Leadership Symposium: Presented by the IAAPA HR Subcommittee (Day 2)

  • Room: S310AB
  • Session Number:HRM
Wednesday, November 17, 2021: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM


Heather Barnes, M.A.
Director of Aquatic Presentations
Shedd Aquarium
David Gray
HR Director
Lagoon Amusement Park
Rachel Harper
Assistant General Manager
Castle Fun Park
Matt Heller, ICAE
Performance Optimist Consulting
Amy Lowenstein
VP, Human Resources
Unleashed Brands
Ryan Stana
Founder and CEO
RWS Entertainment Group


Leadership Symposium: Presented by the IAAPA HR Subcommittee is designed for leaders responsible for the care and support of fellow employees. Attendees will network with other leaders and learn from industry leaders representing global and local theme parks, family entertainment centers, museums, aquariums, zoos, theaters, and more. The focus for this year's program is: Reflection and Reinvention. 

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our industry, and it’s important for us to reflect on the lessons learned regarding employee care and communication in times of crisis. The pandemic also forced many organizations to speed up innovation plans or totally reinvent the way they do business. In this workshop, we will challenge participants to reflect on their own people leadership lessons while also providing inspirational examples of reinvention and ways to thrive in our new world. 

This day and a half program features an outing to Universal Orlando Resort. On Day 1, participants will experience the All New Jurassic World VelociCoaster* and hear from Universal Orlando executives discussing how human resources empowers their operation and supports the Universal Orlando Team Member journey and life cycle: Attract & Recruit, Onboard & Immerse, Inspire & Engage, and Develop & Retain. Day 2 of Leadership Symposium: Presented by the IAAPA HR Subcommittee takes place at the Orange County Convention Center where participants will take part in group exercises, hear from an expert industry panel, and hear from closing speaker, Matt King, Co-Founder & Senior Creative Director, Meow Wolf.
Tuesday, Nov. 16
  • 8:30 a.m. - Bus departs for Universal Orlando Resort from South Concourse of Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)
  • 9-9:30 a.m. -Experience All NEW Jurassic World VelociCoaster
  • 9:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.-Moderated discussion with Universal Orlando Resort panelists
  • 12:00 p.m.-Bus departs for Orange County Convention Center
Wednesday, Nov. 17    
  • 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.-Debrief of Universal Orlando Resort Experience, Panel Discussion and Panel Debrief
Ryan Stana, Founder and CEO, RWS Entertainment Group
Amy Lowenstein, Vice President Human Resources & Safety, Unleashed Brands
Heather Barnes, M.A., Director of Aquatic Presentations, Shedd Aquarium
  • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.-Lunch
  • 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.-Group Exercises and Group Exercise Debrief
  • 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.-Closing Speaker: Matt King, Co-Founder & Senior Creative Director, Meow Wolf
TRANSPORTATION: Buses depart from Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) South Concourse at 8:30 a.m. Participants may not drive separately. 
Face coverings are required while riding IAAPA Expo transportation. 
Attendees are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before departure time. Failure to arrive by departure time can result in forfeiture of seat. Available seats from no shows will be resold to individuals in the standby line. Buses depart Universal Orlando at 12:00 p.m.
IAAPA CERTIFICATION: 11 credit hours
FOOD AND BEVERAGE: Day 1: Continental Breakfast, Snacks Day 2: Continental Breakfast and Lunch provided. 
NOTES: Course fee includes: tuition and support materials, daytime meals and refreshments, and a certificate of attendance. Must be 18 years or older to attend. Separate ticket and Expo badge required for entry. *Attraction experience is not guaranteed and subject to change based on availability.
COST: $299 IAAPA Members; $379 Nonmembers. Tickets should be purchased in advance, as space is limited and may sell out. Expo registration is also required.
Purchase Tickets Here Ticketed events can be added when completing registration. Already Registered? Select the option to Edit Existing Registration to add ticketed events. Tickets will be printed onsite with your Expo badge.

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