IAE18 Recap - IAAPA Foundation - January 2019


The IAAPA Foundation partnered with JA Worldwide to bring students to IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 for educational events.

IAAPA Foundation Furthers its Mission at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

The IAAPA Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to inspire students to pursue careers in the global attractions industry, and at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018, it drove this mission home by raising money for its initiatives, awarding scholarships, and hosting educational programs and events for students and educators.

Through the second annual IAAPA Foundation Silent Auction that took place during the Opening Reception, Expo participants and IAAPA members raised approximately $50,000 benefiting programs that support tomorrow’s attractions industry leaders and the Al Weber Scholarship Fund.

The IAAPA Foundation presented scholarships to three students from the University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Megan Gannon, a junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Taya Miller, a junior from Waukee, Iowa, and Celia Roulet, a senior from Bellingham, Washington, each received $7,000 scholarships to continue their studies in the theme park and attraction management curriculum track.


From left: Jane Cooper, Bill Zanetti, Celia Roulet, Megan Gannon, Dr. Jeffrey Weinland, Bobbie Wages

Additionally, the IAAPA Foundation partnered with JA Worldwide to bring students to IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 for educational events led by industry professionals and a job-shadowing program. Student Forum speakers included Carolyn Bassett, vice president of global development at JA Worldwide; James Geiser, corporate vice president of sales and marketing for Six Flags; Brian King, president of Recreation Engineering Inc.; Gerald Rakestraw, senior vice president of safety at Herschend Family Entertainment; and Tom Wages, IAAPA Foundation co-executive director. Seven IAAPA Foundation Experiential Scholarship recipients from San Diego State University attended the Student Forum and the Expo. The Foundation also hosted a full-day Themed Experiences and Attractions Academic Symposium for educators.

To learn more about the IAAPA Foundation and its initiatives, visit www.IAAPAFoundation.org.