Tolomato Community Development District
Ponte Verdra, Florida - USA
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," December 2017
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I am currently in my 3rd year of college at Jacksonville University to get my degree in business administration.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor and a National Swimming Pool Foundation Certified Pool/Spa Operator.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
I grew up in the field. My mom was a lifeguard instructor and from an early age I would help her with classes by being a victim in the pool. I have always loved going to waterparks. When I became a lifeguard, I realized I could build a career in waterparks.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
The work environment is my favorite part of the waterpark industry. From coming to work in flip flops to coordinating and managing a fun work environment for lifeguards, the job is very rewarding. I never feel like I am coming to work, which is how I always want my job to be.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Lee Hovis has inspired me the most in my career. Not a day goes by that I do not learn something new from him and I know that will never change. I look at Lee and what he has accomplished, and his steps are the footprints that I want to follow.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER SO FAR?
Working with difficult coworkers has been my greatest challenge in my career so far. I do not always have the luxury of getting to choose who I work with and sometimes it is very hard to work with certain people. This area is where I found my weaknesses and have had to focus on getting better at it.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
I keep focused and motivated knowing that other people count on me. I always like to be in a role that forces me to stay on top of things. Alongside that I like to set goals that help me stay on track and take necessary breaks so I never feel burned out.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FELLOW YOUNG LEADER WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Make sure you have a mentor in the waterpark industry. Have someone to look up to and go to for advice to help you reach your goals in the field. Be confident but not cocky and make sure to know the difference.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
Start With Why
by Simon Sinek is great for understanding how to inspire others. It inspired me to focus on the why and to be the leader that I wish I had. Another good read is The Wave Maker
by Tim O’Brien. It is important to know the history of how George Millay started the industry we have today.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
Training lifeguards and seeing them learn the job and progress through it. Although I have only been doing that for a few years, it has already had a positive impact on me.
WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET FOR YOURSELF AND WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN A FEW YEARS?
One goal that I have set is getting involved in the WWA as much as possible. I want to attend the WWA Show every year now that I have been to my first one. I would like to build a name for myself in the industry and continue to connect with people. I plan to continue my path moving up in the waterpark industry.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
Lee first introduced me to the WWA and helped me to attend my first show. It started out with reading the magazines each month and turned into a community that I want to always be a part of.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I enjoy grilling out and trying new recipes. An ideal day for me would be working at the waterpark for the day and coming home to grill out by the pool with a good football game on TV.