SeaWorld's Daniel J. Decker receives “Tall in Texas” award for contributions to Texas’ travel industry

By | September 28, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas — In honor of his outstanding contributions to the travel and tourism industry in Texas, Daniel J. Decker, Park President of SeaWorld San Antonio, was presented with the Tall in Texas Award by the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA). Decker received the award on September 24, 2012 during the association’s annual conference, the Texas Travel Summit, held this year at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort outside Bastrop.

To showcase his true love for Texas’ travel industry and commitment to the industry, Decker was honored for the work he has done in innovative water conservation as well as his management and oversight of capital developments at SeaWorld San Antonio. The award was presented by his friend and former SeaWorld San Antonio Director of Communication, Fran Stephenson, principal of Step In Communications.

Decker serves as a member and past chair of the TTIA board of directors and currently sits on the executive committee of that board. TTIA President and CEO, David Teel, commented, “Dan Decker is a strong supporter and advocate for the work we do at the Texas Travel Industry Association and has contributed his innovative spirit and leadership to the association for many years. While Dan was chair of TTIA’s board of directors [2009-2010], he was the driving force behind the implementation of organizational changes and a new strategic direction for the association which are guiding us into the future.”

Upon receiving his award, Decker said “I was completely surprised to be recognized by my peers in this way,” said Decker. “There is such a spirit of collaboration in this industry, it’s a pleasure to serve with TTIA.”

The Tall in Texas Award is given to an individual nominated from the TTIA membership for outstanding contributions, leadership and innovations that have a lasting effect on tourism and TTIA. Members of the Texas travel industry submit nominations for the award and industry peers vote on the finalists.

“Dan is an outstanding leader in the tourism industry,” said Paul Schultz, Vice President of Hospitality, Landry’s, Inc. and past Chair of TTIA’s Board of Directors. “He has been, and continues to be, one of the most dedicated and strong leaders and advocates for our industry, as evidenced by his involvement in so many industry organizations.”

Decker currently serves on the board and executive committee of the San Antonio Tourism Council and is a past chair of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau board. He also serves on the board of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Tourism Foundation, and is the incoming chair of the Texas Nature Tourism Council.

“Dan’s extraordinary foresight to embrace environmental concerns has made, and will continue to make, a positive difference to SeaWorld San Antonio and Texas,” said Nanci Liles, Executive Director of the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau and TTIA Board member. “His leadership in efficient water and energy use is enough, in my book, to elevate SeaWorld to a class of its own.”

Dan Decker has held the position of Park President at SeaWorld San Antonio since September 2004. He is responsible for the daily operation of the world’s largest marine life park, as well as strategic planning for the park’s long-term growth. Prior to that appointment, he was the executive assistant to the President and chairman of the board for Busch Entertainment Corporation, now known as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, as well as director of operations for Busch Entertainment Corporation, SeaWorld’s parent company.

Decker presented information on the innovations in water conservation that have been implemented at SeaWorld San Antonio during the Innovations Showcase on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at TTIA’s Texas Travel Summit.

“He has improved the tourism landscape not only in San Antonio but in the entire state of Texas,” added Teel.