Launch - Movers & Shakers - March 2018


In Memoriam: Quassy’s George Zonas

George Zonas, ride superintendent and training officer at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, Connecticut, for 17 years, died following a lengthy illness. The park’s owners said Zonas was the kind of man who cared for others before himself and never showed defeat. In 2015, he was presented the Alan E. Ramsay Safety Award from the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, recognizing his “unparalleled commitment to safety in the amusement parks and attractions industry.” During his tenure at Quassy, Zonas trained hundreds of ride operators and started with an introductory speech that began with the line, “This is show business.”

NEAAPA Inducts George Frantzis II into Hall of Fame 

QUASSY AMUSEMENT & WATERPARKGeorge Frantzis II, one of the owners of Quassy Amusement & Waterpark, will be inducted into the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) Hall of Fame in March during the organization’s annual meeting. He grew up working at the 110-year-old park, and over the years has held a variety of positions. Frantzis represents his family’s third generation to be involved with Quassy, which his grandfather and two business partners purchased in 1937. A past president of NEAAPA, Frantzis will become the third member of his family to be inducted into the hall of fame, along with his late father, George Frantzis, and uncle, John Frantzis.


Acquisition Will Create One of the World’s Largest FEC Groups

The Entertainment and Education Group (TEEG), jointly owned by Timezone Group’s Steinberg family and funds advised by Quadrant Private Equity, entered into an agreement to acquire the Bowling and Entertainment Division of Ardent Leisure for AUD$160 million. The transaction brings together the businesses of Timezone, AMF, Kingpin, and Playtime to create one of the world’s largest family entertainment center (FEC) groups. TEEG operates in six countries with more than 250 locations, and its strategy is to invest significant growth capital across Australia and Asia to capitalize on the rapid growth currently being experienced by the entertainment and early education sectors.


Two Additions to 3D Live Management Team

Immersive 3-D LED technology company 3D Live added entertainment and theme park industry veterans Kang Ahn and Christian Dieckmann to its management team. Ahn was named the company’s chief financial officer, and Dieckmann comes aboard as chief strategy officer. Ahn comes to 3D Live from 3-D and visualization provider RealD, where he led efforts to bring innovative, high-impact technology products and services to the cinema market. Dieckmann was formerly with Cedar Fair, where he led entertainment efforts involving technologies like virtual and augmented reality.


New Themed Entertainment Curriculum Comes to CalArts

The School of Theater at the California Institute of Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California, launched a new specialization within its BFA Design and Production Program called Experience Design/Themed Entertainment that will encourage students to develop a unique creative process as they work alongside artists and thinkers across varying disciplines. The school says students will improve their technical ability, along with expanding their vision to emerge as leaders in the field.

1803_movers_smithGillian Smith

Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven, Florida, hired Gillian Smith as its vice president of marketing and sales, replacing Rex Jackson, who was promoted to the resort’s general manager in July 2017. Since 2011, Smith served as chief marketing officer of City Year, a large education and national service nonprofit organization. Prior to that, she spent four years with nonprofit Teach for America and seven years with Burger King.

1803_movers_aladawiAbdulrahman Aladawi

Digital Projection, headquartered in Manchester, England, announced the appointment of Abdulrahman Aladawi to the position of business development manager, Middle East. He will oversee the development of business across the region, where Digital Projection has plans for growth. Raising awareness of the company’s products and technology, he will focus on building relationships with distributors and system integration partners.

1803_movers_shrieferT. Scott Schriefer

T. Scott Schriefer joined Itec Entertainment Corp. as the company’s vice president and regional director of China, who will provide oversight of Itec’s 35-plus projects currently in development throughout the country. He will be based in Itec’s Shanghai office to lead the company’s growing team in China and boost its international footprint, which already extends across 30 countries around the globe. His 30-year industry career includes work for Dubai Parks and Resorts as head of show and ride management, and as executive producer of Fox Studios Australia.