Donné, our Events Booking Administrator, has been at Spier for almost a year. A true people person, she assists with conferencing and event quotations and compiles accurate and thorough proposals for prospective clients.
How did you get into your line of work?
Growing up in a big family there was always something to celebrate and my passion for planning events soon developed. When I gained knowledge that an Event Management course was available at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, I jumped at the opportunity to brush up on new skills and put my passion to good use.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that I get to work with people. Working at such an amazing and versatile property makes it a pleasure to sell and promote. There’s also the exciting challenge that every client and event is different so it’s something new every day.
How has COVID-19 impacted your job, and eventing at Spier?
The pandemic pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. I was only at Spier for three months when I was asked to assist other departments who found themselves busier with the demand for online sales of our wine and fresh produce. I grabbed the opportunity to assist and learn something new. It also proved to be a great way of getting to know the staff, especially those I wouldn’t have come into contact with otherwise.
While the world stood still and feared coming into direct contact with one another, Spier also launched its very own virtual and hybrid conferencing offer. This year certainly proved to be one of innovation and adaptation.
What’s your favourite thing about Spier?
I love the fact that Spier has something for everyone! Spier is a great escape. There’s so much to do on the property, there’s really no reason to go anywhere else.
What makes conferences at Spier different?
I believe that our conference offering is something unique and the most fun any group will have out of the office while doing work for the office. We also offer fun activities for groups to enjoy and enhance their conferencing experience. At Spier, it's not just about a space to conference, it’s so much more. We allow groups the opportunity to get to know other parts of the farm and get involved in our great initiatives.
What is your greatest strength?
I consider myself to be versatile and always open to learning something new. I’m not afraid to be challenged by something different. I also pride myself on being very organised which really helps in an ever-changing conferencing/events environment.
How do you make a positive difference to the environment?
I make sure to reuse my shopping bags instead of purchasing new ones. We still make use of water-saving methods in our home in aid of the ongoing water crisis. We try our best to go paperless and try not to print unnecessarily. I also enjoy reusing glass jars from food items for storage of smaller kitchen items.
How do you make a positive difference to your community?
We support local service providers within our complex; gardeners and refuse bin cleaning services. Every school holiday a group of boys wash cars for pocket money and we make sure to support them. Every season we spring clean our closets to give away items we no longer wear or may have outgrown to those less fortunate.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
Use each and every opportunity as a stepping stone to better yourself and to grow. Keep moving forward!
What inspires you?
My faith inspires me. It has shaped who I am as a person and continues to help me inspire and encourage others around me. It inspires me to be better and to serve others.
What do you get up to when you’re not at work?
I love nature, no matter the weather. I usually find myself going for a hike or picnic. I’m also a huge movie buff and movie binge quite a bit. I also enjoy entertaining family and friends and do my best to create an excuse for everyone to come together.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Kevin Hart! Whether it’s his stand up gigs or movies.
Where is your favourite part of the farm?
I’ve really come to love our Spier Farm Café. There’s so much fresh produce to purchase and I’m always sneaking off to see what new plants and flowers are for sale too. I’ve also recently fallen in love with the Riverside Terrace. It's located just outside three of our conference venues. Due to the pandemic and social distancing regulations, we were relocated to one of those venues and made it into our temporary office space. The view of the river and the daily visits from beautiful bird life, a mongoose and squirrel really made the days there special. It’s also the perfect spot for an intimate-outdoor summer event.
What’s your favourite season?
Winter. I love everything about it.
What’s the key to being happy in life?
Gratitude. When you make a conscious decision to appreciate everything and everyone around you, you realise just how blessed you are and how much you really have. It also creates room for kindness and compassion to those around you.
What are you proudest of having achieved?
Getting my degree. It was always a goal of mine growing up and to graduate knowing I’ve achieved my goal, made me feel like I could do anything.