Greg Vogt new Knysna Tourism CEO

The Knysna Tourism Board today welcomed their new Chief Executive Officer, Greg Vogt. Chairperson of Knysna Tourism, Nan Raturat was pleased to comment: “We are happy to make this announcement today, after a rigorous process wherein the Board ensured that due diligence was followed. We are confident that Mr Vogt is what Knysna Tourism needs to take us into the future.”

Greg Vogt

Greg Vogt

Raturat explained further that the Board appointed organizational development consultants, ODA, to assist with the recruitment and selection process. The process and sessions were facilitated by ODA director, Dirk Joubert. ODA met with the Board and agreed on the specifications and expectations of this position, as well as the key characteristics required to fulfill the duties and mandate of the entity.

After a call for interest, 115 applications were received from national and international candidates. The candidates were put through a dynamic and energetic selection process. The panel consisted of Knysna Tourism Board members nominated by the Board; namely Nan Raturat, Lauren Waring, Steven de Vries; and former board member and Knysna businessman, Leslie Peters, who was an observer to the process.

De Vries explained the process during a press conference held in Knysna today: “Based upon a schedule of all applications received, as well as their CVs, the consultant facilitated an agreement on a list of 38 candidates’ possible appointees which was then cut down to a shortlist of five persons.

“After the reference checks were completed the candidates were evaluated by several competency based exercises. The shortlisted individuals were required to complete the EvaleX Managerial Talent Assessment – a comprehensive assessment battery consisting of two main components, namely a management simulation section which includes simulated management situations and case studies and a more traditional psychometrics section, looking at: intelligence, personality type and interests. In addition, some important cross cutting competencies were also tested for, including strategic capacity and emotional maturity.”

For the day of the interview, the candidates were given a topic (72 hours prior to their interviews) to prepare a 10 – 15 minute presentation. On the day they were further given three scenarios to respond to and were also asked to answer a series of pre-determined questions posed by the panel. All candidates were subjected to the same process and each candidate was afforded an equal opportunity to prove him/herself.

Having compared the candidates’ performance on the case studies, the interview, feedback from reference checks, as well as the results of the EvaleX assessment with the requirements of the position as advertised, the panel made a recommendation to the Board on the appointment of the CEO. At its meeting of 5 June the Board unanimously agreed to appoint Greg Vogt as the new CEO for Knysna Tourism.

The contract runs until the end of June 2015, and Vogt has to take the organisation through a period of change.

Vogt was asked for his vision for the year ahead: “Many may be wondering what is different this time round. What will I do that is different to my predecessors? My approach is therefore founded in a sound academic model that has enabled Knysna Tourism to recognise where our focus has lacked conversion. The restructuring of the organisation will allow us to deliver to Knysna as a whole and not just to the tourism sector. This tactic will actually bring more opportunity to the town as a whole.”

He explained the four components that will be the core of Knysna Tourism. “The first being Marketing, PR and Communication, then we have Research and Development, followed by Information Management and finally Development, Business Events and Trade and Investment.”

Vogt added that the current approach would integrate municipal initiatives into private sector initiatives, therefore defragmenting efforts working towards one goal and vision.

“Internal workings of the organisation have been reformed – starting with capacity building within the office. The basis of the premise is that development and marketing goes hand in hand, offering the opportunity to build capacity, critical volume and market at the same time.”

Vogt further explained: “The new thinking is founded in our brand that has clear core values and key words that we can embrace and identify with. We recognise that each business fulfils a niche within our economy, however works symbiotically with other businesses to function as a system.

“Through recognising these niches, businesses are able to optimise within the system through integrated efforts. As businesses find their space and role in the system (their niche) they adapt to new challenges more effectively. The entire process evolved towards and efficient operating system. Last by no means least, is respect. We as the community need to learn to respect one another and the efforts that all business and organisations make to build this town and live the values of the Naturally Knysna brand.”

In closing, Waring, Board member and Municipal Manager for Knysna confirmed that Vogt will add great value to the organisation and that the town is now ready to see these initiatives and principles actioned. “A great future awaits the entity and the town of Knysna as a whole – to make it a place where people and nature prospur.” 

More about Knysna

Knysna, a town on the Garden Route in the Western Cape, possibly derived its name from the Koikhoi word meaning ferns. It lies 34 degrees South of the Equator and has approximately 60  000 inhabitants.

The town, with its moderate climate, is a popular destination for both national and international tourists, golfers and extreme sports enthusiasts. Knysna is further well known for its magnificent estuary, natural forests and surrounding lakes.

It attracts many golfers who enjoy its world class golf courses such as Pezula Golf Course, Simola Golf Course and the hundred year old Knysna Golf Course situated alongside the lagoon (below sea level).

For further information on the Knysna Tourism visitwww.visitknysna.co.za. / Tel: 044 382 6960 /   Fax: 044 382 1609

ODA

For further information on ODA visit website http://oda.isoftnet.co.za/

EvaleX

For further information on EvaleX psychometric tests, visithttp://www.evalex.com

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