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Nicole

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KEVIN LEMBKE RETURNS TO BUSCH GARDENS® WILLIAMSBURG

AND WATER COUNTRY USA ® AS PARK PRESIDENT




Williamsburg, Va. (November 1, 2019) - Busch Gardens® Williamsburg and Water Country USA® welcomes back Kevin Lembke as park president. Interim Park President Jeff Thomas will resume his role as vice president of operations at Water Country USA and corporate vice president of operations. The changes are effective November 4, 2019.



"We're thrilled to welcome Kevin back to the Busch Gardens Williamsburg family as he brings a rare mix of historical knowledge with a forward-looking vision that is sure to have a positive impact for our team and guests," said SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Interim CEO Marc Swanson. "We are grateful for Jeff's willingness to serve in the interim role and thank him for his contributions."



Lembke brings 19 years of company experience to the role of park president. He began his career in 2000 at SeaWorld Orlando in the merchandise department. After holding additional leadership positions on the park's operations team, Lembke was named vice president of merchandise at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2013. He was named vice president of merchandise and culinary at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2016. He then became the Busch Gardens Williamsburg park president in 2018.



“I’m thrilled to reunite with the talented and dedicated team at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA,” said Lembke. “We have the right strategies in place to execute on the tremendous potential of our parks, as we continue to increase the value of the business while delivering an exceptional guest experience. I look forward to being back in the parks interacting with our guests and team.”



This past spring, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA opened two major new attractions - Finnegan's Flyer™ and Cutback Water Coaster™, and recently announced a spring 2020 debut of Pantheon, the world’s fastest multi-launch thrill coaster.



About SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The Company is one of the world's foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The Company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 35,000 animals in need over the last 55 years. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens®, Aquatica®, Sesame Place® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 55-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The Company's theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal, which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.



SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company. Visit www.seaworldentertainment.com for more information.

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Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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That was interesting given the comments that he left to a completely separate industry. Guess it didn't pan out?
 

BGWnut

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Sep 24, 2018
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I'm guessing he just didn't like his new job and missed working at a theme park. Just weird news.
 

Jahrules

Possibly the 1-millionth Pantheon thread viewer.
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Super weird. Well he was great and will continue to be great.

Guess the grass wasn't greener after all.
 
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Nov 24, 2009
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This just means he is back untill something more flashy comes along then he is gone again. Unless there is a situation that required him to return to the area like family issues I wouldnt hire anyone that leaves back.
 
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Mar 16, 2016
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Unless there is a situation that required him to return to the area like family issues I wouldnt hire anyone that leaves back.

I'm sorry, but unless the departure was on absolutely terrible terms this isn't really the greatest stance to take. Sometimes departures can be friendly and you don't really want the employee to leave; and it works to bring them back.

I don't know the circumstances at which Kevin left the park, but after meeting him a few times I'm really glad he's back and the park was excited to have him back.
 

Jahrules

Possibly the 1-millionth Pantheon thread viewer.
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Feb 3, 2019
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This just means he is back untill something more flashy comes along then he is gone again. Unless there is a situation that required him to return to the area like family issues I wouldnt hire anyone that leaves back.

Yeah, I find this incredibly naive.

We don't know the circumstances around his departure so it's impossible to make a statement like this.

Here's a plausible scenario where you might see something like this:

What if the guys mother was dying and he had to move to take care of her. Then, later, she no longer needs care, and the park invites him back to his old job. Seems perfectly realistic, right?

We don't know and it probably is none of our business to know.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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This just means he is back untill something more flashy comes along then he is gone again. Unless there is a situation that required him to return to the area like family issues I wouldnt hire anyone that leaves back.
An unfortunate POV if enforced as black-and-white doctrine.

Went away for a while? Learned some things, grew a bit perhaps? Realized this was the better fit after all? Strong performer while you were here?

Too bad. Stay out. Better to cut off our own nose than to suffer one mild affront to our insecure and dysfunctional organizational ego.

Seen that one. smh
 
Nov 24, 2009
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If yall read what I wrote I mentioned things like family issues. But if he left strictly on money or being more interested in another line of work as they said when he left them most likely he is still going to be on the lookout for something better. Will it be nice to have him back...yes, but at the same time its my opinion that if you leave once you will leave again if something better comes along. Thats my opinion.
 

BGWnut

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Sep 24, 2018
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They never said why he was leaving beyond he was leaving to pursue other opportunities. He could have gotten a ridiculously generous offer the he felt he couldn't refuse, then he left and started working and realized that he didn't enjoy it and wanted to return.

Or he could have not liked Gus and then once Gus left he suddenly was much more interested in working here again.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Thats exactly what it sounds like happened...so its also why I said something "flashy". I also look at it from another side. What if you are someone who has worked hard to advance to that position and have been in talks with Seas since Kevin left to be promoted in that position then this guy decided he made a mistake and just walks back in and the other guy who verywell may have been better is now out. What if that guy had been given reason to believe he could possibly get the position and already began process of planning a possible relocation of his family.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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If yall read what I wrote I mentioned things like family issues. But if he left strictly on money or being more interested in another line of work as they said when he left them most likely he is still going to be on the lookout for something better. Will it be nice to have him back...yes, but at the same time its my opinion that if you leave once you will leave again if something better comes along. Thats my opinion.
I read what you wrote.

Still a shortsighted policy for high performing executives.
 
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