Maree Brink – Founder and Chairman
Maree was born in Quebec, Canada in 1963. He completed his schooling at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch. He attended Stellenbosch University where he obtained honours degrees in Commerce and Accountancy. Maree qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1992. After five years with Price Waterhouse Coopers, Maree founded the Village n Life Group of Companies in 1994. Maree is a keen tennis player and can often be found either on the court, off-road enduro motorbiking or kitesurfing.
Johannes Lategan – Asset and Investment Management
Johannes was born in Oudtshoorn, South Africa in 1967. He completed his schooling at Oudtshoorn High. He attended Stellenbosch University where he obtained a degree in Accountancy. At the University of South Africa he obtained an honours degree in Commerce. He joined Village n Life in 1994 after completing three years with Price Waterhouse Coopers and lives in Camps Bay with his wife Ilsebe and his three daughters, Mila, Kristi and Isabelle.
Roelof Troskie – CEO VNL Sales
Roelof was born in Claremont, Cape Town in 1965. He completed his schooling at Groote Schuur High, Cape Town. He attended the University of Cape Town, earning his B-Com degree. Roelof qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1992 after completing his articles at Price Waterhouse Coopers. He obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Tax Law at the University of Cape Town. Roelof is a sports enthusiast! He also loves a round of golf (handicap of 11) and attends most rugby games at Newlands Stadium. Roelof has been involved in the tourism and hospitality industry since 1995.
Frank Kilbourn – Non-executive Director
Frank Kilbourn was born 7 September 1961 and after matric he furthered his studies at the Rand Afrikaans University where he obtained his B Comm, BA (Hons), LLB, LLM, H Dip Tax degree. Frank qualified as a commercial attorney after he completed his articles at Hofmeyer inc. Frank joined Standard Corporate & Merchant Bank in 1991 as Director: Corporate Finance. In 1996 he was appointed as Non-Executive Director for City Lodge Hotels where he is still a member of the City Lodge Board. Frank was a board member of South African Tourism for 10 years, 3 of which he served as the Chairman. In 2004 Frank and his family moved to Cape Town and incorporated “Bright Equity”, a company specializing in corporate advice and private equity.
Jo-Ann Strauss – Non-executive Director
Jo-Ann was born and raised in Cape Town and attended Stellenbosch University where she graduated with a B.Comm (Law) degree in 2002. She has gone on to become one of South Africa’s top TV personalities and is a media entrepreneur who has produced and hosted various shows and online properties. She serves on the boards of the University of Stellenbosch’s Graduate School of Business as well as Media24 and M&C Saatchi Abel. UNICEF appointed her as Goodwill Ambassador in 2016. She is an international speaker who has hosted over 200 events across the globe and has travelled extensively with her work in media. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling with them to fun destinations. She has a keen interest in social media and has produced one of the world’s largest social media competitions.
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Hannes Swart – Deal Flow
Hannes was born in 1967 in Swellendam, South Africa where he also matriculated. He attended Stellenbosch University where he obtained B.Acc, B.Acc Honours and M.Acc degrees, all with distinction. Hannes qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1992 completing his articles with Ernst & Young in Cape Town. Hannes then moved to the USA where he joined The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta focusing on merger and acquisitions mostly in Asia Pacific. He also completed his CPA (USA) qualification while in the USA. After living in the USA for 11 years, Hannes moved back to South Africa where he incorporated ‘Growfinity’, a company involved in various investment and entrepreneurial ventures. He joined Village n Life in 2018 and lives in Stellenbosch.
Riaan Veldtmann – CEO VNL Hospitality
Riaan grew up in the northern suburbs of Cape Town and completed his schooling at Stellenberg High School in Durbanville. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Stellenbosch, Riaan proceeded with his articles at LDP auditors in Durbanville, and at the same time managed to study part-time and obtain his Honours degree through UNISA. He enjoys all forms of sport, especially rugby, cricket and golf and loves travelling abroad. Riaan has been with Village n Life since 2006.
Kobus van der Westhuyzen – Chief Financial Officer
Kobus was born in Adelaide, South Africa in 1988. After matric he furthered his studies at Stellenbosch University, where he obtained his BAccHons degree. Kobus qualified as a Chartered Accountant after he completed his articles at PwC Cape Town. After returning from his secondment to PwC London during 2014, Kobus decided to move out of public practice accounting into commercial financial management. Kobus enjoys outdoor activities and sport, including kitesurfing, fishing and hunting.
Clayton Howard – Group Hotel Executive
Clayton spent most of his childhood as a residential hotel occupant. This then brought about the only career that he believed he could excel in: Hotels.
In 1991 he studied at Swiss Hotel School Belvoirpark for Hotel Management, before entering his South African hotel career, very quickly making his name known as a proficient Hotel Opening Specialist at various well-known hotels, and was the General Manager at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel for 5 years.
Clayton opened a mixed-use trend business called I Love My Laundry which combines laundry, dry cleaning, wine and art.
Clayton proceeded to open and take Shimmy Beach Club to being rated the 67th Beach Club in the world in 2016. Now Group Host Manager at VNL Hospitality, Clayton has also operated the Chaine des Rottisseus in South Africa where he served as Bailli Delegue and proceeded to be one of 28 board members on the International Chaine des Rottisseurs committee. Clayton loves and lives for food and drink.
Chantel Wessels – Residential Specialist
Chantel matriculated at Florida High School and studied Tourism Management in Stellenbosch through Cape Peninsula University of Technology, as well as Wine Culture and Photography. Her working experience includes highly regarded wine estates and a private game lodge. She joined Village n Life in 2006 and she loves working with people and is passionate about delivering high levels of service and complete customer satisfaction. She lives in Greenpoint with her son and husband.
Jana Kotze – Group HR Manager
Jana was born in Bloemfontein and studied B.Com Human Resource Management at the University of the Free State. After graduation, Jana worked in the civil engineering, wholesale and FMCG sectors before finding her passion in Hospitality. She loves to dance when the opportunity arises and has a passion for all her staff.
Shaun Slabber – Company Secretary
Shaun grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He completed his schooling at DF Malan High School in 2001. Shaun is a CIMA Dip. Management Accountant – CIMA qualification expected by end of 2019. He is a sports enthusiast and would love to attend the next Olympic Games and Rugby World Cup. Shaun is also passionate investment analysis and spends a lot of effort and time to upskill himself in this arena by reading biographies of all the great hedge fund managers. Shaun lives in Green Point with his wife, Samantha.
Pieter Blom – Group IT Manager
Pieter was born in Gauteng and matriculated from Roodepoort High School in 1993. After relocating to Cape Town in 1997, he completed IT Certification and qualified as Microsoft Certified Professional in 1999. His career and expertise in the IT field matured over the years, and he got to experience IT in very diverse, yet challenging environments, with the latest being the hospitality industry with Village and Life in 2018. He cemented new roots in Durbanville, in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, and enjoys spending time with his wife, Bronwyn and their four children, Kiara, Preston, Shiloh-Lee and Dean.