The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has just named a new vice president of North American operations. Headquartered in Orlando, John Hallenbeck is an industry veteran, poised to continue expanding North American region member services and programs.
Hallenbeck will oversee membership engagement and growth for over 3,500 members. With IAAPA celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, adding Hallenbeck to its staff seems like perfect timing.
Chief operating officer Doug Stagner, chief operating officer for IAAPA, says that the non-profit organization is excited to have Hallenbeck on board. “John brings a wealth of global attractions knowledge to the role. His extensive industry background and strong leadership skills will be key assets.”
Hallenbeck’s resume reads like a who’s who in the themed entertainment world. His over 25 years of experience includes his most recent work as managing director of project development at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. He’s also served as vice president of revenue operations at Dubai Parks and Resorts, and senior vice president of attractions for Universal Studios Singapore, Southeast Asia Aquarium, Adventure Cove, and Dolphin Island at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. Additionally, Hallenbeck has a range of experience at Universal Parks & Resorts, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure in Orlando. His new appointment marks a triumphant return to where his career first began.
Having served as chairman of the IAAPA Education Sub-Committee for the Asia Pacific region and as a member of IAAPA’s Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Committee, his international experience should dovetail nicely with plans for IAAPA’s North American operations. Hallenbeck has also chaired the Theme Park Advisory Board at Rosen College of Hospitality Management, and served on the Hospitality Management Advisory Board for Republic Polytechnic in Singapore; his global and national experience positions Hallenbeck to be uniquely aware of both the growth and future of themed entertainment and IAAPA’s goals as an organization and for its membership.
IAAPA’s mission is to serve its members by promoting safe operations, global development, professional growth, and commercial success for the amusement parks and attractions industry as a whole.
The organization has come a long way since its beginnings as an advocacy office back in 1918. Today, the non-profit organization is the largest international trade association for permanently located attractions. IAAPA represents over 5,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 countries. From amusement, theme, and waterparks to resorts, FECs, zoos, aquariums, science centers, museums, and entertainment industry manufacturers and suppliers, IAAPA helps all members with professional efficiency, marketing, safety, and profitability. While IAAPA’s global headquarters are in Orlando, Florida, the organization also maintains offices in Brussels, Belgium; Hong Kong, China; Shanghai, China; Mexico City, Mexico; and Alexandria, Virginia, in the U.S.
Internationally, IAAPA assists with favorable image promotion, providing primary sources for buyers and suppliers, promotes professional development through continued education, and serves as an allied partner with industry associations that expand IAAPA’s brand, as well as serving as a resource for industry data and analysis.
Hallenbeck will provide guidance in North America in regard to professional safety, promoting the industry’s story, and protecting the attractions business, as well as supporting IAAPA’s goals of creating a single-brand, global association, committed to members’ needs and expectations to help them be successful. Meanwhile, IAAPA continues its search for the position of president and CEO. Following the resignation of its president Paul Noland in February of this year, Hal McEvoy has filled the role of interim President and CEO. McEvoy joined IAAPA as chief financial officer in April 2017, after a successful 42-year career with Busch Entertainment Corporation/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. McEvoy has an extensive background in corporate finance and operations.
Along with the administrative changes at IAAPA and the appointment of Hallenbeck, IAAPA has other news.
The organization has announced dates for the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018, from November 12 through 16 in Orlando, Fla. The Expo is the premier conference and trade show for the global attractions industry. The theme for the expo is “Fun Forward. Build the Future.”
This year’s event is expected to bring more than 35,000 industry professionals to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Attendees can expect to explore a vast array of new products and services throughout the 575,000-square-foot exhibit space. The expo also offers opportunities to build partnerships and learn valuable insights about the attractions industry. Designers, engineers, manufacturers, and suppliers from more than 1,100 exhibiting companies will be on hand with 125 product categories.
IAAPA attendees are guided through the expo with tours designed specifically for food and beverage suppliers, point-of-sale systems suppliers, and water park suppliers. From the welcoming Kick Off Event to a special Lunch and Learn event focusing on the power of social media, there’s something for everyone at the annual expo. And, attendees can also tour some of the area’s most popular, world-class attractions and discover new perspectives with IAAPA’s signature members-only EDU Tours to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Fun Spot America, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Orlando Resort.
In other IAAPA news, on November 11th, IAAPA’s 16th annual International Charity Golf Tournament will take place at a new location in Kissimee, Fla., the Falcon’s Fire Golf Club. The annual event raises funds for Give Kids the World Village, an 84-acre non-profit resort located in Central Florida. The resort creates weeklong, cost-free vacations for children with critical illnesses and their families, providing accommodations, transportation, tickets to theme parks, meals, and daily entertainment.
The IAAPA Footprints from the Heart 5k Fun Run and 1 Mile Walk takes place November 15th at Give Kids the World Village; the annual IAAPA Motorcycle Ride revs up Sunday November 11th. Both events also raise money for GKTW, which has welcomed more than 160,000 families from the U.S. and 75 different countries, and is just one of the ways in which IAAPA is celebrating its 100th Anniversary.