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IAAPA SPEAKERS

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Speaker Name

Speaker Biography

Speaker Dates

Mikael Ahlerup

Mikael is the General Manager and CEO of the theme park Astrid Lindgrens World in Sweden. The theme Park in the south of Sweden, is based on the stories from the world famous children books writer Astrid Lindgren and is a special park in the way that there are no rides, the main attraction is actors making Astrid's stories become realty for kids from all Europe.

Mikael has had his current position since 2003, before that he was the General Manager for Orsa Grönklitt 1998 - 2003. Orsa Grönklitt is located in the north of Sweden and is a ski resort in the winter and a water park in the summer there is also a zoo with only predators inside that company. He is currently serving on the board of the Swedish amusement parks association and he is also on the board for "The foundation for the conserving of Astrid Lindgren's accomplishment" and finally he is a member of the education committee for EAS tradeshows in Europe, (EAS is European Attraction Shows).

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Bob Amoruso

 

 

Bob runs the daily operations of the family business, Adventureland Amusement Park in Long Island NY. Together with family members he is in charge of revenue based operations, marketing, and future growth. Prior to returning to Adventureland, Bob worked at Splish Splash Water Park 1992-2005 as Director of Food Services, AGM and ultimately GM through 2005.

He is married to Dorothy (since 1994) and has two sons Peter 13 and Christian 9. The family resides in Smithtown, Long Island. Bob and his family are also die hard NY Yankee fans and enjoy attending games as often as their schedules allow.

Bob has been attending IAAPA tradeshows since the early 90’s, and has been a frequent speaker at F&B seminars, as well as other revenue generating panels. He currently serves on the Food and Beverage Committee. The information shared through industry contacts, friends, and seminars that IAAPA has afforded him, have been an invaluable tool in his business.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2009; IAAPA 2010

Robert J. Araiza

Robert J. Araiza earned his BS in Business Management with an emphasis in Marketing from California Polytechnic University. He has been in the FEC business for over twelve years. Presently, Robert serves as the Director of Marketing & Sales for Mulligan Limited which operates two Family Entertainment Centers in Southern California and a (high speed) Karting Center, Storm Karting.

Robert has been married to his wife Joanne for three years. They are expecting their first child. He enjoys playing golf, softball, basketball, cycling, and spending quality time with his wife in Hawaii.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Jason Arthur 

Jason Arthur is entering his 15th year in the waterpark industry and currently serves as the Regional Director of Aquatics for Great Wolf Resorts.  Jason is based out of the Great Wolf Lodge at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, where he also serves as the Director of Aquatics.

Jason started his career at Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari as a lifeguard in 1993. Prior to working for Great Wolf Resorts, Jason oversaw the Operations of a Six Flags owned park.  During that time, he was in charge of Rides, Guest Services, Security, First Aid, and Waterpark Operations.  In addition, Jason is also a member of the Associate Staff for Jeff Ellis & Associates where he serves as an Instructor-Trainer.

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Jim Atchison

Jim Atchison is president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, one of the world’s leading theme park operators with 10 parks across the U.S. including SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.

Atchison assumed the role of chief executive of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in 2007 and is leading the company through the most exciting growth period in its history. Prior to his role as C.E.O. of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, he led the company’s most profitable trio of parks in Orlando, Fla. where he achieved record sales and revenue. He is a leader with acute financial acumen as well as a commitment to creating innovative entertainment and making a difference in the world.

Embodying the mission of the company he leads, Atchison has a personal passion for celebrating and caring for the natural world. That passion has benefited conservation groups around the world, including the World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy.

Atchison and his wife Elli have two sons and a daughter.

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Kevin Bell

In 1995, upon the privatizing of the previously Chicago Park District-operated zoo, Bell became president and CEO of The Lincoln Park Zoological Society. During his 30-year tenure at Lincoln Park Zoo, Bell has been extensively involved in every facet of zoo operations, from the science of animal management and strategic administrative planning to collaborating with private, public and government support entities. Bell was instrumental in successfully completing the two most ambitious capital campaigns in the zoo’s history, which raised more than $125 million in capital for renovation and new construction at the zoo in addition to building an endowment to secure the zoo for future generations.

Bell’s international conservation and science fieldwork has taken him from Panama to India to Africa and, most frequently, to Iceland and Indonesia.

Fellow zoo directors, conservationists, scientists and other professional members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 1999 voted Bell to the AZA Board of Directors.

Learn more...

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Jim Benedick

Jim Benedick's 38-year-plus affiliation with the leisure time industry as manager, consultant, entrepreneur and owner enhances the Management Resources team by bringing a specialized client and guest perspective to our operational programs. With experience in economic and financial consulting, operational planning and implementation for major leisure entertainment attractions, and one-of-a-kind mass attendance events, Jim has been instrumental in the success of numerous projects. His expertise in operational program development, operational input and planning to concept development, component selection, viability analysis and operational policies and procedures for family / urban entertainment centers, museums and themed attractions, augment the talented and experienced team at MR.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Kelly Bernish

Kelly is a Manager ofSafety and Health Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. She was recently honored at ASSE’s House of Delegates meeting.

She is a founder and the current chair of ASSE’s Women In Safety Engineering (WISE) group and she has served as past president of ASSE’s Central Florida chapter. In April, 2010 she was the winner of 2009-2010 Diversity in the Safety, Health and Environmental Profession Award from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

In her spare time, Kelly volunteers as a board member for the IAAPA Safety Committee, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, the Salvation Army, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Boggy Creek Gang Camp for Terminally Ill Children and the BETA Center for Disadvantaged Women.

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Sheryl Bindelglass

Sheryl Bindelglass has more than 25 years of practical, hands-on experience in the golf, recreation and family entertainment business. A leading expert in facility operations, retailing, staff training, group sales, marketing and special events, Sheryl brings ideas and energy to every situation. As President and founder of SherylGolf, she designs programs and marketing promotions that can deliver stellar profits for her clients.

Prior to starting her own company, she was Executive Vice President for Fairway Golf Center, a 32 acre golf and recreation facility located in Piscataway, NJ. During her time there, the facility was named as one of the Top 100 Best Pro Shops by Golf World Business 6 years running, and among the Top 100 Golf Ranges, as selected by The Golf Range Association of America (GRAA) 10 years in a row. She was awarded the Best of the Best for Family Entertainment Facilities and Birthday Parties for 8 years running.  Her ideas and advice have been featured in Golf Range and NGCOA, magazine and at numerous industry trade shows.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009, IAAPA 2010, IAAPA 2011

Jim Blake

James R. Blake, CPA, Vice President/Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of The Morey Organization, Inc., joined the New Jersey Society of CPAs in 1986 and was President in 2008/2009. Jim has served as a NJSCPA Vice President and Trustee; Director, Treasurer, Vice President, President-Elect and President of the Atlantic/Cape May Chapter; as well as a member of the CPAs in Business Advisory Group Committee and the Scholars Institute Advisory Board Committee Chairpersons Committee, Chapter Operations Committee, Retirement Savings Plan Committee and the NJ-CPA PAC. He has also served a member of the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, NJSCPA Scholarship Fund and Planning committees and formerly Trustee, Treasurer and President of Scholarship Trust Fund.

Additionally, Jim is a member of the Finance and IT committee and was a member of the Audit Committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the NJ Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Business Advisory Board. Jim earned his B.S. in accounting from the University of Scranton. He and his wife, Christina, reside in Ocean View and have four sons and two daughters.

Jim has been with The Morey Organization for seventeen years. Located in Wildwood, New Jersey, it operates four amusement piers, two water parks, several hotels, motels, restaurants and is involved in real estate development in Southern New Jersey.

In his church, Jim is a member of the Finance Counsel and is assisting in the merge three parishes in the diocese of Camden.

Jim is married to his wife Christina, lives in Upper Township ,Cape May county and has six children and six grandchildren.

updated 2010
IAAPA 2010

Edward Bolluijt

 

Edward Bolluijt, age 38, has over 10 years of experience in the leisure industry. He is in charge of Fitraco NV, a leasing company specialized in leasing equipment to the amusement industry on a worldwide basis. In this capacity he has been in contact with amusement parks and leisure facilities all over the world and has seen, analyzed and compared their financial performance. Prior to joining Fitraco NV he was working in the corporate finance department of Bank Degroof, a Belgian bank. He has been a member of the IAAPA Finance & IT committee for 5 years.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Susan Bonds

Susan Bonds is 42 Entertainment`s President and CEO, responsible for leading the teams that design, create, and execute 42`s unique immersive experiences. Susan has more than 20 years of experience as a producer in the entertainment, gaming and technology industries.

In 2004 Susan produced the unique ilovebees campaign for Microsoft`s marketing launch of Halo 2, which won the Games Developer`s Conference award for Innovation in Gaming and a Webby Award for Best Games Related Website. Since then, she has produced all of 42`s projects, including 2006`s Last Call Poker (Activision), Dead Man`s Tale (Disney and MSN) and 2007`s The Vanishing Point, the first global puzzle game with clues to online puzzles embedded in spectacular events held in a dozen cities around the globe designed to celebrate the launch of Windows Vista.

Last year, Susan produced the alternate reality experience Year Zero for the launch of NIN`s April 2007 album by the same name, which won recently two 2008 Webby Awards and a CLIO for content and contact. Currently, she is producing the innovative alternate reality game for this summer`s Warner Bros. release, The Dark Knight.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Jeff Bonner

In April, 2002 Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Zoo. He served as President and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens from 1993 to 2002 and before that was Director of Exhibits and Programs at the St. Louis Science Center.

Dr. Bonner received his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1975. He received his M.A. and M.Phil. degrees in anthropology from Columbia University in 1977 and 1979, along with his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1982. He is a Burgess Fellow, Traveling Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, President`s Fellow and a recipient of the National Research Service Award. Dr. Bonner is the author of numerous articles, has written several books including Sailing with Noah, an insider`s look at modern zoos. He serves on numerous national and international boards including the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN (the World Conservation Union), and ISIS (the International Species Information System.) He chairs the Madagascar Fauna Group, an international consortum of 39 zoos and related institutions, and is a council member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Gregg Borman

Gregg Borman started to work in the attractions industry in 1979 when he accepted a position with Malibu Grand Prix Corporation in Orlando, Florida as the Assistant Complex Manager.  Eventually he rose through the ranks to become General Manager and worked for 10 of their 43 sites over the years.  He went on to become Regional Manager for the Northwest and eventually Vice President of Operations for the West Coast.  He left MGP in 1994 and joined a group of seasoned FEC developers who formed the Camelot Park chain.  In 1998 Camelot became part of Palace Entertainment  where Gregg has been a senior executive since.  Gregg is a member of ASTM, serves on the ASTM F24 Committee for Ride and Attraction Standards and holds AIMS certification as an Operations Technician.

Updated 2011

Webinar 2011, IAAPA 2011

Amy Briley

Amy Briley started at Six Flags at the age of 16 as a Ride Operator. She spent 5 years in Operations and left the park after graduating college from Texas A&M, earning her BS from in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. Amy has been working in Human Resources for 13 years; interviewing, recruiting, training, and consulting for HR practices for small businesses. She currently holds the position of HR Manager over Employment covering hiring, recruiting, employee records, International program, and employee benefits at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Scott Brown

Scott Brown is an author, educator and veteran operator with the Family Entertainment Industry. Scott's tenure in the FEC business began more than 20 years ago and continues uninterrupted today. Having navigated every job offering in the entertainment and services economy, he has a unique and hands-on perspective of the entrepreneurial side of business ownership and the day-to-day nuances of operational management.

He currently operates Great Service Lives, a company whose mission is to help businesses and individuals alike reach their true service potential. Through Great Service Lives, Scott provides a variety of leadership, coaching and service focused management training to businesses within the entertainment, recreation and hospitality industries. Scott is a graduate of the College of Journalism at the University of Florida, and as an author and management guru, has published numerous articles on customer service, the role of leaders and human resource management.

His latest book is Who Cares? Creating a Culture of Service in your Business. Scott grew up near Cleveland, Ohio and currently lives in Ohio with his wife and two daughters.
Updated 2011

IAAPA 2008
IAAPA 2009
IAAPA 2010
IAAPA 2011

Travis J. Brown

Travis directs the Office of Experiential & Applied Learning, which includes the Blue Sky Incubation Program, Experiential Outreach, The Talent Management Center, and International Student Experiences.  The Office is responsible for the creation and identification of experiential learning opportunities and the preparation of students to take advantage of those opportunities.  He recently moved from Indiana with his wife where he helped to develop the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation network at Indiana University while also managing the Entrepreneurial Management Academy MBA projects, teaching entrepreneurship and pursuing his doctoral degree in Informatics, with concentrations in Human-Computer Interaction and Complex Systems.

Before returning to Indiana University to complete his doctoral degree, Travis spent seven years in project management in corporate, academic and small business settings.  He most recently managed the sales and marketing as well as information technology for a life science startup specializing in the management and construction of radiation therapy treatment centers.  Travis received his MBA in Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and is ABD in Informatics at the School of Informatics & Computing at Indiana University.  Travis also serves on the Executive Council of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC).

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Katie Bruno

Katie is the founder and Director of wddonline, a website design and development company specializing in Internet marketing for the amusement and attraction industry for over 12 years. wddonline’s client list includes Cedar Fair, Boondocks Fun Centers, and Family Fun Centers, as well as numerous other parks and family entertainment centers. wddonline offers social media management services as well as social media consultation. Katie is a frequent and highly rated speaker on the topic of social media trends and practical social media.

Updated 2010

Webinar 2011

Albert L. Cabuco

Albert Cabuco is the Vice President- Food and Beverage of Palace Entertainment, Newport Beach, CA, where he oversees and directs the food and beverage management and operations of 10 Water Parks, 7 Theme Parks and 21 Family Entertainment Centers in 11 states.

He has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry in executive level positions with amusement parks, hotels and restaurants.  He has turned around unprofitable operations, developed loyal and successful leaders and earned a reputation for integrity and character of the highest caliber.  A BS Degree in Business Management and Certification from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration (Amusement Industry Institute Program) compliment this extensive “hands-on” experience.

Albert is a Certified Instructor, Hotel and Restaurant Management, State of California Council for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education.

He is an active member of the Food Service Purchasing Council of Southern California and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Food and Beverage Committee.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Bernie Campbell

Bernie has been with Whirley Drinkworks for over 20 years. During that time, Bernie has provided valuable guidance to numerous Theme parks and attractions making Souvenir vessels a key component of any parks revenue stream. Whirley Drinkworks specializes in the manufacturer of refill/souvenir vessels throughout the world. Along with Bernie, Whirley has worked to pioneer the refill/souvenir container offerings for the Amusement Park and Attractions Industry. Whirley Drinkworks is based in Warren, PA where it has continuously operated since 1960.0.

Updated 2010


IAAPA 2009; IAAPA 2010

Ron Cates

Ron Cates is a nationally renowned email marketing expert and award-winning business leader, Ron has developed a broad range of solutions for marketing professionals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations; helping strengthen their customer and donor relationships. The host of Email Marketing Radio and Honorary Chair of the International Association of Email Marketing Professionals, Ron is a popular speaker and educator on topics including developing email marketing strategies, designing effective email communications, and maintaining powerful relationships with stakeholders.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Dan Christman

 

Dan Christman is a Vice- President and point of contact between clients and team members as Director of Entertainment.

He has managed and engineered projects which have utilized various electrical, HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, lighting, and A/V systems. His experience with rides, shows, controls, animal life support systems (ALSS), and power distribution for both medium and low voltage, and cost estimating have ensured project success.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Beach Clark

Beach Clark has been the Vice President of Information Technology for the Georgia Aquarium since July 2004. In this capacity, Beach has been responsible for technology implementation and ongoing IT operations at the Aquarium, which opened in November 2005.

A graduate of Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Beach worked for several years in the hospitality industry as a manager of Hotel and Restaurant properties. Subsequently, Beach returned to Georgia State University to get his Masters Degree in Accounting and then embarked upon his career in IT with Andersen Consulting.

At Andersen Consulting, Beach worked with clients in a number of industries: Healthcare, Telecommunications and Technology, Finance and Manufacturing to name a few, and specialized in implementation of advanced technology solutions. The Home Depot recruited Beach in 1991 to design and implement their network architecture. Over the next 12 years at The Home Depot, Beach managed a number of functions in networking, application development and technical support.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Norris Clark

Norris Clark is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Morey's Piers, the largest seaside amusement center in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1997, Norris was hired by Ross Perot as a Business Development executive for Perot Systems, an international provider of technology enabled business solutions. He specialized in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and served clients such as Saks Fifth Avenue and AT&T. Then, as a Vice President of Magnet Communications, he led the e-Learning Group. With a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania, Norris has also been active in education. He has been a Teaching Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania, and an adjunct instructor in American Government and the Humanities at Atlantic Cape Community College.

Norris has worked with many civic organizations, including as a board member for the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, Literacy Volunteers, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape May and Atlantic Counties. He is a founder of the Cape May Music Festival.

In 1992, Norris volunteered for the Presidential campaign of Ross Perot, and was subsequently elected to the National Board of Directors for United We Stand America. He was hired by Ross Perot to be a State Director and a national spokesperson.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

David Cobb

For the past two years at Thinkwell, Dave has been the Creative Director for the Warner Bros. Theme Park in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, as a Creative Director for Universal Studios theme parks, David was responsible for the development and production of the MEN IN BLACK: ALIEN ATTACK ride for Universal Studios Florida. For the Paramount Parks chain in North America, David served as Senior Creative Director for numerous projects including The Italian Job Stunt Track, Tomb Raider: Firefall, School of Rock: Live in Concert, and Survivor: The Ride. As a show writer & director for Landmark Entertainment, Dave contributed to such projects as The Mask 3D for Warner Bros. Movie World in Madrid, Spain, Star Trek: The Experience for Paramount Parks at the Las Vegas Hilton, The M&M’s Academy for M&M/Mars & Will Vinton Productions, T2/3D for Universal Studios, Aliens 3D for Samsung & Twentieth Century Fox, TimeEscape at Chicago Navy Pier, and Caesars Magical Empire at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. David has consulted on numerous projects for nearly every entertainment medium, for a very diverse range of clients.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Pieter Cornelis

Pieter Cornelis is an associate professor of Theme Park Management and Development at the NHTV Breda University (the Netherlands). He also teaches marketing and leisure at the Tilburg University and is member of the European Education committee of IAAPA. Previously, he worked as research director at the theme park Efteling in Holland. Pieter is currently finalizing his Ph.D about ‘attraction accountability: the impact of new attractions on the performance of (European) theme parks’. He strongly believes in the contextual impact of new attractions and has therefore developed an Attraction Response Matrix. He is an expert in the research area of ‘unconscious processing of information’ and is a certified ZMET-researcher. His ultimate goal is to develop a research and strategy tool box for better investments in new attractions. This year, three of Pieter's articles have been published in leading academic journals.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Thierry Coup

Thierry Coup is Senior Vice President of the Creative Studio at Universal Creative, the planning and development division of Universal Parks and Resorts. Mr. Coup leads the creative development activities for upcoming attractions at all of Universal’s theme parks world-wide.

Mr. Coup began his career with Universal Creative in 1995 and has played an integral part in shaping the award-winning rides and attractions at Universal’s theme parks ever since. His work in creative theme park development has taken him around the world to Japan, Shanghai, Singapore, Hollywood, Paris and to the Universal Orlando Resort where he served as Vice President, Creative Development for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the most innovative theme park ride ever — Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Additional attractions to his credit include, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Shrek 4D, The Revenge of the Mummy and King Kong 360 3-D. Currently, Mr. Coup is leading the creative team developing the new Transformers attraction for Universal’s theme parks in Hollywood and Singapore.

Prior to his work in theme park and attraction development, Mr. Coup worked in the film and TV commercial industries, creating visual effects and stop-motion animation for movies ranging from the Oscar-winning “Total Recall,” to “Gremlins”, “Back to the Future” and “Flight of the Navigator”.   In the television commercial industry he brought to life many of the world’s iconic brand figures such as “Pop n Fresh” and “Mrs. Butterworth”.

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Jeff Crilley

Jeff is an independent television producer and author of a book about how to work with the media.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Bill Criscione 

Bill is the owner of Ghostly Manor Thrill Center (GMTC) in Sandusky, Ohio. GMTC is a year round entertainment complex complete with a roller skating rink, an XD 3D Motion Theater and one of the nation’s top year ‘round haunted attractions as voted by DAFE.
Criscione’s business experience began right out of school working for the Pillsbury Company.  During his ten years with Pillsbury, Bill gained invaluable knowledge managing Pillsbury’s various facilities and operations.  Armed with that experience and knowing that Sandusky was where the Criscione’s wanted to raise their family, Bill started his own business competing in the same industry.

Criscione’s company grew into a major regional player in its niche and after 10 years received an offer to sell to a national company.  Criscione took the proceeds from the sale and purchased a roller rink and a carpet business.  While continuing to work for the new company, Bill managed the new business ventures.  He has since sold the carpet business and expanded the rink to house the year 'round Ghostly Manor Thrill Center. 

The passion for Halloween started over 20 years ago when Bill and his wife Jayme moved to Sandusky.  The Criscione’s turned their home into a haunted house.  The crowd grew to a point where it was time to do something bigger, and in 2000 GMTC officially opened its doors.

Criscione served on the board of the International Association of Haunted Attractions and recently served as its Vice President.  Criscione also served on the board of the local YMCA 20 years and was the former Treasurer.

Webinar 2010

Natasha Crundwell

Natasha Crundwell is the Founder and Owner of PEOPLE GOING GLOBAL, a communications consulting firm specializing in intercultural training. Natasha has more than 15 years experience as an international marketing consultant and cross-cultural coach. She has an MA in English and French from the Moscow Linguistic University, and her business studies in the UK in Management Training at Henley Management College focused on project leadership and marketing. Natasha lived and worked in Europe prior to relocating to the USA. Actively involved in cross-cultural problem solving, Natasha has worked on site with technical and research teams in numerous countries to develop strategic initiatives with a focus on multi-cultural teambuilding.

Natasha writes articles on global negotiating styles for the US Department of Commerce, British-American Business Association and Virginia Economic Development Partnership. She is responsible for program design and delivery for government agencies, Fortune 500 clients, leading universities, intercultural consulting training firms and rapidly expanding new technology companies. She conducted on-site cross-cultural coaching for US expatriates leaving for long-term assignments, and has successfully trained managers and executives from nearly 20 countries worldwide.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Glenn Davidson

Glenn Davidson currently serves as Chairman of the World Waterpark Association’s Board of Directors.  He joined ALDAR Properties PJSC in Abu Dhabi in June of 2008 as Commercial Director - Theme Parks, after managing Dubai based Jumeirah Group LLC’s Wild Wadi Water Park for over 7 years. A 33-year industry veteran, Glenn began his amusement career in 1978. His waterpark career started in 1984 with his appointment as Manager of Revenue at Rapids on the Reservoir in Jackson.  Mississippi. Glenn served as General Manager in various parks and attractions throughout the United States before relocating to the Middle East, and has attended IAAPA Trade Shows and WWA Symposiums since 1986.

Updated IAAPA 2011

IAAPA 2011

Kim Davis

For the past 30 years, Kim C. Davis , a registered Landscape Architect has been specializing in the mass attendance themed entertainment industry. Currently, Kim is president of Davis & Davis, Inc. Recreational Planning Consultants.  The company (DDI) provides professional design services in architecture, landscape architecture, master planning, site design, detailing, attraction design, and thematic design services to the recreation and themed entertainment industry.  He has successfully guided Davis & Davis for 20 years in designing trend setting family entertainment centers and aquatic facilities throughout the United States.  Additional areas of specialization include miniature golf facilities, driving ranges, executive golf courses, indoor entertainment centers, themed restaurants, and zoological exhibits.

Kim has had the good fortune to develop relationships with industry leading clients such as NASCAR Speed Parks, Adventure Landing brand parks, Wet N Wild/Hurricane Harbor waterparks, Palace Entertainment , PARC Management, Morey’s Piers, and Putt-Putt brand parks.

His projects have received awards from the International Association for the Leisure & Entertainment  Industry (IALEI), The International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), and World Waterpark Association (WWA).  Projects have been featured in publications such as Fun Extra, Funworld, Attractions Management, Splash, Amusement Today, Aquatics International, Tourists Attractions and Park, The Right Track, and Entertainment Management.

Kim  has participated as a panel member and moderator at professional trade shows including Fun Expo, IAAPA Rookies and Newcomers Workshop 2010 and 2011, WWA, Texas Recreation and Parks Society, and the Bowling Proprietors Association.

Kim is an avid snow skier, marathon runner, and plays golf.  He enjoys camping, hiking, and biking with his wife and two daughters. He is an active member of his church and participates in several community organizations.
Update 2011

IAAPA 2010
IAAPA 2011

William A. Davis

William A. Davis is President and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Orlando. Mr. Davis is responsible for the oversight of Universal Orlando Resort, including the Universal Studios theme park, the Islands of Adventure theme park, and the 30-acre CityWalk entertainment complex. He reports directly to Tom Williams, Chairman of Universal Parks and Resorts.

Previously, Mr. Davis served as CEO of Universal Mediterranea. In his year there, Mr. Davis successfully led the business through troubling economic conditions in the region, negotiated a new labor contract, instituted employee enhancement programs and reduced turnover by 50%.

Mr. Davis has 33 years experience in the theme park industry. Much of that is with the Anheuser-Busch company, where he started out in sales, held general manager positions at the Sea World theme parks in Florida and Ohio and eventually became Executive Vice President and General Manager at Sea World of California. Mr. Davis then moved on to Senior Vice President of Guest Services at the Busch Entertainment Corporation where he was responsible for park and culinary operations, merchandise, safety/environmental and beer promotion for nine theme parks in the United States.

Mr. Davis is a graduate of San Diego State University, as well as the Brooks Institute of Photography, and he has earned a Master’s of Business Administration from Stetson University. He is a past president of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau and current Executive Committee Board Member. He has served on the Give Kids the World Board of Directors, the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Committee, and the American Zoological Association as a Professional Fellow.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Shawn DeRosa

Shawn DeRosa is a nationally-recognized expert in water safety, having been named by Aquatics International magazine one of top 25 people in the world of aquatics. A former Regional Director for the National Recreation and Park Association, Shawn is very familiar with the field of parks and recreation. In addition to his running his own private consulting firm, Shawn is an adjunct professor in the Department of Sport, Fitness and Leisure Studies at Salem State College. While working as the Aquatics Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts State Park System, Shawn oversaw 66 aquatic facilities, including 38 inland beaches, 20 swimming pools and 6 ocean beaches.

As an attorney, Shawn offers a practical understanding of risk management which he incorporates in his many training sessions across the nation. Using Dr. Tom Griffith's textbook, the Complete Swimming Pool Reference, Shawn has developed two pool operator training programs (Practical Pool Management and Practical Pool Management PLUS) now approved in most states. Shawn also teaches a series of one-day Aquatic Risk Management seminars targeted at public pools, waterparks and beaches as well as the hotel/motel market. In the summer months, Shawn also manages a country club swimming pool just outside of Boston.

Updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Julie Dion

Julie Dion is a marketing professional with 18 years of marketing, advertising, media planning and media buying experience.

Julie is recognized as a marketing leader in the industry and her community. In the past 5 years, she has produced 16 top marketing awards of excellence for Adventure Landing, a group of family entertainment centers.  She has also been a speaker at the World Waterpark Association’s (WWA) annual symposiums with excellent reviews and a contributing writer on various marketing topics for WWA’s Wave Review, a monthly magazine. 

In addition to her 13-year position as the in-house advertising agency for ten Adventure Landing locations, she also handles the marketing for seven other family entertainment centers and a southeast tourist-destination theme park.

Julie serves on the marketing committee for WWA, the marketing committee for Visit Jacksonville (CVB) and is a member of the Tourism Development Council (TDC) for Duval County, FL. 

In addition to her work experience, Dion also studied and completed an extensive week-long training course through the Media Buying Academy in Washington, DC.

Julie is married, a mother of three children and enjoys running, biking, swimming, gardening and reading.

Updated 2010.

IAAPA 2010

Jim Dunn

As Vice President of Design and Construction for Aquatic Development Group, Jim Dunn's responsibilities include conceptual design development, contract administration, and project management of waterpark, aquatic center, and specialty feature projects. He is involved in the design/build services from the initial phases of project development through final construction of a project.

Mr. Dunn is a registered architect in the State of New York. He has over seventeen years of waterpark development and construction experience, with responsibilities that range from specific system design to overall project planning and management.

For the past decade, Mr.Dunn has been involved with the extensive R&D program of ADG's Whitten Filtration Division. He has helped pioneer some of the most progressive water filtration systems used in today’s waterparks and aquatic venues. He has spearheaded the implementation of safe, effective water treatment systems used in every waterpark or commercial pool project that ADG designs and builds.

Mr. Dunn holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Architecture degree in from the University of Buffalo and is a registered Architect in New York State.

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Rick Duran

Rick Duran is currently the Research Coordinator and Corporate Consumer Insights Director for all Six Flags theme parks, resorts and waterparks as well as Six Flags Branding Initiatives.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Matt Eckert

Matt Eckert is the General Manager of Shared Services at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari overseeing Safety, Human Resources, Admissions and Guest Relations, Cash Control, Entertainment, Information Technology, Accounting, Purchasing, Insurance and Risk Management, Warehousing Services, and Print Shop Services.  Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari employs approximately 2,000 employees.

Prior to joining Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Matt was a senior auditor with Arthur Andersen in the Indianapolis office.

Matt is a graduate of Indiana State University, where he obtained his Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Insurance.  He serves on the School of Business Advisory Board and is a Certified Public Accountant.  Matt also is a Board Member for Actors Community Theatre.  He resides in Schnellville, IN with his wife Tonya and three children – Abby, Claire and Drew.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2009, Webinar 2010; IAAPA 2010

Trish Ennis 

Trish is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and has more than 20 years experience in safety and loss control, providing safety services for a number of municipalities, public and private entities, insurance brokers, carriers and construction firms nationwide. She started at Denver Zoo in January 2009 and works closely with all of the zoo’s departments to further strengthen safety programs. Ennis is currently serving on the American Society of Safety Engineers Board of Directors as the Vice President ,Council on Professional Development.

Trish has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington and is currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at Regis University in Denver, CO.

About Denver Zoo: Denver Zoo is home to 3,500 animals representing more than 650 species and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and accreditation by AZA assures that an institution is meeting the highest standards of animal care.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Julie Estrada

Julie Estrada came to LEGOLAND® California, a family theme park in Carlsbad, California, in 2003 after more than 13 years in the media, most recently at KUSI-TV in San Diego. Estrada held many positions in 10 years at KUSI-TV, being one of the first female Executive Producers at the independent station. Her duties included overseeing editorial content of the morning and noon newscasts, handling talent and management concerns, planning live shots and coordinating in-studio guests. Estrada also worked in news production in both TV and radio and has been a reporter, anchor and entertainment correspondent. Prior to KUSI-TV, she assisted investigative reporter Harvey Levin at KCBS and handled community affairs at KGTV. Her media background has been a key factor in building strategic communication between the growing family theme park and the press. At LEGOLAND California Resort, Estrada’s responsibilities include being a spokesperson, implementing multi-level public relations campaigns on local, regional and national levels, arranging interviews, coordinating special events, developing/maintaining relationships with media and coordinating VIP/celebrity tours. Estrada has helped gain coverage in national media including CNN, USA Today, The Washington Post, Good Morning America, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, People Magazine and The Travel Channel. Estrada is a Communications graduate of UCSD and resides in Vista, CA with her husband and two boys.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Speakers by Last Name: A - E; F - JK - OP - TU - Z

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