Marketing & Revenue Manager
Neptune Island Waterpark
Hartsville, South Carolina- USA
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," July/August2019
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I graduated from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. with a bachelor of science in business administration and marketing in 2015. I left the private sector and began working for the City of Hartsville in 2016 as the Marketing & Events Coordinator. In 2017, I joined the team that would be steering the splash pad expansion project, which would eventually become Neptune Island Waterpark.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
As of 2019, I am a Certified Pool Operator.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
In 2018, we received 2018 Wave Review Awards for Best Brochure and Best Website (both Up to 100,000 Annual Attendance) from WWA. We most recently received an Achievement Award from the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
When I entered the public sector, I never once thought I would be working in a waterpark. Fast forward 2.5 years and this industry has captured me and I have developed a passion I never thought I would find in a career field.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
The comradery in this industry is unlike any other. The best aspect is that everyone is willing to help you succeed. I have reached out to many other parks for help and they have all been more than willing to listen and help however they can.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
While she is not from the waterpark industry, Karen Caulder, Finance Director for the City of Hartsville, has been the greatest inspiration in my career. Karen also came from the private sector to the public sector and was thrust into the waterpark industry by way of Neptune Island. She has taught me leadership skills, tactfulness and resourcefulness through her mentorship, and for that I am forever grateful.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
The greatest challenge for me has been learning to navigate the operations of a waterpark. As someone who had never been in the industry before and was helping to build a completely new facility from the ground up, there was a huge learning curve.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
The best way for me to stay focused and motivated is to have written goals. Each year I create a list of goals or achievements I wish to see and develop plans for each.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Be prepared for anything and learn everything you can. Crosstraining not only develops your knowledge base, but helps you to work better as a team and improve your operations as a whole.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I rely on World Waterpark Magazine
for inspiration so that I can continue to learn from other parks. I actively monitor other parks for inspiration for programs, resources and new tactics to implement at our park.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
My favorite part of my job is the people. Hartsville is located in a rural part of South Carolina, and the City of Hartsville has created a place for not only our residents to enjoy but a way to develop tourism growth for our region. This also created an opportunity for high school and college age students to develop their job skills. Seeing how all of these people come together and interact is the most amazing thing.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
Honestly, I would have never even thought of the waterpark or amusement industry as a career path, but now that I have discovered what an exciting career path is I would choose it from the beginning.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I first got involved when we were in the planning stages of our waterpark expansion. We attended the 2016 WWA Show to learn more about the waterpark industry and what opening a park would entail. WWA has been a wealth of knowledge as I have learned to navigate this industry.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
While I am regularly the “Neptune Island Lady” and the face of all social media and public engagements for the park, I actually have an extreme fear of public speaking. I guess when you throw yourself into it you learn to get over your fear, or at least I think I did.