Those walking the show floor of the 2013 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, Florida, are bound to discover something new this year.
One such find will be at Booth 3686, where two leading firms are showcasing their new strategic partnership.
Innovative Attraction Management (IAM) and the global aquatic safety and training organization Starfish Aquatics Institute have joined forces to create a new option for aquatic training and safety initiatives at waterparks and resorts.
"We truly are excited about this partnership and excited about the opportunities both domestically and internationally," said IAM president and waterpark industry veteran Mike Friscia.
What attracted IAM to the partnership was that SAI was the only agency providing the depth of training and certifications that would take IAM's Elite Aquatic Risk Prevention Program to the next level, he added. IAM will begin to offer its license to industry waterparks and resorts next season.
The new Elite program will provide operators high level, cost-effective risk management services for all size waterparks and resorts, Friscia explained.
"They will use SAI programs, including our StarGuard lifeguard training program and certification, and risk management and audit programs for their Elite Aquatic Risk Prevention Program," said Leslie Donavan, president and CEO of SAI.
Features of the program include audit reviews for both lifeguards and dispatch positions, aquatic incident investigation support, litigation support, annual pre-season park inspection and in-service training session, StarGuard Instructor and Instructor Trainer sessions, experiential, and objective-based training that results in a certificate of completion and a site-specific license and accountability program.
"Our work with IAM will provide a very attractive option [for clients]," Donavan said.
Friscia said SAI's passion and excitement, especially that of co-founder Jill White, was a key component of this partnership because he wants IAM's program to focus on the clients.
"Our values are their values," he explained. "It's going to be a seamless integration for our clients."
In addition to Friscia, the IAM team includes industry veteran and former Walt Disney World Resort Recreation leader James Harhi, and former Ellis & Associates executive Michael Oostman, who also is president of Oostman Aquatic Safety Consulting.
IAM currently manages two facilities: Daytona Lagoon, in Daytona Beach, Fla., and an yet-to-be-named waterpark under construction in Pooler, Ga., near Savannah. The program will be implemented at both, Friscia said.
"Through the show, we're hopeful that we'll be able to add to our management portfolio," he added.