Erik Beard is a managing member and general counsel to International Ride Training. He has worked in the amusement industry for over 30 years. Erik began his career working in ride operations for Cedar Fair Entertainment Company at Cedar Point and Worlds of Fun, where he spent 6 years as Manager of Ride Operations and Park Services. He also worked on the pre-opening operations team at Universal’s Islands of Adventure where he had direct responsibility for development of operating procedures for the Lost Continent and Jurassic Park islands and guided numerous attractions through construction, commissioning, and pre-opening training and testing.
After spending 10 years in ride operations, Erik has spent the last 15 years serving the industry in a legal capacity. As a practicing attorney with two of the most sophisticated and well-regarded firms in the Northeast United States, Erik’s practice focused on product liability, amusement/leisure counseling and litigation, and general business litigation. He represented and advised amusement parks, aquatic facilities and industry suppliers with respect to the Americans With Disabilities Act, amusement ride and aquatic safety matters, operational best practices, and in legislative and regulatory matters.
Erik is a frequent speaker at industry events and trade shows, such as IAAPA Expo, World Waterpark Association trade show, and the IROC Safety School, and serves on the Board of Directors of NEAAPA – The Northeast’s Entertainment Association and NAARSO, the North American Government Relations Sub-Committee of IAAPA, the advisory board for the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Services, and the Government Relations Committee for the World Waterpark Association. Erik independently authors The Legal Roller Coaster, a blog specifically devoted to legal issues affecting the amusement and tourism industries. He is a graduate of Catholic University of America and George Mason University School of Law.