Talk about starting from the bottom. Rick D’Aprile, who heads one of the largest insurance firms in the industry, spent several summers at the Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, Conn., where he did everything from ride operator to concessions vendor.

Though D’Aprile is now president of Allied Specialty Insurance, he takes pride in his roots. “Through thick and thin, we’ve continued to serve the same market since inception, and I believe this enables us to understand the industry better than many of our competitors” says D’Aprile who’s been with the Treasure Island, Fla.-based company for 20 years.

He notes that the current insurance market is soft, which means lower rates. To keep rates reasonable, he suggests operators focus on safety, training and accident prevention.

Though his company is celebrating a milestone 25th anniversary in 2008, D’Aprile isn’t spending much time looking back.

“Today, the waterpark industry seems to be expanding through the indoor waterpark resort segment and I look forward to working with as many of those operators as possible,” he says.