There is a decisive feistiness in the way she wields a sledgehammer whilst balancing on high wedge heels; the IT team needed more space so let’s break down the wall! To us, this is how we know our colleague Iroleen Hurter after all these years; with true meaning and determined purpose.
It must have been with these above-mentioned virtues that a young Iroleen matriculated in 1994 and jumped into the professional world of audit whilst studying in the evenings to finish her BCompt degree. She soon realized that auditing was not her passion and thus she made the move into the private sector and more specifically in the tourism industry where action is guaranteed.
In 2003 Iroleen joined the crazy team of Gondwana Collection Namibia pioneers; little did we know that she would become so much more than “just” our Financial Manager! Trying with all her might not to stifle the companies’ passion for developing sustainable tourism for Namibia and its people, she would emerge as a strict but gentle mother keeping an eagle’s eye over our financial well-being.
Her incredible work ethic and resilience have silently been the backbone of our company for many years, but it was our founding CEO Manni Goldbeck, who forever changed all our perspectives in the early 2000’s with the slogan “you can only be successful if you make others successful”. This so perfectly describes Iroleen, whose patience and integrity helped many colleagues find their focus and motivation. Through her selfless assistance and caring, many of us felt that we had a mom in the office that always had our backs and would help us up if we should stumble and fall. It indeed pushed us to be our personal best and made every day working at Gondwana an adventure and roller coaster ride at the same time. With Iroleen, she challenges you to think bigger and bolder every day.
As from 2005 Iroleen was to experience the magic of motherhood herself with Ian, soon to be followed by André in 2008. Guided by her strong Christian foundations and with the help of her lovingly supportive mother, Iroleen enjoys a close-knit family with her now teenage sons that act as her personal bodyguards. I wonder if the boys have forgiven her for those many times that she dressed them up as Peter Pan or other action heroes whilst paying a visit to the children at the cancer ward?
As from 2010, a group of friends called the Gondwana Memes (Meme being a respectful word for mother in Oshiwambo) was formed. Iroleen opened her heart unconditionally, has been and still is the glue that is now known as the Gondwana Care Trust. Needless to say, our books are transparent and up to date! Her role within the company has evolved many times over since then and in 2019 she took upon the challenge to streamline and provide smoother integration of the (commercial) departments of our fast-growing company. Currently, she enjoys the world of integration and carefully curates the well-being of the company and our colleagues through value creation reports, and a range of eclectic business-orientated projects.
Like with so many mothers out there, love is best shown in actions that speak louder than words. It is with empathy and caring that we express gratitude for our own lives and show appreciation by making others feel the same. In the example of Iroleen, let us all be a Gondwana Meme in heart and soul and pay it forward. If she had to comment, it would most probably be: “we can do this”.