Goldfields ladies in leading casino industry roles

Celebrating Women’s Month with the Goldfields ladies in leading casino industry roles.

Goldfields Casino, Welkom’s favourite entertainment destination,is celebrating women who work in the casino industry this Women’s Month. Meet some of the ladies who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure visitors have an ongoing feast of entertainment 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Odelia Sharp, Director of Operations and Complex General Manager of Goldfields Casino, will never forget how she landed her current position, an event which she says is the most memorable in all her time at Tsogo Sun. While on a trip with friends to Knysna, she received a call to catch a flight to Johannesburg for a meeting. By the time she left that meeting she, had been offered the position of heading up Goldfields Casino. Growing up she never knew what career path she wanted to explore. Odelia started working as a waitress at a casino and the rest, as you say, is a colourful history of climbing the corporate ladder. Odelia enjoys the outdoors and trying new things. Since moving to Welkom taking up golf and lawn bowls has helped her to get out more and network with various community leaders. She also sees this as the perfect opportunity to spend quality time her sons. Odelia says the hardest part of her job is accommodating various personality types and finding the best way to synchronize them to form a cohesive and productive team. This casino GM finds it extremely rewarding when the team’s efforts start falling into place. When asked what advice she would give young people considering a career in the entertainment industry she said, “Don’t take things personally. Where money is involved, emotions change on a daily basis. Just roll with the punches.”

Chantéll Bothma, Financial Manager of Goldfields Casino & Entertainment Centre, has realised that there is life after being an auditor! After working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 13 years, she feels that she has finally found the perfect job. Her work / personal life balance philosophy is simple: with the exception of keeping up to date with important emails on her cell phone, she does not take work home. Instead, she plans ahead if she needs to work overtime and maintains a flexible schedule. She believes you can push yourself too far when it comes to your work and ultimately burn out. Chantéll believes that you need to always be mindful of your own well-being and maintain a balance. Her biggest challenge in the workplace is to be strict when it comes to cost savings, but also to be able to see the bigger picture and the potential for making revenue. Chantéll loves working with figures and with people. She absolutely hates shopping – something most women can’t do without. In Chantéll’s case, she can’t do without her Libello lip ice and a bottle of water. She never goes anywhere without these two items! Asked what advice she would give to someone wanting to get into the entertainment industry she said, “Irrespective of the career you choose or the industry, always remember to stay true to yourself and always do what you enjoy. Do not settle for anything less than what you truly want to become.”

Kathy Govender, Marketing Manager of Goldfields Casino, has been with Tsogo Sun for 14 years. This journey has taken her to various provinces, introduced her to incredible people and assisted her to build and maintain relations with various colleagues over the years. Kathy believes that as you grow older you develop an urge to pursue much more in life. As a shift-worker, Kathy has had to adapt her work / personal life balance philosophy over time. Trying to juggle so many different aspects within marketing is a challenge, but very achievable through dedication, strict timelines and with a cell phone – the one thing she cannot live without! Seeing it all come together is the most rewarding part of her job. Kathy’s advice to those who are interested in working in the entertainment industry, “Life’s a journey, enjoy the ride. You need to be happy in the career you choose. If the passion is there, entertainment is without doubt a fun place to work!”

Karen Nefdt, Cash Desk Manager, believes that growing up on a farm and being the oldest child in a family of seven shaped her into the person she is today. Farm life taught her humility and to appreciate the finer details in life. At 18 she had to help care for her baby siblings, which taught her independence. However, achieving a work / personal life balance is still important to Karen. She believes that women of today can balance being a mother and having a career if the work environment is more accommodating. She admits that she is lucky to have a husband who has worked in the casino industry and who understands the environment. She finds balance by giving her family her full attention when she is at home. When it comes to the workplace, Karen loves helping people, which filters into her role and responsibilities. She gets great pleasure out of assisting other departments and helping out at events and functions. Her most memorable moments at Tsogo Sun was the launch of Montecasino and the closing down of the Sundome. These events required long hours and lots of hard work but seeing the results made it all worth it. When asked what advice she would give young people considering a career in the casino industry she said, “There is little to no experience required to start out in a casino. If you are committed, the sky is the limit. This can also open doors for you to see the world. Many casino employees have moved, to work on the ships or in casino’s in other countries, this is a great way to earn a living and see the world.”

Mamphaki Mannya, Human Resources Manager, is proud to be running the Human Resources department at Goldfields Casino. Her position comes with various challenges. Mamphaki admits that the biggest challenge women face in the workplace is always having to demonstrate that they can take on any role – even those previously perceived as a man’s role. The biggest challenge in her day-to-day role is wearing different caps at the same time (employer and employee). She has also learnt some difficult lessons in her career but for her, the one that stands out as the toughest is not showing emotion when an employee is being disciplined. But the position does have many positive attributes as well. The most rewarding part of the job for Mamphaki is being the custodian of ensuring that employees’ jobs are secured through adherence to the company’s policies and procedures. To do this she admits she needs the two things she cannot live without: her cell phone and her beautiful smile! When asked what advice she would give young people considering a career in the casino industry she said, “Be yourself, be flexible, take each day as it comes, know that there is a difference between the casino world and the other world (no day or night, no public holidays but fun throughout) and fun is your DNA!”

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