Former Gondwana director slots into MD position
I’m very glad, however, to say that I don’t have to fulfil Manni’s shoes, I’ll find my own individual path” commented the new Managing Director of the Gondwana Collection, Mr Gys Joubert when he officially took over the position from Manfred Goldbeck at the beginning of this week.
After a protracted selection process that started in July last year, the Gondwana Collection eventually found their new leader right in their midst, on the company’s board as a matter of fact, where Joubert has served as a director for the past year. Joubert is a lawyer by training.
“And as Manni will remain with the company as the Brand and Marketing Director, I will have the honour and the privilege of his guidance, as well as the guidance and support of the rest of the Gondwana team” said Joubert, making his first official statement on behalf of his new employer.
“I am a passionate Namibian. I have a special love for my country, its environment and people” he stated adding that he will direct this passion into the company in his role as Managing Director.
“In my eyes, Gondwana is a phenomenal brand and Manni Goldbeck, founder and MD for the past 21 years, is an icon in the tourism industry. In this light, it is extremely humbling and a massive honour for me to take on this position.”
Over the years, Gondwana has created one of the largest privately protected areas in Africa, the 127,000 hectare Gondwana Canyon Park. It has established 14 lodges countrywide and The Delight Hotel in Swakopmund. Furthermore, its staff has grown to over 600 people while some two million visitors have stayed at one or more of the fifteen establishments.
Land that was previously owned by just 11 people is now jointly owned by 64 shareholders representing all sectors of Namibian society. Gondwana has also been the forerunner in making tourism available to Namibians with its popular Gondwana Card. With so many lodges dotted throughout the country, it has enabled people to experience the new Namibia, the positive Namibia, the “yes we can” Namibia as they travel from place to place.
Joubert holds two Masters degrees in law. He brings his professional expertise as an attorney into the company, as well as his ten years’ experience in the banking world.
“As I got to know the company better, I fell head over heels in love with it and its potential,” he said referring to his year on the board. “My primary focus will be on growth, rather than change. In fact, the value of the Gondwana brand, of the way we do things here, is vital to me. It’s sacred” he added.
Forty year-old Joubert draws his strength from his family and an active lifestyle. He enjoys spending weekends on the family farm with his wife and three children and keeps fit with mountain biking and jogging, preferably in the bush.