SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced plans today to shuffle its leadership team at its Tampa Bay and Orlando theme parks to replace SeaWorld Orlando Parks President Donnie Mills, who is retiring after 42 years with the company.
Jim Dean, president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island, has been named park president of SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove. Stewart Clark, vice president of Discovery Cove, will take Dean’s position.
Dean is following a similar career path as Mills, who served as parks president of SeaWorld Orlando and both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Tampa Bay. Mills started his career at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 1974 and moved through the ranks to lead half of its six theme parks.
“Donnie (Mills) has made a lasting contribution to our parks and our people by serving as park president in three of our six markets, leading the operations team and instilling a culture committed to the highest levels of operational execution across this great company,” said Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
Manby added that both Dean and Clark will be outstanding theme park leaders because of their wide range of experience with the company.
Dean started his career as a financial analyst in the corporate headquarters of Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Mo. holding several key leadership positions. In 2008, he was named head of corporate finance before accepting the role of park president for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island in 2010.
Clark’s career began at SeaWorld in 1983 and he has worked in five parks including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Most recently, Clark served as the vice president of Discovery Cove and was instrumental in developing Discovery Cove’s interactive programs, animal exhibits, and culture of customer service excellence.
The new park presidents will begin their roles on January 16.