More Than 100 Attend NEAAPA’s 106th Anniversary Annual Meeting
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – More than 100 persons gathered for the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ (NEAAPA) 106th Anniversary Education Conference and Annual Meeting March 18-20 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel here.
The highlight of event was the induction of Gene Dean, owner of Fiesta Shows/Dean Enterprises, Seabrook, N.H., into the NEAAPA Hall of Fame during Tuesday evening’s dinner meeting.
Accepting on his behalf was Gene’s son, E.J., who chronicled his father’s history in the industry, which started at Salisbury Beach, Mass., before the family branched out into the carnival business in 1967.
Today, Fiesta Shows is said to be New England’s largest carnival with more than 70 rides. Gene, who was unable to attend due to prior commitments, is the first carnival operator to go into the prestigious hall since its formation in 1998.
Two days of seminars kicked off Monday afternoon with an International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Regional Meeting.
John Hallenbeck, vice president and executive director of IAAPA North America, provided an update on the association’s activities including membership, educational opportunities, trade shows and the IAAPA foundation.
Erika Scheffer, IAAPA’s director of state advocacy, addressed industry issues on state, regional and national levels. Topics included flights over amusement facilities by unauthorized third-party drones, the minimum wage and a school calendar with a post Labor Day start.
An evening reception capped off the day with more than 50 in attendance.
Tuesday’s agenda started with generational expert Meagan Johnson’s keynote address. She pointed out that for the first time in history businesses now have five generations working side-by-side. Each generation has what she termed as a “signpost” that drives motivation and influences company loyalty.
Communication between co-workers is more essential than ever to deliver good customer service, she asserted during her interactive and energetic session.
Other seminars rounding out the day included:
• Cashless Payments Driving Revenue, moderated by Anthony Palermo of ParkPass by Connect&Go, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
• No Influencers Here: Real Journalism Is Back, moderated by Brenda Connell of TK Public Relations, New York, N.Y.
• Impacts Of A Post Labor Day School Calendar: speakers Henry Veilleux, Sheehan Phinney Capital Group, Concord, N.H., and Brian Gottlob, PolEcon Research, Dover, N.H.
A vendor trade show took place during the afternoon with more than a dozen NEAAPA members displaying their products and services..
Annual Dinner Meeting
A cocktail hour preceded NEAAPA’s Annual Dinner Meeting with more than 100 in attendance for the gala evening.
Secretary Ed Hodgdon, marketing and Internet technology manager at Funtown Splashtown USA, Saco, Maine, welcomed attendees to the dinner followed by opening remarks and a farewell address from outgoing association President Dorothy Lewis, XpressPosts.com, Danbury, Conn.
A video presentation ran during the dinner hour highlighting the history of NEAAPA as well as clips from many of its current member properties.
As dinner was concluding, Lewis went to the podium and presented the President’s Award to Hodgdon, who has served as NEAAPA secretary for eight years. She then invited incoming President Eric Anderson, president of Quassy Amusement & Waterpark, Middlebury, Conn., to the stage and turned the gavel over.
Immediately afterward the annual business meeting was conducted, which included a number of committee reports and the election of officers and directors.
Anderson then presented the following awards:
• Alan E. Ramsay Safety Award, presented to an individual that has demonstrated unparalleled commitment to safety in the amusement parks and attractions industry. Recipient: Rimas Grazulis, maintenance manager, Edaville Family Theme Park, Carver, Mass.
• Paragon Award, presented to an attraction member who has created outreach or advertising pieces that demonstrate unequalled excellence in graphic promotion. Recipient: Ron Gustafson, director of marketing and public relations, Quassy Amusement & Waterpark.
• Pinnacle Award, presented to an employee or team that has demonstrated peak perfection in customer service. Recipient: Carson Natali, Sodexo at Canobie Lake Park, Salem, N.H.
Hall of Fame Committee Chair Ed Connor then introduced Gene Dean as the 43rd person to be inducted into the hall.
The following were recognized for their Membership Milestones:
60 Years – Naughton Insurance, Providence, R.I.; 45 Years – Salem Willows Arcade/Campbell Enterprises, Inc., Salem, Mass.; Palace Playland, Old Orchard Beach, Maine; 25 Years – Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village, Providence, R.I.; 20 Years – Daly Cavanaugh, LLP, Wellesley, Mass.; 15 Years – A&A Global Industries, Inc., Pennsauken, N.J.; Arial NDT Inspections, Inc., Milton, N.H.; Eastern States Exposition/The Big E, West Springfield, Mass.; Ellis & Associates, Windemere, Fla.; North American Amusements, Weymouth, Mass.; William H. Robinson, Inc. Hamilton, Ohio; XpressPosts.com.
Also, 10 Years – Barry Shore Associates, Framingham, Mass.; Greenheart Exchange, Chicago, Ill.; Guertin Graphics and Awards, Worcester, Mass.; Uncommon USA, Lombard, Ill.; White Mountain Attractions Association, Inc., N. Woodstock, N.H.
Officers And Board
The association’s officers, serving two years are: President Eric Anderson; First Vice President Dave Oberlander, Centerplate, Mashpee, Mass.; Second Vice President, Chris Nicoli, Canobie Lake Park; Treasurer, Charlene Conway, Carousel Family Fun Centers, Fairhaven, Mass.; and Secretary Ed Hodgdon.
NEAAPA Board of Directors: Chris Bourgeois, Rhode Island Novelty, Fall River, Mass.; Steve Gioe, Sodexo USA, Salem, N.H.; Joe Montalto, High Mountain Enterprises; Matt Naughton, Naughton Insurance; Tom Tessitore, National Ticket Company, Shamokin, Pa.; Peter Carmichael, Six Flags New England, Agawam, Mass.; Paul Cavanaugh, Daly Cavanaugh LLP; E.J. Dean, Fiesta Shows/Dean Enterprises; John Guertin, Guertin Graphics and Awards; Melissa Plante, CLM Entertainment Group, LLC, Woonsocket, R.I.; Erik Beard, International Ride Training, LLC, Nashville, Tenn.; Tom Brady, SGC’s Stag Hollow Mining, Jefferson, N.H.; Cindy Brewer-Lavoie, Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon, Mass.; Cory Cormier, Funtown Splashtown USA; Sandra Manougian, Fun World, Nashua, N.H.
Sponsors For The Event
Sponsors for the NEAAPA conference and meeting were:
Gold: Allied Specialty Insurance, Treasure Island, Fla.; Edaville Family Theme Park; Naughton Insurance; FetchRev, Tempe, Ariz.; ParkPass by Connect&Go; Premier Rides, Baltimore, Md.; S&S Worldwide Logan, Utah..
Dinner: Dippin’ Dots, LLC, Paducah, Ky.; Ralph S. Alberts Co., Inc., Montoursville, Pa.
Education: NXT Capture, Orlando, Fla.; Luckey, LLC, Killingworth, Conn.
Meeting badges: North American Amusements, Weymouth, Mass.
Morning break: Bass Resort Sales Corp., Mansfield, Mass.; Carousel Family Fun Centers; Mini Melts, Inc., Norwich, Conn.
Afternoon break: International Ride Training; Mansfield Paper Co., Inc., West Springfield, Mass.; Weston & Sampson, Boston, Mass.
The next gathering of NEAAPA members will be Tuesday, July 23 for the 106th Anniversary Summer Meeting at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Mass.
The New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) installed the following officers at its recent annual meeting (from the left): President Eric Anderson, Quassy Amusement & Waterpark; First Vice President Dave Oberlander, Centerplate; Second Vice President, Chris Nicoli, Canobie Lake Park; Treasurer, Charlene Conway, Carousel Family Fun Centers. (NEAAPA photos)
Accepting Hall Of Fame Plague
E.J. Dean (left) accepts the NEAAPA Hall of Fame plague honoring his father, Gene, from association President Eric Anderson at the organization’s recent annual meeting.