Executives

facts
• Nelson Schwab III led the group of park executives that bought out Taft`s theme park division from Taft Broadcasting. He was the CEO of Kings Entertainment company from its inception in 1984 until it was sold to Paramount in 1992. He then became the CEO of Paramount Parks until 1995.

• Jane Cooper was the CEO of Paramount Parks from 1995 until June of 2002. The fictitious Flight of Fear military base, Fort Cooper was named after her.

• Alexander Weber, CEO and president of Paramount Parks from 2002-present, he was previously the COO of Paramount Parks. He began his career at Coney Island, and was the director of operations at Kings Island when it opened in 1972. He was the general manager of Kings Island from 1992-1998. He was also the GM at Paramount`s Carowinds.

• Craig M. Ross was named the new GM and Executive Vice President of PKI in June 2002. He succeeds Tim. V Fisher, who became the GM of Paramount`s Great America. Mr. Ross started out at Kings Dominion in 1975 in the food & beverage department

• Don Miller, the current head of operations at PKI first started running the Bavarian Beetle. The Bavarian Beetle was a Schwarzkopf Galaxy coaster that resided where the Festhaus now sits.

• Actor Dick Van Dyke was the park`s spokesperson in the late 1970`s and early 1980`s. His quote was “Believe me, I know talented performers when I see them. And Kings Island has them.”

• The late Ruth Voss, King’s Island ‘s original Director of Public Relations, began the tradition of a morning walkback to The Beast. Mrs. Voss took a daily ride on Beast to help loosen her joints tightened due to arthritis. In the early days of the Beast, Mrs. Voss got to know several original ACE members well and began to invite them back with her for early AM rides. She then made it an official tradition, one the park continues to this day in her honor.

• Jack Rouse started at Kings Island as a live show producer. Eventually, he became a full time staff member, and became involved in producing shows for all the Taft Parks. He also was involved in such things as development of new rides, as well as employee uniforms and handbooks. He became one of the ten investors led by Charles Schwab III that bought out the parks from Taft Broadcasting to form Kings Entertainment Company. He left the company when the investors of KECO sold their shares to Carl Lindner and American Financial in 1987. He went on to open his own firm, Jack Rouse Associates, based in Cincinnati . Ironically, Jack Rouse Associates was responsible for designing and producing the thematic elements for Bubba Gump`s Shrimp Shack, when it was transformed from the Octoberfest Gardens in 2003. They also preformed a lot of design work for WinterFest.

• Several former executives from Taft and KECO have gone onto form their own companies. Besides Jack Rouse, Dennis Spiegel, who began working at Coney Island as a ride operator, and was later GM of Kings Dominion now owns his own consulting firm in Cincinnati entitled International Theme Park Services. Also, Bruce D. Robinson traces his roots to Taft. He now owns Bruce D. Robinson Architectural Design in Cincinnati , which specializes in schematic designs of theme park attractions and hospitality establishments.