Movers and Shakers - September 2019
WhiteWater Taps New Head of Design Services
Domenic Sicoli is the new director of design services at WhiteWater. Bringing 23 years of experience in diverse industries and functions, Sicoli possesses strong skills in master planning, architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture throughout North America, China, and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. WhiteWater says Sicoli is a multidisciplinary designer who enjoys working on a wide range and scale of projects. Prior to joining WhiteWater, he was most recently responsible for global technical services and project management for several luxury lifestyle hotels and resorts. He’s lived in various parts of the world, including 15 years in Shanghai, working with many leading developers in China.
Disney World Workers Get Free Tuition
Walt Disney World Resort has announced it has added the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando to its Disney Aspire education investment program, and starting with fall semester of 2019, more than 53,000 Florida-based Disney employees will be eligible for free enrollment at the university. This means those admitted to UCF will attend completely tuition free. The Disney Aspire program began in August 2018, and the company announced it would contribute $150 million for application fees, tuition costs, and books to assist in the education of its employees. The program also allows Disney workers to enroll in Valencia College, located in Orlando.
Cruise Line Fills Newly Created Position
Royal Caribbean International announced the hiring of Chris Perry to fulfill its newly created role of vice president of Perfect Day islands, operations, and hotel operations. He will oversee hospitality and management operations, as well as provide input on the design and best practices for the cruise line’s private destinations, including Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, which opened in May, following a complete transformation. Perry joins Royal Caribbean from Icon Global Partners Limited, where he served as CEO of the amusement operational consulting and management firm. Before that, he was with Club Med, WhiteWater, and Dubai-based Jumeirah Group’s Wild Wadi Waterpark. Perry also hosted “Epic Attractions,” a series on attractions airing on the Travel Channel.
GameWorks and JLL Align
GameWorks Inc.—an entertainment and dining experience for millennials, teens, and families—and JLL, a professional services firm specializing in real estate and investment management, have announced they’ve aligned to expand entertainment concepts and esports lounges nationwide. GameWorks operates seven entertainment centers in seven states, which are on average 25,000 square feet in size and possess an esports lounge. GameWorks says it’s planning to bring its integrated entertainment concept and esports lounges to additional United States cities, and, partnering with JLL, will help identify strategic locations best suited for its concept and demographic targets.
Immotion Group PLC announced the appointment of Tom Hamilton as business development director EMEA. The company says Hamilton, who is founder of Rush VR in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, will be responsible for spearheading the implementation of Immotion’s Blue Ocean Series into aquariums, Merlin Sea Life Centers, and other attractions in the EMEA region. The Blue Ocean Series combines education and entertainment to create an all-around underwater adventure through virtual reality. Immotion says Hamilton will be creating partnerships across the EMEA region to bring the Blue Ocean Series to new regions and audiences.
Jay Walker, who was one of the first employees of Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota, has been named the aquarium’s new executive director. Walker began at the aquarium as curator of animal care in 1999, a year before it opened its doors to the public. He has served as the aquarium’s interim executive director since November 2018 and replaces Joe Montisano, who had been executive director since 2017. Walker previously served as the aquarium’s director of operations, where he oversaw major exhibit and building changes.
Betson Enterprises promoted Richard Zayas-Bazan to president of Betson Imperial Parts & Service Company to oversee full operations of this key and growing division of the company. He has spent the past 22 years in progressive roles at Betson, most recently as vice president of the same division, where Betson says he’s built a reputation within the industry as an insightful strategic thinker who delivers consistent profitable growth. Zayas-Bazan joined Betson in 1997 as a customer service representative. He was promoted to a sales leadership position and then to vice president of the Betson Imperial Parts & Service Company.