Aug 24, 2016 Judith Rubin #64 Waterpark, Zoo & Aquarium 2016, 2016, Asia, Business, Europe & Middle East, Features, Headlines, IPM Interviews, News, North America, People, Theme Parks, Uncategorized, World Expos, World markets Comments Off on Roberta Perry covers the TEA presidential transition from Birket to Willrich
by TEA Past President Roberta Perry, ETI
These are exciting times for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), as our organization approaches its 25th year anniversary in November. At that time – during the annual TEA Members Meeting at the 2016 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando – we will also see David Willrich of DJ Willrich Ltd. become the new TEA International Board President. After two years in the top spot, Steve Birket of Birket Engineering will become Immediate Past President.
Image at top: TEA President Steve Birket, TEA COO Jennie Nevin and TEA President-Elect David Willrich, at the 2016 IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo
Now more than 1,500 members strong, the TEA serves the creative, technical and vendor community within the themed entertainment industry. But TEA could not be where it is today without its members volunteering their time, expertise and resources. We have been very fortunate to have had the best and brightest of our industry step up over the years to join TEA leadership, serving as International Presidents and on the International and Divisional Boards (as well as many other roles on committees, conferences, special events and more.)
I speak from experience when I say that being part of TEA leadership is a lot of work – but it is also fun and rewarding. I was a founding TEA member and have been immersed in its growth since day one, in a variety of roles including Past President, TEA Summit Co-Chair and member of the Thea Awards Nominating Committee.
TEA’s legacy of global leadership continues to expand. It was a unique pleasure to interview Birket and Willrich about their thoughts on the TEA presidency, their new roles, and the future of themed entertainment. I want to thank them both publicly here for their leadership, their time, and their dedication to the Association that has shaped our industry for the last quarter of a century. – R.P.
Note: Pat MacKay, another longtime TEA member and Co-Chair of the annual TEA Summit Case Studies Day (with Roberta Perry) provided editorial assistance on this article. The next TEA Summit is April 20-21, 2017 at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
Steve Birket: Birket Engineering joined in the early ‘90s, when the Disney-MGM Studios and Universal Studios Florida had just come out of the ground. I remember sitting in our office in Orlando and getting a call from TEA’s second president Joe McHugh. He was looking for contacts for potential TEA members. We had two parks’ worth of business contacts, and so it was an easy request to satisfy.
David Willrich: DJ Willrich joined in 1996 when word of the TEA reached Europe at one of the TiLE conferences.
Birket: It was and is the only industry we were a part of, and everybody we knew were members.
Willrich: We noticed that leading competitors in the Attractions field, who also overlapped into Museums as we do, were joining so we felt we needed to find out what the new “club” was all about!
Birket: I was a member of the TEA Eastern North American Division Board when I missed one of the monthly calls. On the next call they told me, “By the way, you are now the Board Secretary.” I remained in that role for two years, then served as Division President for two years. Following that I served six years on the International Board – during which time I co-chaired the SATE Technology segment of TEA’s annual SATE conference on Experience Design, helped kick off the TEA Asia Pacific Division, served on the Executive Committee, and acted as Board Treasurer.
Willrich: I was elected to the TEA Europe & Middle East Division Board (EME) in 2008. I became EME Division President in 2013 and served for two years, then was elected to the International Board in 2015.
Birket: Not a small part of the original motivation to create TEA was to create a business voice for the membership. I very much wanted to see some of the original intent of the Association be brought into better focus, and to see a more balanced technology component in our educational offerings.
Willrich: To continue to develop our SATE brand! I would love to continue to raise the profile of our SATE conference and SATE Academy Days – to have it recognized as major thought leadership.
Also there are initiatives already started by Steve in the mix which I am keen to see come to fruition.
And I would like to explore steps that further establish the TEA brand as synonymous with quality and integrity in the industry. This would be huge for TEA members and the association.
Birket: I am very pleased to see many of our industry’s largest owner/operators, and other groups from outside our industry seek out TEA. Today, the world wants TEA. It wants our acknowledgement, our voice, our content, our expertise, our people. Over and over again during my term we have provided a voice to the world press, content to university audiences, and have been sought out by leading global developers and operators. It has been a great time to be President of the TEA.
TEA has arrived in the mainstream press, thanks to industry growth, the importance of the TEA/AECOM Theme Index and other factors – and we’ve stepped up to meet the interest. I joke that being the TEA President has influenced my wardrobe decisions. I must always be ready for an in-person or phone interview.
I’m also pleased that we’ve used social media effectively to expand our reach and position. One example is the great and expanding collection of TEA event videos and webcasts available on our TEA TV channel [accessible through the TEA website]
Birket: The notion of ‘themed entertainment’ no longer conjures up an image of just a ride or show. Our industry touches boardrooms, hospitals, retail, military simulations, live events, visitor centers, water parks; the list goes on and on. This diversifying of markets will continue. And as the industry grows, so do TEA membership and membership offerings. We continue to see great expansion in Asia.
Willrich: TEA membership benefits – in particular the range of activities we provide – have grown in quality and strength considerably over the last few years, helping our growth in all regions. Of course I want to see continued growth – but solid growth for all the right reasons – i.e. members see the benefits that we have to offer and are fully engaged with the TEA. I would add that our focus should always be on quality, not quantity – to ensure we really do represent the best in the industry.
Birket: More and more, owner/operators are eager to engage with TEA to exchange ideas and promote the industry and the vendor community. This is a win-win that helps take us all forward to a better industry, better projects and better business.
Willrich: I am keen that we do not forget owners and operators and we continue to attract them as (ideally) proactive members of the TEA. We have had some growth in numbers in the EME Division who have in turn been excellent hosts to our events!
Birket: The importance of the annual Thea Awards is enormous and international. When I travel I am always humbled to see a recipient’s Thea Award in the most prominent location of their facility. TEA awards the best of the best, and the industry knows it. TEA’s annual SATE and Summit conferences set the bar to which other industry organizations look. It is a great honor and a continuing challenge.
Willrich: Thea Awards and SATE are our two biggest brands and something to be really proud of as in both cases they do stand for quality and very much encompass our industry and are therefore, hugely important. Becoming a Thea Award recipient really does mean something – the level and quality of entries every year are testimony to this.
Birket: TEA is built on relationships. It is built on relationships with members, owners, operators, sponsors, institutions, and trade groups. These are our greatest assets. The professionalism and creativity of our members will take us forward the next 25 years. And with David Willrich as incoming President – I can’t wait.
Willrich: To TEA members I say: Please step up, and speak up! We need to know that what we are doing is right for our membership, and we need you to volunteer so that we can keep building a great association and industry.
To themed entertainment professionals who haven’t yet joined TEA, I say: Sign up!
To Steve: I look forward to working with you and will be making the most of your availability as Immediate Past President.
Comments Off on TEA SATE – Seattle will examine experience design in the context of diversity
Comments Off on Pat MacKay Scholarships For Diversity In Design Recipients Announced
Comments Off on Sessions and Speakers announced for SATE 19 in Seattle (includes bonus: past appearances in InPark Magazine by some of the speakers)
Comments Off on Presenters and sessions announced for SATE Asia 2019
Sep 19, 2019 Comments Off on 31 zoos and aquariums receive AZA accreditation
Sep 18, 2019 Comments Off on Triotech and CL Corp form partnership, companies to share global resources
Sep 17, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA Expo Europe opens in Paris
Sep 17, 2019 Comments Off on Speed POS Vietnam to distribute Semnox products in Indo-China
Sep 11, 2019 Comments Off on Editorial: Creative risks and theme park attendance
Sep 11, 2019 Comments Off on Editorial: Do what you love and love what you do
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on #79 – Europe and waterparks
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Transitions: Leaps and bounds
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Try a drop of this: Ten innovative technologies for water attractions
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Luc Petit CREATION: Storyboards & dragons
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on InfoComm 2019 Orlando: AV evolution
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on WhiteWater brings continuous innovation to parks
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Bellewaerde adds water
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Alterface: Kernels of truth
Sep 09, 2019 Comments Off on Exploring IAAPA Europe
Sep 09, 2019 Comments Off on DNP: The photo souvenir
Sep 09, 2019 Comments Off on WWA heads to Disney
Sep 09, 2019 Comments Off on Christie: From film dome to fulldome
Jul 02, 2019 Comments Off on Expo 2020 Dubai Update
Jun 26, 2019 Comments Off on Meet Lionsgate Entertainment World’s new general manager: Selena Magill
Jun 25, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA Expo Asia 2019 brings 11,000+ to Shanghai
Jun 24, 2019 Comments Off on Hard hat tour of Rulantica & Krønasår
Sep 11, 2019 Comments Off on Netflix and thrill: Greg Lombardo joins the content streaming powerhouse as Head of ExperiencesLombardo brings with him more than a decade experience in...
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Transitions: Leaps and boundsIndustry professionals are making moves and creating waves
Sep 09, 2019 Comments Off on Exploring IAAPA EuropeMeet recent additions to IAAPA’s European team
Aug 08, 2019 Comments Off on IPM Interview: Jennifer Lee Hackett, Sinking Ship EntertainmentGiant screen veteran Jennifer Lee Hackett has joined...
Jun 28, 2019 Comments Off on John Miceli and the new DE-ŹYN StudiosThroughout his career, John Miceli has worked in feature...
Jun 26, 2019 Comments Off on Meet Lionsgate Entertainment World’s new general manager: Selena MagillMeet the new GM of Lionsgate Entertainment World, scheduled...
May 08, 2019 Comments Off on ECA2: All eyes on LanzhouECA2's latest spectacle, a permanent installation in a...
May 06, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA Expo Asia"Establishing a presence in both Hong Kong and Shanghai...
Apr 29, 2019 Comments Off on Vekoma: Coasting around AsiaInPark spoke to Jason Pan, Vekoma’s regional director of...
Mar 21, 2019 Comments Off on Lisa Passamonte GreenThe Thea Awards Nominating Committee annually reviews and...
Mar 21, 2019 Comments Off on Infinite Kingdoms: Planet playologyWe recently connected with founder Denise Chapman Weston...
Mar 21, 2019 Comments Off on The French connection: Meet Michel Linet-Frion"Since I typically rely on contracted expertise and talent...
Mar 21, 2019 Comments Off on Andrew O’Rourke: Google THISIn late 2018, Andrew became an employee of Adecco working...
Dec 18, 2018 Comments Off on Mad Systems: The future is nowInPark reported on the launch and revisited with Ensing for...
Dec 18, 2018 Comments Off on Time for a changeInPark checks in with industry leaders who are heading back...
Nov 05, 2018 Comments Off on Michael Mercadante: Giving backMichael Mercadante, President of Main Street Design, Inc....
Nov 05, 2018 Comments Off on JCO: Theming beyond the theme parkJCO, based in St. Louis, MO, specializes in master planning...
Nov 05, 2018 Comments Off on The Hettema Group: Inside the experience designer’s studioFounded by Phil in 2002, The Hettema Group has gone on to...
Sep 14, 2018 Comments Off on AAE Wrapup: IAAPA in Hong KongEstimates indicate the Expo attracted more than 9,000...
Sep 14, 2018 Comments Off on Mack Solutions: Designing RulanticaWith a unique theme and detailed storytelling, the park is...
Sep 14, 2018 Comments Off on Weber Group: Meet the partnersThe new Weber Group is managed by four partners, all of...
Sep 14, 2018 Comments Off on IAAPA, BRPH, accesso: Faces and places"The beautiful thing about the creative and entertainment...
Jun 01, 2018 Comments Off on Expo 2023 Argentina Buenos Aires: Exclusive interview with Mr. Hernan LombardiThe number of visits to Expo 2023 Argentina Buenos Aires is...
May 11, 2018 Comments Off on A Bid for Expo 2027 Minnesota"We have chosen an ideal location conveniently located...
Apr 30, 2018 Comments Off on nWave: Visioning forward"nWave keeps pace with evolving markets and evolving...