Phil Wilson

Apr 4, 2016, 15:55 PM

Jodi Helmer

A passion for adventure led Phil Wilson to start Extreme Engineering in 1995.

Philip Wilson

Along with his father, Jeff, Wilson built rock climbing panels and hauled them to events after high school, securing eager climbers into safety gear and watching their faces light up as they climbed higher and higher.

“I met a lot of great people at a very young age and was able to experience the

complete cycle from manufacturing, selling to operating all in one week,” he recalls. “It was a good gig.”

It turned out to be more than a part-time job.

Wilson went on to patent his mobile climbing wall, turning Extreme Engineering into a thriving adventure attractions provider that supplies Extreme Air launchers, the Cloud Coaster roller coaster, ziplines and, of course, rock walls, to major attractions.

Today, Wilson is the executive vice president of sales and marketing, managing a team of full-and part-time sales reps and leading all intellectual property endeavors, including trademark filing, brand creation and product placement. Wilson also assists with product design, public relations and manages mass and social media efforts.

“We wear a lot of hats in our business, which is great because we are not from a company culture that says, ‘That's not my job,’ or, ‘Not my department,’” he says. “My day-to-day duties are never the same.”

Wilson thrives in the fast-paced environment.

“It keeps me on edge and focused on constant deadlines,” he explains.

But the passion for his career is about more than hitting deadlines for product design, brand strategy and workflow management.

“The icing on the cake is that we get to work in the amusement industry building amusement rides. It has been my dream career as I get to create, implement and test all of our strategies in an exciting market,” Wilson says. “There isn't a single person who doesn't smile after I tell them I work in the amusement industry.”

According to Wilson, the team at Extreme Engineering and the relationships he’s developed in the amusement industry have also kept him engaged in his work for more than two decades.

Wilson still works alongside his father, who he calls his “best friend and mentor” and believes their relationship has made Extreme Engineering’s successes sweeter and their hardships more bearable. – something he believes other IAAPA members will understand.

“It is astonishing how many companies, from suppliers to park operators, are family owned and operated,” he says.

Wilson has been a member of IAAPA for over 15 years, serving on the marketing committee, space allocation, M&S task force and service awards committee. He recently earned IAAPA Certified Attractions Executive credential.

“IAAPA is driven by not just its great staff but us as members,” he says. “I know the future growth is dependent on all of us [and] I have always donated my time as it is the least I could do for so much we gain back.”

For Extreme Engineering, attending Expo is one of the biggest benefits of IAAPA membership. Wilson points to the three annual “market-focused” shows for providing important opportunities to learn, engage and connect with other members.

“IAAPA creates…the personal touch that is so needed today,” he says. “There are so many benefits with IAAPA.  You just need to leap forward from being a ‘member’ into an ‘active member.’"