The road to IAAPA

The IAAPA Attractions Expo is the highlight of the year for many self proclaimed theme park nerds like myself. iaapa-logo The lights, the sounds, the new rides and games… it’s like being a kid in a candy store.

Even if you are not in the market for the latest whirly-gig or deep-fried whatever, the IAAPA show has lots of things to offer.  As you might imagine, I have a special place in my heart for the educational sessions.  In fact, it was a session by T. Scott Gross in ’97 that made me say, “I want to do that. I want to inspire others the way T. Scott Gross inspired me!”  That eventually lead to switching career gears from management to training, and nine years later I was on that stage presenting my own training session to the IAAPA members!

It took nine years for me to be in the right place at the right time with the right experience and the right relationships to make it happen.  In ’97 I was working at Canobie Lake Park, still learning my way around the leadership ranks.  By 2006, I had landed at Universal and was now actually doing training for a living.  I noticed a “call for presentations” on the IAAPA website and decided to submit three entries – thinking that one might be picked.  Little did I know that the Director of Staffing at Universal was on the Human Resources committee and was reviewing my application.  We worked together to ensure this would be a targeted and topical program, and that year I presented “Moments of Truth.”

2008 will mark my 3rd year presenting at IAAPA and my first year serving on the Human Resources committee myself.  I am really looking forward to what the Expo will bring this year, and can’t wait for it get started!

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