Letter From IAAPA North America - October 2018

Working Together to Build the Future


When my wife and I moved to Orlando, Florida, in 1991, I really had no idea the attractions industry would take us on a quarter-century ride of global proportions! I’ve been so lucky to have had many opportunities to be involved in major theme park projects around the world at Universal Parks & Resorts, Resorts World Sentosa, Dubai Parks & Resorts, Farah Experiences, and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. My experiences provided me with a long list of peers and colleagues from whom I have learned, grown with, and had the honor to call friends. 

Throughout these adventures, I have been involved with IAAPA as member, committee member, speaker, and faculty. Now, I am proud to serve the attractions industry as vice president of IAAPA North American Operations. 

IAAPA is a vibrant organization where professionals can enrich their careers with endless opportunities, but I really never thought about actually joining the association full time. I can easily say I am very grateful I have done just that as I am joining during IAAPA’s 100th anniversary, the perfect time to be a part of an association that will move the industry forward into the next 100 years.

I have built my career on stressing the importance of teamwork, encouragement, empowerment, the ability to embrace change, and, of course, having fun! As a member of the IAAPA team, I will continue to drive these ideals. The IAAPA North American Operations team wants to engage with you, our members, through networking events, education programs, and facility visits to build relationships and connections.

Strengthening the next generation of industry professionals is also very important to me. I want to help propel young professionals into future senior management roles. My daughter works in our industry, and I have seen how many IAAPA members value growing future generations of directors, vice presidents, and general managers. We can all work together to ensure that our young professionals have the right tools to carry the torch forward.

I have been lucky to be in this industry for almost 30 years and don’t know of another career path that would have given me the same opportunities and experiences. I am fully committed to giving back to our industry the knowledge and experience I have gained through the years to make IAAPA and our members better suited for the future. 

Safe, clean fun is what we are all about, and the chance to put smiles on the faces of people all over the globe is what each of us strives for. We can make that a reality together, and I look forward to doing just that every day!

John Hallenbeck
Vice President, IAAPA North American Operations