PE businesswomen scoop top awards

XL Bay Travel MD Gillian Roffe, left, and RE/MAX Independent CEO Kobie Potgieter
EFFORTS RECOGNISED: XL Bay Travel MD Gillian Roffe, left, and RE/MAX Independent CEO Kobie Potgieter

Who are the best CEOs in Africa?

Well, two Port Elizabeth businesswomen have made the cut in their respective fields.

CEO Africa Today Awards 2019 featured profiles on XL Bay Travel MD Gillian Roffe and RE/MAX Independent CEO Kobie Potgieter in their magazine with both women receiving recognition awards for their respective fields.

The CEO Today research team collates votes and does in-depth research to choose the best of the best to reward and celebrate the leadership and strategic vision of CEOs across a number of sectors through its CEO Africa Today Awards 2019.

Roffe, who employees 15 people, received a certificate for outstanding expertise and contribution within the area of travel management.

“We basically started this company up 16 years ago, and not being in the travel industry but only having a business background, it is really amazing,” she said.

Roffe said her company had won several awards over the years but she felt this one validated her decision to venture into the travel industry.

“It is a very difficult industry to understand. It is extremely competitive and anything that validates your good work is important.”

“I am very proud of this one. We have clients all over SA. Going forward, we just want to do even better.

“A lot of companies are cutting their travel budgets so we hope to add a number of new clients this year,” she said.

Potgieter has made a name for herself in the Bay property market and has won a series of accolades, including being named Re/Max’s highest earner in terms of residential commission.

She received a certificate for her leadership and dedication to the real estate industry.

However, her business and career is a far cry from where she started, as a grade 2 teacher in the 1990s.

Once she was qualified to operate in the property market, Potgieter landed a position in real estate at a Bay agency where she performed well and was named agent of the month every month for two years.

“I feel very honoured. There is not a lot a recognition in business when you get acknowledged for the differences you make in a city,” she said.

“Employing close to 100 people and putting bread on their table is a huge contribution to the city’s economy.

“I am honoured to be recognised for the difference I make.”