General managers from African Pride Hotels and Protea Hotels were honoured at the first annual gathering of GMs since the brands were purchased by Marriott International in April – with top honours of GM of the Year going to Tania Malan.
Ms Malan, who has been with the group for 15 years, is the new general manager of African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel in Johannesburg. She has successfully managed four properties within Protea Hotels, most recently, Protea Hotel Midrand.
Mark Satterfield, Marriott International’s South African business leader, said Ms Malan is a true leader, well loved and respected by all her staff; management and colleagues alike.
“Tania is a very guest-centric general manager and always leads from the front. She can always be seen chatting to her guests and nothing is too much trouble for her. It’s fitting that Tania is rewarded for her absolute commitment to the brand and to her guests,” Mr Satterfield said.
Other honours handed out at the gala at Arabella Hotel & Spa in Kleinmond this week were:
• Top GM in Africa, Amaka Ogo Lloelunachi: general manager of Protea Hotel Delta in Warri, Nigeria, 2012. She has steadily increased the hotel’s average room occupancy by more than 20 per cent, while establishing it as the leading hotel in the Delta region.
• Marketing Award, Charl van Wyk: GM of Protea Hotel Victoria Junction in Cape Town. Mr Van Wyk’s award stems from his passion for retaining guests and acquiring new ones, which he has done with passion and success during a tough economic period, utilising every tool that Protea Hotels infrastructure provides.
• Juiced! Award, shared by Janneman Britz and Natalie Botha: The definition of Juiced is “Filled with power, vitality, commitment, energy, really turned on and fired up, unstoppable and irresistible”. Mr Britz, who is GM of Protea Hotel Sea Point, has mastered the skill of consistently managing guest promises and delivering that extra service touch. Botha is the new GM of Protea Hotel Wanderers, who attacks her job with energy and motivation, turning single stay guests into regular visitors and inspires her team to greater heights.
• Profitable Standards Award, shared by Derek Jacobz and Colin Naiker. Mr Jacobz is GM of Protea Hotel Ikeja in Lagos, Nigeria, which runs at more than 90 per cent occupancy. He has won the award for consistently producing exceptional margins, but managing to do so while maintaining excellent levels of guest satisfaction in what can be a challenging market. Mr Naiker is GM of Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge and maintains every margin. He is adventurous when it comes to new ideas which enhance profitability while exceeding guest expectations. Mr Naiker always sees the positive aspect to doing things and no margin is too small to receive his attention.
• Hotel CSI Award, Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge: This was Mr Naiker’s second award, which he accepted on behalf of his team at the hotel. Numerous charities were supported in many capacities including free accommodation, donation of prizes and time spent by several departments doing hands-on work at the various NGOs.
• Allan Duke Golden Boomerang Award, Gabrielle Abrahams: This is awarded to the GM who excels at retaining guests and Abrahams, who is GM of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch is a worthy winner. The hotel’s excellent guest comments reflect her passion for her hotel and her TEAM. Abrahams was also instrumental in implementing a focused marketing plan which has resulted in the hotel running high occupancies and a stream of loyal return guests.
• Ambassador Award, Pieter van Rooyen: This Bloemfontein GM has worked in many smaller towns and cities during his career and learnt the value of becoming involved in one’s local community. He is respected throughout Bloemfontein, and is an excellent ambassador who capitalises on every opportunity to promote his hotel and the Protea Hotels Brand.
• Derick Tait, Golden Circle Award: Mr Tait, who has grown with the Protea family for 20 years, is the group managing director of the Boulevard Hotel Group. In using his knowledge of the Protea Hotels systems and infrastructure, he has uplifted all of his hotels performances.
• F&B Achiever Award, Hanroe Erasmus: This award-winning chef lives and breathes his passion in the kitchens of African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel. He has won a number of awards, including Infochef 2013 and producing the winning dishes at Taste of Joburg 2012 and 2013. Mr Erasmus has a love for F&B and a strong will to uplift his department.
Mr Satterfield said all the winners were worthy recipients of their awards, because of their passion for the industry, for their gusts and for the brand. “We’re immensely proud of every one of them.”