Past Presidents

Keith James

International Board President: 2001, 2002

Owner/Chief Executive Officer
JRA (Jack Rouse Associates)
600 Vine St.
Suite 1700
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202
United States
Tel: +1 513 381-0055


Biography

Due to his diverse background, considerable experience and practical approach, Keith James has become one of the themed entertainment industry’s most respected leaders.

In celebration of Keith’s four decades of contributions to the industry, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) honored him with the 2016 Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements. Keith was lauded not only for his professional achievements, but also for his personal interest in the growth and direction of the industry. He served as TEA President from 2000-2002, and, as a member of the TEA’s Board of Directors, helped form the Association’s Europe-Middle East Division.

In addition to his TEA service, Keith has previously served on the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' Board of Directors, Manufacturers & Suppliers Committee, and Nominating Committee and currently sits on the IAAPA Space Allocation Committee. In November 2011, his illustrious career was honored at the annual IAAPA Expo in Orlando, where he was presented with IAAPA’s 2011 Outstanding Service Award. According to IAAPA, the award “is presented in recognition of a member individual that works to foster the spirit of goodwill, professionalism, and higher levels of performance within the industry regionally, nationally, or internationally."

Keith’s entire professional career has been in themed entertainment, and his passion for the industry is evident to all those who know him. Says Keith, “I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to do something I love for over 40 years. In addition to being involved with some great projects, I’ve had the chance to meet some wonderful people along the way.” His areas of expertise include formal planning, project management, park operations, show production and general management.

Graduating from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music in 1974, Keith first teamed with Jack Rouse to found and develop Kings Productions, the entertainment production and facility design division of the Taft Broadcasting Company’s amusement park group. There he was exposed to all of the disciplines involved in designing and constructing a modern theme park. In 1979, he became Director of Planning and Development for Canada’s Wonderland, Taft’s $120 million (Canadian) theme park. He became the park’s Director of Operations in 1981, having overall responsibility for all facets of day-to-day operations. In 1983, Keith took the post of Vice President, Operations for the 1986 World’s Fair in Vancouver, where he was responsible for the initial planning and staffing. He then returned to Taft as Managing Director of Australia’s Wonderland in Sydney. In 1987, Keith returned to the United States as Vice President, Show Production at Universal Studios Florida. He was promoted in 1990 to Senior Vice President, Planning and Development, taking responsibility for the production side of the rides, shows and art departments for the state-of-the-art park. Keith concluded his involvement with Universal in August 1991 and rejoined Jack in January 1992 at Jack Rouse Associates.

Since that time, Keith has managed JRA’s design and production work for such clients as The LEGO Group; Warner Bros.; Universal Studios Florida; Six Flags Theme Parks; Volkswagen’s Autostadt; Ocean Park, Hong Kong, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Paramount Studios. Recent work includes projects for Rixos Resorts in Turkey; the Sochi Adventure Park which opened with the Sochi Olympics; the Lao Nui Children’s Museum in Beijing, China; The Golisano Children’s Museum in Naples, Florida; the original Crayola Experience in Eaton, Pennsylvania; the London Paramount project, set to open in 2021; an attraction for the Astana World Expo 2017; and numerous conceptual projects in China and the Middle East. Keith has also been instrumental in opening new markets in India, the Pacific Rim and Eastern Europe.

Keith's four decades of experience, along with his extensive travel and work worldwide, have given him a unique global perspective, which has strengthened his reputation as a true force in themed entertainment industry.


TEA boards and committees

Past Presidents – International Board President: 2001, 2002