BOARD PROFILES

Craig Allenby, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Commercial Services and Business Development
Craig Allenby is responsible for the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa's commercial services and business development. He holds a master's degree in tourism management from the University of Pretoria specialising in attraction management. He is a certified attractions manager and holds membership of a number of tourism bodies. He serves on the organising committee of Attractions Africa since its inception and was instrumental in bringing the conference to Gauteng and more importantly to the City of Tshwane.

Anette Burden, Casa Toscana Lodge, Managing Member / CEO
Anette started her career in the SAP in 1990, moved on to work for an Attorney firm and then further expanded her experience with Southern Life as a Medical Aid consultant. In 1995, she started as Public Relations Officer for Dimension Data Northern Transvaal. From 1997 - 2003, she opened her first catering business "Execu Cater" and started relationships with a range of clients in Tshwane. She took over the venue contract at the Pretoria High School Old boys club and operated her catering business from there as well as functions and conferences in the facilities. She opened and operated a separate conference centre in Persequor Park as well. In 2004, she purchased Casa Toscana Lodge with 9 rooms and a small restaurant. In the past 13 years, she has expanded the business and property to 20 luxury rooms, 7 conference venues, a banqueting hall and wedding venue, tented function venue, full a la carte LeSi Restaurant, wine cellar, and Blou Hond Restaurant Theatre. She is currently expanding the room offering to 40 rooms before the end of 2017.

Bronwen Cadle de Ponte, CSIR International Convention Centre, General Manager
Bronwen started her career in the hotel industry as a Receptionist at The Courtyard Arcadia when it first opened. Moving on through a number of positions over the years she is now the General Manager of the CSIR International Convention Centre, a venue which hosts over 700 events with in excess of 70 000 delegates a year. Amongst other awards Bronwen has recently been awarded a Top 40 Women in MICE award by 3S Media, a Fellowship Award by the SAACI Tshwane branch and a Certificate of Recognition by Gauteng Tourism Authority. Bronwen's passion is the City of Tshwane and she is dedicated to putting the city on the global tourism radar as a must visit destination. Bronwen holds a degree in Commerce and various other business and industry certificates.

Lihle Dlamini, SANBI, Director: Marketing & Communication
Lihle is presently the Director: Marketing and Communication at the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). She was previously employed in the capacity of the Head Communication and Public Relations at Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) which was preceded by her being Senior Manager Marketing and Communications at Isett Seta. Prior to that she was Senior Manager: Learnership and ETQA Department at Isett Seta. Lihle started her career as a teacher while furthering her studies. She is knowledgeable and has proven ability to manage projects, organise events, build and manage media and stakeholder relationships, and provide extraordinary professionalism. Her experience gained from such diverse industries like education, skills development, training and marketing. She was instrumental in ensuring that brand KZN is a well-known brand and visible at all times through events sponsorship, interviews, campaigns, activations and other activities. She has played a major role in driving and coordinating This was more evident in events like 2010 FIFA World Cup, Top Gear, BRICS, AFCON to mention a few. In hosting high profile guests she has ensured that government protocol is followed and adhered to at all time. Writing articles are part of what she did in keeping the KZN flag flying and creating brand awareness within South Africa and at International platforms. Lihle's experience is supported by sound and relevant academic qualifications which include an MBA, Honours in Industrial Psychology and a Degree in Communication and other short courses.

Paul Duverge, Faircity Roodevallei Lodge, General Manager
Starting his career in hospitality in 2008, Paul Duverge entered the industry as a housekeeping casual. Working in various roles including front office, rooms division and food and beverage, he made is way up the ranks joining the City Lodge Group as Assistant General Manager in early 2010. It was in this position that he received his formal training in the hospitality industry after completing a certificate with City & Guilds and a Diploma in Reception Operations and Services. Mid-2012, at the age of 26, Paul secured a position as General Manager for Taung Hotel and Convention Resort, a part of the Peermont Group. In November 2014, he joined WH Leisure Group as General Manager for the five-star Menlyn Boutique Hotel. After proving his worth and demonstrating his expert capabilities, he was given the responsibility of managing Fifty Seven Waterberg, the Groups five-star lodge in the Welgevonden private game reserve. Paul also serves on the Bramley Children's Home board, based in Groenkloof Pretoria.

Wynand Koekemoer, Sheraton Pretoria Hotel, Director of Sales
Wynand's career started at the tender age of 18 as an hotelier student at the Capital Hotel School. After graduating he later moved on to work as a hospitality intern at the Ocean Reef Club in the United States of America. Having grown in stance and passion Wynand moved back to South Africa and worked his way through the ranks at the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel by starting as a Guest Service Agent. From humble begins Wynand established is career path in the sales department at the Sheraton Hotel and moved to join Protea Hotels. Being part of the Marriott International merger with the Protea Brand he gained wealth of knowledge and respect for the industry by opening the new Fire and Ice! Menlyn hotel as the appointed sales representative. Wynand is now back at 'home' at the Sheraton as Director of Sales.

Patrick Konzolo, Zilko Tours & Travel Sales & Marketing Director
Patrick Sagala Konzolo has worked in the Hospitality and Tourism industry for more than 15 years with extensive skills, experience and knowledge of both the Corporate and Leisure travel markets. He has worked for renowned international chain of Hotels that includes Sarova Group of Hotels and Heritage Hotels – East Africa at a Senior management level. His last appointment was with Peacock Travel Group, a global travel agent with operations in UK where he worked as the Business Development Consultant, Southern Africa, and still consults for them on a regular basis. He embarked on starting his own tours and travel agency in 2009, Zilko Tours and Travel – www.zilkotravel.co.za which he is currently running with his wife. Patrick holds a degree in International Sales and Marketing from LCCI, London.

Mnqobi Mahlangu, Ubhule Tours, Owner/Operator
Mnqobi Mahlangu is the managing director of Ubuhle be Narha tours. He is one of the founding members of the company. He is a qualified cost accountant and has also studied tour guiding and tour operations with drum beat academy. He served as board member of TTA for the financial year 2015/16. Mnqobi is renowned for his specialist knowledge of the history of the attractions in Tshwane and is passionate about assisting business owners to benefit from various incentives offered by government to assist them grow their business.

Susan Marais, 3@Marion Guest House, Owner/Manager
Susan is an accomplished hotelier with more than 15 years' experience working locally and internationally across all departments. Her experience with companies such as Protea Hotels and Tsogo Sun has given her a holistic view of the industry and a passion for learning and teaching. She has recently been fortunate enough to become the owner and manager of 3@Marion Guesthouse, a unique property where she combines professional efficient service with a good dash of fun. She is passionate about the city of Tshwane and hopes to continue showing locals and visitors alike what a great place this is through projects such as the ultimate #pretoriabucketlist – a project which she conceived, got the public involved in and which was published in many media generating PR for the city.

Abia Rakoma, Town Lodge Menlo Park, General Manager
My name is Abia Nicodimus Rakoma i was born on the 5st of January 1984 in Pretoria. My journey in hospitality started at a very young age at high school when I decided to try out a new subject called Hospitality and Catering little did I know that it will create a path for my future. I currently have Diploma in hospitality management, B-Tech Degree in Hospitality Management and a labour Relations Certificate. I joined the City Lodge Hotel Group in 2007 and worked through the ranks and became a General Manager of Road Lodge Carnival City in 2011. In the same year I won a Rising Star Award at our annual leadership conference. I was also a finalist in the Standard Bank rising star awards in 2014. I got promoted to manage Town Lodge Menlo Park in 2015 and that is where I am based now. As a 32 year old man I believe that I have achieved a lot in my career thus far and it will a privilege to serve on the Tshwane Tourism Board expanding my horizon and also giving a valuable input in our industry while serving the people of the Capital City.

Linah Risemathi, Mangwanani Africa Day Spa, Corporate Sales and New Business Department
Linah Risemathi's career started at a very young age. In 2003, while still in high school, her journey with Mangwanani began. She started working part-time as a Kitchen assistant at the River Valley branch. With Mangwanani being an Empowerment Company, where women are the core of the business, it was easy for Linah to relate and fall in love with the brand and the Spa Industry. After completing Matric, Linah studied Business Administration and later studied Cosmetology. Through Mangwanani's training and Development programmes she went on to obtain certificates in Computer training, Customer Service, Customer Care and First Aid. She has just completed a Generic Management Course. With hard work and determination, Linah wanted to learn more about the Mangwanani Brand and was guided by Erin Limbert (CEO of Mangwanani) and Mentored by Maeve O’Donoqhue (National Operations Manager) based at River Valley Branch. By being professional, dedicated, enthusiastic and enjoying working in a diverse environment, Linah has progressed up the ranks within Mangwanani and she still shines. She worked as an Events Brand Ambassador, Shop Manager, Retail Manager, General Manager and Acting Branch Manager, and now fulfils the position of Regional Corporate Sales and New Business Development Manager for the Gauteng Region. As we all know that Mangwanani wants to do more than give women jobs, they are given hope and a brighter future by giving them the first guiding steps to self-sustainability. We are proud to announce that Linah is also working on obtaining a Mangwanani Franchise.

Nico Rowan, Manhattan Hotel, Director
Nico started his career at the Best Western Pretoria Hotel in 1996 as receptionist and was promoted and served as GM from Jan 1998 until Nov 1999. He then moved to the Manhattan Hotel in December 1999 where he served as Duty Manager and then F&B Manger, Rooms Divisions Manager, Assistant GM and General Manager from/between Jan 2000 to Dec 2008. Currently Nico is a Managing Director of the Manhattan Hotel. Nico has been a board member of TTA for the past 4 years and has been Vice Chairman for the past two years.

Charl Smith, International Hotel School, Training Consultant
Charl Smith matriculated in 1992 from Newcastle High School in Northern Natal after which he completed his BCom degree in Marketing at the University of Pretoria. He started his career at Volkskas bank at their Forex department and became the youngest small business banker at the then newly established ABSA Bank group. He completed his registered person's examinations through the London Securities Institute as well as his Traders Examinations through the JSE and joined a small broking firm Lomberg and Pullford as a securities trader. His passion was always CSI and he furthered his studies by completing a National Higher Diploma in Adult Education and Training. He started Signature Life Hotels CSI department through Signature Gives. He more recently headed up Share Direct, a stock market educational companies sales team and joined the International Hotel School's training department last year looking after properties in Northern Gauteng and surrounding areas.

Thetsh Tshivhase, Freedom Park, Guest Relations Officer
At the far north of our beautiful South Africa in Limpopo province, there lies the rich Venda cultural land, so calm, covered with natural beauty of mountains, rivers and ever green vegetation. It is where the Tshivhase Royal Dynasty dwells. From the root of the Great Legendary Prince Mapikule at Tshadzume Hill, she was born Princess Thetshelesani (Thetsh) Tshivhase. Thetsh grew up and started school at Vhufuli village and then studied further at Guinea Fowl High in Zimbabwe and completed her tertiary studies at the City & Guilds (Diploma Travel &Tourism), University of Johannesburg (Degree Tourism Development) & WITS University (Post graduate Public Development Management). Thetsh started her career as a Tourism Officer for the SA National Steam Magaliesburg express railway in 2004. She further holds a National Tourist Guiding certificate for South Africa and for Swaziland and worked with Cultural encounter 2005 developing the educational programme for the Newtown tourism precinct, she developed and guided the Drill Hall educational and heritage tourism programme under Joubert Park Project. She then joined Freedom Park in June 2006 as a Tourist Guide and worked her way up and is currently a Unit Head for Guest Relations in the Public Participation department. She is responsible for the visitor experience and customer relations activities including developing and working with the Protocol & Diplomacy liaison for foreign visits. Thetsh has obtained a cultural diplomacy certificate from Germany (ICD Berlin 2014) and has serviced as an executive committee member for the Gauteng Guides Association and has served in the TTA board for the previous year. She is a well-groomed, courageous, passionate and joyful personality.