The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) was in celebration mode when three female leaders – Tracy Mkhize, General Manager: Operations – Food & Beverage, Adéle Maritz, Business Development Manager: International, and Bianca van Niekerk, Business Development Manager: National – were named 2018 Top40 Women in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions).
“We are extremely proud of Tracy, Adèle and Bianca! The South African business events industry has produced some remarkable women known for their impressive professional accomplishments. The CTICC is very fortunate to have these highly talented and professional women as part of our dynamic CTICC Team. As a female CEO, it is very rewarding to see other women in our business be acknowledged for the enormous contribution that they make, not only to our business and the sector but also in the communities we serve,” said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC, herself named a Top40 Women in MICE in 2016 and last year inducted into the Women in MICE Hall of Fame in 2017.
“At the CTICC we believe that empowering women is a pivotal cornerstone to making fundamental strides in shaping society and transforming the role that women play in the business arena. We will continue to provide support and training to help all our staff reach their full potential,” Ellingson added.
Mkhize abandoned thoughts of a career in microbiology after completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Witwatersrand. She instead threw herself into management programmes, and has now worked in the hospitality industry for more than 19 years. She is responsible for close to 40% of the revenue generated by the centre, and manages an expenses budget of more than R49-million. Mkhize leads a team of 79 permanent staff members as well as the hundreds of temporary staff employed for events.
A member of the CTICC’s Executive Committee, Senior Manager of the Employment Equity and Training Committee, Mkhize said: “I love the variety of my responsibilities here, and I am passionate about helping my team members fulfill their potential. I believe it is important to be a mentor and encourage staff to take advantage of the development and training opportunities that the CTICC offers. After all, you never stop learning in this life! Thanks to Top40 Women in MICE for this acknowledgement. It is very encouraging.”
The face of the CTICC at international trade shows, Adele Maritz has the task of convincing delegates to bring their international conferences, exhibitions and meetings to Cape Town and the CTICC. One of her greatest strengths is out-of-the-box thinking, and she brings this creative thinking to problem-solving and ensuring that her clients are happy. Maritz also maintains important relationships with the CTICC ambassadors who help advocate on the CTICC’s behalf.
“I love the fact that I work for such an innovative organisation in a capacity that allows me to be innovative myself,” Maritz said. “Working in the hospitality industry means that you constantly have to keep your clients happy, and there’s nothing that excites me more than finding new, creative solutions for them.”
Van Niekerk is highly respected for her impeccable integrity and wealth of experience in business development. Her leadership style is to provide support while allowing her team to work independently, which nurtures excellent morale.
Van Niekerk shared her conferencing skills and experience with a youth conference group, Reset, whose annual conference she helps organise. She also organises charity drives for the disadvantaged in her community.
“I love people and I love working hard. My career in the hospitality industry has allowed me to indulge both passions. I am grateful to be included in the list of Top 40 Women in MICE. It will spur me on to greater endeavours,” said Van Niekerk.