Sunday, June 30, 2013

Press Release: IAAPA 2013 panel speakers from Blackpool, Ocean Park, Jungle Rapids

Amanda Thompson, Bob Rippy, and Tom Mehrmann headline
CEO Speak event at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013
(June 21, 2013) Amanda Thompson, managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK; Bob Rippy, president of Jungle Rapids/Wrightsville Farms Management Group, Inc. in the USA; and Tom Mehrmann, chief executive of Ocean Park Corp. in Hong Kong will participate in CEO Speak, a leadership panel discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), as part of IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 in Orlando, Florida.

Thompson, Rippy, and Mehrmann will share insights on creating success by increasing personal leadership capacity. Discussion topics will include how to lead to create high-impact guest satisfaction and service on a daily basis, increase employee retention and workplace satisfaction, and strategically bring brands to life.

“This year’s CEO Speak panel features three of the industry’s most interesting and insightful leaders hailing from all over the world,” said IAAPA president and CEO Paul Noland. “This is a must-see event.”

Amanda Thompson became managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2004 after serving as deputy managing director of the family-owned resort complex since 2000 and as a director for 15 years prior. Thompson also serves as president of Stageworks Worldwide Productions, an entertainment and production company she formed in 1982. She is a member of the IAAPA Board of Directors and the IAAPA European Advisory Committee.

Bob Rippy held positions as a school science teacher, a car wash owner, and a Wall Street executive before he became a partner at Jungle Rapids, a family entertainment center in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1985. Rippy purchased Jungle Rapids in 1990, and today it’s a 16-acre FEC that employs 40 year-round employees and 125 seasonal employees. Rippy served as IAAPA Chairman in 2011. 

Tom Mehrmann has been in the theme park industry since 1977, when he began his career as a park service attendant at Knott’s Berry Farm in California. From there, he has worked his way to upper management, holding positions as vice president of park operations and entertainment at Knott’s Berry Farm, vice president and general manager of Six Flags Marine World, and vice president and general manager of Warner Brothers Movie World. Mehrmann joined Ocean Park Corp. in 2004 and serves as its chief executive. 

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 is the largest conference and trade show in the world for the attractions industry. With its theme “Imagine the Possibilities,” the show will take place Monday, Nov. 18 through Friday, Nov. 22, in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and host more than 25,000 industry professionals from 100 countries. The trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 19, through Friday, Nov. 22. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 offers a full week of business opportunities, networking events, and educational experiences and features new ideas and products. Highlights of IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 include a behind-the-scenes tour of Epcot at the Disney at Dawn event, the IAAPA Celebrates event at SeaWorld Orlando’s newest attraction Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and more.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and the industry’s suppliers, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States, and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.