Celebrating the Individuals Who Champion Our Industry
From honoring the visionary pioneers who’ve dedicated their lives to our industry’s livelihood, to acknowledging those young professionals who personify our core values and beliefs, these awards recognize the individuals who put the success of our industry first and foremost.
IAAPA Brass Ring Awards
Named for the rings given to carousel riders at the very first amusement parks, the IAAPA Brass Ring Award is a symbol of achievement. And just like how a ring is an unbreakable connection, so too are our connections as a community – bringing out the best in one another.
IAAPA Hall of Fame Awards
Deadline: August 2, 2019
It starts with a dream. It becomes a vision. And finally, it’s brought to life. The IAAPA Hall of Fame celebrates and honors those extraordinary pioneers who have seen their personal dreams through to completion not for their own success, but for the growth and betterment of the entire industry.
- Award Criteria
- Have been associated with the attractions industry, preferably for a minimum period of 10 years.
- Have been associated with a theme or amusement park, water park, family entertainment center, zoo, aquarium, museum, science center, resort, or other attraction, manufacturer, supplier, or designer.
- Have made a significant contribution to the worldwide attractions industry that has provided innovation, education, leadership, and/or influence both inside his/her organization AND within the industry in a manner that will continue to be of value in the future. Examples include contributions to the attractions industry at large such as:
- 1) Literary contribution
- 2) Design or invention of material equipment, processes, or technical services
- 3) Innovation in conjunction with attractions, rides, exhibitions, entertainment, food, merchandise, games, engineering, or safety
- 4) Be a well-known individual who has significantly contributed to the success and inspiration of other leaders in the global industry.
- How to Submit a Nomination for the IAAPA Hall of Fame
- 2018 IAAPA Hall of Fame Award Recipients
Continuing a 28-year tradition, IAAPA inducted 18 attractions industry legends into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 2018:
- Eugenius Birch, Architect and Civil Engineer, United Kingdom
- Roland Callingham, Creator of Bekonscot, United Kingdom
- Levitt Luzern Custer, Custer Specialty Co., United States
- Phil Dexter, Big Surf Waterpark, United States
- Carl Hagenbeck, Tierpark Hagenbeck, Germany
- Bernard Harrison, Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd., Singapore
- Alfred R. Hodge, National Association of Amusement Parks / IAAPA, United States
- Frank Hrubetz and Lee Eyerly, Eyerly Aircraft Company, United States
- Edward Joy Morris, Morris Chute Company, United States
- Marcelo Periales, Neverland, Argentina
- Irving Rosenthal, Coney Island, Palisades Amusement Park, United States
- Dr. Peter Rosner, Developer of Magnetic Braking and Launch Systems, Germany
- Gary Story, Premier Parks / Six Flags Entertainment, United States
- Masatomo Takahashi, Oriental Land Company, Japan
- Kelly Tarlton, Underwater World, New Zealand
- Alexander “Al” Weber, Jr., Paramount Parks, Palace Entertainment, Six Flags Entertainment, Apex Parks Group, United States
- Dr. Harry Wegeforth, Zoological Society of San Diego, United States
IAAPA Service Awards
Deadline: August 2, 2019
Devotion and dedication are the engines that drive our industry. These individuals have put the success of IAAPA above all others, enriching and enabling our community and its members to reach their fullest potential. From lifetime recognition of service to celebrating volunteer efforts, our industry simply wouldn’t exist without service.
- Lifetime Service Award Criteria
The Lifetime Service Award recognizes individuals who have served IAAPA and the industry for over 20 years. Winners of this award...
- Have devoted her/his own time to both IAAPA and the attractions industry for more than 20 years.
- Have held numerous volunteer positions with both IAAPA and other nonprofit organizations.
- Have served as a leader and visionary.
- Have provided guidance and support to others.
- Are passionate attractions professional.
- Outstanding Service Award Criteria
The Outstanding Service Award recognizes service to the attractions industry. Winners of this award are...
- Subject matter experts; your “go-to” person when you need answers.
- Leaders who elevate and mentor others.
- Dedicated to the attractions profession.
- Committed to positive change to improve industry standards.
- Meritorious Service Award Criteria
The Meritorious Service Award recognizes dedicated IAAPA volunteers. IAAPA would not exist without its devoted members. Winners of this award…
- Give their time and expertise to fellow IAAPA members.
- Enthusiastically volunteer. Past winners have typically held more than one volunteer position with IAAPA such as show ambassador, committee member/chair, presenter at events or webinars, authored articles/books, etc. Past winners have also held volunteer positions with other nonprofit organizations.
- Coach and encourage others to improve the industry through volunteerism.
- Drive the success of IAAPA’s programs and initiatives.
- Support IAAPA's mission to "serve the membership by promoting safe operations, global development, professional growth, and commercial success of the amusement parks and attractions industry."
- Submit a Nomination for the IAAPA Service Awards
- Double check that you’ve completed the form and included all supporting documents. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
- Describe your nominee and her/his achievements as if you’re presenting the award to that person. We use the application when developing the awards presentation.
- Make your nominee stand out with specific details about her/his contributions. The more detail the better.
- Refer to the awards criteria when completing the application. We use these criteria to judge our nominees.
- Remember – service awards are given in recognition of an individual’s service to the industry and/or IAAPA, not personal commercial success.
- Learn More About Past Winners
2017 IAAPA Lifetime Service Award Honoree James "Chip" Cleary
A 35-year attractions industry veteran, James “Chip” Cleary, ICAE, of Europa-Park in Rust, Germany, has played an integral role at attractions worldwide. He has been an active volunteer with IAAPA, leading and serving on many committees. In addition, Cleary served two terms on the IAAPA Board of Directors and was chairman of the board in 2010. Cleary also led the association as president and CEO from 2011 to 2013.
2017 IAAPA Outstanding Service Award Honoree Ken Whiting
Ken Whiting, ICAE, of Whiting’s Foods in Santa Cruz, California, United States, is a trusted and respected leader in the food and beverage industry and has been involved with IAAPA for more than four decades. He has served on five IAAPA committees and is currently the head of the faculty for IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers. In 2017, Whiting was elected to the IAAPA Board of Directors.
2017 IAAPA Meritorious Service Award Honoree Matt Heller
Matt Heller, ICAE, of Performance Optimist Consulting in Maitland, Florida, United States, is a 25-year veteran of the attractions industry. He has volunteered with IAAPA for more than a decade. In addition, Heller’s involvement with the IAAPA Show Ambassador program for IAAPA Attractions Expo has inspired and positively influenced the next generation of amusement industry professionals.
IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award
Deadline: July 15, 2019
The future of our industry depends on the leadership, integrity and teamwork of the generations that follow. The IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award honors those rising stars who embrace and exemplify the qualities of the amusement park and attractions industry and the mission of IAAPA as a whole.
- Award Criteria
Nominees must meet the following criteria for consideration for the IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award:
- Currently working for an IAAPA member company in good standing.
- Meets the definition of a young professional: A person less than 35 years of age, employed full-time by a company in the attractions industry (Students not eligible).
- Demonstrates strong leadership skills (Examples required).
- Demonstrates strong teamwork skills (Examples required).
- Demonstrates a strong sense of integrity.
- Demonstrates a commitment to IAAPA (Examples required. Includes IAAPA certification credit hours earned, committee involvement, speaking at IAAPA or industry events).
- Reference(s) from senior management of a member company and other IAAPA members.
- Submit a Nomination for the IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award
Click on the link below to submit a nomination for the Young Professional of the Year Award.