New GM at Kennywood Leading Amusement Park Through Tumultuous Times
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — Mark Pauls has been named general manager at Kennywood Park.
Pauls brings an impressive background within the amusement and attractions industry, most recently serving as park president at SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica, and prior to that was the corporate vice president of operations for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. He also spent time at Busch Garden-Tampa as vice president of operations.
Prior to his time in Florida, Pauls spent 37 years in Williamsburg, Va., most notably serving as vice president of operations at Busch Gardens-Williamsburg and vice president of Water Country USA.
He is excited to return to working in a seasonal amusement park setting and becoming a part of Kennywood’s rich history.
“It’s easy to see how important maintaining tradition is for Kennywood, as an old park with so many historic rides,” Pauls said. “I look forward to learning more from our team members and guests about Kennywood and how we build its history to create an exciting future.”
Pauls emphasized that his top priorities as he begins are learning the entire park’s ins and outs, and overseeing implementation of numerous new health and safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He started at Kennywood on June 29, shortly before the park opened for the 2020 summer season after being delayed more than two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kennywood is in good hands with Mark leading the way,” says Rick Stammel, vice president of theme parks for Palace Entertainment, Kennywood’s parent company. “His experience within the industry at some of the most high-profile locations prepares him well for the unique opportunity to serve longtime Kennywood visitors and help to grow Kennywood’s appeal and audience from beyond Western Pennsylvania.”
Kennywood also welcomed a new food and beverage director this summer. Lenny Freund started June 22, bringing decades of experience in the amusement and food service industries. He previously served as food and beverage director at Dorney Park and Schlitterbahn Water Park, and as general manager of Six Flags Frontier City and Six Flags Wild Waves/Enchanted Village. He founded Freund Family Foods and operates a consulting firm, North Star Food and Beverage.