Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark
at Boyne Mountain Resort
Boyne Falls, Michigan - USA
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," October/November 2017
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have worked in the waterpark industry for 191⁄2 years, beginning as a lifeguard and working my way up through management to my current position as a Waterpark Director.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am a Lifeguard Instructor Trainer with Ellis & Associates and CPO certified.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
I have been recognized as an Employee of the Month several times throughout my career.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
It started out as a summer job out of high school. However, this work turned into a passion once I performed my first rescue. Seeing the relief and gratitude on the mom’s face of that little boy had a pretty profound impact on me.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
The type of people who work in the industry. It’s a fun loving, caring, passionate group that continue to inspire and motivate me.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
My former director at Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Robbie Ficter. He taught me so much in the five years I worked with him in regards to how you should treat people, the passion and care you should put into your job and the joy you can take out of it. I still use a lot of his advice to this day.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
I try to surround myself with people who love what they do, and it doesn’t have to be waterpark colleagues. We have a great group here at our re- sort who help drive each other and care about everyone’s success.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
You have to genuinely care about what you do and the people you serve, both your guests and employees. Continue to look for what inspires and drives you—lives depend on it.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
One of the pillars of our company is servant leadership, and I’m a big believer in it. Both “The Servant” and “The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle” by James C. Hunter help to drive and remind you of what servant leadership is and why it’s important.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I enjoy the strategic part of my job—planning, budgeting, marketing, etc.—and putting those plans into action. Watching and learning from the results is very interesting and exciting to me.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I probably would have gone into broadcasting and/or journalism. I enjoy discussing current events, whether it’s sports, politics or entertainment. I have an opinion on everything (which probably isn’t always a good thing).
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
Through my years of working in the industry, I have sought out folks who are passionate because the motivate me. There’s no better organization in our line of work to find those kind of great people with whom to connect.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I’ve become a pretty decent homebrewer, and am working on learning more about recipe creation. To this point, I’ve only brewed other people’s recipes, but I’m interested in making my own.