Judging: Authentic South African Experience
Of Vineyard Ventures
I believe that this brief resume is indicative of my diverse interests, varied life experiences, endless curiosity and interest in people. I am passionate about all things South African, including wine, the people, politics and the economy.
I have been Company Director, business executive and entrepreneur with extensive South African and international experience in public affairs and in the hospitality industry.
My background covers a wide and particularly high level of experience in international public relations, tour planning, control and management of hotels, restaurants and catering services. This experience covers South Africa (particularly the Western Cape), the United Kingdom, the Middle East and the USA. I am a registered South African tour guide with hands-on experience in all aspects of tourism in South Africa.
From 1996 to present I have owned Vineyard Ventures, a specialized South African tour operating company with an excellent reputation in the industry situated in Cape Town. Vineyard Ventures is recommended in many reputable guidebooks including the John Platter South African Wine Guide.
From 1992-1993 I served as the United States Representative for WESGRO, a South African (Western Cape) regional growth organization prior to taking up a post in the Washington D.C. office of the South Africa Foundation.
In 1993 I became the regional director and national public affairs manager for the South Africa Foundation in Johannesburg and Cape Town. During this period the Foundation was a 3000 plus member association governed by a Board of Trustees and a Counsel that included most of South Africa’s leading business figures. It built and maintained relations between leadership echelons in South Africa and the international community. I held this position through until 1996.
In the above mentioned position I programmed visits by international policymakers/opinion formers from the business, political, media and academic sectors to meet their South African counterparts. I maintained contact with South African leaders across the political spectrum to facilitate this function. Planned and managed over 50 top-level delegations each year.
I have also been intimately involved in arranged membership conferences, introducing leading national and regional political and business leaders to international commentators. I served as the Foundation spokesperson in the Cape Province.
In 1987 I founded a company, “In Residence” in Cape Town which is an executive property management firm serving the Cape.
1979 I was appointed corporate director and manager of Concorde Bloodstock Agency. Ltd, Isle of Man. A major stud farm producing top thoroughbreds for European, American, French and Australian racing stables.
1972 I was appointed joint management director of Casan Company, Tehran, the largest hospitality management firm in Iran, providing hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurants and airline catering and related services through numerous subsidiaries.