IAE18 Recap - Awards - January 2019


FROM LEFT: Bonnie Sherman Weber, Lorena Story, Luciana Periales, Keith Dexter, Ted Molter, Donald Jacoby

IAAPA Hall of Fame Inducts 11 Industry Pioneers as Part of 100th Anniversary Celebration

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

The Kickoff Event at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 featured the induction of 11 global attractions industry pioneers into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in commemoration of IAAPA’s 100th anniversary. The IAAPA Hall of Fame honors individuals whose work and accomplishments have made significant and lasting contributions to the global attractions industry.

“Our committee sifted through numerous nominations in an attempt to close the history books for IAAPA’s first 100 years,” said Jack Morey, 2018 chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee and executive vice president of Morey’s Piers. “In some cases, these inductions are long overdue as the contributions of these individuals date back to the 1800s. In other cases, they have inspired us more recently. So, this year, we posthumously honor 11 industry greats who have made a real difference in the global attractions business, and they will continue to inspire us for many years to come.” 

The new IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees included:

  • Edward Joy Morris, Morris Chute Company, United States (1860-1929)
  • Irving Rosenthal, Coney Island, Palisades Amusement Park, United States (1895-1973)
  • Alfred R. Hodge, National Association of Amusement Parks/IAAPA, United States (1881-1946)
  • Levitt Luzern Custer, Custer Specialty Co., United States (1888-1962)
  • Dr. Harry Wegeforth, Zoological Society of San Diego, United States (1882-1941)
  • Frank Hrubetz and Lee Eyerly, Eyerly Aircraft Company, United States, (1906-1987) and (1892-1963), respectively
  • Phil Dexter, Big Surf Waterpark, United States (1927-2014)
  • Marcelo Periales, Neverland, Argentina (1955-2013)
  • Gary Story, Premier Parks/Six Flags Entertainment, United States (1955-2013)
  • Alexander “Al” Weber Jr., Paramount Parks, Palace Entertainment, Six Flags Entertainment, Apex Parks Group, United States (1952-2016)

Several family members and representatives accepted the awards on behalf of the inductees at the event. Donald Jacoby, Rosenthal’s grandnephew; Ted Molter, chief marketing officer for San Diego Zoo Global, accepting for Dr. Wegeforth; Keith Dexter, Phil Dexter’s son; Luciana Periales, Marcelo Periales’ niece; Lorena Story, Gary Story’s wife; and Bonnie Sherman Weber, wife of Alexander “Al” Weber Jr. joined Morey on stage.

“These industry leaders have inspired us all, and they will continue to do so for many, many years to come,” Morey said before turning to the inductees’ family members and representatives. “Thank you for being here, and thank you for sharing your stories, your family, and your history with all of IAAPA now and into the future.”

Special IAAPA Hall of Fame inductions also took place this year during Asian Attractions Expo 2018 in Hong Kong, China, and Euro Attractions Show 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, honoring pioneers in their geographic regions.


Xcaret Honored with Liseberg Applause Award

Xcaret, a theme park on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, was awarded the 2018 Liseberg Applause Award—which recognizes excellence and inspiration in the amusement and theme park industry—during the Expo’s Kickoff Event. “I never thought that doing what you love to do every day—to show the beauty of my country, the culture of my country—I would be able to pursue this important distinction,” said Miguel Quintana Pali, president and CEO of Grupo Experiencias Xcaret, who accepted the award.


To learn more about the IAAPA Hall of Fame and the new inductees, visit www.IAAPA.org/HOF2018.



Industry Leaders Honored with IAAPA Awards

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

IAAPA recognized four 2018 IAAPA Service Award recipients and a young professional for their contributions to the global attractions industry during the GM and Owners’ Breakfast.

Julio Vanegas, ICAE
IAAPA Lifetime Service Award

The IAAPA Lifetime Service Award recognizes a member individual’s consistent and long-term achievements serving the association and the industry. Julio Vanegas, ICAE, founder and general manager of Carruseles S.A. in Bogotá, Colombia, has been dedicated to strengthening the attractions industry and growing IAAPA membership throughout Latin America for 25 years. He has been an active member and chairman of the IAAPA Latin America Regional Advisory Committee; served on the association’s board of directors, strategic planning committee, and governance task force; and is a member of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee.

Jim Futrell
IAAPA Outstanding Service Award

The IAAPA 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. Jim Futrell, chief historian/director at the National Amusement Park Historical Association, is a 30-year IAAPA volunteer and member. He has volunteered hundreds of hours researching and interviewing more than 120 IAAPA leaders and industry legends to preserve their stories and experiences through the IAAPA Oral History Project.

Robert “Bob” Williams, ICAE
IAAPA Meritorious Service Award

The IAAPA Meritorious Service Award is presented in recognition of a member individual’s service to advancing IAAPA’s mission by promoting safe operations, global development, professional growth, and commercial success of the attractions industry. Robert “Bob” Williams, ICAE, general manager of Calaway Park in Calgary, Canada, currently chairs the IAAPA North America Regional Advisory Committee and has served on the IAAPA Board of Directors since 2016. He has also been a part of the association’s North America government relations subcommittee and marketing and public relations, amusement parks and attractions, and membership committees.

Alexander “Al” Weber Jr.
IAAPA Board of Directors Special Service Award

For more than 40 years, Alexander “Al” Weber Jr. was a visionary in the global attractions industry. He was a member of the IAAPA Executive Finance Committee, board of directors, and was named second vice chairman in 2016. Weber was the original chairman of the IAAPA Branding Task Force and is a member of the IAAPA Hall of Fame. Upon Weber’s passing, his wife, Bonnie Sherman Weber, established the Al Weber Scholarship Fund, the most successful fundraising effort for the IAAPA Foundation.

Mika Nur Faezah, ICAE
2018 IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award

Mika Nur Faezah, ICAE, director of Asia-Pacific at JNE&LC Asia, received the 2018 IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award, which honors members who demonstrate a dedication to the attractions industry through strong leadership, teamwork, and integrity, while continually developing their knowledge and experience.



2018 IAAPA Brass Ring Awards Honor Excellence in the Industry

The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards ceremony celebrated achievements throughout the global attractions industry, featuring entertainment from Michael Andrew and Swingerhead. The program received its name from a tradition dating back to the 1800s in which carousel riders were challenged to reach for rings suspended above them. The goal was to grasp one of the few brass rings hanging among those made of iron to receive a prize. Building on the prestige of this carousel custom, today’s IAAPA Brass Ring Awards honor excellence in a range of categories, including food and beverage, games and retail, human resources, live entertainment, marketing, new products, and exhibits. See all the winners at http://www.iaapa.org/about-iaapa/iaapa-awards/iaapa-brass-ring-awards/2015BrassRingAwards/2018-iaapa-brass-ring-awards-finalists