“Meet the Concepts Collection Team.”
A multinational collection of world travellers, our team is now grounded in Southern Africa with a collective love of its beauty and its diversity. Combining our European sense of style & service with local spirit & culture, we create the ultimate in unforgettable wedding, travel or event experiences for our discerning customers from across the globe.
Click on any of the pictures below and find out more about our team.
I arrived and fell in love with Southern Africa in the early 1990’s and have been exploring ever since. It’s a majestic part of the world with so much beauty and diversity, the perfect backdrop for our international clients’ private and corporate celebrations. My calling is to turn these into world-class events that truly stand out with each carrying their own unique signature.”
Richard HoltGroup CEO
Originally from the UK, Richard trained initially in the sports & leisure and hospitality industry before embarking on a 20 year career that has seen him establish, grow and manage several successful businesses.
A visionary leader and engaging people person he has gold medal when it comes to building relationships, running major events and “thinking outside the norm” to deliver customer excellence. With a focus on strategic and business development he leads the Concepts Collection team with a flair and infectious energy and is passionate about building effective teams that can co-create memorable customer experiences.
Richards love affair with Africa started in the 1990’s and he continuously travels Southern Africa and beyond in search of new locations and experiences to promote to the world. Rarely seen travelling without his golf clubs, he is also our resident South African wine expert, foodie and “go to man” on all things luxury.Contact Richard
I am devoted to making the world-class quality of South Africa’s services available to our clients from around the globe. I want them to embrace the opportunity of celebrating a memorable wedding, their corporate event, incentive or simply unforgettable African journey in one the world’s most beautiful locations – just as I did.”
Christina HoltFounder and Group MD
German born Christina is the Founder and Director of Event Concepts – responsible for creating some of the largest and most high profile African nuptials & exclusive events for a discerning international clientele.
Regarded as one of Africa’s leading luxury event experts Christina has lived and worked previously in the USA, UAE, UK and Germany and managed a multitude of international events before moving to Cape Town in 2004.
She started Wedding Concepts the same year, followed by sister companies Event Concepts & Travel Concepts that now form the luxury brand “The Concepts Collection”.
Respected as an industry innovator with a keen eye for international trends Christina intuitively understands and values different cultures and is hugely passionate about promoting true 5* service excellence and uniquely tailored, stylish celebrations with a strong focus on each individual client and an eagle eye for detail.
Christina avidly markets luxury South African destination event and is also a fierce brand ambassador for Southern Africa as a whole. She counts amongst the international event elite and is honoured to regularly be invited globally to share her experience as a speaker, MC and panellist with international wedding & event peers.
A real people person and passionate traveller at heart she loves exploring Africa and the world – camera in hand – and currently lives in Cape Town with her husband Richard & her two Ridgebacks Sam & Jesse. She enjoys good food & fine dining, loves stylish boutique hotels and reading autobiographies.Contact Christina
I am truly dedicated to designing out-of-this world African journeys for our clients. Whether an itinerary for two or incentive for 200 – my heart lies in tailoring truly unique experiences and being a seasoned traveller myself – sharing personal insider tips with our clients.”
Mandi Johnson-AlivertiMD Travel Concepts
Mandi was practically born with a backpack on her back and a head filled with dreams of adventure. With both her parents working in the industry, it’s no surprise that Mandi went on to complete studies in travel and marketing before jetting off to explore the world. She later returned to South Africa where she worked in the family travel business for 12 years before joining the Travel Concepts team.
Mandi also said I do to her dashing Italian husband in the Cape Winelands and keenly understands both the romance and the level of detail involved in organising a dual nationality wedding. Now the mother of two, Mandi is treating this new phase in her life as a golden opportunity to explore the many child-friendly luxury holiday destinations across the African continent.
A true “Out of Africa” bush aficionado, Mandi loves sharing her glittering finds, which is why she is so well placed to custom create travel arrangements for conference groups, tour groups, incentives, special interest groups, family travel, honeymoons and individuals. Her goal? To design bespoke journeys of excellence that sees travellers returning to African shores time and time again.Contact Mandi
I am very excited about joining the dynamic close-nit team. Every day is exciting at our office – as I can literally travel “indoors” – all over the world in a day’s work!”
Ester SmitTravel Consultant
Ester is our travel specialist with a love for Africa and the great outdoors. With degrees in education, tourism management and photography – she is an all-rounder with a true love for nature and adventure travel.
Having worked in London and after traveling around Europe and across the African continent she found her calling in the world of travel & tourism back at home in South Africa. Customising safaris and multitasking to create hand-crafted travel experiences are her true passion.
When Ester is not planning exciting itineraries or dealing with clients from all over the world – she is will be found outdoors doing something active or spending time with family and friends (in the city or at her family’s wine farm) – enjoying a good glass of South African red wine.
Ester is the most recent addition to our ever growing team and she brings a great wealth of travel knowledge to our Concepts Collection family & clients.Contact Ester
I am passionate about working with people and creatively combining my industry experience to market South Africa as a luxury global wedding and events destination. Being part of The Concepts Collection is an incredible opportunity to work alongside the industries best to deliver signature weddings and events that showcase our beautiful country.”
Ursula ForrestMarketing & Special Projects Director
Ursula is our team’s Marketing & Special Projects Director – equipped with her in-depth knowledge of working in the exclusive hospitality, travel and events industry for over 24 years in South Africa and Europe across multiple luxury brands – we (and our clients) are lucky to have her as part of the Concepts Collection family.
She combines many talents and has a very keen eye for detail, strong financial acumen and a reputation for delivering high quality projects. Her passion for working with people, her love of marketing, project management and business strategy together with her creative flair led her to the events industry many years ago where she could combine all these aspects together.
Renowned for her friendliness, professionalism and calm demeanor, clients quickly feel 100% at ease and confident of her ability to deliver events and weddings in line with their vision.
Ursula studied art at school and loves the creative side of working with clients and suppliers to design weddings, celebrations and events that are uniquely bespoke & inspiring. Her client testimonials are a reflection of her dedication and commitment to her work.
In her downtime she can be found running in the mountains with her 3 rescue huskies and super active Labrador, enjoying Bikram yoga, exploring and traveling South Africa and abroad with her two young daughters Morgan & Damyn and husband Mark, entertaining friends at home (the more the merrier) or reading autobiographies, scientific and medical articles or fund-raising to build schools in rural areas.Contact Ursula
I love that my work demands innovation, passion, energy and a dedicated understanding of detail and logistics. These reasons alone are what make our team leaders in this field and true innovators to stylish events and weddings in South Africa.”
Kate DiazCreative Director - Weddings & Events
Kate is a rare gem: she is able to flawlessly balance exceptional people skills with exacting attention to detail. Having been an integral part of The Concepts Collection Team for 9 years, she has creatively designed celebrations for high-profile clients that include African Royalty, VIP’s, Nigerian celebrities and couples originating from all corners of the globe.
With a management background in conferencing and banqueting in both South Africa and Europe, Kate truly is passionate about customer service and experience. Capetonian by choice, but raised in Johannesburg, and married to a Colombian-American, Kate brings an international and on-trend approach to her work.
Kate also serves as our in-house marketing specialist, bringing her strong creative skills to frequent fashion and creative shoots that have been featured internationally. As well as being our resident blogger she keeps her finger firmly on the pixellated pulse of social media and digital marketing.
Kate lives with her husband Julian, her 2 lovable dogs, a Rottweiler named Pablo, and a ‘pavement special’ called Evie, and finally Bart – their cat. When she is not traveling between Johannesburg and Cape Town for one of her designer wedding & event projects – she cooks up a storm at home and is our in-house wine guru and creative superstar.Contact Kate
Being part of the Concepts’ Collection team is a dream come true. I am thrilled to play such a vital role in helping this established company soar to even greater heights.”
Megan KenneyOperations Director - Weddings & Events
Megan is our friendly and stylish secret weapon. As one of our Senior Project Managers and Operations Director, Megan is always armed with a can-do attitude and is respected for her easy-going and efficient nature by her clients and industry partners.
She manages her own exclusive portfolio of celebrations that range from our flagship marquee weddings to smaller more intimate affairs – all whilst applying the same level of “eagle-eye” attention to detail & design skills.
Her forte is her proficiency & passion for wedding & event budget management, and to her clients, she becomes the ultimate and meticulous financial partner. Needless to say that her creative approach has also gained her acclaim and many of Megan’s designer weddings have been featured locally and internationally.
With formal qualifications in both Event Management and Business Administration Megan spent several years living and travelling abroad before returning home to South Africa in 2008 to continue her career in the luxury hospitality industry. She brings with her great knowledge of working for premium brands and she is very much an integral part of the Concepts Collection family.
Megan is currently travelling between our offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town – making her more accessible for our brides across South Africa! Home is with her husband and their two cats, Miley and Pixie and two dogs, Larry & Lily. When Megan is not trying to find a reason to attend every clients’ cake tasting, she enjoys baking as much as leading a healthy lifestyle with a visit to the gym religiously every morning before work.Contact Megan
I am so excited to be a part of this dynamic team. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel and at the Concepts Collection, we make everyone feel special.”
Nicky HendricksOffice Manager
Capetonian Nicky is our Office Manager, the friendly voice on the phone, our “meeter & greeter” and brand ambassador, who serves as the first point of contact for clients, suppliers and industry colleagues. With a successful career in front of house management with luxury hotels, she is a perfect fit.
Highly organised and efficient and armed with an Advanced Diploma in International Hotel Management, Nicky knows all about personalising the customer experience and delivering the highest standards of service, with a smile.
Her love for travel and different cultures has seen her hotel career take her to Europe and the USA, but the love for Cape Town was always going to bring her home – and we are glad it did.