Amanda Thompson OBE, managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, has been named IAAPA’s 2020 Chairman of the Board of Directors. The announcement was made during the Kickoff Event at this year’s IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Florida.
Thompson has a lifetime of experience and knowledge within the industry. In 1896, Thompson’s great-grandfather, William Bean, established Blackpool Pleasure Beach. In 1931, her grandfather, Leonard Thompson, took over as leader of the amusement park, a role that her father Geoffrey oversaw from 1976 to 2004. From 2004 onwards, Amanda has been the iconic Pleasure Beach’s CEO.
Thompson’s appointment as IAAPA Chairman of the Board is historical in the sense she is the second member of the same family to have chaired the trade association, is the first female Chair from Europe and only the third woman in the IAAPA’s history.
In 1982, Thompson founded Stageworks Worldwide Productions, a subsidiary of Blackpool Pleasure Beach Ltd. that creates shows around the world. As well as being president of Stageworks, Thompson is producer and director of the Hot Ice Show in Blackpool.
The industry veteran has been an IAAPA member for decades and has chaired IAAPA Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Regional Advisory Committee. She has also served as a member of IAAPA’s Executive Finance, Membership, and Entertainment Committees.
In 2012, Thompson received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) honour for her services to tourism in 2012. She is also a Patron of Blackpool’s world-famous Grand Theatre and the Blackpool Civic Trust.