TEA Connect Blog

02 March 2020

Meaningful connections: Co-chair Melissa Ruminot talks about TEA Summit 2020 - Day One

Hundreds of themed entertainment professionals come to network, learn and celebrate at the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) annual Summit conference, followed by the TEA Thea Awards, taking place in 2020 at Disneyland Hotel, part of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California - July 1-10.

TEA Summit Day One has a "business of the business" focus, curated by three co-chairs: Two TEA Past Presidents - Steve Birket of Birket Engineering and Christine Kerr of Kerr Creative Company - and TEA International Board Member Melissa Ruminot of The Companies of Nassal, interviewed below by TEA's Judith Rubin. #TEAsummit #TEAtheas

Tickets/more info

Photo at top: The TEA Summit 2020 Day One co-chairs, left to right, Melissa Ruminot, Steve Birket, Christine Kerr

"An exceptional opportunity to make meaningful connections" - Interview with Melissa Ruminot, TEA Summit Day One co-chair

What are some things you’re doing to make TEA Summit Day One compelling and relevant for attendees in the year 2020?

Each of the sessions we are doing throughout Summit Day One in 2020 looks at the different social and economic factors that affect our industry and our guests globally, and we will dive into these topics in an engaging and thought-provoking way. We'll consider the “why” surrounding our global industry (as opposed to the "what" or "how") with our keynote speaker, Matt Dunsmoor, Igniter for Simon Sinek Inc., setting the tone.

We are very excited about the breakout sessions, new this year. We will feature three unique topics where attendees can “choose their own adventure” and attend the session most relevant to them. 

Our global industry evolves each year, and the TEA Summit must reflect that.  

What is it that brings people back to the TEA Summit time and again?

We do our best to make it fresh and relevant each year, as mentioned above, but connection is the constant from one year to the next, and something that our members and our community rely upon. The TEA Summit is an opportunity for attendees to connect with one another, both for networking as well as knowledge-sharing and collaboration, while celebrating the best of what our industry creates. It’s an opportunity for celebration, but also an opportunity for us to share best practices and common challenges and successes as business leaders and managers.

Whether a first-timer or a TEA Summit regular, what would you advise delegates do to prepare for this year’s conference?

Be open minded, be engaged, and ask questions! It’s often difficult to take the time and step away from our offices and day-to-day responsibilities to attend conferences - so once there, really make the most of it! Network with friends, colleagues, and collaborators in the room, and make it a point to meet someone new. Engage in the topics and speakers, ask questions, and challenge status quo thinking – and have fun while doing it!

Tell us about the keynote speaker and “Start with Why.”

Matt Dunsmoor will speak about the approach developed by Simon Sinek that can help us all do better in our business. Sinek’s “Start with Why” philosophy provides a foundation that resonates with organizations and industries around the world. The mentality and framework are scalable and relatable for any size company. When we start to inherently understand why we do what we do - what drives our decisions - we can better define the “how” and “what.” The WHY is not about money or profit - those are results. The WHY is the thing that inspires us and inspires those around us.

You are co-chairing TEA Summit Day One with Steve Birket and Christine Kerr. What is the special something that each of you brings to it?

Both Christine Kerr and Steve Birket are TEA Past Presidents who have given many years of service and leadership to the organization. I’ve been so fortunate to work alongside them both in the curation of TEA Summit Day One. It's a highly collaborative process, and each of us offers a different perspective.

Steve brings a career spent in themed entertainment, based in one of our global industry hubs (Orlando) and starting out as a Disney cast member. He combines the can-do clarity of an engineer with the perspective and experience of a business owner. He founded the TEA President’s Forums specifically to connect owner/operators with suppliers.

Christine comes more from the creative executive side with substantial experience in museums and sports events as well as theme parks. She is passionate about expanding and improving educational opportunities within the TEA community. She's very active on the global front and has taken a prominent role in other TEA conferences as well.

For my own part, as a specialist in marketing and client development, I bring the emphasis on connections. Connecting members with members is at the very core of what makes the TEA so special. This is a fun, creative, innovative industry - we are so fortunate to do the work that we do - and the TEA Summit is an exceptional opportunity to make meaningful connections that can grow into something amazing down the road. 


TEA Summit 2020, July 9-10, followed by the TEA Thea Awards Gala, July 11, at Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim California




Many thanks to the sponsors of TEA Summit 2020!

Posted by Judy Rubin



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