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IAAPA Recognizes Industry Leaders with Service Awards at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IAAPA Recognizes Industry Leaders with Service Awards
at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017

Awards Honor James “Chip” Cleary of Europa-Park, Ken Whiting of Whiting’s Foods, Matt Heller of Performance Optimist Consulting, and Jim Pattison, Jr. of Ripley Entertainment

ORLANDO, Fla., US (Nov. 15, 2017) – The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) recognized the 2017 IAAPA Service Award winners during the annual GM and Owners’ Breakfast at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Orlando, Florida. The awards honor individuals for their outstanding contributions to the global attractions industry. The 2017 IAAPA Service Award recipients are James “Chip” Cleary, ICAE, of Europa-Park, Port Jefferson, New York, United States; Ken Whiting, ICAE, of Whiting’s Foods, Santa Cruz, California, United States; Matt Heller, ICAE, of Performance Optimist Consulting, Maitland, Florida, United States; and Jim Pattison, Jr., ICAE, of Ripley Entertainment, Orlando, Florida, United States.

IAAPA Lifetime Service Award Winner – James “Chip” Cleary, Europa-Park, Port Jefferson, New York, United States
James “Chip” Cleary, ICAE, of Europa-Park, Port Jefferson, New York, United States, received the IAAPA Lifetime Service Award, which recognizes a member individual’s consistent and long-term achievements serving the association and the industry for more than 20 years. A 35-year veteran of the attractions industry, Cleary has played an integral role at various attractions worldwide, including amusement parks, family entertainment centers, and water parks. He has been an active volunteer with IAAPA for more than 20 years, leading and serving on a myriad of committees including the government relations, safety and maintenance, and conference and trade show advisory committees. In addition, he served two terms on the IAAPA board of directors and was elected third vice chairman in 2007. He served as second and first vice chairman in 2008 and 2009, respectively, and was chairman of the board in 2010. Cleary also led the association as president and chief executive officer from 2011 to 2013.

IAAPA Outstanding Service Award Winner – Ken Whiting, Whiting’s Foods, Santa Cruz, California, United States
Ken Whiting, ICAE, of Whiting’s Foods, Santa Cruz, California, United States, received the IAAPA Outstanding Service Award, which 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 regionally, nationally, or internationally. Whiting, whose involvement with IAAPA spans more than four decades, is a trusted and respected leader in the food and beverage industry. He has served on five IAAPA committees, including human resources, education, food and beverage, North American regional advisory, and investment committees. In addition, he chaired the food and beverage committee for three years and is currently the head of the faculty for the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers. In 2017, Whiting was elected to the IAAPA board of directors. 

IAAPA Meritorious Service Award Winner – Matt Heller, Performance Optimist Consulting, Maitland, Florida, United States
Matt Heller, ICAE, of Performance Optimist Consulting, Maitland, Florida, United States, was awarded the IAAPA Meritorious Service Award, which 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 amusement parks and attractions industry. A 25-year veteran of the attractions and entertainment industry, Heller has volunteered with IAAPA for more than a decade, contributing his leadership and training expertise to numerous association committees, programs, and educational sessions. In addition, his involvement with the IAAPA Show Ambassador program for IAAPA Attractions Expo has inspired and positively influenced the next generation of attractions industry professionals.

IAAPA Board of Directors Special Service Award Winner – Jim Pattison, Jr., Ripley Entertainment, Orlando, Florida, United States
The IAAPA board of directors presented a special Service Award to Jim Pattison, Jr., ICAE, president of Ripley Entertainment, Orlando, Florida, United States, and the staff of Ripley Entertainment, for their outstanding service to IAAPA. Pattison and the entire Ripley corporate headquarters team provided extraordinary assistance to the association during its global headquarters relocation from Alexandria, Virginia to Orlando, Florida. The Ripley Entertainment team provided IAAPA with temporary office and meeting space along continuous support thus enabling the relocation to be smooth and seamless.  

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 is the premier conference and trade show for the $39.5 billion global amusement park and attractions industry. With its theme “Join the Creation Nation” the show provides attractions industry leaders, decision-makers, and visionaries with everything needed to take every guest experience to the next level, whether through the thousands of innovations, the hundreds of expert-led educational opportunities, or the engaging networking opportunities. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 will draw more than 32,000 industry professionals, including more than 21,000 decision-makers and buyers from more than 100 countries to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Monday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 17. The more than 560,000-net-square-foot trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 17. Additional information is available at www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractionsExpo. #IAE17

About IAAPA
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 5,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 with member facilities including amusement and theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, and museums. IAAPA hosts three annual trade shows including IAAPA Attractions Expo, Euro Attractions Show, and Asian Attractions Expo. The association's global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, United States. The nonprofit organization maintains offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Alexandria, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.IAAPA.org or connect with us: @IAAPAHQ  #IAAPA

Editor’s Note: Images are available for download at www.iaapa.org/iaapa-awards-2017-headshots

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