Orlando-based International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has appointed Jakob Wahl, a current association executive and veteran of the amusement industry, as its new president and CEO.
Wahl currently serves as IAAPA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He was appointed to the job in November 2021 but his career with IAAPA spans a decade, according to the association.
His promotion, announced Wednesday, will take effect Jan. 1 as the association’s current chief executive Hal McEvoy steps down, the group said in a release. McEvoy will serve in a special advisory role until his retirement on April 1.
Wahl began his career with IAAPA in 2009 as a program manager for the association’s Europe division. He served as the director of communications and manager of special projects at Europa-Park in Rust, Germany, from 2013 to 2017 before returning to IAAPA as the vice president and executive director of its Europe, Middle East and Africa branch.
Curt Caffey, IAAPA treasurer and president of ProParks Attractions Group, led the search committee for IAAPA’s next CEO that worked for seven months with a search firm to select a leader from a global candidate pool.
Caffey praised Wahl’s experience within IAAPA and the international amusement industry. In a statement, he said Wahl has earned the respect of IAAPA’s leaders and membership.
“Jakob’s vision for IAAPA is focused on adapting the association for today’s fast-paced, change-driven world, and enhancing the value of IAAPA membership through our regional offices around the globe,” Caffey said. “He has a keen sense of balance between taking risks and driving the organization’s success.”
The IAAPA Expo, the organization’s annual conference and massive trade show, runs Nov. 14 through 18 at the Orange County Convention Center. It has drawn upwards of 25,000 international attendees in recent years.
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