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Lelanie Schafer

General Manager Simbavati Lodges

Personal Achievements

  • Top Wholesale Consultant for Flight Centre 3 years in my consulting career,
  • Most Profitable Business overall in 2005
  • Most Productive Team Globally 2010
  • Most Improved Team Globally 2010
  • Most Profitable Team Globalyx 2010
  • Being involved in the building and opening of a 5 * lodge 2014


A HUGE passion for nature in general, Travelling, Birding, Gardening, Fitness, Reading and Cooking


Work experience

Feb 2014Apr 2015

General Manager

Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Construction for Simbavati Hilltop Lodge commenced in January 2014. We moved over from River Lodge to Hilltop Lodge on a full time basis from February 2014 to help oversee the building project. We gained valuable experience during this time and important lessons was learned. We opened the lodge in July 2014 and since then our ranking on trip advisor improved by 3 places.

I was responsible for the following:

  • Recruiting all staff
  • Ordering uniforms
  • Ordering all equipment, crockery and cutlery, linen and amenities 
  • Drinks lists and pricing
  • Ordering all beverages, dry, fresh and frozen goods
  • Setting up contracts and job descriptions 
  • Menu planning
  • After opening, the general running of the lodge
Aug 2013Feb 2014

Assistant Manager

Simbavati River Lodge

Assisting the Management Couple in all aspects of the lodge, and being responsible for the lodge during their leave cycle, namely:

  • Checking in and out of guests
  • Capturing data of all guests
  • Balancing petty cash
  • Weekly Kitchen Orders
  • Stock Control (food and beverage)
  • Menu planning
  • Guest Relations
  • Checking maintenance 
  • Dealing with staff HR (leave, salaries)
  • Planning bush events
Oct 2008Aug 2012

Area Manager - Wholesale Division

Flight Centre

The Fore Purpose of the Infinity Holidays Area Manager is to inspire the business and its people to reach goals never dreamt of and at the same time sustain and increase profitability.

The Fundamentals to leading a successful wholesale business included Staff Growth, Store Growth, Product Growth, Turnover Growth, Margin Sustainability, Profit Growth, Advertising & Marketing plans, Brand Awareness, Concrete Business Plans which focus on short and long term, Brightness of Future for others, Integral understanding of business systems, Keeping up to date with new developments of current systems, Rolling out and training of new systems, Clear and open Communications lines, Lucrative and sustainable Contracting, Custodian of basic business Policies and Procedure, Clear understanding about the market and its competition, Strong training programs that make the difference, Effective one on ones with each person in the business, Dynamic buzz nights that reward and recognise excellent performance, structured and informative team leader and product manager meetings and well priced product and placement.

As the Infinity Area Manager I had to portray the following characteristics on a daily basis:

Positive and energetic vibe, solid business acumen, vast experience of the wholesaler environment, a creative outlook on marketing activities, practical knowledge on the current systems, proven successful track record, ability to identify opportunities and leadership.

Job  description of the Infinity Area Manager/Leader

Job Purpose:  

To lead and ensure the comprehensive fulfilment of the Flight Centre Limited Strategy for RSA. Additionally, to ensure the profitable growth of the wholesale operation, ensuring all TTV, growth & profit targets are met.


  • Develop strategy & manage operational performance of the Business. Ensure all growth targets – Turnover, Shop, Margin & People growth targets - are met.
  • Leadership and development of Team leaders
  • Develop & maintain operational financial budgets

Key Competencies

Visionary Leadership

  • Create a clear, exciting and shared view of the future  
  • Lead by example  
  • Live Flight Centre Limited Philosophies  

Customer Focus

  • Provide outstanding service to internal business partners and external customers  
  • Always focus on customer needs

Commercial Acumen

  • Focus on results  
  • Understands key business drivers for your region and contributes to success  
  • Company/product knowledge  
  • Entrepreneurial mindset (identifies business opportunities for the organization)  
  • Professional/Managerial skills  
  • Execute initiatives effectively 

Partnering and Building Relationships

  • Professional and friendly in dealing with business partners and external parties  
  • Builds and sustains productive relationships  
  • Establishes rapport with partners  
  • Builds trust in relationships
  • Monthly organization and hosting of events and conferences to retain and strengthen relationships
  • Organizing and running of annual Travel Expos

Upholds Company Philosophies and Culture

  • Takes ownership for successes and failures  
  • Demonstrates a belief in FCL philosophies and values  
  • Exhibits a passion for their business and company  
  • Encourages a sense of enjoyment in the workplace  

Manages Change

  • Takes up opportunities and is open to change  
  • Creates change  
  • Sells the benefits of change  
  • Influences people to promote change  

Skills & Capabilities

Team Leadership

  • Develop and communicate clear strategic and operational plans for the team  
  • Supervise day-to-day activities of team members  
  • Provide support, coaching and leadership development for all team members  

Financial Management

  • Interpret financial management reports  
  • Develop budgets and financial targets  
  • Achieve agreed financial targets  
  • Provide financial services to the business
  • Provide Sales Reports (Destination and Turnover) to all selling businesses

Travel Industry Knowledge

  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of travel industry and Flight Centre businesses
  • Regular hotel inspections to ensure all properties are maintaining standards and to ensure correct properties are contracted for different markets:

- Leisure   - Wholesale   - Corporate - Support

Supplier Management

  • Develop strategy for managing suppliers  
  • Monitor supplier performance on a regular basis  
  • Identify, communicate and manage resolution of key issues with suppliers  
  • Organizing and hosting monthly events to strengthen partnerships
  • Yearly, bi-monthly and monthly marketing plans - involvement, excecution and analysis

Strategic Planning

  • Understand impact of changes in travel industry competitive landscape and customer trends 
  • Develop and evaluate strategic options  
  • Present clear recommendation of strategy
Jun 2005Oct 2008

Team Manager

Flight Centre

As a Team Leader, I was responsible for the following:

  • Having a clear understanding of my business and staff members
  • Having a clear vision for my business and driving it through with my team
  • Draw up a business plan and drive this through within my team
  • Being able to motivate staff members to exceed budgeted profit and turnover numbers
  • Maintaining personal sales figures
  • Communicating and driving all business strategies to my team
  • Be approachable 
  • Conduct monthly one-on-ones with all team members
  • Uplift and uphold the Flight Centre Philosophies
Dec 2001Jun 2005

Sales Consultant

Flight Centre

Sales and Reservations Consultant for the Wholesale Division of Flight Centre Ltd, Infinity Holidays.

Daily tasks consisted of the following:

  • Working in a call centre and servicing all the Flight Centre Stores of South Africa, a total of approximately160 branches countrywide
  • Selling land and air travel and building travel packages consisting of flights, accommodation, car hire, tours, etc. 
  • Being responsible for travel bookings from the quoting stages, to converting and closing the sale, to confirming the reservation, taking payment and issuing all relevant documentation. 
  • I had a well rounded knowledge of the world, as I sold every destination across the globe.

Sales were measured in the form of commission and profit generated for the company. There was a huge focus on driving and exceeding monthly and yearly sales targets.

Jan 1998Dec 2001

Owner and Dancing Teacher

Lelanie's Studio of Dancing

I have been dancing since I was 3 years old, doing Ballet, Tap, Modern and Acrobatics. During my life I completed all the dancing exams and started assisting my dancing teacher with teaching and demonstrating classes as she was getting quite old and could not demonstrate anymore. This sparked my love for teaching and I qualified as a dancing teacher in the following disciplines: Modern Dancing, Tap Dancing and Acrobatics. At the age of 18, I officially opened my own dancing studio and taught dancing to children from the ages of 3 years up to 17 years.  It was a very tough decision to give up my studio to persue another dream of mine: to further my studies.


Jan 2013May 2013

FGASA Level 1

Eco Training


  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam
  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Practical Assessment 
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate – Rifle
  • Birding with Lawson’s Birding Academy 
  • Tracking Level 2
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2) - First Aid
  • PDP license 

13 - 27 October 2013 - Advanced Birding / Consolidation / Graduation at Makuleke, Pafuri, KNP

Jan 2001Dec 2001

1Year Travel and Tourism Diploma

Damelin College
  • Airfares an Ticketing 
  • Travel and Tourism Management
  • International Fares (beginners and Advanced)
  • Galileo
  • Billing and Settlement Planning
  • Agency Operation

In order to fund my studies, I was working as a waitress at the Keg and Fiddler restaurant, Krugersdorp. Here I learned invaluable people skills, and exceeded in this role becoming head waitress, in charge of training new staff, and being the top seller every month.

Jan 1996Jul 1997


Roodepoort College

I studied with a bursary awarded to me due to me achieving distinction.

Subjects included: Hospitality Generics, Food Preparation, Client Services & Human Relations, Hospitality Services. This also included practical experiences in the form of Event Planning, Chef, Practical experience at Flora Clinic Private Hospital in the kitchen.

Jan 1994Dec 1995

National Senior Certificate

Roodepoort College

I went to school at Roodepoort High School, left school after Std 7, and attended Roodepoort College where I completed Standard 8 & 9 in one year and my National Senior Certificate the next year. I was 16 when obtained this qualification, with an average of 90%.


Shaun Byrnes

Liane Cowan