Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
Niagara Falls, Ontario - Canada
Featured in World Waterpark Magazine
, December 2022
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I graduated from Niagara College with a major in Operations Management. I have over 20 years of management experience in both tourism and the trades.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
Well, I graduated valedictorian at my high school John Wesley College in San Nicolaas, Aruba with the highest exam scores for the entire country in Chemistry and English. After graduating from high school in the Dutch Antilles of Aruba, I continued my education at Niagara College in Canada. There I graduated on the Presidents Honour Roll and top of my class in Operations Management.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
Funny story, I originally wanted to go into the field of medicine and become a Doctor. It was a push from my High School Principle in my final year that would set my current course. While preparing my journey of becoming a medical professional, I opted to select only 6 of the 7 optional classes offered pre-graduation. My principal pulled me aside to say I wasn’t challenging myself enough, and suggested I take on the 7th subject. Little did I know that selection would change the course of my professional life! Long story short, I choose business accounting and fell in love with numbers and the idea of running a business.
After graduating, I decided to pursue a career in business management. Initially, I thought I would acquire my degree in Business Operations Management in Canada and return to Aruba to manage and grow my father’s business. I was wrong again, after graduating top of my class; I was given a great opportunity to manage at Ripley’s Believe It or Not Inc. in Niagara Falls, Canada where I learned a lot about tourism and managing a business.
Fast forward several years, and another great opportunity came to me, this time to manage the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark located 10 stories in the air. It was certainly a change from what I was used to, but I was up for the challenge and have been enjoying it ever since.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
The unique design, innovation and inspiration that goes into building new slides, wave pools, lazy rives etc. I admire how the industry is pushing the boundaries of science to create some truly fantastic features and attractions for families to enjoy.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
Both my parents have inspired me throughout my career. They both run and operate their own businesses and conduct them with passion and drive. My father taught me to always leave a client’s place of business better than when you found it, and to always leave a mark. That is what I aspire to do every time I lead a new team or manage a new business.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
Reopening the waterpark after the pandemic was the greatest challenge in my waterpark career. After 18 months of continuous closure, re-opening was tougher than I could have imagined. Apart from the numerous mechanical and technical challenges we faced restarting the waterpark, nothing could have prepared us for the challenge of re-staffing a full waterpark team.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
I always go back to my vision and passion. It is all about our guests being able to create memories, and play together in a safe, clean and inclusive environment.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Have fun and follow your passion in the waterpark industry! Surround yourself with a team that is as passionate and dedicated to achieving high levels of service and success. If possible find individuals that are more passionate and goal orientated than you are to improve your own skills and abilities. My team at the waterpark are dedicated, creative, and hardworking individuals who only want the best for the waterpark.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I read my Bible often for motivation and inspiration. There are so many chapters and verses about leadership and treating people with respect and dignity, which I believe is important. These principles apply to leading a team, having balance in your life and interacting with guests.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
My favourite part of the job is interacting with my guests and seeing the smiles that we put on family’s faces, especially the little ones. Knowing that we create memories that will remain with our guests for years to come is awesome.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I would love to say that I was the reason the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark got involved with WWA, but, we were members before I joined the organization. However, I became a member of the WWA Canadian Waterpark Committee after being contacted by Alon Shatil in the summer of 2017 who was the committee chairperson at the time. He explained what the Canadian committee was trying to accomplish, and I was immediately interested. I have been a part of this amazing group ever since.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I love mountain biking and long-distance cycling and am an avid volleyball player. I collect and build Gundam Mobile Suites with my 2 boys; it’s one of our favorite hobbies. I am fiercely competitive when playing family board games and love playing pranks on my family and friends.