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A nurturing leader

A nurturing leader

From accountant to General Manager of the complex, meet the oh-so-stylish Anneke Potgieter!

Anneke is the Director of Operations and Complex General Manager at Silverstar – a title that carries as much weight as her impact! But when the working day is done, she simply becomes ‘ouma’ …

Starting out as an accountant for a hospital right after finishing her studies, Anneke became part of the Tsogo Sun family almost two decades ago. Here she also started out as an accountant. She moved swiftly up the ranks and her CV now boasts high positions at many Tsogo Sun properties, from financial manager to operations manager – she’s risen up the ranks with hard work and dedication.

Before moving to Gauteng to fulfil her role at our much-loved entertainment destination, Anneke enjoyed almost 10 years of coastal weather at Suncoast Casino as the  financial and operations manager. Then another two years at Hemingways Casino in the same position she is now.

‘Growing up on a farm with plenty of fresh air and open spaces, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it here when I first arrived on the West Rand. Perhaps my favourite part has been getting to know the people. I love meeting and talking with our guests – I look forward to it daily!

‘Despite the fact that Tsogo Sun is a large corporation, our company culture is not as corporate as you would imagine. In fact, it’s quite entrepreneurial. This allows us to be creative in ensuring the most memorable experiences for our guests.’

Her work ethic is a simple one, whether you are management or a cleaner – ‘it’s ‘our’ business and we run it together …’

Although it’s unusual for a woman to head up complex operations in the casino industry, Anneke feels it has been beneficial as she is by nature a nurturing leader who gives direction and builds confidence in her staff.

‘I’m the mother of two. Both my children live in the Eastern Cape. My son, Reinhardt, is 28 and works in the poultry industry; he is a real farmer at heart. My daughter, Lisa-Mari, is turning 25 and has just completed her BCom degree. I have the most precious little granddaughter, Sienna, who will be three this year. Very few people know just how much I enjoy being an ouma! My family is my life and my motivation. ‘We enjoy spending time together at every opportunity we can, although the distance is a bit of a challenge since I moved to Gauteng.

‘I exercise as often as time allows, because living a healthy lifestyle is important to me. I also enjoy reading and exploring new local coffee shops and nurseries to find some new plants – I enjoy spending time in my garden and in the outdoors. I believe this is also why I love seeing families spend time in The Square at the complex.’ Anneke has practiced a philosophy throughout her career that proves to be the driving force of her success – be the best at what you are doing and trust that you will be recognised. Jumping from managing numbers to managing people was a drastic change.

‘I believe numbers tell you a story about the business, but it is important to look at the human behaviour that influences the numbers. This holistic approach to business paints a picture of the areas in which your business is excelling and failing.’ Her vision for Silverstar is to offer residents the best of the best when it comes to entertainment, and to remain dedicated to uplifting and empowering her team to make her strategy a reality!

‘I find so much truth in the following quote from Maya Angelou: ‘I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.’

In short with Anneke

How would someone make your day? By being surprisingly innovative.

What is the one thing you cannot stand? Lack of attention to detail.

What are the last four items you bought? Coffee plunger, birthday gift for the man in my life, shoes and a new outfit for this interview.

If the ship we were on were to sink I would be the one ... trying to keep everyone calm.

All things in moderation except … coffee!

Favourite film? No movie in particular, but I enjoy a good thriller.

First thing you remember you wanted to be growing up? A lawyer.

Can you parallel park? Very well – growing up on a farm means you start driving really young!

Text: Chemélle Barnard. Photographer: Jaco Bothma, www.empirephotography.co.za. Hair and makeup: Elaine Boshoff, EA Academy MUD Westrand, 082 885 3577. Venue: Southern Sun Silverstar.


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