Akers Named 2016 IAAPA Young Professional of the Year

Doug Akers, ICAE, director of operations within the International Operations group at Universal Parks & Resorts, is the 2016 IAAPA Young Professional of the Year. Akers began his career at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 1998 and rose through various leadership roles before moving on to Universal Orlando in 2004. He was part of the opening team of Hard Rock Park, and joined Universal Studios Singapore in 2009. An active member of the industry, Akers has worked with the IAAPA Safety Institute and show ambassador program, sits on the IAAPA Young Professionals Committee and Asian Advisory Committee, and is chair of the IAAPA Asia-Pacific Membership Sub-committee.

IAAPA Foundation Establishes  Memorial Fund in Memory of Alexander (Al) Weber Jr., Ph.D

With the support of Bonnie Weber, the wife of the late attractions industry leader Alexander (Al) Weber Jr., Ph.D, founder, president, and CEO of Apex Parks Group, the IAAPA Foundation has established a memorial fund to support education for future attractions leaders.

Donations should be made payable to the IAAPA Foundation to benefit the Al Weber Jr., Ph.D Memorial Fund, 1448 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314, USA. Additional information is available at

Think Outside the Box with Customer Service Session

Online retailer Zappos has gained a strong reputation for delivering excellent ­customer service. In “Game Changer: Zappos, Using Culture to Create Exceptional Customer Experiences,” Jon Wolske, the company’s culture evangelist, will explore how the company puts customers first and share tips to apply at attractions. The session takes place Friday at 9 a.m. in Room S320. Tickets and Expo badge are required and can be purchased at Registration.

Tickets Still Available for Walt Disney World EDUTour

IAAPA EDUTours offer a behind-the-scenes look at some of the area’s legendary attractions. Tickets are still available for “Walt Disney World’s Transportation Operations, a Behind-the-Scenes Look.” In an average day, Walt Disney World transports more people than many large cities. Attendees will learn how Disney incorporates transit industry strategies into their world-class service structure. The EDUTour takes place Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Voting for People’s Choice Best Booth Exhibitor Award Now Open

Attendees can help make their favorite booth a winner at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 by voting for the People’s Choice Best Booth Exhibitor Award. Paper ballots are available at IAAPA Central (Booth #3831). Attendees can also vote online through the IAAPA Expos Mobile App or Voting is open through the conclusion of the trade show Friday, Nov. 18. One vote per attendee (exhibitors are ineligible). Remember to consider all elements including booth design, branding, staffing, and overall appeal. 

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International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions | 1448 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314
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