IAAPA Announces North American and European Management Transitions

By | September 26, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla., US –  The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) today announced the departure of long-time attraction and hospitality industry veteran Richard M. Jackson, vice president of IAAPA North American Operations. Karen Staley, senior vice president of IAAPA EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) Operations, will assume the role of senior vice president of North American Operations, effective Sept. 30, 2017. In addition,Jakob Wahl, who recently rejoined the IAAPA EMEA office, will succeed Staley as vice president of EMEA Operations.

“During his tenure, Richard had a significant impact on the growth of our member base and enhanced the association’s focus of providing outstanding service to our members throughout North America,” said Paul Noland, president and CEO of IAAPA. “He worked closely with our global headquarters team to connect attraction operators and industry suppliers with valuable resources, while creating and facilitating many meetings and networking events throughout the region. We thank Richard for his many contributions to IAAPA and for strengthening the support we could offer to our North American members.”

Karen Staley Named Senior Vice President, North American Operations 
Succeeding Jackson will be veteran IAAPA team member Karen Staley, who most recently served as senior vice president of IAAPA EMEA Operations, and managed the regional office in Brussels, Belgium. Staley will relocate to IAAPA’s global headquarters in Orlando, Florida to lead the continued expansion of North American member services and programs. Staley will report to Doug Stagner, chief operating officer of IAAPA.

“Karen’s leadership has been instrumental in establishing and expanding our Europe, Middle East, and African region. She has a proven record of successfully developing and maintaining key partnerships and alliances,” said Noland. “Her strategic vision, including the execution of our annual Euro Attractions Show (EAS), has significantly enhanced IAAPA’s global presence and will be invaluable as we take our North American operations to the next level.”

Having more than a decade of service to IAAPA, Staley joined the association in 2004 as manager of marketing and exhibit sales for IAAPA’s conference and trade shows in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 2006, she assumed the role of operations manager for IAAPA Europe and the Euro Attractions Show (EAS). She was promoted to director of operations in 2008, named deputy director of IAAPA Europe in 2009, and executive director in 2010.


Jakob Wahl Appointed Vice President, EMEA Operations
Jakob Wahl returns to the IAAPA EMEA office to serve as vice president of EMEA Operations, leading the Brussels office to support EMEA member services. He joined the IAAPA team in 2009 as a program manager for several years, and most recently served as director of communications and executive assistant to management at Europa-Park.  Wahl will also report to Stagner.


“We are pleased to welcome Jakob back to IAAPA. His return will ensure a seamless transition so that our North American and European members are continuously provided with optimal levels of service and support,” said Noland.