Samuel Nassimov is the Managing Director of one of South Africa’s fastest growing, independently owned hotel groups, Premier Hotels & Resorts.
Nassimov attended hotel school in Tel Aviv in the 1970’s and started his career at the bottom of the ranks at the city’s famous Dan Hotel. Driven by a passion for cooking, his next step was as a trainee chef, a position in which he excelled and which resulted in a promotion to Head of the Grill Room.
Like any successful entrepreneur, Nassimov has always been driven by a love for developing, creating and completing new projects. This led him to South Africa where, his passion for hotels took flight and in 1990 he acquired the Carlton Hotel in East London. Very dilapidated and in much need of a revamp, he closed the hotel for a full year, reopening in 1991 as the King David Suites and Conference Centre.
Later that same year, Nassimov won a tender bid for the land upon which he would build the Regent Hotel. He developed the hotel into the largest conferencing venue in East London and it is on this property that he later developed the East London International Convention Centre (ELICC) and Premier Hotel EL ICC.
From a humble 40 bedrooms, Nassimov has grown the group’s portfolio to encompass 16 hotels and resorts, providing almost 2000 bedrooms to discerning business and leisure travellers and employing in excess of 1500 employees.
With an industry background spanning over 3 decades, Nassimov cites the growth in online bookings, research and marketing as an industry revolution. “Technology is radically shifting the way we conduct business and while the South African hospitality industry still has a lot to learn from our international counterparts, at Premier Hotels and Resorts we have massive plans in place to become the industry leader in this arena.”
With a superior collection of hotels, resorts and conference facilities in the principal business and travel destinations in SA and with Samuel Nassimov at the helm, Premier Hotels & Resorts is a rapidly growing force in the South African leisure, business travel and conventions industry.
Chief Operating Officer
Sigal Nassimov-Geva is the Chief Operating Officer of Premier Hotels & Resorts and oversees the day to day operations of both the Human Resources and Marketing departments.
Sigal completed a BA (Bachelor of Arts, specialising in Computer System Analysis) degree first class and went on to complete a MBA at the University of Manchester before immigrating to South Africa to join Premier Hotels & Resorts in August 2004. Immigrating to South Africa as an inexperienced yet qualified foreign national, Nassimov-Geva has, through hard work and passion, established herself as a well-known and recognised businesswoman within the Hospitality Industry (2012 Regional Business Woman of the Year – Corporate Category).
Since becoming involved at senior management level, Sigal has played a pivotal role in the transformation of the company from a traditionally family run business into a contemporary corporate environment, in keeping with the company’s vision for growth and future expansion plans.
Group Operations Manager
A born Hotelier, with over 30 years of experience in the hotel and restaurant industry, Group Operations Manager of Premier Hotels & Resorts, Richard Bray has made an impressive career of living his passion. Richard Bray studied Hotel Management at the Wits Hotel School and holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Pretoria. Before joining Premier Hotels & Resorts, Bray followed his passion for the hospitality industry with Southern Sun Hotels, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Three Cities Hospitality. Over the years Richard Bray has received numerous people management accolades as well as a Hotel of the Year award during his time with Southern Sun.
He is one of the key catalysts in the group’s drive to offer guests consistency, an exceptional experience, tangible memories and impactful differences in people’s lives.
Keeping abreast of local and international trends, Bray acknowledges that information technology is radically changing the operations of the hotel business, providing consumers with access to information like never before and giving them a strong voice to hold hotels accountable.
He firmly believes in a service orientated approach and is dedicated to offering the best possible service and value for money at Premier Hotels & Resort’s range of luxury hotel accommodation.
Connect with Richard on LinkedIn
Group Sales and Marketing Manager
Grant Sandham is the Group Sales and Marketing Manager for Premier Hotels & Resorts and although Grant discovered his love and talent for sales in the pharmaceutical industry, his passion drew him to the hospitality industry early on in his career. Almost 25 years later Grant Sandham has built a reputation as one of the most strategic and dynamic leaders in the hopitality sales sector.
Grant began his career in the hospitality industry as a Manager for the Linger Longer restaurant group and soon migrated into sales for Sun International where he was finally able to marry his passion for the hospitality industry with his love and talent for sales. His success started to attract industry attention and in 1999 Grant was head hunted for the position of National Sales Manager for Global Resorts.
Since 1999 Grant has built a successful career overseeing sales and operations divisions across some of South Africa’s best known hospitality businesses: Global Resorts, Orion Hotels and Resorts; and Tsogo Sun. Grant believes in a dynamic sales structure built on a firm foundation of training and technology and lends his own unique sales ethos to the Premier Hotels & Resorts sales teams and their approach.
Connect with Grant on LinkedIn
Group Financial Manager
Pierre Roux is the Group Financial Manager for Premier Hotels & Resorts and since joining the group at the beginning of 2014, Pierre has instilled a culture of accountability, risk control and sustainability. Pierre believes that financial awareness across all levels of the business is core to the development of short and long term business strategies.
Pierre Roux completed his B.Com (Accounting) at the University of Pretoria and is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Pierre has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, beginning in February 1992 as the Financial Manager of the Grand Roche Hotel in Paarl and through his 17 years with TsogoSun/Southern Sun fulfilling various positions from Regional Financial Manager to Brand Financial Manager.
Connect with Pierre on LinkedIn
Group Revenue Manager
Nola Nassimov is the Group Revenue Manager for Premier Hotels & Resorts. Nola Nassimov joined Premier Hotels & Resorts with husband Sam Nassimov at its’ inception in 1991 in a largely administrative role but soon found herself managing multiple facets of the business. Across all spectrums, Nola has had a huge impact on Premier Hotels & Resort’s first customers and sowed the seeds for many of the group’s customer service standards today.
As the business grew so did Nola’s role within the organisation and Nola was instrumental in the initial setup of the Academic College (2002), sales infrastructure (taking on the role of National Sales Manager in 2004); and Central Reservations department (2006). “With the rapid Growth of Premier Hotels & Resorts in the hospitality sector the business has attracted the best of talent from within the industry and roles have naturally become more specialised” says Nola Nassimov when asked about her role as Group Revenue Manager. Nola believes that the revenue department needs a complete understanding of the business to ensure Premier Hotels & Resorts always meets customer demand in a competitive and consistent manner.
Connect with Nola on LinkedIn
Group IT Manager
Dvir Geva is the Group IT Manager for Premier Hotels & Resorts and discovered his aptitude for Information Technology early in life, starting with High School Computer Sciences. Dvir’s hunger for knowledge quickly grew and he spent time studying through the IDF and John Bryce Education Centre before taking the helm as an Oracle Education Manager of the Daemon-Ashrot Education Centre in 1999. Dvir continued to study through Sun Education and consult for Daemon Systems where his clients included banks, government departments and major enterprises. Dvir holds a BSc (ITM) from the University of South Africa.
In 2004 Dvir Geva immigrated to South Africa to join Premier Hotels & Resorts and developed the company in-house IT infrastructure including hosting, networking, storage and security solutions. Dvir manages a small and efficient IT Team that provides a stable and diverse IT platform that supports all aspects of the business’s operations.
Dvir believes that technology is changing the nature of the hospitality industry daily and those changes are set to become even more frequent. The challenge for the Premier Hotel & Resorts IT department is in how to stay at the forefront of these changed whilst maintaining an easy to use and seamless interface with our clients.
Connect with Dvir on LinkedIn