2015 Wave Review Awards recipients (photo: WWA)
2015 Wave Review Awards recipients (photo: WWA)

The World Waterpark Association’s Symposium & Trade Show is the perfect place to recognize industry excellence. So it is that besides the seminars, exhibits and networking opportunities, waterpark professionals also have a chance to celebrate the best of the best. The 2015 honorees include the WWA Hall of Fame inductees, recipients of the Board of Directors Awards and the Wave Review Awards.

The honors were bestowed on Oct. 21-22 during the 35th annual event, held this year at the Renaissance Palm Springs (Calif.) Hotel.

Each year, the WWA Hall of Fame honors the water-leisure industry’s visionary pioneers and innovators. At the Opening General Session on Wed., Oct. 21, the following inductees were recognized:

* Rick Fuller, Water World / Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, Denver. When Fuller joined Water World, his title was administrative counsel, then marketing and promotions were added to his responsibilities. An active contributor to the waterpark industry, he’s served on WWA’s Safety Committee and helped draft operating safety guidelines. Currently he’s vice chair of WWA’s Governmental Relations Committee and a member of its Leadership Council. Among his career honors, he has received the WWA Executive Board Award, as well as the Colorado Parks & Recreation Association’s President’s Award -- twice. Besides his duties at Water World, Fuller is the Hyland Hills safety risk coordinator.

* Chris Mesanko,Thundering Surf WaterPark, Beach Haven, N.J. Honored for his creativity, cutting-edge technology and focus on innovation, the owner of Thundering Surf has been responsible for bringing a number of firsts to market, such as interactive rivers and play structures. His waterpark was one of the first to install flume slides, fiberglass slides and the like.

* Kenn Ramage,Van Stone Conveyor Inc., San Dimas, Calif. Called a visionary, innovator and mentor, the owner of Van Stone co-engineered more than a dozen firsts, such as the raft launch conveyor for waterparks, the vertical conveyor system and more. He has been involved in over 300 installations worldwide. Ramage has helped many slide designers come up with innovative designs.

* Andrew Wray,WhiteWater West Industries Ltd., Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. His work designing and perfecting wave-making equipment helped revolutionize the wave industry. Currently, Wray is chief business development officer and partner at WhiteWater West. He’s been instrumental in growing the business into a global firm. Wray has helped hundreds of parks and attractions around the world over the years.

WWA Board of Directors Awards
These awards recognize exceptional accomplishments in areas that are important to the industry’s success. That includes dedication to guest and employee safety; leadership excellence; innovation and creativity in designing new themes and attractions; and the development of standards that raise the bar for the industry overall.

* Al Turner Memorial Commitment to Excellence Award: Glenn Davidson, Farah Leisure Parks Management, LLC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Chris Landgrave, Deep River Waterpark, Crown Point, Ind., USA; Rachmat Sutiono, P.T. Funworld, Jakarta, Indonesia

* Executive Board Award: Jeb Boyd, Whale’s Tale Water Park, Lincoln, N.H., USA; Caribbean Bay Water Park at Everland Resort (operated by Samsung C&T Corp.), Yongin, South Korea; SomerSplash Waterpark for their Longest Day of Play Event, Somerset, Ky., USA; Nicole Van Winkle, Counsilman-Hunsaker, Los Angeles, Calif., USA.

* Kelly Ogle Memorial Safety Award: Kevin Rowland, Whirlin’ Waters, North Charleston, S.C., USA; Andreas Tanzer, ProSlide Technology Inc., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Water Safety Products Inc. for development of the BigEasy Mask, Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., USA.

* Leading Edge Award: Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark and Architectural Design Consultants Inc., Aquatic Development Group, Vortex Aquatic Structures International Inc., Weber Group Inc. and WhiteWater West Industries Ltd. for their work on Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark; Kalahari Resorts & Conventions and Architectural Design Consultants Inc., Neuman Group, ProSlide Technology Inc. and Weber Group Inc. for their work on Kalahari Resorts & Conventions; Siam Park and ProSlide Technology Inc. for the “Singha”; Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Jungle and WhiteWater West Industries Ltd. for their work on Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Jungle; Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas and WhiteWater West Industries Ltd. for their work on launching Slideboarding

Wave Review Awards
During the Keynote Session on Thurs., Oct. 22, recipients of WWA’s Wave Review marketing competition were recognized. Their work represented successful marketing campaigns, from small public sector facilities to large corporately owned waterparks.

Multi-category winners included Schlitterbahn Waterparks, New Braunfels, Texas, USA; Summit Family Aquatic Center, Summit, N.J., USA; and Castaway Cove Waterpark, Wichita Falls, Texas, USA; among others.