Richard A. Zimmerman became president and CEO of Cedar Fair in January 2018 and appointed a director in April 2019. During his tenure with the company he has accepted steadily increasing levels of responsibility since being named VP and general manager of Kings Dominion in 1998.
In many ways, serving as leader of Cedar Fair is the ideal job for Richard, the quintessential family man who believes what he does for a living offers families an entertainment experience that is unique and indelible. “The atmosphere of our parks has a way of creating the days with each other that are cherished in hindsight, the memories that last a lifetime,” said Richard. “Experiencing the joy of togetherness with the people we care about most is why I believe our guests both young and old want to return to our parks so often.”
From an early age, Richard was fascinated by business and dreamed of running one himself. As a business leader, he brings a balanced approach and an ability to coalesce organizational strengths to accelerate the pace of progress. He used those insights to design Cedar Fair’s Fast Lane program, a high-demand and highly successful, in-park product which drove a considerable increase in annual revenues as well as reinvestment in the company’s parks.
Richard earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Georgetown University, where he led the formation of an active, on-campus business fraternity. He is a former director of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Growing up in Kansas, Richard viewed himself as “the other guy.” While his buddies were waking up at the crack of dawn for football camp, or wearing down the bottoms of their Converse high-tops playing hoops, Richard preferred capturing all the action from behind a camera, shooting film for the coaches and snapping player photos for the yearbook. Even back then, Richard’s passion was creating memories for a lifetime, just as he does today at Cedar Fair.