EAS 2018 Masthead

Wednesday 26 Sept. 2018
18:30 - 21:15


Conference Room 2

Students Forum by IAAPA Foundation and Reception

For the first time in Euro Attraction Show history, an educational event will be organized exclusively for students in the field of leisure and attractions management. During this dedicated Student Forum, students will learn more about getting started in the industry, career options and networking from respected industry professionals with different backgrounds. They will also get answers to their career related questions during the Q&A and afterwards during the networking reception where they can network with young professionals from all over the world.


Tom Bobbie Wages
Tom & Bobbie Wages, Co-Executive Directors, IAAPA Foundation

Tom and Bobbie spent over 30 years in resort and theme park management in the USA and Puerto Rico, beginning in resort management with Amelia Island Company, Florida, in the early 70’s. From 1978 until 2005 they managed regional theme parks including Fantasy Island, New York; The Great Escape, New York; and Lake Compounce, Connecticut. They have been active with IAAPA on numerous committees, both serving terms as Treasurer and Tom serving on the Board of Directors for over 20 years and as Chairman in 1986. They currently serve as Co-Executive Directors of the IAAPA Foundation.

Andreas Andersen
Andreas Andersen, CEO and President, Liseberg Group

Andreas is the CEO and President of the Liseberg Group, running Scandinavia's biggest amusement park in Gothenburg. Andreas has a legal and financial background; his passion for the attractions industry led him to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he began in 2000; and later on as Executive Director of IAAPA in Brussels, Belgium (now IAAPA EMEA). Andreas is currently also IAAPA’s Chairman of the Board for 2018.

doug akers
Doug Akers, Sr. Director, Park Operations, Universal Beijing Resort

Doug Akers is currently Director of Operations for Attractions at Singapore’s first Integrated Resort, Resorts World Sentosa. He oversees Operations at Universal Studios Singapore as well as shared services operations. He joined the resort in 2009 as part of its preopening and opening management team for Universal Studios Singapore, supporting the Attractions Operations department. Following the opening of the theme park and stabilization of operation, Doug had the opportunity to pre-open and launch the new Marine Life Park facility featuring Adventure Cove Waterpark, Dolphin Island, and S.E.A. Aquarium.

Doug began his career at Busch Gardens Tampa in 1998, working through a variety of leadership roles and positions within the Merchandise Department, including VIP Tours, Vending, Revenue Auditing, Stroller Rental, and general retail operations. Following several years working with Busch Gardens, Doug joined Universal Orlando in 2004, serving management roles in both the Attractions Operations department as well as Parking & Transportation.

Following his time with Universal Orlando, Doug was part of the opening management team for Hard Rock Park in 2007, running the day to day operations as the Attractions Manager and working with a highly talented team to bring to life the park where rock comes to play.

While maintaining an active career within the theme park and attraction industry, Doug is also a graduate of the University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management with a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality, focusing on theme park and attraction management. Doug has also worked with AIMS and IAAPA in the role of show ambassadors for several expos both state side and Asian Attractions Expo, and is a young professional member of IAAPA while sitting on the Young Professional committee with IAAPA as well as Asian Membership Committee.

Doug’s hobbies include SCUBA diving, travelling, and visiting other theme parks.

Chip Cleary
Chip Cleary, Senior Consultant, Europa-Park

A 40-year veteran of the attractions industry, Cleary began his work career in Broadcast Television as a Scenic and Lighting Designer in New York.

In 1991 Cleary supervised the design and construction of Splish Splash Waterpark on Long Island, New York, and served as the park’s president until 1999 when he and his partners sold the company to a private equity firm. Mr. Cleary was a VP of the newly created firm, Palace Entertainment. Palace Entertainment was purchased by Spain-based Parques Reunidos in 2007 and Cleary was named senior vice president to oversee the company’s portfolio of waterparks in the U.S. He worked with Parques Reunidos until he accepted the top staff position of President & CEO at IAAPA in April 2011.

Cleary was an active volunteer in IAAPA for nearly 15 years, prior to joining the organization as president and CEO. He served on the association’s exhibitor awards, government relations, safety and maintenance, and conference and trade show advisory committees and chaired the membership, strategic planning, compensation, and executive committees. He served two terms on the board of directors and was elected third vice chairman in 2007. He served as second and first vice chairman in 2008 and 2009 respectively and he was chairman of the board in 2010.

Cleary returned to the Theme Park Industry in the position of Senior Consultant to Europa Park in May of 2013 where he is heavily involved in Europa Parks new Water Adventure Resort Rulantica, He is also involved in strategic planning and was tasked with a complete reimaging of the parks Parade efforts.

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Practical summary

Date: Wednesday, 26 September 2018
18:30 - 21:15
Location:   RAI Amsterdam Convention Center Conference Room 2
Reception at Rosarium

€40,- (IAAPA-Members)
€50,- (Non-Members)
Fee includes:

Students Forum Participation
Networking Reception
Notes: Must be 18 or older to attend. Separate ticket and Expo badge required to attend.