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Summary

Manuel Gonzalez is a bi-lingual global strategic leader with over 37 years of experience in the entertainment/hospitality industry, theme parks, live events, zoos, aquariums, and cruise lines. His professional career might be best described as eclectic. Starting his career in the hospitality hotel, food and beverage industry, he worked his way from behind-the-scenes to becoming a leader in the cultural events business where he was afforded the opportunity to grow from different career paths, spending time in marketing, finance and operations, domestically and internationally. He has a broad range of expertise in both the nonprofit and corporate sector in an international arena.

 

Mr. Gonzalez’s strengths lie in strategic management planning, external relations, development, marketing, finance and governance of facilities, venues, and cultural attractions. His experience in master planning and development includes the expansion of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium into a 580-acre regional entertainment complex with a water park, theme park, golf course, and the future site for an indoor water park hotel – a $180 million project that attracts over 2 million visitors per year.

 

He received his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1995 and his Masters in Business Administration from Oklahoma Christian University in 2002. He serves on the board of Donald Woods Winnicott School in Mexico and RX Entertainment and has served as a board member for Scrum Alliance, Hawaiian Falls Water Parks, , the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau, The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), The Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility (HACR), the United Methodist Children’s Home, Park Street S.A. de C.V. and participated on the Zoo and Aquarium Committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). 

 

His latest career path has led him to oversee ManGo Entertainment, a global consulting group, where he serves as the Chief Executive Officer.

 

Work experience

2008

Principal and Managing Director

MANGO ENTERTAINMENT
Superior, CO Top-tier corporate consulting and operating(Owns 4 Revenue Share locations) services advising diverse businesses in design, construction, operations development, profitability and general management. Principal and Managing Director Develop domestic and international clientele to market consultation services. Perform operational audits. Evaluate and recommend acquisition targets. Conduct feasibility studies. Develop strategic business plans, including master plan design. Perform high impact presentations of business plans and new products/services launch. Develop network and contact relationships to maximize resources. Projects: Retained by Source Capital(Private Equity Firm) to conduct feasibility study and operations analysis on Hawaiian Falls Water Parks(http://www.hfalls.com) acquisition(a $30MM Acquisition) and served as a board member. Retain by Ride Entertainment Group(http://www.rideentertainment.com) to design, develop and operate eight attraction parks. Retained by Royal Caribbean Cruise lines(https://www.royalcaribbean.com) to perform safety and operational audits in their vessels and resorts, recommending strategic changes in their operation. Performed an effective environmental analysis at Cleo Water Park(http://www.cleopark.net) in Egypt, recommended cutting edge marketing improvements and operational streamlining. Retained by Angelo Gordon(Private Equity Firm) to conduct feasibility study, financial and operational analysis to integrate their exit strategy on Alabama Adventures Parks(http://www.alabamasplash.com) and Clementon Park(https://www.clementonpark.com). Retained by HSK funding(Private Equity Firm) to do feasibility study on water park acquisition in the Dominican Republic, as to rebuild, operate and lead exit strategy. Led business development plan to launch rides and attractions in zoological parks Led RFP presentation to the City of New York winning the operation contract for Flushing Meadows and Forest Park. Launched Revenue Share Division(Capital Leases) with operations in the Toronto Zoo, Six Flags, The National Zoo and Old Town. Developed and implemented strategic plan for The Zoological Society of Florida http://www.zoomiami.org) Page 2 mail@mannygonzalez.com
20072008

President/chief Executive Officer

THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF FLORIDA
Miami, Florida http://www.zoomiami.org Administrative organization for the Miami Zoo consisting of 50 staff and 200+ volunteers. Develops capital projects, PR, fundraising, marketing and educational endeavors. President/Chief Executive Officer Led relationship development of new and existing donors including Total Bank and MBF Healthcare. Served as liaison between city government, community, and investors to expand business resources and maintain future viability. Supervised construction and all capital projects including a $55MM" Amazon and Beyond" exhibit. Formalized accounting and financial(P&L and financial reporting) processes. Notable Accomplishments Slashed operating costs 18% while increasing sales +5% within 1st quarter. Created a more active and supportive administration via expert business re-engineering. Achieved on-schedule, on-budget completion of a $55MM capital project.
20052007

Chief Operating Officer

THE COLUMBUS ZOO
AND AQUARIUM, Columbus, Ohio https://columbuszoo.org 580-acre zoo, aquarium, water park, theme park and golf course with 1500 employees and 2MM visitors per year. Chief Operating Officer Direct reports included Marketing, IT, Finance, Security, Maintanence, Revenue, Water Park, Golf Course, and Theme Park(everything except Animal Division). Brought complete financial turnaround from a 5-year deficit to record EBITDA via restructuring finances and introducing a budget monitoring system. Led outside-the-box thinking to create a results-centered and more financially conscious culture. Championed changes in organizational structure to create a“ mega zoo” that became the best regional attraction and the nation's #1 ranked zoo. Initiated a more proactive work order system, reducing outstanding work orders by 75%. Achieved zero budgetary overruns by creating and implementing a purchase order program. Increased revenue by bringing in additional retail, food and beverage outlets. Raised sales figures by improving and increasing menu items, cutting labor costs and developing merchandise. Partnered with board to author and implement a master plan resulting in building a golf course, water park and theme park targeting diverse demographics and greatly increasing number of tourist/customers, time and money spent within facility. Notable Accomplishments Designed, Developed, Constructed and Operated $189 MM Entertainment Complex with Theme Park, water Park, Golf Course and Expanded Zoo and Aquarium. Saved $1MM+ in expenses by introducing and integrating budgetary reporting/monitoring systems. Increased attendance by 20%, breaking records for day, month, and year via improved marketing. Achieved record-breaking $3MM+ gross revenue due to business growth and turnaround efforts. Re-engineered SOPs, raising per-capita and gross revenues $500K+ in less than 12 months.
19982004

Vice President and General Manager

SIX FLAGS, INC
Various Locations https://www.sixflags.com One of the world's largest chains of amusement/theme parks, with 39 properties and nearly 25MM guests per year and over $1 billion in reveues. Vice President and General Manager Managed various high-traffic theme and water parks with 3.8MM annual visitors and $56MM in revenue and nearly 4, 000 employees. Served as liaison between park and community. Led sales, marketing and strategy development. Maintained effective finance monitoring and budgeting. Analyzed P&L to recommend and implement changes for increased viability. Streamlined operations to cut costs reduce waste and maximize resources. Authored and implemented a proactive global training program. Led the training and opening transition team Warner's Movie World Spain. Oversaw and completed profitable negotiations in Argentina for the acquisition of a killer whale. Page 3 mail@mannygonzalez.com Notable Accomplishments Designed, Developed and Operated multiple theme parks and water parks in the U.S., Mexico and Spain. Launched improved guest service initiatives, breaking records for EBITDA(increased 15% YOY) Slashed downtime 55% through creating programs for preventive maintenance and inventory management. Rolled out new revenue programs, increasing per capita income 35% YOY. Lowered service complaints 50% by utilizing cutting edge marketing and image enhancing skills, improving personnel client service skills, and raising QA, safety and productivity. Spearheaded a $100MM investment to open Six Flags' first international park in Mexico. Led Due Diligence on multiple M&A projects for corporation. Led turnaround from near-bankruptcy to 3MM annual visitors and $50MM annual revenue, becoming a model for leadership in customer service, product quality and safety. Developed a high-yield marketing plan for the US and Latin America demographics. Achieved a 41% gross profit margin within 12 months of operation start-up. Reduced operating expenses 20% by revamping SOPs and optimizing HR and budgetary functions. Named the safest park within Six Flags Corporation 3 years in a row.
19871998

Vice President and General Manager

Premier Parks, Inc
Various Locations Private amusement/theme parks company, with 12 properties and nearly $200 MM Revenues per year. Vice President and General Manager Managed various theme and water parks ranging from 500k to 800k annual visitors and $20MM in revenue and nearly 2, 000 seasonal employees. As Vice President collaborated with company executive team on all mergers and acquisitions, capital expense projects and ride/attractions negotiations. Direct reports included Marketing/Sales, Operations, Security, Maintenance, Revenue(F&B, Retail, and Leasees) and Construction. Designed, Developed and Operated multiple theme parks and water parks in the U.S. Led Safety and Operations Standarization Program for 12 Theme Parks, mitigating all company safety risks. Led Due Diligence on multiple M&A projects for corporation. Designed and implemented new operating programs resulting in reduced opedating expenses while maintaining maximum guest satisfaction. Collaborated with executive team in the acquisition of Six Flags Theme Parks. Note: Worked with Gary Story(former President of Premier Parks and Six Flags) for over 30 years-led the development of Frontier City Theme Park(https://www.frontiercity.com) following by a series of mergers and acquisitions(12 properties), which led to the major acquisition of Six Flags Theme Parks.

RESUME

Education

M.B.A

Oklahoma Christian University

B.B.A

University of Oklahoma