IAAPA Education Logo

IAAPA Speakers

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

Speaker Name

Speaker Biography

Speaker Dates

David A. Kahn

David A. Kahn, MS, LPC, LPC/S is the founder, President and owner of The Counseling Center of Florence, LLC. Before opening his full time private practice, Mr. Kahn was affiliated with Francis Marion University where he served as Director of Counseling and Testing. Mr. Kahn brings more than 18 years of experience working with adolescents and their families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Mr. Kahn provides counseling services for; individuals, couples and families who experience relationship conflict, blended family issues, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, work and social related issues, and victims of violent crime. Mr. Kahn provides employee training for area businesses, professional seminars for the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services and other Mental Health Professionals. He is both a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Professional Supervisor who offers supervision to Licensed Professional Interns.

David has recently co-authored a book with Ben Matthews, Esq. called: Blended Family Bliss: A practical guide to blending your families. He also wrote the chapter Transcultural Family Counseling in J.McFaddens (Ed.) Transcultural Counseling. Speaking Experience: American Counseling Association World Conference: 1999 Honda of South Carolina 2003 to Present: 2 to 3 workshops or training sessions per month South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse 1999 to Present: 5 to 6 daylong trainings per year.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Emily Kaufman

Emily Kaufman is The Travel Mom. She appears on television, in print, on line and on the radio offering advice on travel from the perspective of a mom. Her features include topics such as family travel, romantic trips, multi-generation vacations, girlfriends getaways and travel with pets. Emily is a published author and one of the leading authorities on leisure travel.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

John Kemper

John Kemper is an architect by education at the University of Kansas. He has practiced architecture and exhibit design with Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, Inc. (or PGAV) for 25 years. John's role at PGAV requires that he manage complex teams of consultants and be responsible for cost estimating throughout the design phases.

As a Project Manager, John has lead project teams for such diverse projects as a Manatee exhibit at SeaWorld of Orlando, roller-coasters, restaurants, a Hippopotamus exhibit at Busch Gardens Tampa, a bird theater project for the National Aviary, and theme parks near Barcelona, Spain, and in the United Arab Emirates.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Brandon Kenney

Brandon Kenney currently serves as Vice President of Information Systems for Herschend Family Entertainment. Mr. Kenney has over 15 years of IT experience in the Retail, Hospitality and Automotive industries. Focusing primarily on systems integration and consolidation, Mr. Kenney has led the Herschend Family Entertainment IT department in improved decision making capabilities through data warehousing and utilizing cutting edge RFID and web based ticketing solutions. Prior to joining Herschend Family Entertainment, Mr. Kenney served 12 years with Electronic Data Systems holding both management and executive positions. Mr. Kenney holds a Bachelor of Science in Operations and Systems Management from the University of South Alabama.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Kim Kiehl

Dr. Kim Kiehl is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Operations Officer at COSI. In this role she has oversight on the development and implementation of all strategic planning as well as supervising research and evaluation, Information Technology, community relations and all daily operations of the building and programs.

Dr. Kiehl received a Bachelor of Science in 1981 from SUNY Geneseo, in Speech Pathology and Audiology, graduating Magna Cum Laude. The following year (1982) she completed her Master's degree at The College of St. Rose, Department of Special Education. Dr. Kiehl received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University in 1990. She continues to teach at The Ohio State University in the Department of Education and Human Ecology.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Kim Kiff

Kim Kiff manages all Ripley operations in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Jeff Klocke

Jeff Klocke, director of marketing and sales at Pacific Park® on the Santa Monica Pier, knows how to mix business with pleasure. With more than 18 years in the land-based entertainment industry, Klocke continues to lead the marketing and sales team to record-setting EBITDA growth since beginning with the Park, and attendance growth, joined with the Santa Monica Pier, home to Pacific Park, which plays host to nearly 4 million visitors annually. He has overseen the addition of more than 14 new rides and attractions, introduced 10 new midway games and launched over 6 new branded eateries in the Park’s oceanfront food plaza. In addition, Klocke created and directs Pacific Park’s successful events department including the opening of the new Seaside Pavilion in 2009.

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Richard "Dick" Knoebel

President of Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA, has been associated with the family enterprise founded by his grandfather, since childhood. Dick’s present responsibilities, in addition to the functions of President and Co-Manger, include all building and maintenance functions involving rides and the physical plan, overseeing group sales as well as new construction. Since 1965, Knoebels has more than doubled in size and is now Pennsylvania’s fourth largest Amusement Park, and among the largest free gate parks in the Unites States.

Dick graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. degree in Engineering Geophysics and took further studies at Bucknell University. He has been very active in scouting, obtaining his Eagle Scout in 1953. He entered the United States Marine Coprs in March 1962, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1962.

Dick attended his first IAAPA Convention in 1961 and has served as a workshop chairman and panelist on several occasions. He has also been Exhibitor Awards Chairman and served on the IAAPA Public Relations Committee. He completed three terms as IAAPA Hall of Fame chairperson. Dick served three terms on the Board of Directors.

For additional biographical information, see our Keynote and Featured Speakers.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Steve Kurtz

Steve Kurtz has gained a reputation as an innovative and skilled practitioner of business. Known as a jack of all trades, Steve has been involved in everything from information architecture, user interface design and programming to marketing, merchandising and management.

Steve made the move to FoodServiceWarehouse.com in the summer of 2006, and currently presides as its Vice President. In the winter of 2007 Steve helped create the Certified Green Commercial Kitchen Program as a means to fill the education gap that existed between non-profit environmental organizations and foodservice dealerships needed to help commercial kitchen operators go green. The Certified Green Commercial Kitchen Program provides a roadmap for environmental sustainability and profit savings that is free and available to everyone. Steve holds a B.A. degree from The University of Colorado at Boulder.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Jimmy Lamb

Award-winning author and International Speaker Jimmy Lamb, has over 20 years of apparel decoration business experience. Mr. Lamb has extensive knowledge in many facets of digital decorating and embellishing including business startup, applications, techniques, marketing, sales, mobile, digitizing, production and management. He has owned and operated a successful production facility, started a retail franchise operation and has provided production solutions to a variety of Fortune 500 corporations involved in customization, decoration and embellishment. His articles appear regularly in various industry magazines in the United States and Europe. In addition, Mr. Lamb is a frequent speaker at Industry Events and Trade Shows domestically and internationally. Currently, he works with Sawgrass Technologies as the Manager of Communication, where he has been instrumental in developing their educational seminars and webinars.

updated 2010

 

Stevan P. Layne

Stevan P. Layne, CPP, CIPM, CIPI is a nationally recognized leader in security management, loss prevention, emergency preparedness, violence prevention and litigation avoidance. Mr. Layne is a Certified Protection Professional and Certified Institutional Protection Manager and Instructor. He is the President of the International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection, President & Principal of Layne Consultants International, and Founding Director of The Protection Alliance. Steve has served as a Police Chief, Public Safety Director, and Institutional Security Director. He presently serves on the ASIS Museum, Library, and Cultural Properties Council and the AAM Museum Association Security Committee. He is the author of the Cultural Property Protection Manual and the Business Survival Guide, and co-author of Suggested Practices in Museum Security.

Mr. Layne has provided protection planning, risk assessment, and training for hundreds of private and public organizations across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Steve is a leading presenter and keynote speaker at over 50 national conferences and business symposiums annually. He regularly contributes articles to national publications such as Security Management Magazine, the L.A. Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Steve is a graduate of the FBI's Police Management Program, the U.S. Army's Infantry Officer Candidate School, and Career Officer Military Police School.

Mr. Layne provides exceptional seminar and workshop experiences for audiences throughout the world. His professional multi-media presentations include action graphics, excellent handout material, and lively audience interaction.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Dorothy Lewis

Dorothy E. Lewis counts twenty years of hands on experience in the Family Entertainment Industry.  Ms. Lewis is the President of  Fun Station Entertainment Group.  During her industry career she has been responsible for the marketing and operational direction of multiple centers ranging in size from 24,000 to 85,000 square feet. She has been instrumental in the restructuring and implementation of programs and party operations of various locations in the U.S. to increase gross sales.  She is also experienced in all aspects of the hiring and training process with her own unique incentive and motivational programs geared for today’s youth.  Her most recent work includes the challenge of bringing two companies together to implement the concept of food and fun by blending two successful entities with a unique party program yielding both companies higher profits.  Her work and involvement in the public and private educational system has earned her and her company many accolades including the 2008 Prestigious Partner of the Year for her service and unique educational programming at her facilities.  She is also proud to add author to her resume as her recently published industry book, “The FUNdamentals of the Party Business”.

A six time Golden Token Award winner for industry excellence, Ms. Lewis has been a feature writer for PlayMeter Magazine along with several publications over the course of her career.  A highly rated speaker in the industry she has been involved in educational seminars and programming for the last twelve years. The past Chair of IALEI, Ms. Lewis is currently an active member of IAAPA’s Family Entertainment Committee and Education Committee where she continues her work to represent the needs of the FEC constituency.

updated 2011

IAAPA 2009 IAAPA 2010 
IAAPA 2011

Jack Lindquist

Jack Lindquist was hired by Walt Disney as Disneyland's first advertising manager. From marketing the original "E tickets" to lobbying for Disneyland's millennial expansion, Jack was involved in nearly every aspect of the Disneyland theme park.

Known for his relatively hands-off management style, Jack was among the most beloved of Park executives. As Disneyland's former executive vice president Ron Dominquez once said, "Jack is Jack, no matter where he is or what he is doing. He respects people. He goes out of his way not to be set up on a pedestal."

Born in Chicago, March 15, 1927, Jack's family moved to Los Angeles when he was four. A child actor, he appeared as an extra in episodes of the "Our Gang" series, and later, danced in the Lucille Ball film, "Best Foot Forward."

After graduating from Hollywood High School, Jack spent two years in the U.S. Air Force and then completed his education at the University of Southern California.

In 1955, while working for a Los Angeles advertising firm as a consultant to one of the original Disneyland corporate participants, Jack had a meeting at the Park prior to its opening and "fell in love with the place." One month later, he was working there.

He took his first step up the Disneyland corporate ladder, in 1965, as director of marketing. Later, he set the course for marketing Walt Disney World, and in 1972, was named vice president of marketing for Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Four years later, he was named vice president of marketing for Walt Disney Attractions, and in 1982, was promoted to executive vice president of marketing and entertainment for all of the Company's outdoor recreation activities.

Jack went on to set up the Marketing Division for Tokyo Disneyland, and a executive vice president of creative marketing concepts for Walt Disney Attractions he developed promotional and entertainment ideas for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. In 1990, Jack was named president of Disneyland, a position he called "the best job in the world!"

During his 38 years with the company, he spearheaded a myriad of Disney projects including, Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom Club, Disney Dollars, the Disneyland Pigskin Classic, the Ambassador Program and Grad Nites. He also lobbied for expansion of Disneyland, to include development of Disney's California Adventure.

Jack Lindquist retired on Mickey Mouse's 65th birthday (November 18, 1993), and a month later, was honored with a window on Main Street, which reads J.B. Lindquist, Honorary Mayor of Disneyland.

Updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Phil Lindsey

Phil Lindsey received his Bachelor of Arts in theater from the University of California in Irvine in June of 1984. After working for two years in theater in the San Diego area, he entered the world of Theme Park entertainment in 1986.

Over the next 17 years Phil worked at a variety of companies managing and designing everything from children's dark rides to huge groundbreaking nighttime spectaculars. He spent ten of those seventeen years working for Disneyland Entertainment, where he was instrumental in helping create some of the parks most memorable hits (Fantasmic) and flops (Light Magic).  He also found time to head up the parks’ Fireworks program. In 2003, he was asked to head up the Exhibits and Design department at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. In his new capacity, Phil heads a talented group of museum designers to create cutting edge exhibits for a new $60,000,000 capital campaign for the Institute.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Roland Mack

Roland Mack was born in 1949 in Freiburg. He grew up in Waldkirch, where he attended elementary school and graduated from high school. From 1969 until 1974 he studied at the "Technische Universitae Karlsruhe" (university for engineering). He completed his degree as a graduate engineer. Before and during his course of studies Roland Mack completed several practical trainings in engineering companies, among them the famil's own manufacturing company, the Heinrich Mack GmbH & Co, based in Waldkirch. During an internship in the USA, which lasted several months, he also gained international professional experience.

After completing his degree as a graduate engineer, Roland Mack attended postgraduate studies as a welding engineer at the "Lehr-und Versuchsanstalt in Stuttgart. Afterwards, he took up the job as a chief welding engineer in their manufacturing company in Waldkirch.

Roland Mack is one of the founders of Europa-Park, which opened its doors on July 12, 1975. Since then, he remains one of the managing directors (at first together with his father, and today with his younger brother), who contributed - and still contributes - considerably to the development and expansion of the park.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Joel Manby

Joel Manby is President and Chief Executive Officer of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation (HFE).  HFE develops and operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties that currently span 22 locations in 10 states and is widely recognized as the premier privately held theme park operator in the United States.  HFE was recently ranked the 10th largest themed attractions company in the world following Disney, Universal, Six Flags, Cedar Fair and five other firms.

Joel was a valedictorian graduate of Albion College and a Rhodes scholarship finalist. He began his career at General Motors and attended Harvard Business School on a GM scholarship. Upon graduation from Harvard, he was asked to join the start-up team for Saturn Corporation where he was instrumental in launching Saturn’s innovative marketing and distribution strategy.  After seven years with Saturn and a two-year term with GM’s International Division, he was promoted to CEO of Saab Automobile USA.  During Joel’s four-year tenure at Saab, he led the company to dramatic results as sales increased by 67 percent and their J.D. Power Quality Rating improved from 30th to fifth in the industry.

Joel’s association with HFE dates back to 1998 when he was asked to serve on the HFE Board of Directors. He later became Non-Executive Chairman of the Board and then accepted the role of CEO in 2003. Under Joel’s leadership, HFE has expanded its creative capabilities and demonstrated strong profit expansion through targeted acquisitions and organic growth.

Joel was elected to the Albion College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 and has served on the Albion College Board of Trustees.  As a volunteer, Joel serves as Chairman of reThink, a non-profit company whose mission is to provide effective tools which enable families to learn biblical virtues in the home, school and church.  Joel is also on the board of John Stott Ministries.  He and his wife, Marki, have four daughters and reside in suburban Atlanta.   

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010 Keynote

Sylvia Matiko

 

Sylvia Matiko isco-founder of A Different View, which specializes in problem solving for attractions worldwide. Prior to co-founding A Different View, she was Vice President of Franchise Operations for Ripley Entertainment Inc where she was instrumental in the significant growth of this company. With over 15 years experience in a corporate environment, Sylvia has had “hands on” experience in all facets of business management within the leisure industry.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009; IAAPA 2010

George McAuliffe

George McAuliffe is a 30 year family entertainment center operator and president of Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors by Redemption Plus. Pinnacle is an industry consulting firm (www.grouppinnacle.com) founded 1996. Pinnacle’s consulting practice has served new and established family and location based entertainment operators, with clients as diverse as Wal-Mart, Disney, ESPN Zone, Brunswick, and many other independent facilities.

Prior to Pinnacle, he served as the chief executive of Edison Brothers Entertainment, which was the third largest chain of family entertainment centers at the time, managing over 8,000 games, rides, and attractions. He is a founding director and past president of IALEI, the International Association of the Leisure and Entertainment Industries. George has been a featured speaker at numerous domestic industry conventions including IAAPA, Fun Expo, and AMOA, and for worldwide assemblies including ATEI (UK), Gulf Leisure Expo (Middle East), and the Asia Pacific Attractions Conferences (Australia and Singapore). He writes regular columns for RePlay Magazine and Tourist Attractions and Parks.

updated 2009

 

Stephen McGarrigle

Stephen McGarrigle has been facilitating innovative learning and development opportunities for the past 18 years in the corporate, community and government sectors. In his current role as the Team Development and Training Manager for the multi-award winning Dreamworld theme park and the newly created Whitewater World, Stephen is responsible for the design, facilitation and continuous improvement of learning and development strategies for over 1,000 team members in all facets of park operation. Stephen is also involved in projects that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of work teams, improving the capability of individuals and enhancing leadership capacity. As a result of his passion for these issues, he has created the “DREAM Service philosophy”, established the “DREAM Leader Academy” and “Theme Park School”.

Prior to joining Dreamworld he has held a number of Senior Learning and Development positions and in 2002 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to undertake a comparative analysis of International leadership development programs.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009, IAAPA 2010

Mel McGowan

 

 

 

 

 

Mel McGowan is Managing Principal of Visioneering Studios. Mel combined a unique

background in film and a decade-long stint with the Walt Disney Company with experience in a private multi-disciplinary planning, design, and engineering consulting company in Southern California, where he designed and managed an enviable portfolio of projects for world-class resorts, institutional, retail, community, and mixed use projects. He is the author of Design Intervention: Revolutionizing Sacred Space, and was recently named one of the top 25 emerging cultural change-agents by OC Metro magazine.

Mel holds a Bachelor Degree in Film from the University of California, and a Masters of Urban Planning from the College of Environmental Design at California Polytechnic University. He is an active member of Urban Land Institute, American Planning Association, Congress for the New Urbanism, Themed Entertainment Association, and Design-Build Institute of America. Visioneering Studios is a design firm founded at the start of the new millennium, with one unified mission to design destinations that lift the spirit . . . now and forever.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Shaun McKeogh

Shaun’s experience in the Amusement & Attractions Industry has enabled him to gain a wealth of industry knowledge especially in regards to building strong workplace cultures that support employees achieving their very best; impacting job performance, quality service excellence delivery and productivity. His expertise especially lies in how to plan for, manage and motivate employees. As a highly respected Human Resources & Learning and Development specialist for the Amusement & Attractions Industry, Shaun is particularly passionate about workplace reward & recognition, leadership, performance management and quality Service Excellence delivery. He is co-author of the Amusement & Attractions industry leadership book ‘Reasons 2 Reward’, which highlights how to improve profits and productivity in your facility by creating an engaging employee focused work environment. Shaun currently serves as an industry representative on the IAAPA Human Resources Committee. Shaun is currently the Director Human Resources & Training for Asia for ProFun Management Group and Management Resources – leaders in new theme park operations and consultancy. Shaun has served in senior management roles for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Happyland Vietnam, Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World Theme Park & Resort Hotel and Wet ‘N’ Wild Water World.

updated 2012

  • IAAPA 2009
  • Webinar 2010
  • IAAPA 2010
  • Webinar 2011
  • IAAPA 2011
  • IAAPA HR Committee
  • Asian Attractions Expo 2012
  • IAAPA 2012

Jerry Merola

Jerry Merola serves as Chief Financial Officer and Managing Partner of Amusement Entertainment Management, L.L.C.  He has focused much of his efforts on analyzing and enhancing the performance of the firm's client portfolio, which includes owners of entertainment venues, new developers, industry manufacturers, and financial institutions.  He has developed feasibility studies, marketing plans, operations manuals, business and asset valuations, and funding programs for some of the most notable names in the entertainment industry and performed business audits in almost all markets and sectors.  Jerry and the firm have developed one of the most comprehensive attractions databases available, allowing its clients to obtain "real world" performance results and earnings capability for virtually any entertainment component.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009 
IAAPA 2010
IAAPA 2011

Curtis "CJ" Mills

Curtis "CJ" Mills officially began his insurance career with American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc. in October of 2004. CJ joined American Specialty as an intern in his senior year of college where he was charged with assisting in the development of the NCAA Conference Group Insurance Program.

After graduating from Huntington University in the spring of 2005, with bachelor’s degrees in Management, Economics, and Finance, CJ was quickly offered a permanent position in sales and marketing in American Specialty’s Client Services department.

As Vice President in our Client Services area, CJ's primary responsibility is the growth and development of F.I.R.S.T., the IAAPA-endorsed FEC insurance and risk management program. CJ is also responsible for the growth and retention of business in the following entertainment programs: Amusement Parks, Zoos, Fairs/ Festivals, and Theme Parks.

CJ and his family live in Roanoke, Indiana.

updated 2011

IAAPA 2009
IAAPA 2010
IAAPA 2011

O. Lee Mincey

O. Lee Mincey is President of 4 Keys Consulting, which provides operations focused consulting and training services in the areas of safety, guest service, brand experience, and operational efficiency.

O. Lee has over 25 years of hospitality industry experience, working for some of the most recognized brands in the world including The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company, JetBlue Airways, and NBC/Universal. O. Lee’s passion for helping others achieve delivering world class guest service and operational excellence is unrelenting. He has helped launch service innovation products including World of Coca-Cola brand interactive experiences in Atlanta and Las Vegas, Disney’s virtual queuing system, FASTPASS, and training and development programs for NBC/Universal, JetBlue Airways and Six Flags Entertainment’s theme parks.

He is an active member of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and serves on its Education Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Fairytale Town a non-profit that benefits Sacramento region children and volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association of Sacramento.

updated 2010

 

Joe Montalto

Mr. Montalto is the President and founder of High Mountain Enterprises, providing services to the amusement and entertainment industries. High Mountain focuses in the areas of management, training, promotions, planning, marketing, special events and entertainment.

A former New York State Senator, Mr. Montalto has had a long and varied career in government and politics. This career led him to become Director of Rye Playland, which at the time was the only major amusement park in the United States owned and operated by government. During his eight year tenure at its helm, Mr. Montalto embarked on a program of overall park renewal and rehabilitation and preservation of its historic rides. His efforts were rewarded with numerous awards, including the distinguished Phoenix Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as well as others for media and marketing campaigns. An innovator in approach, Mr. Montalto, together with the Hospitality Resource Group, created and instituted a Customer Service Training Program which received three additional prestigious IAAPA awards. Today, as the President of High Mountain Enterprises, Mr. Montalto has forged relationships born of positive and effective experiences into a professional service available to the entire industry. Mr. Montalto serves as a member of IAAPA's Government Relations Committee, Co-Chair of the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) Manufacturers and Suppliers Committee, a member of the NEAAPA President's Council and is also a member of the New York State Carnival, Fair, & Amusement Device Board.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Ron Morrison

Ron Morrison is the CEO of The Docentus Group, a learning, improvement, and organizational development firm based in Montgomery, Texas. Ron's career experiences include two decades of service in a variety of leadership positions. Serving the amusement and attractions industry in safety and risk management, the general public as an emergency services top tier command officer, and public schools as a central office administrator, he has gained valuable experience and insight into the skill of developing leadership capacity and improving organizations.

Ron's nationally published columns have appeared in Funworld, CNS News, the Wall Street Journal, and Sales & Service Excellence. Ron knowledge of personal leadership and individual responsibility were broadcast to a larger audience while serving as the co-host of The Flipside: Austin's Raft of Reason in a Sea of Insanity, a radio program devoted to personal integrity and accountability airing on Austin's 590 KLBJ radio. An instant success in Austin's talk radio market, The Flipside allowed Morrison to expand his understanding of leadership and spread that awareness across the airwaves of Central Texas.

Ron holds degrees and certifications in Education, Management and Administration from San Jacinto College, Texas A&M University, Houston Baptist University, and Stephen F. Austin State University.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009; IAAPA 2010

Greg Morrow

Greg Morrow is the Games & Merchandise Manager for Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park located in Chattanooga, TN. Prior to joining Lake Winnepesaukah, Morrow served Ripley Entertainment, Inc. as Director of Corporate Attraction Operations. His career began at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire, where he spent over 18 years in various key positions, ultimately becoming the park’s Games Manager.

Greg has served as the Second Vice President for the New England Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, where he received the 2005 President’s Award for service to the organization. He was a presenter at the IAAPA 2005 Attractions Expo and has attended the IAAPA Attractions Management School.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2009; IAAPA 2010

Simone Mortan

Simone Mortan is the Manager of Guide Programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In this position she oversees the operations of the docent programs (exceeding 500 volunteers), theatrical programs and many aspects of the daily public programming. She has worked in the world of environmental science education for thirty years. Early in her career she learned the power of storytelling as an interpretive tool and she has been telling stories ever since. At the aquarium she has used Native American stories to promote a conservation ethic and used first person monologues to bring to life some of the history of Cannery Row. Simone wrote a story for the children’s exhibit, Splash Zone, which was set to music by children’s musician, Linda Arnold.

As a public education professional, Simone was recently appointed the President of IMTAL (International Museum Theatre Alliance). She has worked with talented educators at the aquarium and launched multiple theatrical programs for the general public. Simone hopes to encourage others who are not professionally trained in theatre to expand their own skills and embrace museum theatre as a powerful tool to achieve their institutional goals.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Leanna Muscato

Leanna has over 30 years experience at Knoebels in game operations. She has been responsible for growing the park`s operations and improving all existing games. Muscato oversees one of the merchandise shops, and directs the annual senior citizens day event.

She graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in teaching Health and Physical Education, and subsequently was given the opportunity to take over Knoebels’ game management. At that time there were only 6 games. Under Leanna’s leadership, they improved the existing games and investigated new games to add. Today, Knoebels has 23 games of skill. Leanna is currently a member of the IAAPA games committee.

She is married to Joe Muscato, and together they have a daughter, Lauren, who is a student at Syracuse University.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2009; IAAPA 2010

Paul T. Nelson

Paul T. Nelson is the CEO of Waldameer Park, Inc. in Erie, Pennsylvania. He began his career in the amusement park industry as a dishwasher at Waldameer when he was 11 years old. He subsequently worked in every area of the family owned amusement park. He has served several times as a Board member of IAAPA and is a Past President of PAPA. He has served as President of the Erie Chamber of Commerce as well as the Tourist Bureau. Mr. Nelson has also served on the boards of two hospitals in Erie.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Charles M. Neuman

 

Charles M. Neuman is president of Water Technology, Inc., a nationally recognized aquatic planning, design and engineering firm. His background consists of thirty years of experience in the design and construction of aquatic facilities. These facilities have had a great diversity in size, scope and function.

They include indoor and outdoor, public and private, from public family aquatic centers to large commercial waterparks. He has been personally involved in projects from conceptual planning through design and the development of the engineering and mechanical designs to pool start-up and operations.

Mr. Neuman is active in the waterpark industry as a past and current board member of the WWA, the NSPI/WWA/ANSI Code Committee, the WWA Safety Committee and a member of ASTM. He has spoken numerous times on topics ranging from planning and design to start-up and operations. Mr. Neuman believes remaining active in the industry with a hands-on approach is the best method of being an industry leader.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Ruby Newell-Legner

Ruby Newell-Legner, Certified Speaking Professional, founded RubySpeaks, Inc. in 1994 with a singular mission: To provide the hands-on training employees need to create a more productive work environment where everyone can excel on the job. Over the last decade, she has presented more than 1,900 programs in eleven countries and has shown tens of thousands of participants how to create a legendary guest experience.

A nationally recognized guest relations training expert in the Leisure and Entertainment Industry, Ruby works with organizations to build better relationships: from front-line employees to customers, between co-workers and their peers, and from managers to the employees they supervise.

Ruby's high-impact trainings are based on 25 years as a front-line service provider and aquatic facility manager.

She is a Certified Speaking Professional, a designation bestowed by the National Speakers Association to less than 600 speakers in the world. In 2010, she was elected to serve on the NSA Board of Directors. Her new book, Blueprint for Success, co-authored by Ken Blanchard and Stephen Covey was published in June 2008.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Joni Newkirk

Joni Newkirk, CEO of Integrated Insight, Inc. is a leading expert in the dynamics of theme park and resort performance. Prior to founding Integrated Insight, a consulting and research firm, Joni spent twenty years at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. As SVP of Business Insight and Improvement, she had responsibility for Research, Forecasting, Industrial Engineering, Pricing and Revenue Management for worldwide parks and resorts as well as support for Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, and Adventures By Disney.

Joni holds a BA in Statistics from the University of Florida and a MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Marcus Nicolls

Marcus Nicolls is a Senior Vice President and Executive Facilitator for Partners In Leadership, Inc. Marcus is able to articulate ideas that motivate people to act. His 22 years of sales, management, and consulting experience includes nearly six years with FranklinCovey, becoming a recognized consultant and speaker on leadership development. From 2001 to 2004, Marcus served as VP Worldwide Sales for Cerberian, helping grow the Internet Security Company from infancy to successful acquisition.

Marcus holds a Master's Degree in Pacific International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego and a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. He speaks Cantonese and Mandarin. Marcus and his wife, Joy, have four children and live in stunning Alpine, Utah.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Vic Nolting

Vic Nolting has been the President of Coney Island Inc., an amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio for nearly 20 years.  Vic is active in the IAAPA and is a former member of their Board of Directors.  Over the years, he has chaired both the Small Parks and Membership Committees, and served on the Strategic Planning Committee. Currently he is a member of the IAAPA Education Committee. Outside of the accommodations and attractions business, he is a Board member of Christopher Technologies, a high tech firm, specializing in security and loss prevention systems.

Vic is also Vice Chair of Leisure Systems Inc., the franchisor of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.  He has had the pleasure of being a member of The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (ARVC) Board of Directors and is a former Chair of their Business Forum. Additionally, he has served on a number their committees and has worked on various projects for this national association. 

Over the years, Vic has served as Chair of the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as serving terms on the boards of other area organizations. 

In his free time, Vic enjoys working around the house, playing golf badly, and spending time with his wife of many years, Margie.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

John Norris

John is an owner-operator of Seabreeze Park. He serves as Vice President.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2009, IAAPA 2010

Paul Norton

Paul is the General Manager of Silverwood Theme Park - Boulder Beach Water Park.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Joe Norsworthy

Joe is SVP of Marketing Strategy for YPartnership, serving as a strategic consultant for travel and tourism organizations.  Joe specializes in developing business and marketing strategies, competitive assessments, and brand marketing.   Prior to his current position, Joe was VP of Marketing and Sales Strategy for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, where he led the effort to re-align web development and internet performance along with leading strategy creation for overall marketing and sales.

Updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

Kristi Noyes

Ms. Noyes' four-year tenure with CORE includes managing the implementation of cashless payment and stored value systems at amusement parks and FECs across the country.Prior to CORE, she worked for nine years as a project manager for stored value systems installations in the K-12 public school foodservice arena, and seven years as an Accounting Systems implementation and training specialist for the New York State Dept. of Education. Ms. Noyes holds a BS degree in Secondary Science Education from the State University of New York at Oneonta, as well as a BA degree in Accounting from Syracuse University.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Tim O`Brien

 

Tim O`Brien is a veteran photo/journalist who has chronicled the park and attractions industry for nearly 25 years. Before joining Ripley Entertainment as a writer/communications professional, he was senior editor for Amusement Business magazine for 18 years. During the years, he has interviewed virtually every legend in the industry, at least once. Two of the 13 books he has written during his illustrious career are of the legends and pioneers of this industry. He serves as chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame Committee, a member of the Board of Governors of the Applause Award and is Editor at Large for IAAPA`s Funworld magazine.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Frank O’Connell

Frank O’Connell is General Manager of Attractions & Entertainment for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  In addition to Hersheypark, which was ranked in the Top 20 US theme parks in 2010 by the TEA/AESCOM Global Attractions Report, Frank also oversees ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, two hockey arenas, a football stadium, an outdoor amphitheatre, a botanical garden, and a performing arts theatre. 

Frank is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University where he earned a BS in Professional Accountancy.  He is also a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and an IAAPA Certified Attractions Executive (ICAE).  Frank began his career with HE&R in 1984 and has held various finance and operations positions during his tenure.  He has been with HE&R for over 26 years.

Frank is a past treasurer and board member of IAAPA.  In addition, he has served as a township supervisor, school director, and administrative chair & treasurer of the Capital Region Chamber of commerce, as well as, other civic and volunteer involvement.  Frank lives in the Hershey area with his wife Lisa.

updated 2011

IAAPA 2011

Ann-Maree O’Neill

Ann-Maree O’Neill has had twenty years experience in the Theme Park and Attractions Management Industry working for Australia’s top theme parks including Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet `N` Wild, Paradise Country and Australian Outback Spectacular. As Director of Human Resources for Warner Village Theme Parks with a staffing level of over 2000 in five sites Ann-Maree’s responsibilities covered Recruitment, Industrial Relations, Human Resources Information Systems and Organizational Development. 
Ann-Maree was awarded the Hall of Fame for Tourism Training Australia, Gold Coast Region in 2000. She held the position of International Representative for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions from 1997 - 2004. Her teaching experience combined with experience in Tourism and Hospitality Management brings a wealth of operational expertise to any leadership program she facilitates.

updated 2009

IAAPA 2009

Peter Owens

Pete Owens is the Media and Public Relations Manager for Dollywood, a provider of themed entertainment experiences including, Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country, and Dollywood Vacations located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Dixie Stampede locations in three states; the American Eagle Foundation and the Dollywood Foundation. Dollywood Media and Public Relations offers publicity services, crisis communications, community outreach, special events planning and execution, and media buying.

Raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Pete now lives with his wife and two daughters outside of Knoxville in Seymour, Tennessee. He majored in Radio, Television and Film at the University of Kansas and spent 15-years in affiliate television working in every aspect of News. Owens participated at the prestigious Poynter Institute focusing on Journalism Ethics and Management. Immediately before joining the Dollywood Company, he was the Assistant News Director and Executive Producer of WATE-TV the ABC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee.

He is an active speaker in the amusement industry and sits on the National Roller Coaster Museum Board of Directors. He is member of the International Amusement Parks and Attractions Association’s communications committee, the Public Relations Society of America’s East Tennessee Volunteer Chapter and is a national member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Radio Television News Director’s Association.

updated 2010

IAAPA 2010

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

 Return to top