Wet'n'Wild Toronto, Premier Parks
Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," April 2019
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have a B.S. (hons) from York University in physical geography (specializing in climatology). My waterpark career began in 1999 when I be- gan my full-time career at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. Since then, I have worked at several parks and worked in operations management for sporting events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I have all of the usual certifications, including: lifeguard, lifeguard instructor, IT, etc. I also hold certifications in health and safety.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
I started working in parks when I was a student, and I never really left. I tried working in a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. environment and I couldn’t stand the pace.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I really like the challenge it presents me. It’s never easy, and the work pushes me to always improve myself, my team and think outside the box. I like the action/reaction part of the job, where every decision has a measurable effect. It’s rewarding to see the things you do pay off right in front of your eyes.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
This is a tough question. And I don’t think I can single out any one person. In every stage of my career I’ve been privileged to work with some great people who taught me so much and pushed me to be the best I can be. Honestly, the industry has so many talented leaders; it’s not hard to find someone who makes you feel inspired.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
Hands down, it had to be the start-up of Wet’n’Wild Toronto. In less than a year, the team here took an old, rundown waterpark and turned it into something spectacular. It was the hardest and most challenging thing I have ever done. There were a lot of ups and downs, but in the end the result was special. I’ll always be proud of what was accomplished here.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
In season, it’s easy. During the off-season (which in Canada is pretty long), I like to set weekly and monthly goals and I write them on a white board in my office. That way, I know if I am on track and it always gives me a nice boost to cross something off my list. I also like to keep a nice balance in my life and try to carve out enough time in my week to get away from work and do things just for fun.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
You need three things: good sunglasses, good shoes and a good team. If you have those, you can do anything. Honestly, I think the most important thing is to be curious and learn about how everything in your park works. Don’t live in a silo.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLIC ATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I listen to a lot of podcasts on my drive to and from the park. I like to learn new skills.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I love my interactions with my staff. They keep me going. I really like watching them succeed.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I think I’d do something related to my degree. Or perhaps get into teaching.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
Shortly after I started at Wet’n’Wild Toronto, I was invited to join the WWA Canada Waterpark Committee. It’s a diverse group of parks from splash pads to large parks. Despite our differences, everyone in the group really cares about making the industry stronger and working on tackling some of the common issues we all face.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
When I was a child, I was afraid of amusement rides and I always used to sit and watch as my brothers would go on them. Pretty ironic seeing how things worked out.