Executive Assistant & Digital Media Manager
Wet N' Wild Waterworld
Anthony, Texas - U.S.A.
Featured in World Waterpark Magazine
, March 2021
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and media advertising from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2018. Currently, I help manage the park’s point of sale as well as all online and season pass sales. I’ve worked with Wet N’ Wild Water World for more than 10 years and first started as a lifeguard. Later I became the Lifeguard Department Head where I served for several years. After completing my degree, I developed and led a new in-house social media marketing and video production department for the park, a team that I still currently manage in my role of Digital Media Manager.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am a certified Lifeguard Instructor for the National Aquatic Safety Company (NASCO), a certification I’ve held since 2013.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
I’ve been honored to achieve several awards throughout my time at Wet N’ Wild including Lifeguard Supervisor of the year and the first ever Safety Sentinel award for raising the level of safety awareness in my department. I was also awarded Outstanding Student in Media Advertising for my graduating class.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
My mom used to tell me stories of how she could never get me out of the pool after swim lessons; I was a regular fish in water. I’ve always had an affinity for water and the outdoors, so becoming a lifeguard was right up my alley. I later found out that my mom was a lifeguard in her teen years as well; it was almost like I was born to be a lifeguard!
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I’ve always loved going to waterparks and seeing all the different layouts and detailed theming. Waterparks are such a fun and adaptive environment to work in where each day is different. The people are also some of the best you’ll find, and I’ve met many lifelong friends through the waterpark industry.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
First and foremost, my family and my best friend and partner, Eric, who is my right hand and confidante. Chandra Edwards, President of Wet N’ Wild, has also been instrumental in my waterpark career. She’s given me countless opportunities and even the freedom to make mistakes. She also encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to go to my first WWA Show.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
I enjoy thinking up new ideas for everything from employee training to marketing events. One of my biggest challenges has been constantly coming up with creative and adaptive solutions to problems. It’s easy to get stuck in the same way of thinking, and doing the same things because that’s how they’ve always been done. So I always look forward to challenging my own thought processes to find new and innovative ways to do things.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
I keep a regular “running tasks” checklist where I can see everything I have going on and check them off once they’re completed. I break down each task into bite sized pieces and start tackling them one by one. I’m very intrinsically motivated and feel a great sense of reward whenever I can help someone else overcome a problem.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
The possibilities are endless in this industry! Every position and park is a bit different, but sooner or later you’re bound to find your perfect fit and that makes it all worthwhile.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This
by Luke Sullivan is a book I keep within reach and refer back to every time I’m stumped for ideas. I recently started listening to the AttractionPros Podcast and love hearing interviews from a variety of industry experts. Currently, I’m in the middle of Creativity, Inc.
by Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, and it has easily become one of my favorites.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
The people I’ve met have really been the best part of my job. There are always new people to meet and stories to hear. I also love seeing people I’ve trained grow into full time education or careers after they leave their summer job with us.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
My love for waterparks is only matched by my love of movies. If given the chance, I’d love to work in animation bringing stories to life on the big screen.
DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I first got involved in the WWA in 2015 when I was a partial recipient of the Chris Stuart Emerging Leaders scholarship to attend the WWA Show in Palm Springs, Calif. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to go to the show several times and now serve on the WWA Marketing Committee.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I seem to be a magnet for stray animals. In 2016, we found a litter of puppies in the back storage area of the park and I quickly adopted one. In 2017, I adopted a kitten who showed up outside my doorstep. And just this year I earned the title of “cat whisperer” for taking care of the feral cats we have living at the park.