The Themed Attraction Student Showcase returns again with a stellar panel of judges. Our goal at Themed Attraction and the TEAAS (Themed Experience & Attractions Academic Society) has always been to build a bridge from the academic world to industry. To that end, we’ve put together this panel to help you make real connections with working professionals from legendary themed entertainment design companies.
Themed Entertainment design students will be able to connect with experienced professionals, who will both encourage and critique their work. If you are a current student or recent graduate, this is a prime opportunity to make connections and network with industry veterans. We invite you to take advantage!
“I want to thank you for recommending me for the fly-through visualization. So many things have happened since the student showcase. Thanks to that project shared on your platform, I was contacted to do some visualization work that became an internship and now a full-time position. I am working in some amazing projects for Herschend and Cedar Fair. Never imagined to be so involved in huge projects. I really want to thank you. Because in some way, all the work you put on that showcase has helped my work be known and now be working in what I am most passionate about. Thank you for that opportunity. Thank you for being part of the beginning of my themed entertainment professional life.”
– Adrian Gutierrez, Themed Attraction Best in Show 2021
New Judges for 2022
(alphabetical order by last name)
Mark Amos – Vice President, JRA – Part of RWS Entertainment Group
Mark Amos, JRA Vice President, has been with the company for nearly two decades, working on and leading theme park and attraction projects for such clients as Ferrari, LIONSGATE, Hasbro and Angry Birds. His experience in the industry is results-driven and brings a creative approach based on his thorough understanding of creative development and design processes, master planning, project and construction management. As Vice President, Amos focuses on managing the design staff, fostering collaborative efforts within the industry and providing overall support to the design development of the various JRA projects.
Scott Ault – Managing partner – Railton Entertainment Design
A creative executive with over 30 years of experience, Scott Ault has worked with clients and IP partners to develop an extraordinary roster of international attractions and entertainment. World-class companies such as Walt Disney Imagineering, 20th Century Fox, Sony, DreamWorks, Marvel Entertainment, Lionsgate, BBC Worldwide, Aardman Animation, and Nickelodeon are just some of the brands Scott has helped.
Prior to forming RED, Scott was President and CEO of Rethink Leisure & Entertainment where he oversaw the development of four entire IP-based theme parks, and was Chief Operating Officer of BRC Imagination Arts, one of the longest-standing and largest design firms specializing in visitor experiences. During his time at BRC, Scott held the positions of Vice President of Project Development, Managing Director of European Operations, and Vice President of Creative Development.
Scott began his career in 1987 at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he was the youngest-ever show producer at the time. He has gone on to assume positions instrumental in the development, opening, and operation of highly successful projects around the world, including over a half dozen theme parks, four World Expo Pavilions, and a dozen museums and corporate visitor centers.
He believes in fostering an enjoyable project creation process, mutually beneficial working relationships, and dealing honestly and ethically on all fronts.
Ian Mac Vittie – Executive Vice President at Technifex XR
Jason McManus – Principal at Thinkwell Group
With over 20 years of experience in the themed entertainment industry, Jason McManus has developed a proven track record of creativity, innovation, and strong creative leadership on a multitude of projects ranging from theme parks to live shows, hotels, cruise ships, and entertainment destinations. With a background in animation and theatrical set design, Jason guides projects with a narrative-based focus, leading teams to develop successful concepts with an emphasis on originality and a spectacular guest experience.
Prior to Thinkwell, Jason worked in creative leadership roles for Walt Disney Imagineering, The Hettema Group, Wyatt Design Group, and Lightning in a Bottle Design & Production. Jason also teaches themed entertainment design at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
Paitoon Ratanasirintrawoot – Executive Creative Director/ Executive Producer at ITEC Entertainment
After spending 10 years working on 9 animated feature films, Paitoon started his own design consulting company, Paitoon Ratan Design Inc., and have worked on more than 300 products in the toy, consumer products, gift, and personal care areas for such exciting clients as Walt Disney Consumer Products, Disney Toys, Warner Brothers Consumer Products, DC Comics Marvel, Hasbro, Corgi International, Master Replicas, Nickelodeon, FAO, Scholastic Entertainment, Little Missmatched, NewLine, Li&Fung trading, Character Direct, Toy Island, The Topps Company, and Lucas films.duated with a BFA in Industrial Design in 1993 and received the Outstanding Senior in Industrial Design Award from Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio, USA. Following graduation, he joined the Walt Disney Company and worked on 9 animated feature films with Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios (The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Emperor’s New Groove, Mulan, Tarzan, Beauty and The Beast/Special Edition, Lilo and Stitch, and Brother Bear).
During the past 29 years, he has also worked as a Creative director, art director, concept artist, designer, illustrator, and show designer for several of the world’s best theme park entertainment clients and Gaming industry clients such as Walt Disney Entertainment, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Event Group, Universal Creative, ITEC Entertainment, Disney Event Group, Electronic Arts, REVEL Entertainment and many other great Theme Entertainment design groups around the world.
Currently, Paitoon is the Creative Director & Producer for the world-renowned ITEC Entertainment Corporation, providing creative vision and storytelling for theme parks, water park, attractions, museums, resorts, mixed-use, and master-planned communities across the globe.
In 2019, Paitoon was honored to be one of the Ten Thai-Pride by one of the oldest English newspapers in Thailand, Bangkok Post. In 2017, Paitoon was also honored to be among the 12 most influential Thais living in the USA by the US Embassy in A Great and Good Friends Exhibits at Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in BKK Thailand. In 2011, Paitoon was chosen and honored to be a Thai-US Cultural Envoy by the US State Department.
John Polk – Vice President – Senior Project Director at TECHNIFEX
(alphabetical order by last name)
Louis Alfieri – Principal / Chief Creative officer at Raven Sun Creative
Peter Cliff – CEO at Conductr
Mk Haley – Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin & Former Imagineer
Mk has more than 25 years of experience at Walt Disney Imagineering in Themed Entertainment Design, Production, and R&D. She has also taught Computer Animation, Game Design and Themed Entertainment Design at Carnegie Mellon University, Florida State University and UCLA. With over 30 years of service to industry associations, Mk is also a huge supporter of the ACM SIGGRAPH Conference planning process as well as the Themed Entertainment Association Conferences and Academic Society. Mk currently serves as faculty at UT Austin in the Arts & Entertainment Technology program.
Mel McGowan – Chief Creative Officer at Storyland Studios