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Summary

Manuel Gonzalez is a bi-lingual strategic leader with global 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 RX Entertainment, a global attraction and consulting group, where he serves as Managing Partner.

 

Work experience

2008Present

Managing Partner

RX ENTERTAINMENT

Top-tier corporate consulting, revenue share and operating services firm advising diverse businesses in design, construction, operations development, profitability and general management.

 

Managing Partner

Develop clientele to market consultation services. Perform operational audits.  Evaluate and recommend acquisition targets. Conduct feasibility studies. Develop strategic business plans, including master plan design.

 

Consulting Division:

  • Retain by Audubon Nature Institute(https://audubonnatureinstitute.org) to review and analyze its Food and beverage and retail operation to identify revenue opportunities and efficiencies.
  • Retained by Wallack Holdingsto conduct feasibility study on Skyplex - Orlando(http://mymangos.com/skyplex)
  • Retained by Source Capitalto 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 responsible for operations.
  • 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.
  • Retained by Sharm Dreams Group(http://www.cleopark.net) to perform an environmental analysis at Cleo Water Park in Egypt, recommended cutting edge marketing improvements and operational streamlining.
  • Retained by Angelo Gordonto 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 Fundingto do feasibility study on water park acquisition in the Dominican Republic, pertaining to rebuilding, operating and leading an exit strategy.
20072008

President/chief Executive Officer

THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF FLORIDA

THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF FLORIDA, Miami, FL             2007 - 2008

The Zoo Miami Foundation is the non-profit support organization for Zoo Miami.

 

President/Chief Executive Officer

Responsible for fund development, marketing, membership, community relations and oversight of capital projects.

 

  • Reduced operating costs 18% and increased sales over 5% within 1st
  • Achieved on-schedule, on-budget completion of a $55MM capital project.
20052007

Chief Operating Officer

THE COLUMBUS ZOO

580-acrezoo, aquarium, water park, theme park and golf course with 1500 employees and 2MM visitors per year.

 

Chief Operating Officer

Responsiblefor the design, development and operation of $180M Entertainment Complex with Theme Park, Water Park, Golf Courseand Expanded Zoo and Aquarium. P&L, $60M.

 

  • Brought financial turnaround from a 5-year deficit to record EBITDAvia restructuring finances and introducing zero-base budgeting.
  • Saved over $1MM+ in expenses by introducing and integrating budgetary reporting and monitoring systems.
  • Increased attendance by 20%, breaking records for day, month, and yearvia improved marketing.
  • Achieved record-breaking gross revenue of over $30M.
  • Increased per-capita spending by 40%by bringing additional retail, food and beverage outlets.
  • Reduced outstanding maintenance work-orders by 75%by implementing new proactive work order system.
19982004

Vice President and General Manager

SIX FLAGS, INC

Responsible for M&A, development of strategic plan, oversight of Capital Improvements, ride acquisition and construction, finance, marketing, safety and revenue operations in U.S. Mexico and Spain. P&L, $60

 

  • Launched improved guest service initiatives, breaking records for EBITDA to 41%
  • Reduced 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 investmentto open Six Flags’ first international park in Mexico.
  • Led Due Diligence on six 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 monthsof 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

20012002

M.B.A

Oklahoma Christian University
19892005

B.B.A

University of Oklahoma