The work of the IAAPA President and CEO search committee is complete and the IAAPA Board of Directors has approved the committee’s recommendation to hire industry veteran Chip Cleary as IAAPA’s new president and CEO. Chip will begin on April 4, 2011.
Chip’s proven leadership acumen, diverse and extensive experience in the attractions industry, and his years of service as an active volunteer and leader within IAAPA make him ideally qualified to lead the association. We are confident his knowledge of our industry and passion for the success of our members will help elevate the products and services we offer around the world.
Chip has been a partner in and/or managed a variety of attractions including amusement parks, family entertainment centers, and waterparks. He started his career in the industry in 1978 at Adventureland Amusement Park in Farmingdale, New York and worked his way up through a number of positions to serve as vice president where he oversaw the rebuilding and operation of the park.
In 1991 Chip supervised the design and construction of Splish Splash waterpark on Long Island, New York, and served as the park’s president until 1999. He and his partners sold Splish Splash to Palace Entertainment in 1999 and Chip joined Palace’s executive team as vice president of the waterpark division.
Palace Entertainment was purchased by Spain-based Parques Reunidos in 2007 and Chip was named senior vice president to oversee the company’s portfolio of waterparks in the United States. In 2008 Lake Compounce was added to his group.
In addition to his vast industry experience, Chip has been an active volunteer in IAAPA for nearly 15 years. He served on the association’s exhibitor awards, government relations, safety and maintenance, and conference and trade show advisory committees and chaired the membership, strategic planning, compensation, and executive committees. He also led the team that produced the Kickoff Event at IAAPA Attractions Expo for the last four years. Chip served two terms on the board of directors and was elected third vice chairman in 2007. He served as second and first vice chairman in 2008 and 2009 respectively and he was chairman of the board in 2010.
Chip graduated magna cum laude in 1973 from the New York Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Please join me in congratulating Chip and supporting him as he helps lead IAAPA into the future.
Chairman of the Board