November 18, 2009
IAAPA Presents 2009 Service Awards to Three Pioneers Vital
to the Industry’s Growth
Roland Koch, Colin Dawson, and Tim Sorge Receive Association’s Top Honor
Las Vegas, Nevada (United States) – Today, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced Roland Koch, Colin Dawson, and Tim Sorge as recipients of its 2009 Service Awards in the categories of Lifetime Service, Outstanding Service, and Meritorious Service, respectively. The honorees were named during the General Managers and Owners’ Breakfast at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009. Each recipient was honored for their generous and selfless dedication toward the betterment of IAAPA and the attractions industry as a whole.
“The Service Awards recognize the work people do above and beyond the call of duty for the association and the industry in general,” said John Wood, chair of the Service Awards committee and chairman and CEO of Sally Corporation. “Service Awards don’t recognize advertising excellence or safety excellence; they recognize the people that make all that a possibility. It recognizes volunteerism within the industry.”
The Lifetime Service Award recognizes an individual IAAPA member or member-organization whose consistent and long-term achievements serve the association and the attractions industry. The 2009 Lifetime Service Award recipient is Roland Koch, an industry leader in Europe.
Roland Koch, owner and president of Roland Koch, GmbH in Bruhl, has worked in the attractions industry for more than 50 years, and in that time served on the IAAPA board of directors, helped organize the Euro Attractions Show 1994, an IAAPA summer meeting at Europa-Park, and Euro Attractions Show 2008 in Munich, among other international events. He has owned and operated rides and restaurants in parks and fairs throughout Germany and was a partner in developing Phantasialand, one of the top parks in Europe, which opened in 1967. Additionally, Koch was instrumental in bringing large format films to Germany and Scandinavia. He is a member of the Applause Award Board of Governors.
The Outstanding Service Award is presented in recognition of an individual IAAPA member or member-organization who works to foster the spirit of goodwill, professionalism, and higher levels of performance within the industry, on a regional, national, or international basis. The 2009 Outstanding Service Award was presented to Colin Dawson, chief executive of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers, and Attractions (BALPPA) in London, England, United Kingdom.
For more than 20 years, Colin Dawson has worked in the leisure and tourism industry in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. Since 2001 he has held the title of chief executive of BALPPA, an organization which represents 300 member attractions, suppliers, and developers. As head of BALPPA, Dawson has promoted safety and mandatory manufacturer safety measures for all BALPPA members, which resulted in a 79 percent reduction in amusement ride-related accidents. In the process, Dawson helped create custom training material for staffers within the leisure industry. He has also served on multiple IAAPA committees, including the Give Kids The World committee.
The Meritorious Service Award recognizes an individual IAAPA member or member-organization who has advanced the IAAPA mission of serving the membership by promoting the safe operations, global development, professional growth, and commercial success of the industry. The 2009 Meritorious Service Award was presented to Tim Sorge, president of Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park in Cleveland, Ohio, United States.
After opening a state-of-the-art batting cage in Ohio in 1982, Tim Sorge’s vision grew to incorporate more attractions in a larger facility, and in 1987, he opened Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park, which included the batting cage, a video arcade, upscale miniature golf course, and Ice Cream Shoppe with homemade recipes. For his facility, Sorge selected Cleveland, a nontraditional location for tourists, and created a landmark in the process; Swings-N-Things has entertained thousands of guests in its 22 years. Sorge added bumper boats, a 15,000 square-foot-family game room, Paintball Village, and a go-kart facility, and simultaneously helped write standards and guidelines for the design, building, and operation of the recreational go-kart industry. As a charter member of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI), Sorge’s leadership helped guide the family entertainment center industry (FEC) over the past 27 years. He has served on both IAAPA’s FEC Committee and its board of directors, and has lead the initiative for an FEC insurance program. Sorge played a vital role in providing feedback on the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) on behalf of the industry. As IAAPA and IALEI merge, he continues to consult on how IAAPA can further invest in the FEC community.
About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 is the largest conference and trade show for the amusement park and attractions industry in the world. With its theme “Bright Lights, Big Show: The Main Attraction,” the show takes place for the first time in Las Vegas, and draws industry professionals from more than 85 countries to the Las Vegas Convention Center from Monday, Nov. 16, through Friday, Nov. 20. The trade show floor is open Tuesday, Nov. 17, through Friday, Nov. 20. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 offers a solid week of business and fun. The event also includes educational sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, marquee social events, and networking opportunities. This is the marketplace where amusement and attraction industry leaders, decision makers, and visionaries gather to network, view the latest innovations, and plan for the future. For more information, visitwww.IAAPA.org/expos/attractions.
IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 member facilities from 90 countries throughout the world.
Logos and images from IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 can be downloaded from the onlineIAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 press kit.
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