Letter to IAAPA Members
Greetings, IAAPA members!
I’m writing to you today to share some timely news and announcements coming out of the IAAPA Board of Directors meeting held on March 28-29 at our beautiful Orlando headquarters. Your board has been busy reviewing the association’s progress and growth, both internally and externally, and at our meeting, several decisions were made to move us forward in a way that I believe reflects the changing needs of our members and strengthens our ability to support the global attractions industry in new and innovative ways.
I can also tell you that our meeting was spirited, participatory with lots of very active discussions on a variety of topics. Your board is very engaged, passionate, and wants to make the right decisions to move our association forward whenever it makes sense and will benefit you, our members! In today’s digital and fast changing world developing a culture of speed and adaptability is important as we all must face change on an almost everyday basis.
The board also had an opportunity to thank Hal McEvoy for his excellent leadership, especially through our move to Orlando, building our new headquarters, and the challenges of COVID and decided to honor him with an Honorary Lifetime Membership to IAAPA.
We were also very pleased to hear from our new president and CEO Jakob Wahl and our senior management team who have exciting plans and a vision for the future across all our global regions.
Below you’ll find brief summaries of the top items that may be of interest to you and others in your organization.
Board Size and Board Makeup
Moving into 2024, the IAAPA Board of Directors will reduce from 25 to 22 director positions. Current board members will complete their terms. It is our hope that reducing the board size will lead to faster, more effective decision-making, result in better engagement and dialogue on strategic matters, and lower costs with more efficient board management.
The reduction in board size comes from eliminating one at-large facility or lifetime and honorary member director; one manufacturer/supplier/consultant (MSC) member director; and one past chair director.
The following is the new, approved makeup of the board:
- Six (6) officers – the chair, two (2) vice chairs, the treasurer, the immediate past chair, and the president and CEO,
- Eight (8) at-large facility or lifetime and honorary member directors,
- Four (4) regional advisory committee chair directors (Asia Pacific (APAC); Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA); Latin America and Caribbean (LAC); and North America (NA) regional advisory committee chairs),
- Two (2) manufacturer/supplier/consultant member directors – the chair of the global manufacturers and suppliers committee and one other manufacturer/supplier/consultant member director, and
- Two (2) past chair directors – two past chairs representing the advisory board, which is comprised of all past board chairs.
Manufacturer/Supplier/Consultant Officer Positions
Members of the manufacturer/supplier/consultant constituency are now eligible to hold any officer position on the IAAPA Board of Directors, including the chair position.
In making this decision, officers from the manufacturer/supplier/consultant member constituency should sign a conflict-of-interest agreement that includes:
- Identifying any other potential conflict of interest, beyond what is requested of all board members, during the application process.
- Committing to recusing from voting in any situation that could be perceived as even a potential conflict of interest.
- Committing to making every effort to be inclusive of their competitors in IAAPA activities.
- Committing to not utilize their officer position to the benefit of their own organization nor attempt to gain preferential access or placement of their organization at trade shows, events, or other IAAPA-related activities.
- Agreeing to not identify their position on the IAAPA Board of Directors or officer position in any industry-specific marketing or promotion for their own organization.
- Securing a letter of recommendation from at least one direct and major competitor (i.e., a company that provides at least one similar product or service and operates independently from the company represented by officer in question).
Additionally, no more than 33% of the board of directors may be from the manufacturer/supplier/consultant membership category, no more than 50% of any board committee can be from the MSC category, and there can be no more than one MSC member serving as an officer, not including the treasurer, at the same time.
The IAAPA Governance Committee will check and ensure the facility or lifetime and honorary voting majority is maintained on the board and the chairs of the board committees will do the same for the board committees.
Changes to the Term of the IAAPA Treasurer Position
Citing the importance of stability within the position, particularly in the financial area, and the time it takes to learn the role’s functionality, it has been decided the IAAPA Board of Directors treasurer position will be a three-year term with an option to serve one additional year at the discretion of the board.
In the spirit of that change, the board asked Curt Caffey, the current treasurer, to extend his term for one additional year, through 2024.
Governance Committee Changes
Currently, the association’s governance committee is considered a board committee, but there are non-board members on it. To streamline the committee and give it the full authority to serve as a delegated board authority, it will now be made up of only board of director members.
The committee will be made up of five board members: the immediate past chair, the two past chair directors, and two at-large members of the board (serving in two-year staggered terms). The immediate past chair will chair the committee for a one-year term. The immediate past chair will nominate, and the board will elect one at-large director to serve on the governance committee for a two-year term.
The current members of the governance committee will fill their original terms while the committee transitions to the new structure.
The IAAPA Committee Restructure Task Force was tasked by the board to now explore further regionalization of the IAAPA governance structure. This will include the formalization of responsibility and mandate for the regional advisory committees.
New IAAPA Awards Committee Formed to Oversee All Awards
Later this year, a new IAAPA Awards Committee will be established to oversee the implementation of numerous recommendations to improve the awards programs we offer. This new committee will also be tasked with observing the 2023 application and judging processes for the Hall of Fame Award, the Service Awards, and the Brass Rings Awards. In December, after the completion of IAAPA Expo 2023, the three dedicated committees (Hall of Fame and Archives, Service Awards, and Exhibitor Awards) will be disbanded, and smaller task forces will be formed to adjudicate the awards in 2024 and beyond.
We’re excited to share that this new process includes the expansion and enhancement of IAAPA’s coveted awards with the following changes:
- Renaming the “Outstanding Service Award” to “Service to the Industry Award”
- Renaming the “Meritorious Service Award” to “Service to IAAPA Award”
- Expanding “Young Professional of the Year Award” to four regional young professional awards
- New regional “Inspiration Awards” (for those who have made a tremendous impact at the regional level but haven’t yet risen to the level of the Hall of Fame)
- Implementing Brass Ring Exhibitor awards for IAAPA Expo Asia and IAAPA Expo Europe
5-year Strategic Safety Plan
With safety as the top priority for the global attractions industry, we must ensure the utmost standards of safety are upheld by our industry and that IAAPA, as an organization, fosters an omnipresent culture of safety in the interest of all of us.
During the board meeting, IAAPA President and CEO, Jakob Wahl presented a new Five-Year Strategic Safety Plan that sets the direction in how to develop the association’s role and offering in this area. The plan has been developed by the regional offices of IAAPA in conjunction with the global IAAPA Safety Committee and the regional safety subcommittees.
Considering all aspects of the global safety industry, we will help to create the right framework for the attractions industry to further strengthen the already outstanding safety record of the industry. IAAPA will continue to live safety every day and to support members in providing safe family fun and safe environments for employees.
The plan focuses on several key areas, including:
- collecting and sharing safety data and information by expanding the IAAPA Ride and Water Slide Safety Reports across all regions,
- providing additional information, events, resources, and training on safety,
- facilitating discussions amongst safety experts to identify key learnings so those can be shared with the rest of the industry and used to continuously enhance the global standards, and
- championing the ongoing efforts to harmonize ASTM International and European Norm (EN) as the leading global safety standards and working with government officials to adopt those standards for attractions in their jurisdiction.
In the most recent IAAPA member survey (July 2022), 71% of all members indicated that sustainability is extremely/very important to their organization.
In alignment with member values and with approval from the board, IAAPA will commission a Materiality Assessment to get a better sense of the association’s opportunities to operate in a more sustainable manner. This analysis involves engaging with stakeholders, gathering their input, and organizing this into a framework which can contribute to strategic planning as well as satisfy corporate sustainability compliance objectives.
This assessment will also allow us to develop information and resources we can share with our members to help you operate your businesses in a more sustainable way.
Additionally, the IAAPA Board of Directors charged the committee to investigate a possible sustainability standard for board review by November 2023 and adopted a new statement and policy for the association that reaffirms our commitment to managing our organization and operations in a sustainable manner – by being a responsible partner, employer, and global citizen.
Updated IAAPA Foundation Mission
Reflecting on the needs for ensuring the future of our industry, the board was presented with an amended mission statement for the IAAPA Foundation. It now reads: “The IAAPA Foundation encourages and supports programs that generate a pipeline of talent for the attractions industry.”
In aligning the foundation’s work with the efforts of the IAAPA Board, team and the to-be-developed IAAPA Sustainability Plan, the board approved designating the IAAPA Foundation as “IAAPA’s Global Philanthropic Partner.” The board also agreed to provide funding to the foundation for two years to help support additional fund-raising initiatives and programs, including the new “Sponsor a Scholarship” program. (For additional information on the foundation, visit IAAPA.org/Foundation.)
This commitment to further support the foundation will take place in tandem with the association’s on-site charitable activities at IAAPA Expo to support Give Kids The World.
We have begun development of IAAPA’s 2024 Strategic Priorities which will include even more support for our regional offices recognizing that there are different needs for our members geographically.
Thank you so much for your membership and support of our association. We are always looking for new ideas and growing and supporting young leaders in our industry. YOU are IAAPA and I am honored to represent your interests around the world this year.
Having said that, as the board and IAAPA team like to remind me, only 30 more weeks until I’m out the door as your Chair. LOL!
Have FUN and please go BUY something!
All the best,
Jim Pattison, Jr.
Chair, 2023 IAAPA Board of Directors
President, Ripley Entertainment Inc.