Opening Keynote

Wednesday, March 8IAE_BobWeis
9:15 - 10:30 a.m.

Bob Weis
Walt Disney Imagineering 

President of Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative design and development team of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will deliver a keynote presentation. Mr. Weis is responsible for furthering Imagineering's vision and developing and delivering extraordinary products and experiences that enhance the guests' emotional connection to the brand.  

General Session

Curating a Creative Culture
Wednesday, March 8
11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Company culture is vital to your overall success. Hear about sources of ideas and creativity that will bring new levels of inspiration and success for your organization. It's time to challenge staff to have experiences that will induce learning and enrich their environment.  

Konzen_Mike Mike Konzen, Principal and Chair, PGAV Destinations

Mike Konzen is Chairman and Principal of PGAV Destinations, a leading creative firm based in Saint Louis, Missouri.  PGAV has planned and designed projects at many of the world’s “must see” destinations, such as Niagara Falls, Biltmore Estate, Kennedy Space Center, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Georgia Aquarium, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld Entertainment. The firm has committed itself to become the best employer in the industry, with many unique enrichment programs for its more than 125 professionals representing many creative disciplines. Mike is publisher of Destinology, the group’s quarterly trendsletter which has distribution to more than 7,500 industry professionals and Voice of the Visitor, the industry’s only consumer-based barometer of the destination industry. 


A Perspective from a Past Attendee

Leading up to the event, hear from past attendees of IAAPA Leadership Conference on what inspires them, why they come to this event, and what they are looking forward to in 2017.

Like many in our industry, I was inspired to pursue a career at the Aquarium after being a long time guest. The Aquarium wants guests to leave thinking that they can achieve unimaginable goals by working together and mirrors this thinking in its organizational structure. As a leader, it’s my job to keep my team engaged, help them understand their contributions to our institution and strategic goals and remind them while we are great, we can always be better. I instill these values on my staff and work to help them find their voice and passion, ultimately shaping the leaders of tomorrow. 

While one can be taught management skills like scheduling and budget, leadership is a skill set that we are constantly building and refining. I found the IAAPA Leadership Conference to be great opportunity to share best practices with my peers, build greater networks of people that I can call on when I’m seeking solutions, and visit a variety of facilities that help craft my abilities to look outside of the box for solutions to everyday challenges. Our leadership skills are tested daily and often by split second decisions so I always appreciate having the time away from my workplace to concentrate on my personal development. I’m excited to learn from industry leaders like Disney’s Bob Weis, Universal Studios and Great Wolf Lodge at this year’s Leadership Conference in Anaheim/Hollywood. 


Marika Barranco

Guest Experience Manager 
Monterey Bay Aquarium 
IAAPA 2015 Young Professional of the Year