Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Luciana Periales of Argentina’s Neverland Park named second vice chair of IAAPA

Luciana Periales, the chief executive officer of Neverland Park in Argentina, was named the second vice chair of IAAPA’s Board of Directors for 2024. She will serve as the first vice chair of IAAPA in 2025 and lead the global association for the attractions industry as the chair of the board in 2026.

Periales’ selection was made during a board of directors meeting on September 23 in Vienna, Austria, just before IAAPA Expo Europe opened its doors at Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center. With her strong connections in the attractions industry, Periales is carrying on her family’s legacy in her role with Neverland, which was founded by her uncle. Under her leadership, Neverland remains committed to innovation, evolution, and growth. Today the company owns 30 attractions in Argentina and Spain. Periales has been a valued volunteer and committee member with IAAPA for more than a decade, including serving on the Association’s Family Entertainment Center, Strategic Planning, and Service Awards committees, and the IAAPA Board of Directors as the chair of the Latin America, Caribbean Regional Advisory Committee.

“Luciana Periales was chosen as the second vice chair for the 2024 IAAPA Board of Directors because of her deep industry roots and innovative leadership as CEO of Neverland, a successful group of entertainment centers,” said David Rosenberg, chair of the 2023 Governance Committee. “Luciana’s passion, expertise, and commitment to making a positive impact make her an exceptional choice to help steer IAAPA and the attractions industry toward a dynamic future.”

Luciana’s selection was part of a larger election of seven people who will take new positions on the IAAPA Board. New board members begin their service in 2024. The following board members were also named:

EMEA Regional Advisory Committee Chair Director (2024-2026) – Håkon Lund

Mr. Håkon Lund is president and owner of Lund Gruppen in Norway. Lund Gruppen is deeply rooted in a legacy of amusement parks and attractions. Lund Gruppen is a family business, that dates to 1895 and spans four generations. The company owns brands like Lunds Tivoli, Kongeparken, Skånes Djurpark, Festdager, and Landstreff Stavanger and operates parks in Norway and Sweden. He has served as a member of the IAAPA EMEA Regional Advisory Committee for several years and has presented at several IAAPA events.

North America Regional Advisory Committee Chair Director (2024-2026) – Denise Beckson

Ms. Denise Beckson is the vice president of government affairs and human resources for Morey’s Piers, a seaside amusement and water park resort in Wildwood, New Jersey, in the United States. Beckson has been involved in the parks and attractions industry for more than 30 years. Her experience in the industry has focused on safety, education and training, aquatic operations, risk management, food and beverage, HR and talent acquisition, and government relations/public affairs. She has a rich history of service within IAAPA, serving on various committees and taking on leadership roles, including chair of the Global Government Relations and Global Education committees. She also served a three-year term on the IAAPA Board, was a member of the association’s headquarters relocation task force, and is actively engaged in advocacy representing the industry on vital issues at a state and federal level and educating lawmakers and regulators about attractions.

Facility Member Director (2024-2026) – Su “Dale” Zhan Hang

Mr. Su “Dale” Zhan Hang is group vice president at Chimelong Group, located in China, the parent company of the comprehensive resort, Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort, which owns major theme parks and attractions in China. He has experience working on large development projects under the guidance of his father, Mr. Su Zhigang, Chimelong Group chairman. He is very involved in many different community organizations including serving as vice president of the China Tourism Chamber, vice president of the Guangdong and Macao Federation of Industry and Commerce and serves as a director at Guangdong Federation of Young Entrepreneurs.

Facility Member Director (2024-2026) – Neil Dwyer

Mr. Neil Dwyer is the vice president of operations for Qiddiya Investment Co. – Six Flags Qiddiya in Saudi Arabia. With nearly 20 years of experience in several industry companies, Dwyer offers a deep understanding of the attractions industry. He has experience working in multiple theme parks, including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Camelot Theme Park, IMG Worlds of Adventure, and Global Village. Currently, overseeing strategic development for Six Flags Qiddiya, a theme park resort in Saudi Arabia, he is instrumental in shaping the park’s vision, growth strategy, and operational plans in a rapidly growing market. Dwyer’s involvement with IAAPA has been diverse and impactful, encompassing roles on committees, subcommittees, task forces, leading education sessions, and contributing to education content development as a subject matter expert.

Facility Member Director (2024-2025) – Gina Claassen

Ms. Gina Claassen is the corporate safety director for Herschend Family Entertainment in the United States 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 including theme parks, water parks, resorts, aquariums, and the Harlem Globetrotters Sports Entertainment organization. Herschend Family Entertainment attractions span 26 locations across the United States and British Columbia. Claassen has a long history of involvement with IAAPA including serving on the IAAPA Board of Directors in 2023. She has been an IAAPA Expo Show Ambassador, served on the exhibitor awards, facility operations, and IAAPA Expo program planning committees, and has led education sessions at numerous IAAPA events.

Facility Member Director (2023-2025) – Rajen Shah

Mr. Rajen Shah is the managing director of The Great Escape water park and Arihant Industrial Corporation Limited. The Great Escape is an attraction on the outskirts of Mumbai that has 13 slides, kids’ pool, children’s play equipment, and a wave pool. He has much experience within IAAPA serving on several committees and the IAAPA Board of Directors. He was the recipient of the IAAPA Outstanding Service Award in 2021. He is also the founding member of the Indian Association of Amusement Parks & Industries (IAAPI) and has served on the IAAPI board for the past 23 years in various capacities including chairman, and secretary general, and he has been involved in international government relations.

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