Whale's Tale Waterpark
Lincoln, New Hampshire - U.S.A.
Featured in World Waterpark Magazine
, January 2023
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have been in the waterpark industry for nine years. I started out as a bartender at Whale’s Tale Waterpark in my early twenties for what I thought would be a fun summer job for one season. I was asked to answer phones in the office after that first summer was over and figured, why not? From there I began to learn and develop administrative skills such as payroll and accounting tasks. As I mastered tasks, my boss continued to incorporate new responsibilities and slowly began to train me for what inevitably became my role as Director of Operations.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am American Red Cross Certified in Lifeguarding, CPR, and First Aid. I attend Labor Law Seminars with the state every year.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
So far, I have not received any official honors or awards.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
I had no intention of choosing this field specifically. In fact, prior to the start of my waterpark career I was entirely unsure of what I wanted to do, where I wanted to live, or who I wanted to be. The Whale’s Tale offered me all three of these things; a home in the White Mountains, an amazing career, and confidence in who I am and what I have to offer. I did not choose this field, it chose me!
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I love the pure joy that is experienced in a waterpark. It is such a pleasure to work in an industry where the main product is delivering memorable experiences for families. I also love managing a staff of young people, mostly first- time employees, working a fun summer job. The people that you encounter both as coworkers and patrons have filled my life with such epic memories of joy, something that is hard to find in any other day job.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
Three people have been vastly instrumental in inspiring me throughout my career; Jeb Boyd, Matt Boyd, and Kathy Brennan. These three individuals have been my bosses, mentors, and role models for just about a decade. Each one has been in the waterpark industry for many years and have each taught me so much!
Jeb Boyd, the CEO, is the reason that I am even in in this industry at all. He taught me leadership, sales, how to create a workplace culture, how to measure, track and achieve success, and how to manage all the moving parts that culminate into a successful business. Jeb offered me multiple opportunities to learn and grow professionally, which has allowed me to grow as an individual as well. His guidance and education have been some of the greatest gifts of my life.
Matt Boyd, the COO, has been a mentor and friend, teaching and demonstrating for me the philosophy of “how hard could it be?” He is wildly intelligent when it comes to everything and anything waterpark, often solving problems or creating solutions with creativity and style unparalleled to anyone else. He leads by example and
does so with a positivity and excitement that is infectious. I have sought Matt out for everything from park operations to advice on managing the staff. He has a wealth of innovative ideas!
Kathy Brennan, the former CIO, has been my direct support in every way. She taught me how to use all the programs, software systems, and how to properly manage the backend of the business, from the reservations systems to the design of the accounting worksheets. Kathy is truly a best friend, and even though she has moved on to another role at a different company, she continues to assist me with various things via email.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
The greatest challenge in my waterpark career has been managing my life to work balance.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
To stay on task with the day-to-day duties and operations, I map out each day and week accord- ing to a goals timeline.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
The advice that I would give someone who is interested in working in the waterpark industry would be to do it, join us, drink the kool-aid!
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I enjoy reading the World Waterpark Magazine
for inspiration and motivation.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
My favorite part of my job is the people, both the staff and the patrons. I am extremely extroverted and love that I work an incredibly social and engaging job.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
If I were to start all over again, I would consider a career in law.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I first became involved with the WWA in 2018 when I attended the WWA show in Las Vegas. To say that I enjoyed my first experience would be an understatement. I had an absolute blast. The sessions provided me with so many new ideas and information to bring back to my own waterpark. But the best part for me was the networking. I met so many amazing people that first year, and given that we were in Vegas, I formed bonds and memories with each of them in a uniquely Vegas way!
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
Something interesting about me is that I recently returned to school to pursue a degree in Political Science through Southern New Hampshire University. I have a deep interest in local government and intend to pursue a second career in some capacity of public service. I am set to graduate in June of 2023 and very much look forward to going back to a busy summer waterpark season without the added stress of being a full-time college student at the same time.