- Director of Commercial Japan
- IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan
Date of birth: May 28, 1975
Hometown: Cape Town
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 5 (as of June 2018)
Working at the InterContinental London, we hosted many high profile government and royal delegations. Being located close to the Japanese embassy meant we received many Japanese delegations, including an official visit by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Working with the Japanese embassy team on the planning and logistics of their visits was always a pleasure, as their professionalism and attention to detail made our job easy.
I’ve been fortunate to work in different countries and cultures, and have learned many lessons along the way. I’ve learned to always be open to the learning; it often comes when it’s least expected. Above all, I’ve learned the importance of respect and being humble. Everyone can teach you something.
Early in my career, it was about the big occasions, special events and raising the bar. Those will always be important and fun to talk about, but over time, the priority has shifted to people and culture. Developing people and evolving a culture brings lasting results and a legacy you can be proud of.
It’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry in Japan and it's fantastic to be a part of — supporting and leading change, growing the business and supporting the development of our teams. We have fantastic people in the business, and supporting the development and growth of our future leaders in Japan is a priority.
Please enjoy it. Keep exploring and keep having fun. One of my favorite things to do is to get out early in the morning on my bicycle on one of the river paths or just enjoy getting lost in the backstreets of Tokyo. You’ll always find something interesting, somewhere great to stop for a coffee and someone friendly for a chat. Japan is a wonderful country with so much to offer.