The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced James Atchison, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEA) president and CEO, will be the keynote speaker at the GM and Owners’ Breakfast at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011. Atchison will address the transition and evolution SeaWorld has undergone over the past few years and its current strategic direction. Also during the event, the IAAPA Service Awards will be presented, honoring members for their service to the association and the industry. The event will take place Wednesday, Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m., in the Windermere Ballroom at the Peabody Orlando.
The GM and Owners’ Breakfast, sponsored by CNL Lifestyle Company LLC, provides a forum for attractions industry professionals to learn from the successes of top-level industry leaders. This year, participants will benefit from Atchison’s more than 25 years’ experience in the attractions industry. Atchison has served as SEA’s president and CEO since 2003. Previously, he served as the executive vice president and general manager of the company’s three flagship parks based in Orlando: SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica.
“We have long valued IAAPA’s role in advancing the interests of this great industry and I’m delighted to share our vision for the future of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment,” said Atchison. “While this is a time of growth and expansion for our company, we remain firmly rooted in the principles and values that have defined us since the opening of Busch Gardens in Tampa more than five decades ago: guest service, quality attractions and shows, environmental stewardship and animal care, safety, and respect for the 21,000 men and women who make up our team.”
Atchison began his career as a teenager in 1985, parking cars and welcoming guests at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla. He has held leadership positions in six of the company’s 10 parks with management roles in park operations, finance, business analysis, and marketing.
“We are delighted to have Jim Atchison as our keynote speaker at the 2011 GM and Owners’ Breakfast,” said Chip Cleary, IAAPA president and CEO “Jim brings extensive knowledge of the industry, exciting new ideas, and proven leadership. In the past few years he has successfully guided the company through challenging times, and this year launched 10 new attractions in all 10 parks. His insight and perspective are invaluable to the industry.”
While the event is geared toward executive and management-level professionals, it is open to all IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 registered participants. Tickets for the GM and Owners’ Breakfast are US$85 for members and US$105 for nonmembers, in addition to Expo registration.
Information on event tickets and attendee registration is available at http://www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractionsExpo.
About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 is the largest conference and trade show in the world for the attractions industry. With its theme “The Force Behind the Attractions,” the show will take place in Orlando, Florida, and draw 25,000 industry professionals from 100 countries to the Orange County Convention Center from Monday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 18. The trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 15, through Friday, Nov. 18. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 offers a full week of business opportunities and fun, and features new ideas, products, and events. Some new opportunities include: a Lunch and Learn with Pat Koch, – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari director of values, more than 55 first-time exhibitors on trade show floor, the Mobile Application Education Symposium, and behind-the-scenes tours of Legoland Florida, “Star Tours” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and “Cheetah Hunt” and “Cheetah Run” at Busch Gardens Tampa. This is the gathering place for attractions industry professionals and decision makers to view the latest innovations, plan for the future, learn from one another, and network.
IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. IAAPA is online at www.IAAPA.org.
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