Sunday, June 23, 2024

Day 1 Sessions and Speakers Announced for 2018 TEA Summit


TEA Summit Day One, on April 5, addresses business issues and trends in the visitor attractions industry and celebrates the headline Thea Awards recipients. Co-chairs are Christine Kerr, Joanna del Moral, Steve Birket and Kile Ozier.



Phil Hettema, founder of The Hettema Group, is the 2018 recipient of the Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements. Phil will use the experience gathered throughout his impressive 40-year career to expand on his contention that stories are the way we understand the world and that storytelling is at the root of all great experiences, because it provides context for understanding. We’ll also learn about how Phil’s career has influenced his approach to work and his perspective on the industry as a whole.

Peter McGrath

Peter McGrath, Haluk Kulin and Bruce Mau, Freeman; Annemarie Roe, BaAM Productions

Freeman is a world leader in the creation of immersive brand experiences. The speakers, representing Freeman’s Design Leadership Council and a recently acquired business, BaAM Productions, will share insights on using design as a central, strategic driver of business rather than a separate function. This provocative session will connect the dots between experiential marketing and themed entertainment.

Valorie Kondos Field

2017 ushered in a cultural tsunami that permeated almost every industry and lifted the curtain on inequitable, unhealthy and even illegal practices that have lingered far too long in our corporate and societal cultures. What are the implications of these watershed moments to our industry? What are our immediate and practical responsibilities, and what is the path forward? “Blinders Off” strives to offer a candid, clear, and positive look at gender inclusion through the lens of themed entertainment. Moderated keynote: Valorie Kondos Field, head coach UCLA Women’s Gymnastics Team, with Cynthia Sharpe, co-moderated by Traci Klainer and Clara Rice.

Thea Classic Award recipient showcase: CEDAR POINT
Tony Clark

From simple beginnings in 1870, Cedar Point grew to be a complete, world-class entertainment destination, a mecca for thrill-seekers and families alike. Cedar Point is a unique, American amusement park and resort paradise. Its mix of great rides and attractions, live shows, special events, food and hospitality, its famous beach and boardwalk and its history make it a place like no other. The Thea Classic Award honors an attraction or property that has stood the test of time – 25 years or longer. Speaker: Tony Clark, Cedar Point director of communications.

Margreet Papamichael

Margreet Papamichael, AECOM

We live in a world of change, today possibly more so than ever. ‘The Future is Now’ will take you out of your daily thinking into a broader sphere of longer term strategy where global innovative changes are likely to impact our lives, those of our children and the future of our attractions. By looking at a series of disruptors from completely different industries, this presentation looks at some major trends and developments that may seem like far-fetched futurology but are closer to being history than you might think.


A fast-action, dynamic game experience that will likely both surprise and enlighten, presented by Mk Haley and Michael Libby.


3D Live LED technology is being recognized with a TEA Thea Award. Presenters: Christian Dieckmann and Nathan Huber of 3D Live.


For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the TEA blog.

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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