Suncoast’s Michelle Hitmann

Being Happy is Michelle’s Formula for Success

Having a happy working environment is a sought-after ideal for many bosses and employees with research showing that the hours spent at the office directly impact on one’s quality of life.

Fei-Ting (Michelle) Hitmann, Pit Manager at Suncoast Casino, Hotels & Entertainment in Durban – seems to have found the winning formula in being both happy and fostering happiness in those around her. And the proof is there for all to see with her colleagues recently voting her as the livingTSOGO National Brand Ambassador Award for the second consecutive year.

The prestigious award was presented at an in-house ceremony in Cape Town, citing Hitmann as displaying the Tsogo Group’s value systems of Teamwork, Service, Opportunity, Growth and Ownership. The livingTSOGO values are the group values which extend across the 96 hotels and 14 casinos that make up the Tsogo Sun Group.

“I feel so appreciated and honoured for being recognized for my efforts and hard work for the second time in a row,” Hitmann says.

Being a good listener, consistent and respectful, having a great attitude and good communication skills are qualities that the award-winner believes to be essential in her managerial position.

Her duties include running the pits at SUNCOAST in accordance to business demands, staffing levels, procedural and policy compliance and managing the performance and development of dealers and supervisors.

“I motivate staff by creating a positive atmosphere through demonstrating respect and dignity to all and reward colleagues who perform well through the voting mechanism. Providing professional courteous service to customers is also encouraged,” she adds.

Hitmann (who moved to Durban from Taiwan in 1991) first started working for SUNCOAST in 2005 as a Dealer before taking up a position at Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng. She returned to SUNCOAST as a Pit Manager in 2010.

Like most working mothers, the award-winning employee juggles her demanding day with an equally busy life at home as a wife and mom.

“I admit to being career-driven; however I believe that if one maintains a healthy married life, the rest will all fall into place. I love cooking, baking and taking care of my family and want nothing more than to see my kids grow up, get married and be as happy as I am,” Hitmann says.

“There is no ‘after hours’ for me. But I spend as much time with my family as possible – seeing them happy gives me peace of mind and that is what makes me relax.”

The proud SUNCOAST employee says the best thing about her job is “working with great people and creating great results. I am glad I can contribute to SUNCOAST being named the Best Casino in KwaZulu Natal for 13 years in a row (as voted by Durban readers in local daily newspaper).”

Looking ahead to the future Hitmann’s career goals are ones that include helping others. “I want to continue learning new techniques that will make me a better manager and use the knowledge gained to help others reach their full potential.

“I could see myself being a great leader and manager who encourage employees to be better, thus making the company a success.”

Mike Dowsley, Executive Director at SUNCOAST, congratulated Hitmann on her repeat award. “Michelle’s core values of respect, tolerance, unity and dedication certainly shine through in everything she does. The overwhelming vote from her colleagues proves that she is a shining example of the livingTSOGO values and how everyone can work together to achieve them.”

The livingTSOGO moments awards allow Tsogo employees to recognize, nominate and vote for fellow colleagues at any of the Tsogo properties around the country based on the positive qualities and Tsogo values they display.

Personnel use a specially-downloaded company mobile app to nominate and vote for the staff member of their choice who has positively portrayed the various company values. The app subsequently scooped a Bronze Award in the Relationship Management Category of the Mobile Marketing Association of South Africa’s (MMA SA) Smarties Awards – which was awarded during the 2016 Loeries in Durban.

The LivingTSOGO Moments platform was created by Durban-based Mobile Surveys Company Tellpeach (powered by Always Active Technologies (AAT), who provide dynamic mobile surveys for brands wanting to communicate with their consumers (or in this case, employees). The design of the rewards and recognition programme was an intensive one which involved a large amount of research and case studies.

The livingTSOGO moments awards were introduced in 2015 and are recognized, presented and voted for, internally.


Influenced by the Art Deco style of Miami South Beach, SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels & Entertainment is Durban’s leading gamer-tainment destination. It boasts unparalleled atmosphere from its location on Durban’s stretch of palm-lined beaches known as the Golden Mile and is within walking distance of the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Winner of the BMW Supertech KZN Top Business Award – Tourism Category 2014, voted KwaZulu-Natal’s “Best Casino” for the 13th year running, in the 2016 Daily News Your Choice Awards, the 2014 Ask Afrika Orange Index customer service award winning in the Casino Industry category, and recipient of the 2016 certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor.

SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels and Entertainment continues to be an integral part of the Durban entertainment scene.

SUNCOAST has a gaming floor of over 7,000m2, with coinless SMART technology, 1,600 slot machines, 67 gaming tables, and an exclusive Salon Prive called 77 Ocean Drive for higher limit slots and tables.

SUNCOAST’s leisure, dining and retail options include 13 restaurants and fast food outlets, a kids’ entertainment arcade and an 8-screen Cinecentre cinema complex.

SUNCOAST opens onto a boardwalk which links to uShaka Marine World to the south and Moses Mabhida stadium and Blue Lagoon to the north.

There is a superb grassed area between SUNCOAST and the beach offering loungers and umbrellas for the beachgoer.

The SUNCOAST Durban complex also offers 5-star conference and eventing venues plus superior accommodation at the sea-facing Suncoast Towers and SunSquare Suncoast with its Balinese-style spa and stylish Jeera Restaurant.

SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels & Entertainment is owned by Tsogo Sun Gaming.


Tsogo Sun Gaming proudly supports the National Responsible Gambling Programme. Winners know when to stop. Only persons 18 years and older are permitted to gamble. National problem gambling counselling toll-free helpline 0800 006 008. Tsogo Sun Gaming casinos are licensed casinos.

Copyright © 2021 Tsogo Sun Gaming. All rights reserved

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