Sunday, July 21, 2024

IAAPA announces 2023 board member election results

Massimiliano (“Massi”) Freddi, the founder and chief executive officer of Wonderwood on Lake Maggiore, Italy, was named the second vice chair of IAAPA’s Board of Directors for 2023. He will serve as the first vice chair of IAAPA in 2024 and lead the global association for the attractions industry as the chair of the board in 2025.

Massimiliano (“Massi”) Freddi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Wonderwood, named second vice chair of IAAPA’s Board of Directors. Photo courtesy of IAAPA.

The selection was made during a board of directors meeting on September 11 in London, United Kingdom, just before IAAPA Expo Europe opened its doors at ExCeL London.

Read InPark Publisher Martin Palicki’s reflection on IAAPA Expo Europe 2022.

“Massi is a dreamer and doer, and his 20 years of experience and success confirms he’s well suited to be IAAPA’s second vice chair,” said Andreas Andersen, the chair of IAAPA’s Governance Committee. “His combination of attractions management and development, with career highlights and passion in education and inspiring others, result in future board leadership that is as much about honoring tradition as it is about supporting and sustaining growth for IAAPA and for IAAPA members around the world.”

Freddi’s selection was part of a larger election that named nine people who will take new positions within IAAPA’s leadership ranks, including seven brand-new individuals joining the board. New board members begin their service in 2023.The following board members were also named:

Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Committee Chair Director (2023-2025)

Andrew Bolstein is senior vice president of operations at Shanghai Disney Resort. Bolstein has hands-on leadership experience in finance, operations and safety. He has served on the IAAPA APAC Regional Advisory Committee for four years and assisted in developing the COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines for the association. Bolstein has shared his knowledge and expertise during a number of IAAPA events, tours and education experiences.

Latin America Regional Advisory Committee Chair Director (2023-2025)

Xavier Lopez is the president and founder of KidZania. First opened in 1997, KidZania has expanded to have more than 20 facilities around the world that entertain one million visitors annually by providing educational entertainment experiences, offering kids the opportunity to role play and learn more about unique and exciting professions. Lopez has been active in IAAPA since 1998 by hosting regional events, speaking at various educational events, and serving on the Latin America Advisory Committee, the Latin America Safety Committee, Membership Committee, and on the IAAPA Board of Directors.

Manufacturer and Supplier Committee Chair Director (2023-2025)

Jeroen Nijpels is the managing director and owner of JNELC, which he founded 16 years ago. JNELC supplies rides and attractions and assists operators in project development and procurement. Nijpels has been an active IAAPA volunteer since 2002. He has served on the Marketing and PR Committee, the Space Allocation Committee, the Global and EMEA Manufacturers and Suppliers (M&S) Committees, the EMEA Regional Advisory Committee, and was on the Board from 2007-2009. Currently, he chairs the IAAPA EMEA M&S Committee and is a member of the IAAPA Foundation Board and the IAAPA Service Awards Committee.

Facility Member Director (2023-2025)

Pia Adlivankin is the chief executive officer and managing director of Linnanmäki Amusement Park, which is Finland’s largest amusement park. Located in Helsinki, the park welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors annually (pre-2020). Linnanmaki is also Finland’s oldest amusement park with more than 40 rides, many different games, as well as restaurants and cafes. Adlivankin has presented at several IAAPA Expo Europe events and has hosted in-person and virtual events at Linnanmaki.

Facility Member Director (2023-2025)

Jason Freeman is the corporate vice president of public safety and risk management for Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, LLC. Six Flags operates 27 properties throughout North America, including theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, and a family entertainment center. Freeman has been involved with IAAPA since 1988. Most recently, he has participated in the IAAPA North America Safety, Global Safety, and Government Relations Committees. He chaired the Global Security Committee and the COVID-19 Task Force and was the recipient of the 2021 IAAPA Meritorious Service Award.

Facility Member Director (2023-2025)

Ali Alsuwaidi is the chief operating officer for Global Village, a one-stop-destination for entertainment, shopping, dining, and attractions in Dubai. He is a member of the IAAPA EMEA Advisory Board and has participated in the IAAPA Leadership Conference. Alsuwaidi has been working with the IAAPA EMEA team to establish a Middle East exhibition and entertainment award function in the region.

Past Chair Director (2023 – 2025)

Gerardo Arteaga is the general manager of Fantasilandia, the largest amusement park in Santiago, Chile, with attractions for for all ages. He has been the general manager of Fantasilandia for 20 years. In his role he has experienced natural disasters and political upheaval, yet, he and his team, managed to expand their operations to include a large regional chain of family entertainment centers, Diversur SPA, currently operating in three markets. Fantasilandia has been an active member of IAAPA since the mid-seventies. Arteaga has participated with IAAPA in many different roles including being a member of the Marketing, FEC, and Latin America Regional Advisory committees. He served on the Board of Directors and was chair in 2015.

Facility Member Director (2023 – fulfilling the final year of Xavier Lopez’ term)

Gina Claassen is the corporate safety director for Herschend Family Entertainment and has been with the company for 25 years. Herschend Family Entertainment and its parent company Herschend Enterprises are a family-owned themed attractions corporation that operates entertainment, tourism, and hospitality properties that span 26 locations across the US and British Columbia. Claassen has been an IAAPA ExpoShow Ambassador, participated in IAAPA Exhibitor Awards Committee, Facility Operations Sub-Committee, and Program Planning Committee and has presented at numerous IAAPA Events.

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