2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo Recap- IAAPA Foundation


IAAPA Foundation Supports Future Industry Leaders at Expo

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

In 2016, the IAAPA Foundation redefined its mission to inspire life-changing careers in the global attractions industry by cultivating tomorrow’s leaders. Through several events at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017, the foundation showed its support for the professional growth of students while celebrating their achievements.

Supported by generous donations from IAAPA members, the IAAPA Foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in the attractions industry. The IAAPA Foundation Scholarship Fund awarded three scholarships in the Attractions Management Track at the University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management. 

Frank Hamedl from Fishkill, New York; Ashley Kaczor from Lake Worth, Florida; and Jarret Geist from Allentown, Pennsylvania, were named winners for the 2017-2018 school year.

The winner of The Business of Fun Contest, a partnership between the IAAPA Foundation and nonprofit youth organization JA Worldwide, was 17-year-old Sylvia Chong from Singapore. The contest seeks to recognize the innovation of students ages 14 to 19 who are interested in improving the guest experience at attractions throughout the industry.

In addition to the contest, the IAAPA Foundation and JA Worldwide collaborated on a job-shadowing program during the Expo, where 30 Junior Achievement of Central Florida students participated in a discussion with industry executives and explored the trade show floor on a tour. The IAAPA Foundation also hosted a silent auction in conjunction with the Expo’s Opening Reception.

The IAAPA Foundation was formed in 2010 and is chaired by Herschend Family Entertainment’s Jane Cooper. It is incorporated in the United States as a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The foundation accepts contributions from individuals, corporations, trusts, and grant-presenting organizations around the world.