Food & Beverage Manager
Prince William County Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Woodbridge, Virginia - U.S.A.
Featured in World Waterpark Magazine
, February 2021
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSION AL EXPERIENCE?
I have a degree in business. My professional experience includes retail, franchising, hospitality and food & beverage management. My passion is personal enrichment, training & development.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am a National Restaurant Association Serv Safe Certified Trainer and Proctor. I also hold the IAAPA Certified Attractions Manager certification.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
Our Splashdown Waterpark team received the “Champions of Disability Employment” award for our support and hiring efforts working with the DARS organization in Northern Virginia communities.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
I had vast experience in the food & beverage industry and was seeking a new opportunity. I was initially hired as the Catering and Events Sales Manager for the park system and moved up to my current position as Food & Beverage Manager.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I like the way the industry has evolved in just the short amount of time I have been in it. Waterparks have become destination locations that include hotels, malls, resorts and theme parks. It amazes me how quickly everything changes in the industry.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
That would be my wife Nancy. She has been a positive influence for me throughout my career either during the smooth times and also the bumpy roads.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
I believe our greatest challenge is still on the horizon. I am amazed by the comradery the WWA has and how all members are working diligently together to support each other and prepare for the future. We are all embracing the unknown and are ready for anything and everything to happen.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
It is easy. If you want to sincerely stay motivated, find a way to make it fun! Fun is never your enemy but is a very good motivator.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
I would reach out to a WWA member who is a manager to seek an opportunity to visit and tour a nearby waterpark. Possibly consider a short internship to see if it fits your interest and working/ personal qualities. Anything is possible.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I love the book One Word
from Jon Gordon. It is based on asking the question: “what if one thing could improve and change your life in incredible ways?” We use it as a training focus each year at our waterpark for managers and employees. It’s simple, but successful. All his books are very well done.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
Having the opportunity to put smiling faces on guests and their families every day is very rewarding. It is a bonus to work in an environment where guests go, expecting to have a fun experience, to spend time together as a family and start new traditions.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I would have kept my land in Montana and started a vineyard. Beautiful grapevines, rustic tasting rooms and, of course, tasting your product that you produce!
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I have been in other industry organizations and my colleagues were active members with the WWA, so I decided to get involved as much as I could. It is a great association to be a part of.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I swam across the Missouri river in Montana when I was younger. It is only two miles across to swim, but the river runs about 5 mph, so you end up nowhere near where you started. I had to hitchhike home. The toils of being young. My parents were not happy with me!