Fancourt’s Hotel General Manager Kerrin Titmas, 33, has been appointed to succeed the current Chief Operating Officer in the position of Chief Executive Officer from 01 April 2010.
Titmas will be taking over from Niall O’Hagan, the company’s former Financial Director who fulfilled the role of Chief Operating Officer in a temporary capacity ahead of his retirement at the end of March 2010.
Congratulating Titmas on her appointment, O’Hagan said, “I have great confidence in Kerrin’s insight and abilities to take the step up to this new challenge in her life and to assume the leadership role for Fancourt.”
Titmas will be heading up some 500 permanent staff members and 250 casuals in a diverse range of responsibilities that include hotel, golf, real estate, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and environmental considerations.
“When the company’s shareholders asked me to consider taking up the position, I was acutely aware of the unique challenges that a recovering economic climate and severe drought would add to the already daunting responsibilities of running such a large organisation. However, in hard times it is important to think outside of the box and find solutions that will ensure the long-term sustainability of an icon. I look forward to facing this challenge head-on” said Titmas.
Since her appointment as Fancourt’s Hotel General Manager in February 2009, Titmas has taken on and overseen the successful completion of various company initiatives, including the refurbishment of a number of hotel rooms and facilities, as well as spearheading a renewed focus on service levels and standards. “I’m incredibly proud of what has been achieved in the past 12 months, and I believe that Fancourt still has a tremendous amount of potential in so many areas that we can continue to explore and perfect,” she said.
Having matriculated at Rustenburg Girls High School in Cape Town, Titmas spent a year in Germany as au pair in the Plattner household, Fancourt’s owners. Initially determined not to follow in the footsteps of her well-known Cape Town restaurateur dad Don Titmas, she soon discovered that hospitality was in her blood and started her career in the front office of a V&A Waterfront hotel while studying part-time.
After working as Food and Beverage Manager at Steenberg, she found her way to Fancourt for the first time in 1998 as the manager of what is now La Cantina restaurant. She returned to Cape Town to study interior architecture, and became Banqueting Manager at La Couronne Hotel and Restaurant in Franschhoek. Here she was promoted to Assistant General Manager and later became the youngest female General Manager of a five-star hotel in South Africa at the age of 25. In 2006, La Couronne burnt down and Kerrin helped its owners develop and relaunch the adjacent Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyards. Her experience made her eligible for special application to study for an MBA at Stellenbosch, where she received an award for the best marketing student in 2008.