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Cedar Fair announces leadership shuffle, Richard Zimmerman named CEO

Cedar Point, a Cedar Fair amusement park.

Cedar Fair has announced a number of moves at board level including the news that Richard Zimmerman will be its new CEO from January 1st 2018.

Matt Ouimet, CEO since 2012, will become Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and Debra Smithart-Oglesby will take on the role of Lead Independent Director.

Richard Zimmerman has been President of Cedar Fair since 2016. He has over three decades’ worth of experience in the hospitality and leisure entertainment industry. Previous roles include VP and General Manager of the company’s Kings Dominion amusement park.

“Richard has the skills and experience required to lead the company forward,” commented Ouimet. “He has been a great thought partner to me and has made major contributions to our strong performance, including being a key driver behind such successful initiatives as Fast Lane, season passes and our all-season dining and beverage programmes.”

Zimmerman looking to broaden offerings

Zimmerman praised the quality of the leadership team, describing Cedar Fair as an ‘exceptional organisation’.

“We are also fortunate to be a leader in an industry that continues to have the potential to grow and expand,” he added. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue broadening our offerings to better serve our guests, as well as providing long-term value for our investors.”

Outgoing Chairman, Eric Affeldt, will continue to serve the company as a director. He joined the board in 2010 and went on to become Chairman in 2012.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Debra’s skills and board experience to take on the role of lead independent director,” noted Affeldt.  “Debra has been a valuable voice in all of our deliberations and will be an even greater asset in her new role as lead independent director.”

Cedar Fair is among the largest regional amusement park operators in the world. The company currently owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor waterparks, one indoor waterpark and five hotels across the US and Canada.

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Charles Read

Charles is Managing Director at Blooloop. He attends numerous trade shows around the world and frequently speaks about trends and social media for the attractions industry at conferences. Outside of Blooloop his passions are diving, trees and cricket.

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