Collette Jones, Spier’s Conference Team Leader, has worked at Spier for just over a year. A lover of nature and the outdoors, she loves her job because it means she gets to work with people all day.
What’s the best thing about Spier?
I feel I am part of the operation, and that my input and contribution is valued. I love the respect that is shown through the company towards our environment: every day, there is a lot we do to make a positive impact in this regard.
What makes conferences at Spier different?
Not only are the events here incredibly memorable – with a beautiful setting and warm hospitality – there are also a number of ways in which they have a positive environmental and social impact, from water and energy conservation to sustainability tours and recycled stationery. We call this approach “conscious conferencing”.
What do you love most about your job?
That I can do my work in an environment where I feel appreciated. I love working with people. In this role, I have the opportunity both to meet new people as well as engage on a regular basis with clients I have been working with ever since I joined the industry.
What is your greatest strength?
I don’t shy away from asking for help or advice when it’s needed. I can work easily in a collective but have the discipline to work alone too.
How do you make a positive difference to your community?
I try to be conscious of my role as a self-appointed ambassador of our environment and I try through my interactions with everyone to spread the word of sustainable and healthy living as well as protecting the environment.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
It’s too taxing to hold grudges. It tires you out and it hampers progress.
Who/what inspires you?
Both my parents played such an important role in shaping me. From my father I learnt to enjoy reading. He would engage me about what I read and that brought about critical thinking. It made me realise that there is nothing wrong with asking questions. From my mother I learnt how to care and love for people. She is always ready to listen and help whenever she can.
What do you get up to when you’re not at work?
I enjoy nature, camping and hiking.
Where is your favourite part of the farm, and why is it your favourite?
I love walking between venues and just walking on the farm. The green lawns and trees and the river running through the farm has a way of re-energising your soul.
What’s your favourite season?
I love winters. The intimacy and cosiness, the freshness that comes after a rain that feels like all worries and cares have been washed away.
What’s the key to being happy in life?
To be thankful.
What are you proudest of having achieved?
Becoming a granny and seeing my grandchild growing up into such a gentle man.
What advice do you have for someone trying to get into your line of work?
Have emotional intelligence and be prepared to work hard. The nature of this work is direct interaction with people. You need to be able to separate your work from your personal life.