IAAPA Institute for Attractions Executives
January 7 - 12, 2024
Location: IAAPA Global Headquarters; Orlando, Florida
IAAPA Institute for Attractions Executives (IAE) offers a unique opportunity for owners, CEOs, and senior-level leaders in the global attractions industry to broaden their strategic leadership skills. Presented in partnership with esteemed faculty from San Diego State University, this exclusive program was developed specifically for IAAPA and the attractions industry and focuses on organizational change rather than individual development.
This innovative structure provides networking and learning opportunities in a classroom setting as well as in the field. Join fellow industry leaders as the program kicks off in-person in January 2024.
In Orlando, join San Diego State University professors as they examine leadership and engagement in the attractions industry through lectures, small group projects, and special events.
- Solid understanding of attraction’s impact in the memories business
- Understanding of how to leverage emotional value
- Knowledge of leadership best practices in the experience economy
- Understanding of experience mapping
The program includes meals, networking programs, transportation from hotel to program events, and educational materials.
*Program does not include travel costs or lodging. Participants will be required to stay at the program hotel. A discounted rate and information will be sent to you upon registration.
- You own an attraction or are a senior-level leader (i.e., CEO, COO, SVP)
- You seek to address organizational change
- Have an interest in sharing best practices across member types
- You are ready to network and have fun with your industry peers
- Amusement Parks and Attractions
- Family Entertainment Centers
- Museums and Science Centers
- Water Parks
- Zoos and Aquariums
Meet & Greet
Guest Experience Audit at Central Florida Attraction
Dinner at Bacán
Cultural Audit at Central Florida Attraction
IAE program concludes
Lori J. Sipe, PhD, MBA
Lori J. Sipe, PhD, MBA
After working as an executive for SeaWorld San Diego for more than 20 years, Lori became part of the founding faculty in the hospitality and tourism management program at SDSU. She is passionate about inspiring leadership of organizations in the memories business through her teaching, research, and industry projects.
Lori has more than 20 years’ experience in the attractions industry, most recently as the director of Business Analysis and Strategic Planning for SeaWorld California. She wrote business, financial, and marketing plans for hospitality businesses and facilitated strategic planning sessions for diverse groups ranging in size from five to fifty through Planning Gurus, a company she founded. She remains committed to working with industry leaders and facilitates executive education programs for professionals in the hospitality and tourism industry. Lori’s clients include attractions, hotels, gaming resorts, and tourism industry associations.
As an associate professor, Lori currently teaches accounting, innovation, and leadership courses in the undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Her teaching style is engaging and interactive. She receives excellent reviews from students and was honored by ICHRIE with the Wiley Innovation in Teaching award. Lori’s research focuses on innovation and strategic leadership in organizations whose main economic offering is an experience. Her work has been presented at national and international conferences and published in scholarly journals and industry-related periodicals. She recently received the prestigious Foster Award for her dissertation—Leadership for innovation in the memories business: a mixed methods study of a hospitality and tourism marketplace.
Mark R. Testa, PhD
Mark R. Testa, PhD
Dr. Testa is an award winning, internationally recognized business and hospitality management educator and researcher with over 10 years of management experience and 30 years of teaching experience. Specializing in leadership and performance the service arena, Dr. Testa has taught undergraduate, graduate and MBA courses at the State University of New York, Johnson & Wales University, Florida International University and Barry University. In addition, Dr. Testa has held a variety of leadership positions including Department Chair of Business Administration & Hospitality Management, Director of Career Development, Leadership Concentration Coordinator and Teaching Excellence Coordinator. Dr. Testa has received awards from San Diego State University, Johnson & Wales University, Florida International University, The Hospitality and Tourism Research Journal, The Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education and Anabar Publishing.
A.A.S., Foodservice Administration/Restaurant Management, State University of New York, Farmingdale. B.P.S. Hotel & Restaurant Management, New York Institute of Technology. M.A., Labor/Management Studies, State University of New York, Stonybrook. Ph.D., Leadership Studies, Barry University.
Currently, Dr. Testa focuses on industry research in the areas of leadership, employee attitudes and service quality through employee performance. Dr Testa has been published in quality empirical journals such as Group & Organization Management, The Management International Review, The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, The Hospitality & Tourism Research Journal, The Leadership & Organization Development Journal and The Journal of Psychology. In addition, Dr. Testa maintains significant industry contact through on-going consulting and organizational development initiatives with leading service organizations such as, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Cunard Cruise Lines, Anheuser-Busch Entertainment Division, Intercontinental Hotels and The Miami Heat organization. His most recent project was a strategic planning/implementation solution with IBM and strategic management executive education with senior leaders from attractions around the world for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). In addition, Dr. Testa is the senior coordinator in the Center for Hospitality Research at San Diego State and has conducted economic impact studies for The College Bowl Game Commission, the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Holiday Bowl, Poinsettia Bowl, Buick Invitational as well as several other smaller events. Dr. Testa is also a leader in assessing tourism impacts through his work with the San Diego Tourism Marketing District (TMD). Dr. Testa teaches various topics at San Diego State University including leadership & coaching, service leadership, leadership development and strategic management.