Granny Mouse’s Banqueting has a woman’s touch

The greatest satisfaction for Granny Mouses’ Banqueting Manager, Veronica Sookdin, is seeing everything coming together at a big event or function after plenty of hard work and meticulous preparation.

“It really helps when you work with a solid and supportive team like our Granny Mouse team.  Communication is key and that really helps. I work with an amazing team and that is a huge plus,” she smiles.

At just 38, Veronica Sookdin, has worked hard to secure her place in a sector about which she is particularly passionate.

She grew up in Uitenhage where she attended Brandwag High before going on to study Business Management at Damelin and marketing at East Cape Midlands College.  She also obtained a Foundation Leadership Certificate through Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Business School).

Despite being her passion, the hospitality industry was unfortunately not her first stop. Instead, she found herself mainly in administrative positions which she didn’t enjoy very much. So, she began volunteering to help at hospitality related events just to get her foot in the door.

At the same time, she set up a business to manage small events to get the necessary experience needed.

Looking back, she admits that the greatest challenge in her career remains starting her own small business whilst being unemployed to follow her passion. “I still apply the best lessons learned at this time in my role as banqueting manager today,” she admits.

Her determination eventually paid off when she was appointed Banqueting Co-Ordinator at The Kelway Hotel in Port Elizabeth.

The highlight of this part of her career was organising her very 1st solo event – a ladies’ breakfast and fashion show in aid of Women’s Empowerment. “I’m proud to say, it was very successful and I was extremely blessed with sponsorships from local businesses. I managed to gain exposure from the local community radio station. The Station Manager was the master of ceremonies and a very well-known radio host who was working at the same station was my guest speaker for this event.” she remembers.

She headed to the Natal Midlands and joined Granny Mouse in July 2016, seeing this as a great opportunity to further grow her career.

Although she started out as a co-ordinator, she quickly rose through the ranks to be appointed Banqueting Manager.

This means that she is your chief point of contact for all weddings, conferences and functions held at Granny Mouse.

Describing herself somewhat wryly as “a recovering perfectionist”, Sookdin says that she thoroughly enjoys the selling and marketing aspect of her job. But, she also realises that she needs to be “very service orientated” to ensure that she delivers on promises made to her clients.

She believes that it is important for an effective conference manager to prioritise professionalism and be passionate about the hospitality industry. Paying attention to every detail and being a people’s person are musts.

“I think that it’s very important to take yourself seriously as you are representing not just yourself but the organisation for which you work. You need to ensure that your clients know that their conference or event is in capable hands by portraying confidence in everything, no matter how small or big the event. In this profession, my greatest accomplishment remains knowing that my team and I have exceeded expectations. Even more, it is hugely rewarding when clients acknowledge what you have done and show appreciation for the smallest things,” she says.

Although her job means that she works long hours, she does find time to relax with a good book. She says that she also enjoys jogging when she has the time.

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