Rock'N River Water Park/Round Rock Parks & Recreation
Round Rock, Texas - USA
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," July/August 2017
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I started as a lifeguard at 15 years old at my hometown pool in Ohio. After college, I spent 9 years running pools and beaches on the shores of Lake Tahoe, and currently I have spent the last 5 years in central Texas running pools, waterfronts and waterparks.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I hold lifeguard and Lifeguard Instructor certification, and I am a Certified Pool Operator.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
Our Round Rock PARD Aquatics Division was named Agency of the Year for 2016 by the Texas Public Pool Council. I’ve been honored to speak at both the WWA Show and AOAP conferences for the last 2 years. In addition, in 2014, I helped produce a video for a national “Good Morning America” contest that was voted in the top 3 in the United States and earned a trip to NYC and a television spot for 3 of my team members.
WHAT MADE YOU GO IN TO THIS FIELD?
It’s so much fun! I always loved the camaraderie that was built with my seasonal lifeguard teams growing up, and I found myself thrust into leadership roles over those seasonal teams, eventually realizing that I could make a full-time career in this industry.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
Building a team and building the confidence of our young workers. People took a chance on me, took me under their wings and helped bring me up in the industry. I want to pay that same kindness forward.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
I was fortunate to have some amazing mentors and managers early on in my career that really helped shape the leader I’ve become.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
Opening the revamped Rock’N River Water Park in the summer of 2016. The park had gone through an $8 million re-do and tripled in both size and attractions. Not only was I new to the city, but I was also in charge of operations for one of the city’s largest attractions!
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
I’m a perpetual student and am always looking for things to help improve myself and keep me on my A-game. I want to share those skills and knowledge with my team.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Take every certification class available to you! This will only help you grow. And get as diversified as possible in your background. I worked for a luxury hotel chain in Lake Tahoe and that hospitality experience really upped my baseline in regards to expectations and the kind of great service that a waterpark customer expects.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I love listening to the “Building a Story Brand” podcast. I always walk away with insights and action steps. I also love the “Ted Talks” podcast series.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I love training new lifeguards and running intense in-service trainings, as they provide that spark that brings things full circle for our lifeguard team.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
My bachelor’s degree is in graphic design, and I’ve been fortunate enough to utilize those marketing and design skills for the aquatic entities I’ve worked for. So, I’d do a lot just the same in regards to melding together two things I really love.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I was asked to speak about marketing at the 2016 WWA Show in New Orleans.
WHAT IS SOME THING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I come from a small town in Ohio of nearly 4,000 people that bears the moniker Carptown USA. The nickname came from a time in the early 1900s where the streets flooded. When the waters receded, there were hundreds of carp left in the streets, and now the town utilizes this sig- nature historic event with a mascot and yearly festival.