Brandon is a passionate, professional hotelier who joined CLHG in 2015 as part of the group’s Accelerated Development and Deployment Programme (ADDP), a transformation initiative that identifies Black employees for fast-tracking in management positions. He quickly demonstrated that he had what it takes to become a general manager of his very own hotel in 2018. His career has been in positions of leadership and management over the last eleven years at various unit levels and his qualifications, in addition to his Hospitality Management degree, include numerous certifications.
When making the award, Karen Borain on behalf of STH said, “The award of STH Rising Star is in recognition of Brandon’s emerging contribution to the South African tourism and hospitality industry and for serving as a benchmark against which future-fit tourism and hospitality leaders are developed. As an STH alumnus, he regularly gives back to the students. He often takes part in the STH Open Days and delivers guest lectures. Brandon inspires and serves as a role model for many as he effortlessly takes on leadership positions.”
We asked Brandon five quick-fire questions on his well-deserved win:1) What does it mean to win such a prestigious award?
I am both humbled and excited to have won the award. For me personally this nomination is a reminder that despite the Covid-19 pandemic and all the challenges it encompasses, I need to constantly develop myself academically and professionally, to ensure that I am always able to make a positive contribution to the industry. 2) How have you survived and thrived during the pandemic?
Prayer and exercise have played a great role in keeping me sane. I don’t know if I have thrived much but surrounding myself with jovial colleagues, family and friends has helped me survive. 3) What advice do you have for other young, up and coming people in the hospitality industry to get through tough times?
Perseverance is key, even when you see nothing but dark clouds up ahead. The sun will shine again eventually. Passion for the hospitality industry is equally important to help achieve the career goals you set for yourself. 4) What do you like to do in your spare time to unwind?
I love horseback riding at a number of riding stables around Johannesburg and Potchefstroom. I haven’t been riding since winter started; however, I find it extremely therapeutic. I try to read weekly, but Netflix has been distracting me lately. The book I’ve Just finished reading is ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ by Mitch Albom and I’ve started reading ‘Born A Crime’ by Trevor Noah. 5) What are the biggest challenges and opportunities about working in this industry?
The biggest challenge currently is recreating the image and offering of the hotel to attract guests in these tough economic times. The second challenge is keeping your team motivated and dedicated to the smooth running of the hotel while Covid-19 wreaks havoc on their income, isolating them from loved ones and cutting lives short of those dear to them.