IAAPA Hall of Fame Inducts Two Global Attractions Industry Pioneers
by Juanita Chavarro Arias
During the Kickoff Event on Tuesday, IAAPA inducted two industry legends—Frederick “Fred” Langford and Alberto Zamperla—into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. Established in 1990, the IAAPA Hall of Fame honors individuals whose work and accomplishments have made significant and lasting contributions to the growth and development of the global attractions industry.
“We are deeply proud to welcome these outstanding industry leaders into the IAAPA Hall of Fame,” said Michael Collins, chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee and senior partner with Leisure Development Partners LLP. “Fred Langford and Alberto Zamperla truly embody what the attractions industry represents—ingenuity, creativity, passion, and leadership. We are honored by their commitment and contributions.”
Frederick Langford, WaterWorld Products, New Jersey, United States
Frederick “Fred” Langford is an architect, inventor, designer, and dreamer, and is considered by many to be the creator of the modern-day water slide. Langford’s work has been recognized throughout the global attractions industry as the gold standard for water slide design. He holds multiple patents and was the first to use fiberglass in water slide construction, replacing the standard use of concrete. His innovations have become the foundation of elevated water slides in water parks around the world. Langford also invented self-supporting beams which allow water slides to be longer, providing guests with an experience that feels more like a roller coaster ride. “I guess I’ve had a normal share of accomplishments in my life, but nothing compares with the awesome Hall of Fame Award,” Langford said onstage.
Alberto Zamperla, Antonio Zamperla S.p.A, Italy
The name Zamperla can be found in almost every park around the world. Rides like the “Rocking Tug,” “Disko,” “Air Race,” and “Magic Bikes” have become park staples. When Alberto Zamperla took over the Zamperla Company in 1994, he helped the family business grow from manufacturing 50 rides annually to more than 200. With production facilities in Italy, China, and Belarus, Alberto Zamperla has also worked to bring international safety manufacturing standards to the company’s facility in China, while also improving rider accessibility. In 2014, Zamperla donated “Lori’s Magical Ride” to Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida. The attraction was the resort’s first to offer children with disabilities the full ride experience. Alberto Zamperla has also worked to support the global attractions industry, serving as the founder and first chairman of the European Suppliers Association (EAASI), which later became the organization that created the Euro Attractions Show, which is today known as IAAPA Expo Europe.
“I am pleased and honored to receive this important award in the presence of so many leaders and colleagues,” said Alberto Zamperla. “I am also happy to join the past recipients whom I deeply admire and respect.”
Hank Salemi, ICAE, Honored with IAAPA Board of Directors Special Service Award
The IAAPA Board of Directors presented a special Service Award to Hank Salemi, ICAE, park president of Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, United States, in recognition of his exemplary service to IAAPA. For five years, Salemi served on the board as the association’s treasurer and chairman of the IAAPA Compensation Committee. During this time, he was critical in guiding major decisions for the association, including its headquarters relocation to Orlando, the selection and appointment of a new president and CEO, the financing and construction of IAAPA’s new global headquarters, and the tracking of finances for the growing organization.