02 Nov 2022

USA: Jakob Wahl to Take over as President & CEO of IAAPA

The succession for Hal McEvoy, current President and CEO of the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), has just been decided on: Jakob Wahl, currently serving as Executive Vice President & COO of the association at its Orlando headquarters, will take over both positions on 1 January 2023. Hal McEvoy will retire on 1 April next year and will remain in a special advisory capacity to support Jakob Wahl in his new functions until then. Wahl, who has already worked for the global industry association for a decade in total, started his career at IAAPA as programme manager at the association’s European office in 2009. After a time at Europa-Park in Rust, where he took over as director of communications and manager of special projects, the German native returned to lead the IAAPA EMEA team in 2017 as Vice President and Executive Director. Last year, he moved to Orlando, Florida, together with his family.

“Speaking on behalf of the IAAPA Board of Directors, we greatly appreciate the twelve-month notice Hal gave us for his retirement as that has allowed us to plan for a smooth and orderly transition. Hal has done an amazing job leading the association for the past five years... some of the most challenging years in the association’s 104-year history. We greatly appreciate all Hal has done to lead the association and support the IAAPA team. I’m confident Jakob is the right leader to build on Hal’s legacy of success,” comments Ken Whiting, IAAPA Chairman of the Board.

In his new position as of January, Jakob Wahl will lead IAAPA’s 94-member team in Orlando, Brussels, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Shanghai. We recently spoke to him and Peter van der Schans, the current Executive Director & VP of IAAPA EMEA, about the association’s current direction and future goals – read the full interview here in EAP’s Sept/Oct issue. (eap)

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