Cynthia Mamon is COO of Enchanted Kingdom. Previously president of SUN Microsystems Philippines, Mamon holds a Ph.D in management from Letran University and an MBA from the University of the Philippines Diliman Quezon City. She also completed the Information Systems Specialist Program at The George Washington University.


Thoughts on Women in the Industry

What is the most pressing issues facing women in the workplace today, and how can the attractions industry influence positive change?

Safety: All positions in developed countries are now open to women, so training, education, and specific guidelines must be clearly defined regarding female workers and occupational safety.

How have you seen the industry evolve in regard to gender roles?

In the Philippines, women enjoy special privileges—they have equal opportunities and are not treated as minorities. We had two woman presidents already. In Asia, this is evolving, too, as more women rise to become corporate leaders even in our industry.
How have you built your network of women in the industry?
Mostly through friendships and meeting them during trainings and conventions in Asia-Pacific and European Expos, as well as IAAPA Attractions Expo in Florida. But I will recommend, support, and participate in new programs in IAAPA that will be focused on gender issues and build the women's network for the global IAAPA. I'm willing to develop and implement such women-focused programs in the Asia-Pacific region, which can start with surveys and consultations, then grow into training programs and networking sessions among women.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to convey to women starting their attractions careers?

Develop your expertise. There is nothing that should stop women from achieving what men can achieve. Women have an advantage in leadership and management, as we are naturally nurturing with our maternal instincts, thus being more effective in people management.

Creating Careers of Distinction

How do you invest in yourself as a leader?
Through lifelong learning—I completed my Ph.D even when I was already above age 50. I continue to read, research, and learn about other attractions all over the world through travel and attendance at IAAPA events. There are limitless opportunities for learning now with modern communications and information technology.

What do you consider your most significant career accomplishment?
Transforming companies (which I handled and assisted before) from being financially and organizationally challenged to become companies of strong financial growth and transforming them to becoming world class and leaders in the industry in the country.

What has had the greatest impact on your career?
 My first stint in the government office where I pioneered establishment of the Agricultural Science Council's (PCARRD) under the Department of Science and Technology’s management information system (MIS) National Agricultural Research Databases where I acquired on-the-job experience and expertise in information systems without necessarily earning a degree in it. Thus earning a recognition of being one of the Philippines "Most Powerful Women in Information Technology"

What has been the greatest challenge of your career?
Shifting from my career in information technology, I had to learn much about the theme park business and so I used our park, Enchanted Kingdom, as a case study for my Ph.D thesis. This made it easier for me to study the park, the industry from the point of view of Organizational Development using Appreciative Inquiry.
What was the greatest piece of career advice you ever received?
"Do your best and God will take care of the rest." I'm a firm believer that God is our Lord and Savior and Master Planner, source of everything that is good. So for things beyond my control, beyond my human capability and power, I turn to God and He has made miracles which my family and I have witnessed in our personal lives and corporate life as well. Thus in all we do, to God be the Glory.

The Future of the Industry

Why did you join and choose to stay in the attractions business?

To help my husband, who had the dream of building Enchanted Kingdom. He started the business, and now I am helping grow and sustain it for the future generations in our family to continue providing wholesome magical family experiences that give happiness.
What makes you most passionate about the industry?
The industry has the noble mission of bringing happiness to people regardless of status, age, or creed. It is educational. It is a great equalizer and provides wholesome shared family experience that lasts a lifetime and for all generations to come. It is built on love for life and love that brings inner peace and harmony among people.

What is your vision for the industry in the next 20 years?

That more and more collaboration happens among all attractions within the country, within the region, and around the world. That IAAPA brings more and more education and training programs to the Asia-Pacific region, where there is tremendous growth and higher educational need. This industry is one that can really harmonize people in a country, and all countries, setting aside differing ideologies or personal differences. For as long as people are happy in the theme parks where they see happy families, happy people enjoying being together, ideally, no one should even think of criminal acts to destroy such peace and happiness. I know this is idealistic and seemingly a utopia, but the industry has the opportunity to pursue such noble intentions for peace and harmony around the world.

​​Know a professional we should talk to? E-mail Prasana William, IAAPA manager, digital content and strategy.


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