IAAPA Organizational Updates
Since becoming your president and CEO in January, I have had many conversations with team members, board members, and committee volunteers to discuss ways to keep the association relevant and healthy for the future. In fact, during our most recent IAAPA board meeting, the Board collectively supported commitments to safety, sustainability, regionalization, and the IAAPA Foundation. The directors also approved changes in the governance structure, which will have a positive influence on the future of our association.
At this moment, I believe we are now in an ideal position to adapt our association structure to further support these initiatives and to extend the growth of our association in the global attractions industry. Today, IAAPA is in a position of strength with a record number of members and solid financials. We have a great team of leaders and professionals at IAAPA that will continue to ensure we continue to deliver the products, services, and events you have come to expect. But to stay responsive to future needs, we will shift portions of our organizations structure to now focus on three key areas: financial and commercial growth, governance, and membership.
Financial and Commercial Growth
As we increase our focus on commercial developments, Josh Powers, our chief financial officer, will have his role expanded to include all business-related activities. His new title is chief financial and commercial officer.
Prior to joining IAAPA in 2019, Josh served in financial roles in the corporate offices of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, most recently as corporate vice president, financial planning, and analysis.
One additional item Josh will oversee in this capacity is our partnership program. IAAPA’s partner program is designed to solidify new business relationships, allowing the association to collaborate with companies that offer products that directly affect and enhance the global attractions industry.
In his expanded scope, Josh will have a vice president of Expo operations and sales under his leadership. This new position has overall responsibility for all activities the Expos and Sales team is accountable for, including operations and sales for IAAPA’s global trade shows. This VP will work closely with the regional Vice Presidents to ensure that our expo events continue to be the industry’s No. 1 meeting point in our regions and will offer an even better experience for all participants in the years to come.
David Mandt will transition to a new role as chief governance officer and executive director of the IAAPA Foundation. In this capacity, he will oversee the association’s legal and governance compliance and our partnerships with other industry-related organizations. We are also excited to finally have a team resource dedicated to strengthening the important work of the IAAPA Foundation. I want to use this opportunity to thank Tom and Bobbie Wages for the amazing work they have done with the IAAPA foundation since 2016 when they helped adjust its mission from supporting research within the industry to supporting student growth and development for future employment.
David, with more than 40 years of experience within the attraction industry, was most recently IAAPA’s chief engagement officer. In that role, he was responsible for association member engagement, global marketing, communications, and education. He has been with IAAPA since 2006.
Most importantly, IAAPA is a membership association. Changing the chief operating officer position to a chief membership officer highlights this understanding.
A new chief membership officer will oversee the association’s member acquisition, retention, and engagement. This person will collaborate closely with the regional vice presidents in growing membership globally, and enhance the services, products, and experiences we offer.
Additional IAAPA Team Updates
Over the past years and months, we have seen an incredible acceleration of change in the digital world. Directly addressing that, we have created a new vice president of digital strategy position. This individual will be responsible for managing all membership-related digital touchpoints and programs, from acquisition to engagement to retention.
We would be nothing without our people, both in the industry and within IAAPA. Knowing this, we have combined our human resources department and the professional education team. Leading this group will be a new vice president of people development who will make sure our team and members continuously develop themselves to meet today’s needs and challenges.
While vast, these changes are designed to set up our association to service you even better in the future. You have our commitment that we will continue serving you in the best manner possible and to lay the groundwork for the successful future of YOUR association.
Thank you for your trust in us as we carry this industry forward together.