IAAPA Service Awards Nominators Share Advice for Successful Submissions
From the recognition of lifetime service to the celebration of mentorship and volunteer efforts, IAAPA Service Awards honor IAAPA members who have helped shaped today’s global attractions industry. The nominations for these awards offer colleagues, friends, and family members the opportunity to recognize deserving IAAPA members for their commitment to the industry and the association.
The IAAPA Service Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Lifetime Service, Outstanding Service, and Meritorious Service Awards. Nominations are due by July 31, 2020, and must be submitted through the online nomination system. Past nominators share with Funworld what led them to submit nominations, what it meant to see their colleagues and family members win IAAPA Service Awards in 2019, and how others can craft successful nominations.
Kristy Ahrens, general manager of the Australian Amusement, Leisure, and Recreation Association (AALARA), was looking for a way to recognize Greg O’Neill, company director of Leisure and Amusement Services Ltd., for his contributions to the industry.
“Week on week, month on month, year on year, it astounded me how much he would give back to the industry—for no financial gain—just for the advancement of others and the industry,” Ahrens says. “I received an email from IAAPA about the Lifetime Service Award nominations and thought, ‘This is it! This is how I can ensure Greg receives the acknowledgement he deserves.’”
When O’Neill shared he had won the IAAPA Lifetime Service Award, Ahrens says she played coy when asked if she had nominated him.
“I sheepishly said, ‘Maybe,’ and I could then hear the smile in his voice and his excitement,” she says. “There was a moment where I thought, this guy finally knows how much he means to this industry he has devoted his life to, and it made me very content.”
Wenny Smart has seen her husband Ash Smart, ICAE, deputy managing and financial director of Harbour Park, dedicate his time to the industry and IAAPA for several years.
“With the help of a few others, I nominated him in secret, hoping to give him a surprise,” she says, adding that this helped create a well-rounded nomination. “When he got the news [of receiving the IAAPA Meritorious Service Award], it was great to see him come home in shock, humbled but equally pleased. For me, his family, his friends, and all that know him, it was a very proud and deserving moment.”
Smart recommends starting work on the nomination early to allow for refining, editing, and proofreading—a strategy also employed by Una de Boer, director of global marketing and strategy for WhiteWater. De Boer says when she and the WhiteWater team nominated founder and CEO Geoff Chutter for the IAAPA Outstanding Service Award, it was important to highlight his dedication, passion, and valuable contributions.
“For Geoff, the work behind the scenes is more important than the limelight, and he continues to mentor and support others to reach their true potential,” de Boer says. “Even today as CEO, leading nearly 600 people, he still seeks to know installers by name.”
De Boer suggests presenting the information in a simple and concise manner, while providing specific examples wherever possible.
“Ensure it has the impact and merit that would make it stand apart from other nominations,” she says. “You need to put yourself in the judge’s shoes and think, ‘Why will I choose this person over the others?’”
Nominations for 2020 IAAPA Service Awards are due by July 31, 2020.
For more information about IAAPA Service Awards and to submit a nomination, visit IAAPA.org/Awards.