privately owned and has a franchise relationship with SAA and as such it is a component of a large composite airline network system. Its fleet comprises of 50 aircraft and operates over forty routes within Southern Africa. Airlink offers over 50 000 flights per annum, carrying over 1 500 000 customers per annum, with a total staff complement of 1 400. Rodger is a past Chairman of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, and he is a Wits alumnus.

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Iain is currently the Executive responsible for Commercial Distribution at Comair. Iain has over 25 years’ experience in the travel industry, working in a number of travel sectors, including transportation, the Inbound travel sector, wholesale travel, retail travel, eCommerce, marketing and general travel management functions. He has been with Comair for 10 years, continuing to work on travel related initiatives but also dealing with numerous aviation related functions. The Commercial Distribution grouping for Comair includes Comair Travel, Sales & Distribution, Marketing, Loyalty, Ecommerce, Partnerships, SLOW Lounges and Customer Experience.
In his spare time, Iain loves being with his family enjoying numerous outdoor activities and restoring classic cars.

dawn final

Besides managing the museums, her current position includes spearheading the development of the remaining land-parcels to accommodate the Chapter 9 Institutions on the site which is home to the Constitutional Court of South Africa since 2004.

Dawn’s illustrious career started with lecturing in Arts Education. She held various executive management positions in the arts, culture, heritage and tourism disciplines within Government entities.  She was CEO of Gauteng Tourism Authority for five years.

Key highlights were the “CreateSA” project that enabled disadvantaged young people to achieve a qualification in the arts;  and the coordination of the FIFA 2010 World Cup Technical Task Team.

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Khehla was appointed Chairperson of Gauteng Tourism Authority from 1 February 2007. He has previously served as the Chairperson of Sun International as well as Group Executive of Tourvest Holdings Limited. He is currently the Group Executive Director of Manoja Leisure Group, which focus on Leisure, Hospitality and Travel. Khehla is au fait with the various tourism institutions and how they relate to each other. He has been instrumental in forging a close working relationship and partnership between GTA and the travel and tourism industry in the country.

jaap k finalJaap, born in a windmill in Holland and after studying and worked in various EU countries for several Tour Operators such as Hotelplan and TUI as Area-Product and Marketing Manager. In 1996, along with his then girlfriend Germaine, the incoming agency AAA Travel (African Ample Assistance) was started in Cape Town, were we currently, along with 75 colleagues, handle the EU market. Now 20 years later, I find myself married and settled in Hout Bay with my two kids, one now currently in the EU and the other in Camps Bay High.

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Originally from South Africa, Monika completed her education and began her working career in Berlin, Germany. She made the move back to Johannesburg in 1995 and has since honed her skills and knowledge through experience in various roles within the tourism industry. She has an excellent track record and almost 25 years of experience in similar businesses having worked with Your Africa (Tourvest) as Sales and Marketing Director and, most recently, with South African Tourism as General Manager International Marketing. Monika has been CEO of Private Safaris Southern Africa since August 2016.

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Craig has worked in inbound tourism since leaving university in 1995, firstly for Trafalgar Tours in London, and then Thompsons Africa in Durban. He started New Frontiers Tours, a tailor made FIT and small groups DMC, in 2004.

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With over 16 years’ senior management experience in the events and tourism sectors, Sugen has served at all three levels of government. Over the years he has developed strong networks with industry players in the public and private sectors and has played leading roles in many of the major international events hosted in SA including the 2010 FIFA World Cup where he served as Global Manager at South African Tourism.
As Commercial Director at Reed Exhibitions, Sugen has used his business development skills to secure over R20 million in sponsorship funding for various events over the past 5 years. He was also instrumental in securing the partnership with global exhibitions company Reed Exhibitions.
His strengths lie in his ability to develop and execute strategy. During his tenure at SA Tourism he developed the National Event Tourism Strategy which guided South Africa’s marketing plan for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Before joining Reed Exhibitions, he developed the concept for the annual Sports & Events Tourism Exchange which is a platform created to promote SA as an events destination. He has also been involved in the conceptualisation and planning of the Africa Travel Week events which consist of WTM Africa, ILTM Africa and ibtm africa and the annual Sports & Events Tourism Exchange event.

10Colin is one of the founding partners in a new safari camp owning company called Natural Selection Safaris with operations currently in Botswana, with camps in Namibia and South Africa opening next year.

jane finalJane has 25 years’ experience in responsible tourism and conservation. She has worked in the tourism private sector at &Beyond and Pulse Africa, as well as in the non-profit environment, most recently with African Parks. She helped roll out responsible tourism guidelines to South Africa’s tourism sector in 2001/2002 under the auspices of the IUCN and sat on the advisory committee of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa in its early days.

mandy finalMandy is the co-founder of Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre operating from Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape. She started her career as a Business Analyst and ran the IT Department for Rainbow Chicken Ltd nationally before moving to ComparexSA as part of the KZN Exco team. With her husband Len’s background in education, Mandy has applied all her business and marketing knowledge to create the Tenikwa brand, successfully utilising tourism to fund their conservation rehabilitation efforts.

1Suzanne has been with Tourvest since 2011, and has recently been appointed Sales Director for Tourvest DMC following the merger of the brands Your Africa, SST, Welcome Tourism Services and Focus Tours. Suzanne looks after the European source markets, the USA and UK, as well as India and Asia, and has been in the inbound tourism industry for almost 30 years.

8Gerben has more than 12 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry (B2B and B2C). He began focusing on sustainable tourism in the last eight years. As Manager Responsible Travel & Tourism, he executed various projects for the ANVR, the Dutch Travel Trade Association. Apart from his professional experience, he also obtained a MSc in Responsible Tourism Management (UNWTO TEDQUAL certified). He has considerable working experience in setting up multi-stakeholders’ collaborations with travel companies, destination authorities, tourist boards and organizations, NGO’s, accommodations and hotel and travel trade associations. He enjoys sharing knowledge and looking for common grounds. He works collectively with international stakeholders to embed sustainability into the tourism supply chain. Some specific areas he has been working on: sustainable accommodation, carbon management, human rights, child protection an animal welfare.
He also provides training and presentations to various other players in the supply chain such as destination authorities, local agents and hotels.

john finalJohn is a mechanician by trade, designing, building and maintaining process control systems such as life-support systems for humans and animals. His trade also led him to build an experimental type bush areophane which he flies as ‘right seat’ (co-pilot). The animal world has always been a passion of John’s, with a distinct bias towards marine mammals. “I would like to thank and acknowledge all the wonderful people that provided me the opportunities of learning the animal world; from rehab, to animal training, to release and re-introduction, to conservation research. A huge thank you must go to my WAZA family, who have so openly embraced me. Because of them I am now living my dream.”

5After working in the Environmental Management Department of the Cape Metropolitan Council and extensive personal travel in Africa and beyond, Keira chose to throw herself into the tourism industry in 2001. She has grown and run her own DMC since 2003, focusing on academic and professional educational delegations. Raised, educated and currently enjoying living in Cape Town again with her husband, Gavin, Keira has lived in Germany, Johannesburg, the North West, Garden Route and spent considerable time in Mpumalanga, Limpopo & KwaZulu Natal. Keira joined the SATSA board in 2016. “I am extremely excited about my portfolio of the Tourism Conservation Fund and look forward to the contribution I, SATSA and members can make to the sustainability (environmentally, politically and socially) of our industry on our continent.”

werner finalWerner joined the Peace Parks Foundation in 1998 after completing his B.Sc. Hon. in Ecology at the North West University and served in various capacities at the Foundation before being appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2008. He has been involved in the execution of more than 300 different development projects within Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) throughout Southern African and is part of the team responsible for facilitating the establishment of the Kgalagadi, Great Limpopo, /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld, Kavango-Zambezi and Malawi-Zambia transfrontier conservation areas, as well as development of the Greater Mapungubwe and Maloti-Drakensberg TFCAs.
He is a Board and Executive Committee Member of the Peace Parks Foundation and also serves on the Board of the SA College for Tourism, Southern African Wildlife College, Southern African Wildlife College Trust (all Peace Parks Foundation subsidiaries) and is a Member of the Steering Committees of the Limpopo National Park; the Maputo Special Reserve; the Zinave National Park, the Community Development Facility in the Lubombo TFCA; the Wildlife Preservation Initiative in Mozambique; and, the Rhino Protection Programme in South Africa. He also serves on the Boards of Charitable Entities of Peace Parks Foundation in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.

9Yolan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, one of the largest conservation NGOs in the region, which currently implements around 80 projects through southern and East Africa. She also sits on the board of a number of other organisations, including the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa and the newly established Tourism Conservation Fund and previously served in the Council for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for four years. Yolan has a background in environmental governance and communications and in recent years, her focus has been on finding solutions to address the rapidly escalating underworld of wildlife crime.
“I am an avid sportswoman and have a passion for the Great South African outdoors and our spectacular wildlife heritage.”

ryan final“On a mission to build strong communities within the Africa’s high-end travel industry and the conservation world. Believer in events and gatherings as powerful vehicles to change the world. Africa enthusiast / South Africa optimist.”

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Tim is a former Member of Parliament. He did not stand for re-election in 2014, instead becoming Director of Trade and Investment in the Office of the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town. He was appointed CEO of Wesgro in March 2015.

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A UK citizen, Tony found himself in South Africa just 3 weeks after leaving High School. A year’s teaching in a multi-racial school in the Eastern Cape in the mid 80’s cemented his love for Africa and the hospitality industry. After graduating in Hotel Management in London, he returned immediately back to the Cape, securing a Management position at The Bay Hotel. Tony held General Manager positions with several industry icons such as Singita, Cape Grace, One&Only Cape Town and most recently, serving as CEO for The Collection by Liz McGrath, responsible for three Relais & Chateaux Hotels in the Cape. After more than 25 years in luxury hospitality, Tony is known as one of the leading independent hoteliers in Southern Africa.
Now in a partnership with his old friends and colleagues Euan and Michael; Tony leads PMR Hospitality Partners with the goal of becoming one of Africa’s most well respected and highest performing Hospitality Development, Consulting & Management companies. Tony lives in Cape Town with his family and enjoys cycling, golf and gastronomy. He is also a member of the National Exco of SATSA.

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Fortunate to have enjoyed solid business exposure through many years in the corporate arena with a variety of posts in diverse industries from the performing arts to the motor industry and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods in between, Rob’s experiences laid a platform from which he chose an unlikely diversion by actively pursuing business interests in the travel industry and what he regards as his most challenging assignment to date – growing small businesses.
Rob chose a path less travelled by working in non-traditional source markets where he gained deeper insight into self-sufficiency and leveraging relationships in environments without the traditional support structures of a developed tourism industry. Sometimes accused of having a utopian dream, Rob has a passion for entrepreneurial activities, philanthropy and pioneering and looks forward to contributing to the strategic development of a Southern African travel industry which operates with integrity, creates opportunities for all and is sustainable and credible. Rob’s favourite saying – “You can’t get ahead by staring into the rear-view mirror.”

6Johan is the Managing Director of Royal African Discoveries and started up Royal African Discoveries 19 years ago. The company has always focused on what would be considered as emerging markets for South Africa – these include India, South East Asia, the Nordics and former Eastern European countries.

lianne finalLianne joined the team at We Are Africa, part of the Beyond Luxury Media family, in June 2017. Previously she established, managed and grew the APAC region for Sun International for 9 years, travelling throughout India, South East Asia, Japan and Korea, Australasia as well as China and the Middle East. She brings to the table 16 years’ high-level experience in international sales, marketing and public relations within the hospitality and tourism industry.
Travelling at a young age with her family ignited a passion and love for the African continent, different cultures, history and politics. A stint working in the US provided further international experience before returning to South Africa for good. Lianne is passionate about South Africa and Southern Africa, and feels it is important that guests enjoy a real experience and immerse themselves in the culture of the country they are visiting.

sadiq finalSadiq’s involvement in the tourism industry spans 20 years, having previously worked as Sales and Marketing Manager for various airlines including Emirates, Qatar, Cathay Pacific, as well as IATA. He joined South African Tourism in 2011 as Global Trade Relations Manager but has recently taken up the role of Marketing & Promotions Manager: Middle East.

ms final

Michael was a long time Executive Director of Anglo American and subsequently CEO of Business Leadership South Africa. He was a Board member of SA Tourism and the International Marketing Council (now Brand SA). He is currently Deputy Chair of Wesgro.

johann finalJohann has been working in the hospitality field for the past 23 years. He completed his degree in Hotel & Tourism Management from the University of Pretoria in 1996 and obtained his MBA from Oxford Brooks in 2004.
Having worked for both domestic and international hotel chains, he has an extensive understanding of operations and sales but his true passion and expertise lies with revenue and strategic management. Johann is currently employed as the Group Revenue Manager for Tsogo Sun.

7James has been involved in tourism since the mid-1990’s when he and his wife, Lisa took over the running of the family-owned business, Misty Mountain. Since then, James has always been involved in “matters tourism” through local and regional tourism organisations. In recent years, he has spread his wings into new projects and is co-founder of the Sabie Brewing Company (microbrewery) and Long Tom Toboggan (adventure activity). In 2014, James, together with Oupa Pilane and Campbell Scott founded the Graskop Gorge Lift Company – an innovative new tourism attraction on the Panorama Route opening in December 2017.

2Rob was born and educated in Johannesburg. Since graduating from Wits University, his career has spanned Legal Advisor for Inland Revenue and Tax Consultant at Deloitte and Touche, after which he moved into the movie, entertainment, leisure and lifestyle sector heading up the Ster-Kinekor group. Rob then worked for Tsogo Sun Holdings from 2000 till 2013 before moving over to Sun International where he holds the position of Group Chief Strategy and Operations Officer.