Thursday, June 20, 2024

Anthony Esparza Departs SeaWorld; Mike Denninger Promoted to SVP Attractions


March 1, 2018 — In an internal memo filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), SeaWorld Interim CEO John Reilly announced the departure of Anthony Esparza, the company’s Chief Creative Officer and the promotion of Mike Denninger to the role of Senior Vice President of Attractions.  The memo reads in part:

My top priority is to build on our current strong momentum . . . . In order to continue this momentum, I’ve promoted Mike Denninger, a 28-year veteran of SeaWorld, to the newly created role of Senior Vice President of Attractions. Mike knows our company well and understands what brings audiences to our parks. He helped to create some of our most popular attractions, including Cheetah Hunt, Manta and Mako, and he is ideally suited to ensure that we continue to efficiently deliver compellingly creative attractions.

With this change, Anthony Esparza has stepped down from his role as Chief Creative Officer. We very much appreciate Anthony’s efforts over the past 2 years. He and the team have created some highly popular new rides, events, and attractions, and we wish him all the best in the future.

This announcement comes two days after the resignation of SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby.

In addition, Brian Morrow, Vice President of Theme Park Experience Design is departing SeaWorld to open his own design firm, b morrow productions.


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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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