Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Hettema Group’s Nina Rae Vaughn named TEA Master


The Hettema Group announces that THG Art Director and Illustrator Nina Rae Vaughn has been named a TEA Master by the Themed Entertainment Association.

Nina is one of only seven themed entertainment industry professionals welcomed into the inaugural class of the TEA Masters Program. The prestigious new program honors masters of their craft, whose work has made a significant and sustained contribution to the development of the global visitor attractions industry.

Since joining THG in 2013, Nina has been a key creative on ambitious projects for leading theme park and entertainment clients around the world, including DreamWorks, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom and others.

Phil Hettema spoke highly of Nina upon hearing of her acceptance into the TEA Masters Program: “Nina Rae Vaughn would be on anyone’s dream team of creative designers. She’s amazingly talented, with an exceptional set of drawing skills and a delightful visual imagination.”

Nina began her career as a special effects designer for Disney during the development of EPCOT, and later joined WET Design, playing a key role in the creation of the Los Angeles Music Center Fountain and Fountain Place in Dallas. She returned to WDI, contributing to iconic rides and attractions such as Indiana Jones Adventure, Main Street U.S.A and Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. She also created many of the popular Disney park “fun maps.”

Hettema notes that beyond her amazing talents and experience, Nina is “just a lovely individual. Always helpful, a willing teacher and thoughtful collaborator, it’s a genuine pleasure and our good fortune that she’s part of the team here at The Hettema Group.”


Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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