New leadership and vision for Silverstar
Almost two decades after her foray into the casino industry as an accountant, Anneke Potgieter has made the number one entertainment destination on West Rand her home as she steps into the role as director of operations and complex general manager at Silverstar.
This determined and focused woman – who is also a mother of two – has been a part of the Tsogo Sun staff for almost two decades having started her long service with the group as an accountant when what was then Champions Casino opened (now The Ridge Casino). She moved swiftly up the ranks and her CV boasts positions at many Tsogo Sun properties including: financial manager at Hemingways and Suncoast, where she was also promoted to operations and financial manager. In November of 2015 Anneke moved back to Hemingways Casino in East London as director of operations and complex general manager.
Just short of two years later the opportunity to head up the team at Silverstar came along. Anneke’s decision to grab the opportunity with both hands was an easy one and she is delighted to enjoy the sunshine on the Highveld after 16 years of coastal weather, while she brings her vision for Silverstar to life.
Mentoring and management style
When asked if there is one person who has been instrumental in shaping her career she replies enthusiastically: ‘My GM at Suncoast is a remarkable man who taught me to always be true to myself in any situation, to remain professional but also be compassionate when in a difficult situation. His management style most certainly shaped mine.’
Although it was an adjustment going from managing numbers to managing people, Anneke believes that numbers tell you a story about the business but it is important to look at the human behaviour which influences the numbers. This methodology ensures a holistic approach to business, which is not weighted towards one or the other but paints a realistic picture of the areas in which your business is excelling and failing.
Anneke’s philosophy in the workplace is fair and in some ways unique: ‘I don’t believe in people working in silos – whether you are management or a cleaner, it’s ‘our’ business and we run it together. A very good friend once offered me the following advice: Always apply good judgement, common sense and integrity.’ So far this advice has worked for her as is evidenced by her stellar career.
Making her mark in casino industry
Although it is quite 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.
When asked if she could offer a word of advice to young people considering a career in the casino industry, she muses: ‘The casino industry is so diverse so unless you are interested in becoming a dealer or slots technician, you can work in IT or marketing or finance and still be a part of the casino industry.’
Anneke has consistently practiced a particular philosophy throughout her career journey at Tsogo Sun: be the best at what you are doing and trust that you will be recognised. Her growth from accountant to director of operations and complex general manager is proof of that.
Vision for Silverstar
Anneke’s vision for Silverstar is to bring life to the property and she is dedicated to uplifting and empowering her team to make her strategy a reality: ‘It is a beautiful property which offers the best of the best to all our patrons. Tsogo Sun has invested a lot of money on equipping Silverstar to be the West Rand’s premier entertainment destination. My goal is to ensure the group sees a return on their investment. I would like to see families enjoying the magnificent outdoor area Silverstar offers as well as the food and beverage offering and our broad entertainment spectrum.’