Ride Entertainment is pleased to announce personnel hires in each of their business sectors throughout 2017.
“It has been a very exciting time for us,” said Ed Hiller, Ride Entertainment CEO. “Our strength has always been in the way we are the only company to serve every facet of the industry. We are thrilled that success has allowed us to bring on experienced team members who will help further grow Ride Entertainment,” he noted.
The new team members include:
- Lance Beatty- Operations Manager: Skycoaster® & Financial Partnerships
- Manny Gonzalez- Managing Partner: TZ Entertainment
- Jon Meeker- Sales Manager: Sales Division
- Amanda Mercado- Technical Manager: Installation Division
- Eli Parawan- Marketing & Sales Director: Operations Division
In early 2017, Lance Beatty joined the team to work with the company’s Financial Partnerships Division and Skycoaster. Lance worked at a bank in Portland, Maine for 10 years and, as such, joined the team with strong customer relations and financial backgrounds. His focus for our team is Skycoaster site certifications and working hand-in-hand with the company’s revenue share partners such as amusement parks.
Eli Parawan is the Marketing and Sales Director for Ride Entertainment’s Operations Division. She comes to the company previously holding key roles in small business development, primarily creating and implementing strategic initiatives in various forms of audience expansion and lead generation. From non-profit work, sales, marketing, event production, and conceptual design to execution, she has worked in spheres that align her professional skill-set with her personal interests.
“My time with Ride Entertainment has been pleasantly dynamic and demanding. I get to work with a group of highly-talented people and represent a company that inspires us to work with excellence,” she said.
Jon Meeker began his career working in Finance beginning with Washington Mutual in 2003. In 2008 Jon joined the theme park industry with a position on the attractions operations team with the Walt Disney Company at The Disneyland Resort. Over the more than 6 years with the Walt Disney Company Meeker worked with Attractions Operations Team, Youth Education Series, Disney University, and Guest Relations teams. Spending the majority of his time as facilitator with the Disney University and a team leader and VIP tour guide with Guest Relations.
Meeker left Disney in 2014 to spend time training and developing business consultants with the Small Business Growth Alliance before joining Ride Entertainment in May of 2017. Of the new position Meeker said, “I am thrilled to be reentering the Amusement Industry with Ride Entertainment. Amusement parks have been a passion of mine since visiting Knott’s Berry Farm as a child with my family and I am thrilled to be working with such an incredible team.”
Over the summer, Manny Gonzalez joined as Managing Director of TZ Entertainment, Ride Entertainment’s key revenue share investing arm for new projects at zoos, aquariums and amusement parks. He has a long history within the attractions industry, notably being Park President at Six Flags Mexico as it underwent over twenty million dollars of investment. In addition, his experience in development includes the expansion of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium into a 580-acre regional entertainment complex with a water park, theme park, golf course- a $180 million project that attracts over 2 million visitors per year.
Gonzalez serves on the board of Donald Woods Winnicott School in Mexico, and RX Entertainment, and has served as a board member for Scrum Alliance, Hawaiian Falls Water Parks, , the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau, The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), The Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility (HACR), and the United Methodist Children’s Home, Park Street S.A. de C.V.
Amanda Mercado is the company’s most recent hire. She has experience working for both ride manufacturers, such as S&S, as well as Six Flags parks. Mercado is working in the company’s Installation Division and will be erecting rides as well as working on attraction rehabs and inspections. She is currently on site at Knott’s Berry Farm where the company is erecting the park’s newest Gerstlauer coaster, Hangtime.
Mercado found her passion for the amusement industry when she first started as a ride operator at 18 years old. After holding several different positions in operations, she moved into the maintenance side of park operations. She said that she has a true interest in troubleshooting, maintaining, working on, and riding all amusement rides. “I’m excited for the opportunity to work with a group that has such diverse experience in the industry,” she noted. Mercado graduated from Springfield College with a degree in Business Management.
Hiller is thrilled with the wide range of people that have joined Ride Entertainment. “Our team should reflect our customer base, and we are working to ensure that it is comprised of people from many different racial backgrounds, men and women, and the LGBTQ community. Ride Entertainment’s strength is from the diversity of opinions that we have cultivated in our family,” said Hiller.