The judges for the third Blooloop 50 Theme Park Influencer list have been revealed. The 2020 list will be announced during the blooloop V-Expo, 13-15 October.
Held in association with Gateway Ticketing Systems, a world leader in admission control and ticketing software, the Blooloop 50 Theme Park Influencer List will highlight 50 individuals who have made a positive impact in the theme park community in 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous effect on the theme park industry in 2020. Theme parks around the world have had to close for extended periods of time. However, it has forced theme park professionals to be resilient, creative and innovative and it is these qualities that will be reflected in the list.
Nominations are still open and close on August 31. Our judges will then consider the top 200 most nominated people and decide on the final 50. All of our judges have extensive experience monitoring, analysing and working in the theme park industry.
Meet the judges for the 2020 Theme Park Influencer list
Peter Wolf is Director of Sales and Marketing at Gateway Ticketing Systems. He has an MBA and has worked for Fujitsu America, ParTech and Glory Global Solutions before joining Gateway Ticketing Systems.
Gateway Ticketing Systems has over 30 years of experience in the global attractions industry, providing ticketing and admission software. Its Galaxy software systems help drive revenue and increase efficiencies at the attraction.
Peter says “The Blooloop 50 takes on a new meaning in 2020 as we will undoubtedly be recognizing professionals who, in a sense, helped save the industry. As we were all mired in the uncertainty of coronavirus closures, there were people and organizations that stepped up to lead by example or to develop new products or experiences, or just to remind us how resilient our industry can be. The Blooloop 50 also reminds us just how creative, innovative and fun our industry really is.”
Brady MacDonald has over 25 years of experience covering theme park and travel business as a digital media and communications professional. He has also worked with top publications across the US and in Southern California.
He contributes to Blooloop and MiceChat. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, San-Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register.
Christian Aaen is the founding principal of Entertainment + Culture Advisors (ECA). ECA specialises in entertainment development, attraction destination projects, leisure and tourism economics. The ECA headquarters is in California.
The company is a market leader in strategic advisory, entertainment, attraction and retail, dining and entertainment (RDE) projects worldwide, with a special focus on Asia and China. Before he founded ECA, Christian provided advisory services for international clients. These included Merlin Entertainments/ LEGOLAND Parks, Universal Studios and Singapore Tourism Board.
Denise Hatcher is the Managing Director, Acomb Ostendorf & Associates (AOA) with over 25 years’ experience in the themed entertainment industry. She has an MBA with a degree in Theatre and worked for Disney for nine years.
Whilst at Disney, Denise development launch campaigns for Star Wars weekends, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Epcot Food and Wine Festival. She also led the team that launched the first full charter “Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise” onboard Disney Cruise Line in 2003.
Since joining AOA in 2014, the company was named as the Orlando Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in Orlando for four years, Best Workplace for Commuters, Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing US Companies. The Orlando Business Journal named the AOA Studio in Winter Park the Coolest Office in Orlando.
Lesley Morisetti is the Director of Morisetti Associates. She has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. Lesley launched Morisetti Associates in 2010 to provide economic and strategic consultancy services to the attractions and entertainment industry.
She has worked with leading clients such as Merlin Entertainments, Universal Studios, the National Trust, IAAPA and ALVA. Lesley has also previously led diverse projects in Europe, North America and the Middle East as a director of the London office of the Economics Practice of AECOM.
Owen Ralph is a features writer at Blooloop. In this role, he has interviewed key theme park and attractions players around the world.
During his 20+ year career within the amusement industry, Owen has been an editor at Park World Magazine. In addition, he has written for Kirmes & Park Revue and World’s Fair. He is also a Europe and Middle East board member of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).
Phil Taylor is the founder and managing director of Team Leisure, a specialist leisure-consulting firm based in the United Arab Emirates. The firm provides analysis and feasibility studies including concept research, project development and operational services worldwide. This experience gives Phil a particular insight into the Middle Eastern theme park market.
He has also worked in executive director positions at several companies. These include Ski Dubai and The London Eye. In addition, he was the new business development director for The Tussauds Group from 1995 – 2000. Phil is an oft-sought speaker at industry events thanks to his vast experience.
Rachel Read, Director and co-founder of Blooloop, looks after news and events.
A chartered accountant, Rachel is particularly interested in the business of theme parks. She also enjoys learning about their strategies and future developments.
In her role at Blooloop, she keeps an eye on trends and is eager to acknowledge influences from outside the traditional theme park business. “Blooloop has tracked consumers demanding more interactive, authentic and customisable experiences that resonate with their values. It’s a fascinating time to be in this exciting industry, and that will be reflected in this year’s Theme Park Influencer List.”
Wonwhee Kim is the chief intelligence officer of The Park Database, a leading intelligence solution for the attractions industry. He has previously worked in real estate investment and transactions. Won was also a senior associate at Economics Research Associates and AECOM.
Won says, “The theme park industry is characterised by very long lead times, projects of enormous scale, and economic cycles. What makes a person an influencer in this industry is trust. This trust is earned over decades, by being honest and having a service-oriented mindset.”
Make sure you have registered for V-Expo, a free 3-day conference and exhibition from 13-15 October, where the final list will be revealed.