Call for nominations are now open! Deadline to submit your entry is August 1, 2016
Congratulations to Doug Akers, Universal Parks & Resorts, recipient of the
2016 IAAPA Young Professional
of the Year Award
The 2016 Young Professional of the Year Award was presented to Doug Akers, Director, Operations, Universal Parks & Resorts, Orlando, FL, United States, at the Young Professionals Reception, during IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 in Orlando, FL. The Young Professional of the Year Award is presented in recognition of an individual that a member company has identified for demonstrating leadership, teamwork, and integrity on a daily basis. The individual has fostered and enhanced the member company’s brand, productivity, and professionalism and has the potential to be an industry star of the future.
IAAPA Definition of Young Professionals
Qualifying as a Young Professional: A person under 35 years of age, who is employed by an IAAPA member company, or is an individual member of IAAPA through student or individual membership.
Young Professionals can be divided into 3 tiers based on experience:
TIER A: YOUNG PROFESSIONAL: MID-LEVEL MANAGER
Definition: A Young Professional Mid-Level Manager will be in a leadership position and will have obtained a minimum of 5 years managerial experience. They are responsible for overseeing a particular function, project or service. The Mid-Level Manager may require industry specific education or leadership development and may be on the executive track within a member organization.
Focus: A Young Professional Mid-Level Manager will be looking for professional development opportunities. Interests are best practice, leadership and innovation. The individual will be seeking structured education, peer-to-peer interaction and mentors to broaden knowledge and excel in their current role.
TIER B: NEW YOUNG PROFESSIONAL
Definition: A new Young Professional will have a minimum of one year full-time experience in the industry (not a student). A Young Professional is a full time employee of an IAAPA member organization. The individual displays the desire and commitment to make a career in the attractions industry and can be identified as an emerging leader in their organization.
Focus: A new Young Professional will be looking for direction. Interests are around improving their personal brand, achieving a promotion, networking and sharing peer to peer employment experiences.
TIER C: STUDENT
Definition: A person over 18 typically working toward a degree or other credentials in the attractions industry who wishes to further their understanding of the industry through involvement in IAAPA EXPO programs and other IAAPA opportunities. (E.g. Expo Ambassador Program)
Focus: A young professional student will be looking for jobs and experience. Interests are in improving CV writing, interview technique and networking effectively.
IAAPA Can Benefit You and Your Career
IAAPA offers a rich array of training programs, such as the Institute for Attractions Managers, Tools of the Trade and Safety Institutes. Our young professionals return from their IAAPA trainings invigorated, full of ideas, motivated and ready to contribute and make a difference in the organization.
Will Morey, Sr., Morey's Pier, Wildwood, New Jersey, North America
The Young Professionals program provides invaluable opportunities to find peers and exchange experiences from around the world. For manufacturers and suppliers, the program gives easier access into the network of senior park people and decision-makers too.. As my company has done, every IAAPA member company, park or supplier, should look carefully and select those Young Professionals who will benefit most from this kind of experience, and send them over to the IAE EXPO to participate in the YP events! I can ensure you that it will be a worthwhile investment!
Jeroen Nijpels – Principal of JN Entertainment & Leisure Consultancy, EMEA
IAAPA has been the guiding hand in my professional development; from attending my first education conference at EXPO to gaining Certification by completing industry specific courses. After every IAAPA engagement I have more to offer our family business; new innovative ideas, important contacts for future projects and additions to my network of industry friends. I consider myself lucky that we have used the association to benefit our facility now and for the foreseeable future.
Ash Smart - Company Director, Harbour Park, United Kingdom
Chairman, IAAPA Young Professionals Task Group
IAAPA Young Professionals Membership Task Group
If you're a young professional who wishes to be more involved with IAAPA and help foster growth for young professionals in the amusement and attrractions industry, contact IAAPA today and we'll put you in touch with the right people.
Young professionals employed by a company, currently an active member of IAAPA, are entitled to all the resources and benefits associated with IAAPA membership. Not sure if your company is a current member of IAAPA? Contact IAAPA Membership
and we'll be happy to assist you.
Contact membership at membership@IAAPA.org
or call us at +1 703/836-4800.
IAAPA membership includes:
- Access Unparalleled Learning Opportunities at Major IAAPA Events
Hear directly from seasoned professionals about what it takes to succeed in the amusement park and attractions industry. Whether you participate in the education sessions, networking events or behind-the-scenes tours, you will find many new ideas and connections to take your career to the next level. Exclusive members-only pricing is available for: IAAPA Attractions Expo, Euro Attractions Show, Asian Attractions Expo, the IAAPA Leadership Conference, the FEC Event, and IAAPA Institutes.
- Participate in Exceptional Webinars for Free
Industry-specific webinars will help you learn best practices and stay current on trends. Special webinars have been designed for Young Professionals that will help you develop your leadership skills and enhance your company's operations. Archived webinars are FREE to members in case you miss one!
- Get the Training You Need with IAAPA’s Specialized Certification Program
The IAAPA Certification Program is designed to elevate the professional standards of the attractions industry. Through a combination of classroom work and on-the-job experience, the program offers young professionals, just like you, the opportunity to further your knowledge of all aspects of the industry – and, in turn, advance your career.
- Receive Discounts on Training Materials
Only IAAPA members receive discounts on DVDs, CDs, videos, manuals, and more than 300 books in the online IAAPA Bookstore.
- Be in-the-know with IAAPA Tip Sheets
Tip sheets offer best practices and tried-and-true advice. Subjects range from green practices and best landscaping ideas all the way to how to execute a successful food and beverage offer.
- Never miss a beat with the Handout Archive
IAAPA has gathered many of the resources from IAAPA workshop programs and made them available on the website. These handouts and other materials are perfect for the Young professional seeking information quickly. The arranged by knowledge area and then by subject matter.
- Get insightful analysis and thought-leadership in every issue of Funworld Magazine
A Funworld subscription is exactly what every Young Professional needs to stay on top of issues that matter the most to the industry. Funworld is included at no charge with an IAAPA membership.
- Stay up-to-date on the day’s top trending stories with IAAPA News Flash
News Flash is an exclusive member-only daily e-news publication, translated into 11 languages, that delivers all the important industry headlines from around the world straight to your email.
- Connect with the industry using IAAPA's Online Member Directory
Only members can access the IAAPA Membership Directory, the industry’s leading registry. Young professionals can use the tool to find colleagues, buyers and sellers through our comprehensive database.
Show Ambassador Program
IAAPA seeks students (and recent graduates) with outstanding customer service skills to be interns at IAAPA Attractions Expo and Asian Attractions Expo. Successful applicants will get the opportunity to see and be involved in the premier amusement and attractions trade show and conference in the U.S. and/or Asia. Find out more here