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In the last 23 years Michael has developed Grootbos into a premier ecotourism destination, comprising two five-star eco-lodges. He is a passionate advocate for responsible tourism and was a driving force in the establishment of the Grootbos Foundation, as he identified the need for such an organisation to address the needs of the community. He remains actively involved in the Grootbos Foundation.



Former Chairman of the JSE. Trustee of Brand South Africa. Geoff sits on the boards of the Grootbos Foundation and Nepad Business Foundation. He is a patron of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and Education Africa and is an Honorary Industrial Fellow of the Da Vinci Institute of Technology.


Mr Vincent Zwelibanzi Mntambo, BJuris, LLB (University of North West), LLM (Yale), is the founder of Sediba Consulting and Sediba Accords. Mr Mntambo served as a senior lecturer at the University of Natal. He served as Director General of the Gauteng province. Mr Mntambo serves as Executive Chairman of ASG Business Solutions. He serves as chairman of the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, Eyesizwe Mining (Pty) Limited. He served as Executive Director of IMSSA. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Exxaro Resources Limited since November 2006. He serves as a Non-Executive Director of Eyesizwe Coal (Pty) Limited and Everest Systems Solutions (Pty) Limited.





JULIE CHEETHAM - Managing Director
Julie Cheetham joined the Grootbos Foundation in 2014 after more than 15 years in the corporate world. She holds a B.Com in Economics from Port Elizabeth University (NMMU), and a Six Sigma Black Belt. She has worked across financial services, consulting and manufacturing sectors, with companies such as Standard Bank, Distell, and National Australia Bank. Julie has developed key expertise in strategic business development and programme leadership. Her passion for community development and empowerment of women led her to initiate the award-winning NAB corporate finance community programme in 2009. She recently returned home to South Africa where she joined the Grootbos Foundation team and is able to spend more time with her two sons.



SEAN PRIVETT - Conservation Director

Sean has a Masters Degree in Botany from the University of Cape Town and an enormous passion for the conservation of the Cape’s unique flora and upliftment of its people. Sean has been involved at Grootbos since 1997 and was instrumental, together with Grootbos owner Michael Lutzeyer, in initiating and developing the non-profit Grootbos Foundation since 2003. Sean assisted in establishing the South African flora display at the Eden Project in Cornwall, U.K., played a pivotal role in establishing the 15 500 hectare Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and designed the fynbos sustainable harvesting program of the Flower Valley Conservation Trust. Sean’s involvement with the Grootbos Foundation is currently focused on developing our Green Corridor project and mentorship of young conservationists.







Léan Muller has been involved in the non-profit sector since 2008 with areas of expertise in community capacity development, programme design, fundraising and public private partnerships. She obtained her BA Humanities as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management at the University of Stellenbosch. Her projects have received several nominations and awards in the development sector. 





Mr Xolani Msweli was born in the Eastern Cape and started working as the gate attendant at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, in 2004. He worked his way up to Bar Manager and during his Grootbos career participated in the Cape Legen Inter Hotel Challenge and was nominated the most upcoming sommelier in teh country. He is currently a Municipal ward councillor for the Overstrand and is passionate about fighting poverty and uplifting communities in the area. He is currently furthering his studies with a further qualification in Public Accountability at the Nelson Mandela Univesrity.