By Caitlin Bantom
Lizelle Maurice, a previous chairperson of the Business Women’s Association of SA (Bwasa), will be taking over from Les Holbrook as CEO of Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) on July 1. This will be a first for the BKCOB with its first female CEO calling the shots.
Maurice was born near Mount Frere (now KwaBhaca) and schooled in the area. Her father, a school principal, owned a trading store on the Transkei border and she spent her school holidays there.
Maurice highlighted that she is trilingual and is able to speak English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. “During that time I became fluent in isiXhosa. I learnt Afrikaans at school, and my mom was from Lusikisiki, where she spoke English. So I can speak all three official Eastern Cape languages.”
After completing her matric, Maurice went on to study at Coronation nursing school. However, she ended up preferring business over medicine.
In July 2013, alongside her husband, she launched her own business, the Park Place Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse in East London, and currently runs it as the Managing Director. Maurice loves people and being in the hospitality industry.
Maurice has left a mark in the tourism industry. She was a board member for Women in Tourism and was also a part of the national tourism department. “I have a strong tourism background and have been on the board of several companies. I was on the board of Women in Tourism, part of the national tourism department.”
From July 1997 to July 2012, Maurice worked at AMC Classic as the Eastern Cape manager. From August 2020 to July 2015, she served as the Vice-Chairperson for St. Barnard’s Hospice and around the same time she also served as the Director of Border Cricket and as a board member at the Leadership Development Institute. Maurice is also one of the founders of Butch Coetzee’s Business Network International where she filled the position of Assistant Director.
Managing Director at Current Consulting, Bonnie Currin, said that Maurice also served as a mentor to aspiring business women. “East London is fortunate to have her adding such value to our city,” she wrote.
Currently Maurice is working as the Financial Director at Cooper-King Development trust and of course, will be taking over the role of BKCOB CEO soon.
The chair of the East London Bwasa branch, Cherrie Lawlor, said that the association has full confidence in Maurice as the new BKCOB CEO.
Lizelle Maurice was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.