Movers & Shakers - June 2019
New Managing Director Joins Fårup Sommerland
The board of directors of Fårup Sommerland theme park in Blokhus, Denmark, appointed Niels Jørgen Jensen to be its new managing director beginning Sept. 1, 2019. Jensen has extensive knowledge of the park, having formerly served as its general manager. Jensen began as a season worker at Fårup Sommerland and later was head of staff and park manager before becoming general manager. Since November 2014, he’s played a key role in the construction and launch of Lego House in Billund, Denmark, as its senior operations director. Jensen will be replacing Per Dam Jensen, who resigned from the Fårup Sommerland to become managing director of Sol og Strand Feriehusudlejning. Until Sept. 1, Henrik Schnack, primary owner of the park, will serve as interim director.
Lula Vourderis, who owned and operated Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park on Coney Island in New York City with her husband Deno for more than three decades, passed away at age 87 after an extended battle with Alzheimer’s disease. One day in 1947 when the couple was on Coney Island, Deno promised Lula that although he couldn’t afford a wedding ring for her, he’d one day buy her the “Wonder Wheel” Ferris wheel that was operating nearby. More than 30 years later, in 1983, they bought the 150-foot-tall wheel that was originally installed in 1920. They restored the wheel, which became a city landmark in 1989. Later, the couple purchased land next to the wheel and named it Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, which featured other attractions. Lula Vourderis retired in 1995 after spending a decade cooking and cleaning at the amusement park, along with serving food at snack bars.
Two New Vice Presidents at Waterplay
Waterplay Solutions welcomed Kerrin Smith as vice president, strategic growth and customer experience and appointed Lisa Neilson to vice president, corporate services. Smith will be responsible for the company’s global sales and customer experience programs. Neilson will be responsible for Waterplay’s creative, engineering, and operations departments, while providing strategic leadership to the organization. In addition, Neilson will drive development opportunities through the company’s brand, product, and manufacturing capabilities.
Key Staffing Changes at Triotech
Triotech announced two key staffing moves in its global team. The company named Sylvain Larose chief operating officer, and Han Jie joins Triotech as the company’s sales director for China. Larose was previously Triotech’s chief financial officer and has been with the company for 15 years. Triotech says Larose’s extensive experience within the attractions industry gives him a strong grasp of strategic, financial, and operational issues. Han joined Triotech’s Beijing-based team and is now responsible for all sales activities in China. She has a strong background in the themed entertainment industry, having spent the past five years working in sales and marketing on design, theming, and creative projects.
Game manufacturer LAI Games promoted Tabor Carlton to the position of marketing director, replacing Mark Easte, who recently became managing director. Carlton will develop LAI Games’ marketing strategy, maximize the department’s ROI, and continue to build brand awareness in the industry. Carlton previously served as brand marketing manager for Helix Leisure, of which LAI Games is a subsidiary, overseeing branding and graphic design work for three Helix companies—Embed, The Locker Network, and LAI Games. Before that, he worked as a contractor for Embed. LAI Games says it will look to Carlton and his team to bring a unique, out-of-the-box perspective to LAI Games.
Entech Innovative Engineering added Jason Havel as a project manager to its staff. Havel is a certified Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute and also holds Master of Business Administration and Master of Military Planning and Operations degrees. Prior to joining Entech, Havel completed a 20-year career in the United States Air Force, where he led a cross-functional Department of Defense team and oversaw an $8.7 million contract. His team prepared United States and international military forces to support planned and contingency scenarios as NASA prepares for the return of U.S.-crewed human spaceflight.
ITEC Entertainment Corp. announced Charlie Wissig joined the company as creative director. As an expert illustrator and designer who brings more than three decades of experience in creating, overseeing, and implementing new concepts for themed entertainment design and development, ITEC says Wissig will spearhead creative projects for new clients. Wissig joined ITEC from Dreampark International, where he served as senior art director and oversaw the creative design of themed structures, walkways, and rides for projects across Asia. Prior to Dreampark, he worked with The Walt Disney Company as a contracted senior art director and managed the design and installation of multiple Disney projects in Asia. He was also a designer and illustrator for Universal Orlando Resort.