Hershey, PA, USA — The Board of Directors of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (HE&R) has announced the promotion of John Lawn to the role of President of the Company. Lawn’s new role became effective September 30, 2016, and is in addition to his current role as Chief Operating Officer. This announcement is the culmination of the succession planning process that current Chief Executive Officer and past President, William F. Simpson, Jr., and the Board initiated when Simpson notified the Board last June of his intention to retire on January 5, 2018.
“Since joining our Company in 2004, John has a proven track record of developing high performing hospitality teams that continually provide world-class service while producing outstanding financial results. Regardless of whether a guest is at one of our lodging properties, restaurants, golf courses, or enjoying the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex – John’s focus on hospitality does not waiver,” said Simpson.
Lawn began his career with HE&R in 2004 as Food and Beverage Director at Hersheypark and became Assistant General Manager of Hersheypark in 2005. In 2010 Lawn was promoted to Associate Vice President of Operations, and then to the role of Vice President of Operations later that year. Lawn was elected Chief Operating Officer in 2015 and is responsible for management of all the Company’s operating divisions.
“It has been an incredible privilege for me to be part of this remarkable team and outstanding organization – and its core purpose to help children in need,” said Lawn. “I owe so much to the unbelievably dedicated people here at HE&R and the support of leaders like Bill Simpson and our Board of Directors. I look forward to doing everything within my ability to further enhance and develop our outstanding team and continue to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests.”
Prior to joining HE&R, Lawn spent more than a decade working in a number of management roles in the sports, entertainment and hospitality industries, including General Manager of Centerplate at FedExField in Landover, Maryland and Executive Director of Major Events for Ridgewells, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Lawn currently serves on the Board of Four Diamonds and The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. He was previously on the Board of Children’s Miracle Network and Junior Achievement of Central Pennsylvania.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and its subsidiaries own and/or operate the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park,Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Club, GIANT Center, The Hotel Hershey, The Spa At The Hotel Hershey,Hershey Lodge, Hersheypark Camping Resort, Hershey Golf Collection, Hershey Nursery, and Hershey Laundry & Dry Cleaning.