Amusement Today, industry leaders honored with NEAAPA awards

By | June 24, 2020

SACO, Maine — The New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) has announced its 2020 Annual Meeting Awards.

Alan E. Ramsay Safety Award
Recipient — Gary Slade, publisher, Amusement Today, Arlington, Texas. The Ramsay award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated “an unparalleled commitment to safety in the amusement parks and attractions industry.”

“We’re certainly pleased to receive this accolade from NEAAPA,” Slade said. “Our team has been dedicated to presenting timely information related to safety throughout the industry for years. Amusement Today devotes numerous pages in each edition to the latest safety news as well as a listing of upcoming safety seminars. We greatly appreciate being recognized for the work we have done to promote the most important aspect of the amusement industry.”

Paragon Award
Recipient — Sara Seay, director of sales and marketing, Premier Rides, Inc., Baltimore Md. The Paragon Award is presented to an attractions member that has created outreach or advertising pieces that demonstrate “unequalled excellence in graphic promotion.”

“I am both humbled and honored that the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions selected me to receive the prestigious Paragon award,” she said of the honor. “I am fortunate to have an amazing and talented team at Premier Rides, and they certainly deserve much of the credit for the success of the Tigris marketing campaign.”

She continued, saying “For all of us, it was an honor to work with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to promote Tigris. From the ‘sweet reveal’ press event in our booth during IAAPA Expo, to social media construction updates and opening announcements, to the concentrated push to vote for Tigris in the USA Today poll, the synergy between our teams allowed us to not only #TakeOnTigris but to promote it to become the #1 coaster on USA Today’s 10 Best Amusement Park Attractions list!”

Pinnacle Award
Recipient — Angela Antonioli, Lake Compounce Theme Park, Bristol, Conn. 

The Pinnacle Award is presented to an employee or team that has demonstrated “peak perfection in customer service.” A cash award of $500 accompanies the honor.

The awards, officially announced recently by the organization, were scheduled to be presented at NEAAPA’s annual meeting slated for last March. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the gala event had to be been postponed with a new tentative date of Oct. 19-21 in Nashua, N.H. Recipients will receive their awards at the October meeting.

NEAAPA Hall of Fame
NEAAPA also previously announced two inductees into its Hall of Fame. Industry icons James Patten III and the late Haig Gulezian will be inducted into the prestigious hall in October.

The gala event will take place during NEAAPA’s 107th Anniversary Education Conference & Annual Meeting at the Radisson Nashua Hotel.

Patten, a past secretary, vice president and president of NEAAPA, served as general manager at the former Shaheen’s Fun Park, also referred to as Fun-O-Rama, in Salisbury Beach, Mass., while Gulezian was known as an entrepreneur in the amusement industry and had other business ventures.

The complete Hall of Fame article may be seen at The online archive is presented by Amusement Today.  

Nominations for the 2021 NEAAPA Hall of Fame and Annual Meeting Awards will be accepted soon at

—Ron Gustafson

This article appears in the JULY 2020 issue of Amusement Today.
View the entire issue for FREE with our digital edition!