Petousis Family Holdings, which incorporates The Vineyard, Townhouse and Oude Werf hotels, has welcomed three new non-executive directors to their board.


Nigel Matthews, previously chief executive of the Holiday Inn Group in South Africa, and for 20 years a non-executive director of Sun International, takes over as Chairperson of the Board from Barrie Jack. Jack remains on the board as a non-executive director. Phumi Nhlapo and Mike Freedman were appointed to the Board on 1 March 2018 as new non-executive directors.

“Nigel will provide considerable wisdom and guidance to the business,” said Lex Petousis of Petousis Family Holdings, “while Phumi and Mike have exceptional track records in helping companies capitalize on new opportunities.”

The Group was founded by hoteliers Kitty and Francois Petousis and remains a family business. “We continue to be guided by the values that my parents instilled,” says Lex Petousis. “These new appointments fulfil our vision to operate as a professionally run group with a constituted board of directors who provide the best mix of skills and experience to take our company forward. The first of these directors was Advocate Adrian Montzinger, who joined our board in the middle of 2017. We are delighted to now welcome Nigel, Phumi and Mike.”


Nigel Matthews has extensive experience in the hospitality industry. He was previously chief executive of the Holiday Inn group in South Africa, assisted in the establishment of City Lodge Hotels, and was a non-executive director of Sun International for more than 20 years. Other directorships have included Massmart Limited, Sentry Group Limited, More Hotels, Lion Sands, Indian Ocean Real Estate Company, Tsebo Outsourcing and Metrofile. His commercial experience spans both corporate and private entrepreneurial arenas. He worked in London and Hong Kong, spending 12 years with the Rennies Group before he and his brother established the Sentry Group, which became a listed security, monitoring and response business.  His passion and love of business has been driven and marked by the time that he has spent working within the service industry, where his extensive contact with employees at all levels has continually stimulated him.


Phumi Nhlapo’s corporate background in human resources, journalism, communications and public affairs includes stints with Illovo Sugar, Unifoods, Telkom, Independent Newspapers, SA Petroleum Refineries and Chevron. Her strengths lie in forming strong stakeholder relationships and using them to advance the interests and objectives of the companies she works with. She is currently a non-executive director of Chemie-Tech South Africa, and previously held a non-executive directorship with Ukuthutha Solutions. In both cases her role was new business development and advising on corporate social investment. After leaving the corporate world three years ago, Phumi launched her own property company after a foray into solar power. She is driven to actively make a difference in the lives of others and was recently invited to become a member of Rotary International and brand ambassador for the Amy Foundation (previously the Amy Biehl Foundation).


Mike Freedman is a founding partner of Freedthinkers, a research, strategy and brand-development house with a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors.  He is the non-executive chairperson of the SA & UK Impact Trust, a research and policy think-tank investigating ways for business, academia and government to increase positive social and environmental impact. After breaking his neck in the Namib Desert, he left his career as an award-winning advertising copywriter, wrote a book on positive scenarios for South Africa and helped to open a school for street-children.  Using his awareness of social and environmental concerns he creates CSI strategies for corporates as well as Indalo Yethu, an environmental agency of which he is a trustee. Mike also writes and speaks on how business can and does do well by doing good.


By Petousis Board members

Photo Caption: Petousis Family Holdings Board. Back Row L to R: Lex Petousis, Nigel Matthews, Phumi Nhlapo, Hilary Seymour, George Petousis, Adrian Montzinger, Barrie Jack. Seated: Mike Freedman