Assistant Water Park Director
Tidal Cove at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
Aventura, Florida - USA
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," June 2019
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have a bachelor’s of science degree in economics from Bowling Green State University. I have been in the aquatics industry for more than ten years. I started as a lifeguard and moved my way up to Manager and then Director.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am a Red Cross Instructor-Trainer and an Ellis & Associates Instructor-Trainer
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
Once I got my degree, I was given the opportunity to manage the waterpark. Once I got into a management position, I excelled and took on more and more responsibilities at different properties. I love the aquatics industry. It is fun every day.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
The innovation of water attractions that come out every year.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
Thatcher Robertson is my mentor. Thatch’s approach taught me to be tough, kind, open and make sure you appreciate the team. He pushed me out of my comfort zone constantly to make sure I was the best. Even though I don’t work with him currently, I will carry what he taught with me to each property I operate.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
The biggest challenge would be opening a new property. When I took on the position at Soaring Eagle in Michigan, I had never opened a property. I wanted to make sure everything was correct and we were prepared for opening. That was the challenge. Going over and over everything that goes into running a successful waterpark was checked off the pre-opening and operational lists.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
The happiness of the guests who visit the resort. It is our job to make sure that the experience they expect is what we provide at every turn.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Love what you do and you will go far.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
World Waterpark Magazine
, of course. Also, Aquatics International and Funworld
. Recent books that have given me some motivation, include: David Goggin’s Can’t Hurt Me
and Jocko Willink’s The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I enjoy all aspects of training new team members. This is the most crucial part of a new team member’s experience. If done correctly, you can have a team member for a long time. If done poorly, they might not last too long.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
Marketing and event promotion. I love helping our marketing team promote events at the property I manage. It is chance to get a bit creative.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I had always wanted to go to the WWA Show when I was moving up the ranks in the industry. The directors and managers would go and come back with tales of the new, exciting attractions coming. Then, when I was the manager of Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel’s waterpark, I got the opportunity to attend my first show in Las Vegas! That was a great trip. I met a lot of people and made connections. Since then I have been back a few times. Most recently, I attended the show in West Palm Beach, Florida were I had the chance to speak. That was a real honor.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I am a huge vinyl record collector. I have more than 4,000 records of all genres of music. I have been collecting since 1998. The year I started DJing.