Kennywood Welcomes New General Manager
Kennywood is excited to officially introduce Mark Pauls to the helm of America’s Most Thrilling Historic Landmark as the park’s new General Manager. Mark brings several decades of management experience within the amusement and attractions industry and has spent the last six weeks learning Kennywood and the greater Pittsburgh area.
Mark brings an impressive background within the amusement and attractions industry, most recently serving as Park President at SeaWorld Orlando & Aquatica, and prior to that was the Corporate Vice President of Operations for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. Mark also spent time at Busch Gardens Tampa as VP of Operations. Prior to his time in Florida, Mark spent 37 years in Williamsburg, Va., most notably serving as VP of Operations at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and VP of Water Country USA. He is excited to return to working in a seasonal amusement park setting and becoming a part of Kennywood’s rich history.
“It’s easy to see how important maintaining tradition is for Kennywood, as an old park with so many historic rides,” Mark says. “I look forward to learning more from our Team Members and Guests about Kennywood and how we build its history to create an exciting future.”
Mark emphasizes that his top priorities as he begins are learning the entire park’s ins and outs, and overseeing implementation of numerous new health and safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He started his new journey at Kennywood on Monday, June 29, shortly before the park opened for the 2020 Summer Season — which was after being delayed more than two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Shumway of KDKA News Pittsburgh, spoke with Mark Pauls about what’s ahead for the park. He confirmed that a new face lift is in the works for the park, and that the parks parent company (Palace Entertainment) still plans on moving its headquarters from California to Pittsburgh.
“Kennywood is in good hands with Mark leading the way,” says Rick Stammel, Vice President of Theme Parks for Palace Entertainment, Kennywood’s parent company. “His experience within the industry at some of the most high-profile locations prepares him well for the unique opportunity to serve longtime Kennywood visitors and help to grow Kennywood’s appeal and audience from beyond Western Pennsylvania.”
Pauls takes over from Jerome Gibas, who stepped down from his role after 40 years.
In addition to a new General Manager, Kennywood welcomed a new Food & Beverage Director this summer. Lenny Freund started on Monday, June 22, bringing decades of experience in the amusement and food service industries. He previously served as F&B Director at both Dorney Park and Schlitterbahn Water Park, and as General Manager of Six Flags Frontier City and Six Flags Wild Waves/Enchanted Village. He also founded Freund Family Foods and operates a consulting firm, North Star Food & Beverage.
The Kennywood and Palace Entertainment teams happily welcome Mark and Lenny to America’s Most Thrilling Historic Landmark, and look forward to working alongside them.
For tickets and more information, please visit the official Kennywood website by clicking here.
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