Launch - Movers & Shakers - January 2019

Nickelodeon Taps New Vice President

1901_movers_VargoNickelodeon announced Susan Vargo as vice president, global live entertainment. Based in London, Vargo will lead the creative development and production of all major Nickelodeon ticketed and select non-ticketed stage shows, as well as entertainment programs for the brand’s resorts, theme parks, and attractions around the globe. She will lead a team that brings Nickelodeon characters to life through various entertainment programs at location-based experiences. Vargo has more than two decades of experience with live events, most recently serving as the executive producer of “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical.” She’ll continue her work on the musical as it prepares to tour the United States beginning in fall 2019.

Semnox Appoints New Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

1901_movers_rossowSemnox announced Mark Rossow as its chief sales and marketing officer for its Americas team. Semnox said with more than 25 years of business experience at early-stage startups to large public companies, Rossow is expected to usher the company into a new era of growth and development. He is known for his ability to spearhead large organizations globally, and his talents have helped enhance partnerships while ensuring new revenue growth for industrial, technology, and media organizations. Previously, Rossow served as senior vice president of Embed, a division of Helix Leisure.



KidZania and KDDI Join Forces

KCJ Group Co. Ltd., KidZania’s operator in Japan, has become a subsidiary company of KDDI Corp., a mobile carrier company. The two will work together to create additional edutainment experiences to enrich the future of children in that market. The partnership will focus on three key objectives. First, both organizations will originate learning opportunities that encourage kids to develop their skills through advanced technologies. Second, they aim to contribute to KidZania’s development in Japan by promoting closer collaboration with local governmental institutions and develop regional programs that highlight traditional industrial experiences. Finally, both organizations will encourage collaboration between advanced technologies and primary industries in role-playing activities that emphasize the best features of each sector.


Susan Eisma

1901_movers_eismaLegoland New York Resort has named Susan Eisma its human resources (HR) director to oversee the hiring of 1,300 employees, called “Model Citizens” by the resort, as it prepares for its spring 2020 opening. Eisma was previously vice president of human resources at Patina Restaurant Group, where she drove HR strategy for the $300 million, 6,600-employee operation, covering 70 locations. Legoland New York Resort will be one of the largest Legoland theme parks built by Merlin Entertainments, with more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions on 150 acres in Goshen, New York.

Shaun Swanger

1901_movers_swangerCaesars Entertainment named Shaun Swanger senior vice president of attractions, retail, and leasing. He will oversee sales, marketing, and operations of all attractions, and also manage retail and leasing agreements enterprise wide. Swanger joined Caesars Entertainment in June 2015 as vice president and general manager of The Linq Promenade and “High Roller Observation Wheel” on the Las Vegas Strip. Originally from Australia, Swanger came to Caesars Entertainment from Westfield USA.

Francois De Freitas

1901_movers_de_freitasFrancois De -Freitas has joined Apple Industries as senior director of marketing. The company operates in the coin-operated amusement and entertainment industry, with a business focus on the manufacturing and sales of the FacePlace brand of photo booths in domestic and international markets. De Freitas joined Apple Industries with a vast knowledge of the photo booth market from his time with Photo-Me International. He has more than 20 years of experience in marketing photo booths.


Katapult, Cartoon Network, and Future Kid Collaborate

Katapult, a United Kingdom-based guest experience agency, is collaborating with Cartoon Network and leisure and entertainment group Future Kid on a themed attraction in Kuwait. The attraction will be launched in 2019 once Katapult has designed and developed the 3,000-square-meter site. The fully themed and immersive attraction will feature several new experiences ranging from dynamic simulators to physical play challenges. The project will reflect Cartoon Network’s most popular intellectual properties, including “Ben 10,” “Adventure Time,” “The Amazing World of Gumball,” and “The Powerpuff Girls.”


Ride Entertainment Creates Two Divisions

Ride Entertainment announced the company has created two divisions. The new business development division will include the attraction sales, ride installations, financial partnerships, and SkyCoaster business segments. Its day-to-day operations will be overseen by Adam Sandy, longtime chief business development officer of the company who will now take the position of president of this division. The parks and attractions division will include the operations in Ride Entertainment’s portfolio. It will be overseen by David Galst, the company’s current managing director of operations, who will now assume the role of president of this division.