Untitled Document

20 Jan 2018 Attractions Management Handbook
 

HOME
VIEW DIGITAL EDITION
CONTENTS
PROFILES
BUY HANDBOOK
JOBS
NEWS
BLOG
PRODUCTS
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Current issue
Attractions Management Handbook
Current issue

View this issue online
Buy print edition
Download PDF

Previous issues
Attractions Management Handbook
2015 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Attractions Management Handbook
2014 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Attractions Management Handbook
2013 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Attractions Management Handbook
2012 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Attractions Management Handbook
2011 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Attractions Management Handbook
2010 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Attractions Management Handbook - Christine Kerr

Movers & Shakers

Christine Kerr


The president of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has come far since her early days as a costumer in the entertainment department of Canada’s Wonderland

TEA president Christine Kerr
BaAM’s involvement in major sports events naturally extended to permanent sports attractions and then museums and science centres

How did you first get into the attractions business?
I started out at Canada’s Wonderland. I’d just graduated with my degree in theatre and got a job as a costumer in the entertainment department in its opening season. I moved into production management for the Entertainment Department and very quickly became that department’s director, which included producing, staffing and operating live shows, the street entertainers and costume characters, park-wide technical support and producing all special events and the operation of a 15,000-seat concert facility. I had successfully transitioned from a creative, entertainment role into an operations role. This was somewhat unique at the time.

How has your career progressed?
I then spent two years leading the Guest Services Department at the CN Tower in Toronto where I was responsible for daily operation of all attractions. It was a time of change and renovation and I was a key part of the team responsible for a series of renewal projects, including a motion simulator theatre renovation, installation of the Glass Floor and new lighting on the iconic structure. I developed and implemented new staff training initiatives which led to the Tower and its staff being recognised for excellence in customer service.

I was then asked to join the LEGO Company as director of operations for the new LEGOLAND Park being built in Windsor, UK. I was involved in the design, construction and planning for most aspects of the park, including the development of all live entertainment and special events in its opening season. I assembled and trained the operations team during the park’s opening season. In 1997 I joined the project team building LEGOLAND California where I had the opportunity to perform a similar role.

In 2001 my family and I moved back home to Toronto and I joined BaAM Productions, leading business development, project teams and company operations. I’ve worked with clients in the for-profit and non-profit worlds and across the entertainment spectrum from theme parks to tourist attractions to cultural and heritage projects and large-scale events for major league sports and teams, and have developed an understanding of the similarities between cultural attractions, theme parks and major league sports.

How does it feel to be one of only two female TEA presidents?
More importantly – I’m only the second president from outside the US! I realise I’m still located in North America (I’m Canadian) but this reinforces the fact that the world is a smaller place. Being elected is a reflection of my long-standing involvement in the association and also because I was perhaps uniquely suited to lead some of the initiatives for 2013/2014.

In 2012, I had an opportunity to participate on a task force made up of executive committee colleagues, Gene Jeffers and some past TEA presidents – the Future Vision Task Force met over nine months to explore the future potential of TEA. Key among the results was a commitment to running the not-for-profit with more “for profit” thinking. This subtle shift in thinking would guide us in our search for a new TEA leader, as Gene Jeffers was retiring.

When I began as TEA president in 2012, planning the recruitment and transition was at the top of my list. We hired our new COO, Jennie Nevin, in 2013. The shift in title from executive director to COO reinforces the shift in thinking about our business. Jennie’s tenure represents the first step in shaping TEA for the next 20 years. We did not set out to hire a female – but our top six candidates were all female.

What’s your vision for the TEA?
As having a global responsibility to define and be the experts on the themed entertainment industry. Then, as the connector for those working in, studying about and developing projects within the industry. The annual Theme Index we publish with AECOM is getting more traction as a global resource and it represents an opportunity for the expansion of our efforts to quantify the industry globally. Our Thea Awards, Summit and SATE represent thought leadership, while NextGen is rapidly growing and influencing curriculum.

Why is TEA so successful?
It thrives because our members are adaptable, flexible and respond to industry needs – reflected in our ongoing partnerships with owner operators like Disney and Universal. There’s also our international expansion (Asia Pacific Division launched in 2013) and our NextGen members.

Tell us about BaAM Productions’ involvement in sports attractions?
BaAM has been involved in the creation and project management of sizable professional sports events for years, working with Major League Baseball since 1991 and the National Hockey League since 1995. Our work has included the Olympic and Pan Am Games. Moving into the design and implementation of permanent sports attractions is a natural extension, and has led us to museum and science centre projects that explore non-sports related topics.


ABOUT CHRISTINE KERR
Christine Kerr is the president of TEA and vice president of BaAM Productions.

Facebook: /TEAConnect
Twitter: @TEA_Connect
www.teaconnect.org


Originally published in Attractions Handbook 2014 issue 1

Published by The Leisure Media Company, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | Advertise | © Cybertrek Ltd