Three Industry Leaders Honored with IAAPA Service Awards
During the GM and Owners’ Breakfast on Wednesday, IAAPA honored three industry leaders for their continued dedication and service to the industry.
Lifetime Service Award: Jim Seay
The Lifetime Service Award recognizes a member, individual, or organization’s continual service to the attractions industry. Jim Seay brought his aerospace engineering expertise to the the industry in 1988 as an executive for Six Flags Corporation. Then in 1996, he became president of Premier Rides where for nearly two decades he has focused on quality customer service and ride innovation. For example, Seay and his team helped develop the linear induction motor and linear synchronous motor for powering roller coasters.
Seay has been an active industry volunteer serving as chair of the IAAPA Safety Committee, and previously serving on the IAAPA Government Relations Committee. He is a strong industry safety advocate and has testified before the United States Congress regarding industry safety. He also currently serves as chairman of the ASTM F24 Global Committee on Ride Safety Standards.
“This is very, very humbling,” Seay said upon accepting the award Wednesday morning. “You have to be passionate about safety to the core to be in this industry, and your commitment must be to the highest quality. Our team at Premier Rides thinks that way in everything we do.”
Outstanding Service Award:
The Outstanding Service Award is presented in recognition of a member individual who works to foster the spirit of goodwill, professionalism, and higher levels of performance within the industry. Julio Vanegas has made it his mission to promote the development of the attractions industry in Colombia and throughout Latin America for more than two decades. Soon after founding the Colombian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (ACOLAP) in 2005, Vanegas influenced crucial government policy that became the first safety law in Latin America based on ASTM F24 standards. Currently, Vanegas applies his expertise as general manager of Carrruseles S.A. to his position as chairman of the IAAPA Latin American Advisory Committee. He has also served on the IAAPA Strategic Planning Committee and IAAPA Governance Task Force.
“I’m very honored and happy for receiving this award, and to have the great and unique opportunity to make so many friends all over the world,” Vanegas said Wednesday.
Meritorious Service Award:
The Meritorious Service Award is presented in recognition of a member individual’s service to and for the association by advancing the IAAPA mission. Doug Stagner’s leadership in operations, safety, and guest relations has helped attractions around the world build their businesses and furthered IAAPA’s dedication to establish the industry’s positive, professional reputation.
Drawing on his experience as corporate senior director of operations at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Stagner has chaired numerous IAAPA committees since 1999, including facility operations and education, and has served as a guest speaker on safety and customer service worldwide. Fostering the next generation of amusement professionals and IAAPA members, Stagner led the creation of the Institute for Attractions Managers, revamped the executive education program, and worked to develop IAAPA’s professional certification programs.
“I’m honored to receive this award,” Stagner said Wednesday. “I do so with a tad bit of guilt for receiving a volunteer service award for doing something you feel you get as much back—if not more—than you give.”