Friday, October 22, 2021
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Thinkwell Group marks 10 years in business; promotes Kelly Ryner to SVP

Kelly Ryner, SVP global business development, Thinkwell

(Burbank, CA) — Thinkwell, a full-service experiential design and production firm specializing in digital and location-based entertainment and educational experiences around the world, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year and continues to expand its global footprint with multiple projects in the US, Europe, Asia and other locations around the world.

“Over the course of the last ten years, we’ve been very fortunate to have developed trusting, meaningful relationships with our clients, opening doors to new opportunities and ventures,” said Joe Zenas, CEO, Thinkwell. “The economy has certainly presented our industry with some challenges in recent years but we’ve been very strategic with the operations and business development of our firm to maintain stability and prepare for new growth. We’re excited about the present and what the future holds for Thinkwell.”

Representing a diverse roster of clients, including Warner Bros., Universal Studios, Paramount, DreamWorks Animation, Georgia Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, Colombian Coffee Federation, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) among many others, Thinkwell is charged with the task of conceiving, developing and producing attractions, events, exhibits and live shows. Thinkwell’s vast array of projects spanning the globe include Universal 360 – A Cinesphere Spectacular; the Show at the Pier Shops at Caesar’s Atlantic City; the Grand Opening Event of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, the Snow Play Zone at Ski Dubai; Sesame Street Presents: The Body and Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s NatureQuest, to name a few.

Additionally, the company recently announced that it has been selected by Monkey King Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the real estate, financial and cultural industry investment enterprise Zhonghong Real Estate, to design the highly immersive Monkey Kingdom cultural park slated to open in 2014 in Beijing China. The USA based design firm has been collaborating with Zhonghong on the strategy, concept, master plan and attraction development for the park since mid 2010. With a total investment of $1.53 billion USD the Monkey Kingdom park will include conference centers, hotels, exhibition halls, retail, residential and culturally significant entertainment, making this property the ultimate convergence of business, culture, relaxation and tourism opportunities.

In conjunction with the anniversary celebration and to support expanding growth efforts, Kelly Ryner, who has been an executive with the company since it opened its doors in 2001, has been promoted to senior vice president, global business development.

“Kelly’s extraordinary dedication, professionalism and determination has played a significant role in the success of Thinkwell,” stated Francois Bergeron, chief strategy officer and CFO, Thinkwell. “In her elevated position she is empowered to negotiate and close complex business transactions on the company’s behalf while she spearheads our global outreach and development.”

Having successfully nurtured client relations and marketing efforts for the last 10 years, Ryner will now be responsible for managing Thinkwell’s business development team’s efforts domestically and internationally focusing on the cultivation of new business opportunities and projects across all of Thinkwell Groups business units.

Kelly is a multi-talented individual with more than 15 years of international experience prior to Thinkwell as an in-field art director and scenic artist for the likes of Universal Studios and Warner Bros. theme parks. She brings that construction knowledge and expertise to the table when helping clients understand their needs and goals, while clearly communicating the incredibly complex development and production process.

About Thinkwell Group
Thinkwell, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is a full-service experiential design and development firm that collaborates with its clients to strategize, envision, create, design and implement immersive, one-of-a-kind guest experiences. Thinkwell develops and produces attractions, master plans, brand experiences, exhibits, live shows, environments, multimedia and digital integration. The company has become a leader in experiential design by bringing a unique holistic approach to every creative engagement, delivering extraordinary results to notable clients over the years, including Fortune 500 companies, studios, museums, theme parks and destination resorts.

Thinkwell’s range of work includes master planning for Warner Bros., Universal, MGM and Paramount as well as attractions such as Universal 360 – A Cinesphere Spectacular; the Show at the Pier Shops at Caesar’s Atlantic City; the Snow Play Zone at Ski Dubai; Sesame Street Presents: The Body and Fernbank’s NatureQuest.

Thinkwell is headquartered in Burbank, CA, with a branch division in London.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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