Mr Graf von Hardenberg, who is armed with a confidence obtained from a successful track record in numerous enterprises, will oversee all the units that contribute to the pillars of the Thanyapura brand: sport, health, mind and education. He will drive the company in one direction as it looks to build on its reputation as Asia’s leading active healthy lifestyle destination.
“Philipp truly is a renaissance man whose life has been governed by the pursuit of excellence,” said Thanyapura Executive Chairman Chris McCormack, the four-time triathlon world champion. “He has had a varied and brilliant career, and we are honoured to have such a learned, successful and driven man join the senior management team.”
“Thanyapura’s reputation has been built on innovative thinking, a determination to be the best and a desire to help people of all walks of life simply get more out of life – and that’s exactly what Philipp brings to the table. This is a very exciting time for Thanyapura and we are really going from strength to strength in all areas.”
The German-born Mr Graf von Hardenberg wears many hats: business coach, entrepreneur, financier, educator, hotelier, fund-raiser, and philanthropist. He has turned around the fortunes of the first International School in Berlin, established a self-funding school that generates jobs for the underprivileged children of Phang Nga, set up Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation in Germany and played a leadership role in turning Ritz-Carlton Hotels into a global five-star luxury brand.
“I’ve been around long enough to know what is a natural fit for me, and that’s why I’ve joined Thanyapura,” Mr Graf von Hardenberg said. “We are both driven by success – the setting and achieving of goals, prognosticating something great and ensuring it becomes reality. I’ve spent my life striving to harness my mind, body and soul to maximise my potential and that is the foundation that underpins everything we do at Thanyapura.”
The Graf von Hardenberg name has long been known to the populace of greater Phuket and Phang Nga after his swift and effective actions following the tsunami. He founded and drove the success of the Yaowawit School, a government-approved, public welfare boarding school looking after children from unfortunate backgrounds that is all but self-reliant through projects generated to cover running costs and offer training and employment. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the inauguration of Yaowawit School on April 24, 2006.
From 1996 to 1999 he headed the Advisory and Executive Board of the International School Berlin/Brandenburg. Berlin’s only international school had been mismanaged into bankruptcy but following it’s repositioning under Mr Graf von Hardenberg, its enrolments doubled in three years.
He was front-of-house manager at Hotel Le Beau-Rivage, Lausanne, The Savoy Hotel in London and Hotel Gravenbruch Kempinski, Frankfurt, before beginning a stint with Ritz-Carlton Hotels in 1987 that saw him rise to the level of Senior Vice President by 1993.
The vision shared by Mr McCormack and Mr Graf von Hardenberg will ensure Thanyapura moves forward in a clear, singular direction, taking the company to the next level and to further successes as it strives to achieve its goal of harnessing the potential of people to simply ‘get more out of life’ through a healthy and active lifestyle.