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Behind the scenes

Highly organised, focused and career-driven, Louise manages a team of over 50 people, all of whom are instrumental in the marketing, communication and events that take place at Suncoast. This has been no mean feat in light of the recent renovations that have taken place at the venue.

Over the course of her 15-year career Louise has worked her way up the corporate ladder, going from employee services manager to promotions and events manager to her current position as marketing manager of Suncoast Casino, Hotels and Entertainment.

Louise’s current position as marketing manager of Suncoast comprises a diverse portfolio of responsibilities from strategy and business intelligence to brand, communication, advertising, promotions and events. The development and management of talent within her department is where her passion lies. “I think my biggest leadership lesson to date has been learning to work through people to achieve results, as opposed to trying to achieve them myself. My efforts can only get me so far, but the cumulative effort of a well-balanced team of super stars with their unique strengths all adding to the pot in the same direction, can get us so much further than any one single individual.”

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Because of the nature of her field Louise says the results she produces are highly visible and everyone has an opinion on what they do. “You really need to ‘stay in school’ because you are constantly learning and getting insights from other people around you and you must measure and show results of what you do.”

Speaking about her involvement with the recent re-development of Suncoast, Louise says, “the scope of the project was enormous and required a lot of input from varied stakeholders. My personal involvement included putting forward recommendations for events venues as well as input on retail and dining options and on-property point-of-sale displays and so forth. It also included overseeing a redesign of the staff uniforms that would speak to the redesign of the Suncoast building and interiors, complement our brand values and be versatile enough to be worn across various levels of staff.” 

But the majority of her time, Louise says, was spent focussing on the experience guests would have over the two-year construction phase. “It is quite something to stay on top of changes in an environment that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, where change is literally happening all the time with over 1400 contractors and development staff working in addition to our 1800 Suncoast staff. We needed to remain relevant with our guests and ensure that even with construction going on around us, every effort was made to still deliver great service. That is where the power of a strong team comes into play because, in an environment like this, no single individual can be everywhere all the time. It requires a significant amount of manpower to cover all the bases and commitment from everyone to work towards a shared goal.”

On the personal side, balance is very important to Louise who says her top priority is spending time with her family and friends and giving herself quiet time for reflection. To relax she enjoys home renovation projects and gardening, as well as spending time in the Drakensberg and Midlands. She loves animals and also assists the SPCA and animal welfare societies. “Nature can put everything into perspective and never fails to recharge me.”

Five quick-fire questions
My favourite quote is… ‘Life is a game of inches’ (from the movie Any Given Sunday).
I am inspired by… People. Every person you meet has a lesson to teach you. You just need to be open to seeing it.
If you were to visit my city I would recommend you… Visit Suncoast, of course! Also go to the I Heart Market, Moses Mabhida Stadium, uShaka Marine World and a Sharks rugby match. Also, take a rickshaw ride and eat a bunny chow!
Mentorship is important to me because… Life is too short to make all your own mistakes. We won’t be remembered by what we achieve, but by the people we helped and the value we added along the way.
The best piece of advice I’ve been given is… Timing is everything. (I had to learn patience).

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