Statement from Bob Rippy Regarding Frank O'Connell, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts


Statement Regarding Frank O’Connell

From Bob Rippy, Chairman, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions IAAPA

October 18, 2011


It is a sad week for the worldwide attractions industry as we mourn the loss of Frank O’Connell, General Manager of Attractions & Entertainment at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

Frank was an admired and respected leader both within the Hershey organization and within the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), where he served two terms on the board of directors, from 2005-2010. He was a dedicated and committed IAAPA volunteer, contributing countless hours to the work of the association for the good of the global industry. Frank also encouraged many of the Hersheypark management team members to do the same, and we are forever grateful for their collective contributions to IAAPA. During his tenure on the IAAPA board, Frank was a member of the executive and compensation committees, he chaired the audit committee, and he served as our treasurer. 

Frank started his career at Hersheypark more than 30 years ago, in 1978, in the Food & Beverage department. He was promoted through a number of leadership positions to become the General Manager of the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex and then ultimately to his current position as General Manager of Attractions and Entertainment for the company. Under Frank’s leadership, the Hershey Entertainment Complex has grown to become one of the premier family entertainment destinations in the United States. Today, the vast complex includes Hersheypark, ZooAmerica, Giant Center (home ice to the Hershey Bears AHL hockey team), Hersheypark Arena, Hersheypark Stadium and Hersheypark Star Pavilion. Frank and his team were also involved in the operation of Hershey Theatre, Hershey Gardens and Hershey Highmeadow Campground. 

We will miss Frank’s warm and welcoming demeanor, his professional accomplishments and contributions, his friendship, and his smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the entire Hershey Entertainment & Resorts team during this difficult time.

We have been advised by Frank's family that those wishing to pay their final respects and celebrate Frank's life with friends and family are welcome to attend any of the following:

Hoover's Funeral Home 
Rt 422 and Lucy Avenue 
Hershey, PA 17033 
Friday, October 21 from 1-3 PM and 6-8 PM

Celebration of Life - St. Joan of Arc 
359 West Areba Avenue 
Hershey, PA 17033 
Saturday, October 22 - 10:30 AM

GIANT Center - Champion's Club Lounge 
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM


In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests contributions be made to either:

-American Heart Association - Suite 100, 1019 Mumma Road, Lemoyne, PA 17043
-American Diabetes Association - 3544 N. Progress Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110