Thandi loves our people…
The Thandi community is involved in almost all stages of the winemaking process (from working in the vineyards to managing the farm and marketing the wines), as the brand aims to uplift previously disadvantaged people.
Here’s an opportunity to ‘meet’ some members of the Thandi team:
Managing Director: Vernon Henn
Vernon, who was appointed as Managing Director of Thandi Wines in 2007, says his job enables him the privilege to plough back into the community and contribute towards creating wealth for the Thandi shareholders, many whom are farm workers.
“Although we are able to empower people through the wine sales, Thandi is firstly about quality. We want consumers to repeatedly purchase our product. It may be a bit arrogant to say this, but my aim is to make Thandi one of the biggest and strongest empowerment brands in the wine industry,” says Vernon passionately.
Vernon stems from a humble background and although there wasn’t money for tertiary studies, he managed to continually climb the career ladder as a result of eager enthusiasm, hard work and dedication. What makes him even more admirable is the fact that he managed to transform Thandi into a thriving stand-alone business while juggling part-time studies and family life.
Being a people’s person with a transparent “what-you-see is what-you-get” personality and an utterly infectious laugh, Vernon is the ideal person to steer Thandi Wines from strength to strength.
Office Assistant and Tasting Room Manager: Edwina Janse
Edwina, the daughter of one of the Thandi shareholders on the Lebanon Fruit Farm, worked at the Thandi farm kitchen in Elgin, for 6 years after matriculating, offering customers a delicious home-cooked meal coupled with a shy smile.
Thereafter, she took the opportunity to spread her wings and worked in the hustle and bustle otherwise known as London, for six months, to gain some invaluable life experience.
Back on home ground, Edwina joined Thandi Wines as Vernon’s right-hand man (or rather, lady, in this instance), and ensures that the Thandi office runs as efficiently and effectively as the proverbial well-oiled machine. She thoroughly executes her tasks according to her favourite quotation by Christy Borgeld: “To succeed, you need to take that gut feeling in what you believe and act on it with all of your heart.”
Business Director: Junior Burger
Junior was appointed business director in 2014 and has over 15 years’ experience in business consulting and development. He has been involved in the wine industry from 2005 as business consultant and adviser to various owners (local and overseas), wine estates and businesses.
His passion is consulting and advising clients/businesses to improve their profitability and businesses and enjoys structuring various transactions.
Junior believes in Thandi’s vision and mission and hopes & dreams that Thandi will create wealth for the various previously disadvantaged shareholders in the future.
“Dr Anton Rupert once said that a person can live without water, but not without hope.” Junior sees it as a privilege to be part of the Thandi team and story.
Financial Manager: Melinda Spreeth
Melinda practised as an Auditor for 5 years in Cape Town. She has been a financial manager in the wine industry for the last 9 years. She joined the Thandi team in 2014.
“Thandi is a wonderful project – uplifting the community and benefiting the people who needs it the most. That is why I am privileged to have joined the Thandi family and excited
for the future.”