Scott A. Holtrey
Field Supervisor Aquatic Department
Naples, Florida - USA
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," February 2018
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have a master’s in business administration specializing in project management. I have been working in the government setting for the past 12 years. Currently, I am the Field Supervisor for the Aquatic Department for Sun-N-Fun Lagoon.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am a Certified Pool Operator (CPO), Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO), USA Swimming Coach and EPA Refrigerant Tech. I am seeking my project management professional certificate and certification from the National Recreation and Park Association as a park and rec professional.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
At my current place of employment, I have been named employee of the month three times. Twice I was recognized for the department and once I was recognized for the entire government agency.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
Colleagues, professors and mentors have always told me to do something you love and you will never feel like you are working. It took me a while to find something like that for my career. When I was younger, I swam competitively for 10 years. At times I despised it, but I eventually saw the opportunity in the “other side” of the industry. I fell in love again and remembered why I got into the industry to begin with.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I am often asked this question and I feel that I can’t provide only one answer. I enjoy creating something new for a park through resources that improve the park. Another would be breaking ground for a new facility for a community you know could really could use it and enjoy it. But I guess I most enjoy seeing the smiles on our patrons faces as they enjoy this part of their lives.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
My father and uncle both have inspired me. The reason I say this it is not because they are family; it’s because they both have had much success in the swimming world/industry that they have shown me it’s possible through hard work and dedication. Both are in the Swimming Hall of Fame and both have had their hands in the design of an aquatic facility in their respected communities.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
I feel that very few people know what it takes to make a successful aquatic center and/or waterpark. So, I believe that “selling” an idea or explaining the information on a new product is very difficult when trying to upgrade the facility. I’ve had to become a “salesmen” in order to succeed.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
The need for me to keep our patrons coming back to our facility is what keeps me focused and motivated. The fact that I need to know what is new and improved or a “have to have” is what really gets me excited.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
In my opinion, it is one of the most fun industries. My advice would be to always be open to new ideas and do your research. Always keep in mind your goal: to make sure visitors have the best experience that they can possibly have.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I would have to say, The Fifth Discipline
by Pete Senge. The book focuses on group problem solving using the systems thinking method in order to convert companies into learning organizations.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I’ve enjoyed creating or designing part of the aquatic facility. I like taking a new idea or product and implementing it into an existing waterpark that has been neglected and putting a “new face” to it.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I’d probably start my own engineering firm and focus on aquatic facilities.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
In 2006, I was told I was going to Disney to the WWA Show. I fell in love with it and wanted to get involved, so now I volunteer whenever possible.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
This is a tough question because I am a pretty private person. I guess I would have to say that I enjoy binge-watching shows.