VP of Sales and Marketing
Kool Runnings Adventure Park
Negril - Jamaica
Featured in World Waterpark Magazine
, February 2020
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have an MBA and law degree. My family started Kool Runnings about 11 years ago and I have been involved on and off since then. Most recently, I returned to the park full time in June 2019 after a six year hiatus studying and practicing law.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am recently CPO certified (which I completed at the WWA Show 2019) and a Juris Doctor.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
I was thrust into this field when my father envisioned building a waterpark, but I can honestly say I love it. I have a passion for seeing people smile which started early in life. My parents were the former owners and operators of a 200-room hotel in Negril, Jamaica and passed their passion for hospitality on to me.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I have a love/hate relationship with customer service. I really enjoy interacting with customers on a daily basis working at the park, even the disgruntled ones who make my job extra challenging.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
It sounds cliché but I am really inspired by my dad. He has an unconventional background as a practicing doctor and Waterpark Director yet he still finds time to enjoy life. He is a firm believer in not sweating the small stuff and he feels that you always win when you maintain your integrity, no matter what. It is something I always keep in the back of my mind in dealing with guest interactions or coming up with package pricing or specials.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
Trying to motivate staff during the slower periods. It is really difficult to keep up staff morale in the slower season or on slower days, especially when you are trying to keep morale up yourself. We do a lot of training during the slower periods. I think what we have also done well is to share our wins and our losses with the staff which helps them feel not only engaged but also a part of the family.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
I try to keep my eye on the prize by listening to marketing and entrepreneur blogs. I also rely a lot on my two closest girlfriends who have recently started their own businesses in the hospitality industry. We have a standing weekly dinner and drinks appointment where we let off steam. It is also where we share ideas and brainstorm.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Go for it! It is a challenging, yet rewarding career. Even on days you hate it, you couldn’t imagine yourself doing anything else. I would also encourage someone to visit and become a part of the World Waterpark Association. At this year’s show, I was able to make quite a few new friends who I have been able to connect with and use as a sounding board.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLIC ATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I really love all kinds of business books. I particularly like the classic How To Win Friends And Influence People
by Dale Carnegie and I am also loving Jay Shetty’s podcast of late.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
My favorite part is the execution of an event or marketing campaign that we have spent months working on.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I would likely go back to practicing law.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
We visited the WWA Show more than ten years ago to learn about waterparks before constructing Kool Runnings.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I am an introvert.