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Amusement Parks: Dollywood Vice President/General Manager Barbara Joines Announces Retirement


Related: Dollywood wins industry’s prestigious applause award / Dollywood Theme Park Announces New Barnstormer for 2011

Industry veteran and Dollywood Vice President/General Manager Barbara Joines has announced her plans to retire at the close of the Pigeon Forge-based theme park’s 2011 season.  

While Joines will assume the title of Vice President/General Manager Emeritus during her final season with the company, Craig Ross, Vice President of Retail for Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE), Dollywood’s operating partner, was promoted to Dollywood Vice President/General Manager.  

Gene Scherrer, a 24-year Dollywood Company veteran and most recently Vice President and General Manager of Dollywood’s Splash Country, was promoted to Vice President of Operations, responsible for Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s Maintenance, Construction, Attractions, Amusements, Admissions and Safety and Security.   

Ross and Scherrer report to Dollywood Company President Ken Bell

“Barbara’s leadership and commitment to Dollywood will greatly be missed, ” Bell said.  “Her 30-plus years with Silver Dollar City Tennessee and Dollywood will leave a lasting mark on the fabric of both our product and our culture.”  

Joines’ 30-year career began with Silver Dollar City, Tennessee, the East Tennessee attraction that became Dollywood in 1986.  At Dollywood, she previously held the position of Marketing Office Manager before her promotion to Director of Theater Operations at Music Mansion, a former Dollywood-owned entertainment venue.  In her role as Vice President/General Manager, Joines’ responsibilities include operations and management of the park’s Foods, Merchandise, Attractions, Amusements, Admissions, Human Resources, Safety and Security departments.

Joines’ career highlights include Dollywood’s recognition as the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s most prestigious honor.  

Ross joined HFE in 2007.  His 35-year theme park career began as a seasonal Foods employee at Kings Dominion where he progressed through numerous management positions.  He was General Manager of Kings Island from 2002 to 2005.  Ross will oversee Dollywood’s Entertainment, Food Service, Human Resources, Marketing, Merchandise, and Special Events divisions. 

“Craig and Gene bring a great depth of knowledge and experience of our industry to the Dollywood Company, and we look forward to much continued growth under their leadership and guidance, ” Bell said.  

Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park located near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Open nine months a year, Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood is part of a family travel destination that also includes Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark and Dollywood Vacations.  For more information, visit     

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