Monday, July 15, 2024

Clara Rice joins Adirondack Studios in newly created global marketing role

Adirondack Studios (ADKS), a leader in the design, fabrication and installation of entertainment, retail and cultural experiences, and with offices in upstate New York, Pasadena, Orlando, Dubai, Singapore and Shanghai, has tapped industry veteran Clara Rice as its first Director of Global Marketing. Rice joins the creative studio during a time of rapid growth, as ADKS broadens its reach into new geographic areas and market verticals.  

After graduating from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Management, Rice served six seasons as Associate Executive Director of the two-time Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She then joined JRA in 2008, where over the course of 15 years she established JRA’s Marketing & Communications Department, led the studio through two rebrands and a comprehensive website redesign, secured over 150 stories in international publications and launched the company’s social media channels. During the height of the pandemic, Rice produced three weekly video series to ensure consistent client engagement and encourage virtual team building, resulting in thousands of new social followers.

In 2021, Rice’s successful work on JRA’s acquisition announcement led to her promotion to Director, Global Marketing for the studio’s new parent company, RWS Global. In that role, she built or relaunched the marketing departments of all four of the company’s subsidiaries – RWS, ted, JRA and ARC – and was responsible for developing and executing the overall growth marketing strategy. Recently, Rice led a 12-month, comprehensive rebranding effort, celebrating the combined team’s 120 years of collective expertise. The initiative led to the creation of websites, logos and branded materials that respected the equity of each subsidiary brand while uniting them all under a cohesive visual umbrella. Her PR efforts garnered key placements in such media outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure, Billboard Magazine and Entrepreneur, resulting in nearly 700 million media impressions for the companies in 2023 alone. Rice’s efforts at RWS Global were recognized with NEAAPA’s 2023 Paragon Award for Marketing Excellence.

Over the course of her attractions industry career, Rice has considered giving back not only a passion but a priority. She has served in various leadership roles for the Themed Entertainment Association since 2011, rising in the ranks from NextGen Committee Chair to Eastern North America Divisional Board Member to eventually International Board Vice President and Executive Committee Member. She has also spoken at industry conferences around the world on such topics as gender inequity, accessibility & universal design, industry trends and career development, and her writing has been featured in all of the attractions industry’s leading publications.

Rice looks forward to leveraging these experiences in her new role at Adirondack Studios: “I feel like joining Adirondack Studios is a new adventure as well as a homecoming of sorts. Through our work together for the TEA, I have known [ADKS President] Michael Blau for over 15 years, so there is already an established level of trust. ADKS’ theatrical roots are also familiar territory, and I love their philosophy that developing an attraction is akin to producing a show. Experiencing the industry from the fabrication side will be an exciting new journey for me, and I look forward to sharing the stories of ADKS’ projects and people to a global audience. From my perspective, ADKS’ legacy of creativity and innovation has been a best kept secret – one that I can’t wait to divulge in this new role.”

“Clara brings extensive industry knowledge and marketing expertise to ADKS,” says Blau. With her appointment and the creation of our new Global Marketing Department, we can now inform the world of our almost 50 years of artistry and craftsmanship, better communicating our story and the ways we serve projects and clients. Clara’s background in theatre reinforces the traditions that ADKS is based on, which makes her a welcome addition to the team.”

Building on the success of such recent openings as “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Kung Fu Panda: Land of Awesomeness” at Universal Beijing, Hersheypark Dark Nights, Genting SkyWorlds, Doha Oasis, Meow Wolf: Convergence Station, and Knott’s Berry Farm’s Fiesta Village, ADKS is currently developing a number of high-profile entertainment attractions in the Middle East, as well as a wide array of theatrical, public art, entertainment and brand experiences in North America.

According to Blau, Rice’s appointment is just the first sign of ADKS’ future growth plans. “Stay tuned for the announcement of new roles and employment opportunities that will further support ADKS’ commitment to ensuring fully collaborative partnerships, thoughtful design solutions and industry-leading project delivery.”

Rice and other members of the Adirondack Studios Business Development team will be at IAAPA Expo November 12-17. To make an appointment, contact [email protected].

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