Celebrating the Individuals Who Champion Our Industry
From honoring the visionary pioneers who’ve dedicated their lives to our industry’s livelihood, to acknowledging those young professionals who personify our core values and beliefs, these awards recognize the individuals who put the success of our industry first and foremost.
IAAPA Brass Ring Awards
Named for the rings given to carousel riders at the very first amusement parks, the IAAPA Brass Ring Award is a symbol of achievement. And just like how a ring is an unbreakable connection, so too are our connections as a community – bringing out the best in one another.
IAAPA Hall of Fame Awards
It starts with a dream. It becomes a vision. And finally, it’s brought to life. The IAAPA Hall of Fame celebrates and honors those extraordinary pioneers who have seen their personal dreams through to completion not for their own success, but for the growth and betterment of the entire industry.
- Award Criteria
- Have been associated with the attractions industry, preferably for a minimum period of 10 years.
- Have been associated with a theme or amusement park, water park, family entertainment center, zoo, aquarium, museum, science center, resort, or other attraction, manufacturer, supplier, or designer.
- Have made a significant contribution to the worldwide attractions industry that has provided innovation, education, leadership, and/or influence both inside his/her organization AND within the industry in a manner that will continue to be of value in the future. Examples include contributions to the attractions industry at large such as:
- 1) Literary contribution
- 2) Design or invention of material equipment, processes, or technical services
- 3) Innovation in conjunction with attractions, rides, exhibitions, entertainment, food, merchandise, games, engineering, or safety
- 4) Be a well-known individual who has significantly contributed to the success and inspiration of other leaders in the global industry.
- How to Submit a Nomination for the IAAPA Hall of Fame
Thank you for your Nominations! The winner(s) will be announced at IAAPA Expo during the Kickoff Event on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
- 2018 IAAPA Hall of Fame Award Recipients
Continuing a 28-year tradition, IAAPA inducted 18 attractions industry legends into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 2018:
- Eugenius Birch, Architect and Civil Engineer, United Kingdom
- Roland Callingham, Creator of Bekonscot, United Kingdom
- Levitt Luzern Custer, Custer Specialty Co., United States
- Phil Dexter, Big Surf Waterpark, United States
- Carl Hagenbeck, Tierpark Hagenbeck, Germany
- Bernard Harrison, Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd., Singapore
- Alfred R. Hodge, National Association of Amusement Parks / IAAPA, United States
- Frank Hrubetz and Lee Eyerly, Eyerly Aircraft Company, United States
- Edward Joy Morris, Morris Chute Company, United States
- Marcelo Periales, Neverland, Argentina
- Irving Rosenthal, Coney Island, Palisades Amusement Park, United States
- Dr. Peter Rosner, Developer of Magnetic Braking and Launch Systems, Germany
- Gary Story, Premier Parks / Six Flags Entertainment, United States
- Masatomo Takahashi, Oriental Land Company, Japan
- Kelly Tarlton, Underwater World, New Zealand
- Alexander “Al” Weber, Jr., Paramount Parks, Palace Entertainment, Six Flags Entertainment, Apex Parks Group, United States
- Dr. Harry Wegeforth, Zoological Society of San Diego, United States
- 2019 IAAPA Hall of Fame Inductees
IAAPA inducted two global attractions industry legends — Frederick “Fred” Langford and Alberto Zamperla — into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. The IAAPA Hall of Fame honors individuals whose work and accomplishments have made significant and lasting contributions to the global attractions industry. These awards are the highest and most prestigious honors in the industry.
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IAAPA Service Awards
Deadline: July 31, 2020
Devotion and dedication are the engines that drive our industry. These individuals have put the success of IAAPA above all others, enriching and enabling our community and its members to reach their fullest potential. From lifetime recognition of service to celebrating volunteer efforts, our industry simply wouldn’t exist without service.
- Lifetime Service Award Criteria
The Lifetime Service Award recognizes individuals who have served IAAPA and the industry for over 20 years. Winners of this award...
- Have devoted her/his own time to both IAAPA and the attractions industry for more than 20 years.
- Have held numerous volunteer positions with both IAAPA and other nonprofit organizations.
- Have served as a leader and visionary.
- Have provided guidance and support to others.
- Are passionate attractions professional.
- Outstanding Service Award Criteria
The Outstanding Service Award recognizes service to the attractions industry. Winners of this award are...
- Subject matter experts; your “go-to” person when you need answers.
- Leaders who elevate and mentor others.
- Dedicated to the attractions profession.
- Committed to positive change to improve industry standards.
- Meritorious Service Award Criteria
The Meritorious Service Award recognizes dedicated IAAPA volunteers. IAAPA would not exist without its devoted members. Winners of this award…
- Give their time and expertise to fellow IAAPA members.
- Enthusiastically volunteer. Past winners have typically held more than one volunteer position with IAAPA such as show ambassador, committee member/chair, presenter at events or webinars, authored articles/books, etc. Past winners have also held volunteer positions with other nonprofit organizations.
- Coach and encourage others to improve the industry through volunteerism.
- Drive the success of IAAPA’s programs and initiatives.
- Support IAAPA's mission to "serve the membership by promoting safe operations, global development, professional growth, and commercial success of the amusement parks and attractions industry."
- Submit a Nomination for the IAAPA Service Awards
- Double check that you’ve completed the form and included all supporting documents. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
- Describe your nominee and her/his achievements as if you’re presenting the award to that person. We use the application when developing the awards presentation.
- Make your nominee stand out with specific details about her/his contributions. The more detail the better.
- Refer to the awards criteria when completing the application. We use these criteria to judge our nominees.
- Remember – service awards are given in recognition of an individual’s service to the industry and/or IAAPA, not personal commercial success.
- Learn More About Past Winners
2018 IAAPA Meritorious Service Award Honoree Bob Williams
2018 IAAPA Outstanding Service Award Honoree Jim Futrell
2018 IAAPA Lifetime Service Award Honoree Julio Vanegas
2018 Board Special Service Award Honoree Al Weber
2017 IAAPA Lifetime Service Award Honoree James "Chip" Cleary
2017 IAAPA Outstanding Service Award Honoree Ken Whiting
2017 IAAPA Meritorious Service Award Honoree Matt Heller
IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award
The future of our industry depends on the leadership, integrity and teamwork of the generations that follow. The IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award honors those rising stars who embrace and exemplify the qualities of the amusement park and attractions industry and the mission of IAAPA as a whole.
- Award Criteria
Nominees must meet the following criteria for consideration for the IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award:
- Currently working for an IAAPA member company in good standing.
- Meets the definition of a young professional: A person less than 35 years of age, employed full-time by a company in the attractions industry (Students not eligible).
- Demonstrates strong leadership skills (Examples required).
- Demonstrates strong teamwork skills (Examples required).
- Demonstrates a strong sense of integrity.
- Demonstrates a commitment to IAAPA (Examples required. Includes IAAPA certification credit hours earned, committee involvement, speaking at IAAPA or industry events).
- Reference(s) from senior management of a member company and other IAAPA members.
- Submit a Nomination for the IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award
Click on the link below to submit a nomination for the Young Professional of the Year Award.
- 2019 IAAPA Young Professional of the Year
IAAPA proudly presented the Young Professional of the Year Award to Michael Browning, CEO and founder of Urban Air Adventure Park. This award recognizes members, aged 35 and under, who demonstrate a dedication to the attractions industry and commitment to IAAPA, in addition to showcasing leadership, teamwork, and integrity while continually developing their knowledge and experience in this ever-changing business.