Durban businesswoman Nina Freysen-Pretorius has been named as one of the most influential people in the international meetings industry in 2017.
Included in US-based Successful Meetings magazine’s annual list of 25 outstanding professionals who have had a significant impact on the meetings industry, Freysen-Pretorius is chief executive officer of The Conference Company, which also has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and celebrates 20 years in business this year.
Vince Alonzo, Editor-in-Chief of Successful Meetings says the 25 individuals have been chosen because they have either contributed to the business of meetings, made it easier for meetings professionals to do their jobs, helped raise awareness of the industry, or, through their actions, have had a significant impact on meetings professionals. Potential honorees were suggested by key members of the meeting industry, recipients from previous years and through open nominations.
Named one of the top strategists in the meetings industry, Freysen-Pretorius is serving a second term as president of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the first South African to fill the position.
Arnaldo Nardone, immediate past President of ICCA says Freysen-Pretorius has a vision for the international meetings industry. “She is a strategist. She is work-focused and is hyper-engaged with the meetings industry community. She is a game-changer and shifts paradigms.”
Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism says this is a huge achievement – not only for Freysen-Pretorius as an individual but for the South African meetings industry as a whole. “Thank you, Nina, for making a real contribution to the industry on a global level and for being an outstanding ambassador for South Africa at the same time. Congratulations from South African Tourism and the entire industry.”
In addition to serving as ICCA president, Freysen-Pretorius has also served on the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa and is a former board member of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal.
She is a former chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry, as well as a former national chairperson of the association.
Highlights of her career include being project manager for the COP17 climate change conference held in Durban in 2011, professional conference organiser for the International Confederation of Midwives in the same year and being the Zambian Ministry of Tourism’s project manager for the UN World Tourism Organisation’s world congress at the Victoria Falls in 2013.
“Being included in this list of industry achievers is truly humbling. I believe in the meetings industry and how it can contribute to successful economies across the world, including South Africa,” says Freysen-Pretorius.
She has been married to her husband, Michael, for twenty years and has two sons, Ben and Matt.