TEA Connect Blog

23 July 2017

TEA Member Spotlight: Joe Fox, Birket Engineering

If you've attended a Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) conference such as the annual TEA Summit or TEA SATE, you have likely met Joe Fox, and/or heard his name mentioned multiple times, as he is generally a fixture behind the curtain making sure all things technical go forward with quality and consistency. 

Joe Fox is senior project engineer
at Birket Engineering, a TEA member and 
a valued volunteer within TEA

Joe works for Birket Engineering, where his current title is senior project engineer. Joe has been a supportive, reliable and highly valued volunteer within TEA for a number of years. He's always positive and upbeat, and ready for a challenge. He's also a TEA "NextGen" success story although he was a bit older than the typical NextGen, as he was making a career transition as an adult, rather than joining the industry as a recent grad. Joe understands the concept and value of giving back: He knows that you get out of TEA what you put in, and he acts on that knowledge.  

How did you get your start in the industry? 
I've been interested in themed entertainment since 1997 when I visited my first theme park, Epcot, with my high school marching band. I realized that any company and industry that could build something on the scale and complexity of Spaceship Earth (the Jeremy Irons version) was the place for me. It took a while (and a couple career and life changes) to get there, but in 2013, I interviewed with Birket. They looked at my resume with project management, software programming and a hodgepodge of other useful skills, along with my TEA and IAAPA volunteer experience and gave me a chance. It’s been a wild ride ever since, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Tell us about the company you work for.
Birket Engineering started out on the heels of the construction of Epcot when Glenn Birket (and many others) found themselves looking for work once the park was complete (apropos that Epcot plays such a central role in both our stories!). He and several others decided to create companies to fill the new and burgeoning interest in themed entertainment in central Florida and eventually around the world. Now we work in ride and show control, specialty lighting, pyrotechnics control systems, production, specialty consumer merchandise and many other things. We’ve done work for every Disney and Universal park around the world, and hundreds of other places as well. I’m fortunate to get to work in nearly every aspect of our company as a Project Engineer.

Joe Fox and Tori Wickman at the 2017 TEA Thea Awards Gala

Do you have a favorite slogan or saying that you use?
Walt Disney once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” I couldn’t agree more.

Have you served on a TEA Board or Committee? If so, what were the rewards?
I’m a member of the TEA Eastern North America Division Board and have served on the TEA NextGen Committee for several years. I’m passionate about TEA NextGen because it helped me re-launch my career into this industry as a transition from another industry, and it serves as a springboard for so many talented, passionate people to find their place in our world.

How did you first find out about TEA? Why be a member? 

Steve Alcorn was the first to introduce me to TEA through his Imagineering course online. I joined IAAPA and TEA at the same time, then volunteeered in the TEA booth at IAAPA several years ago. It’s been a home with like-minded people and friends ever since. I meet new people constantly; I learn and grow in my skillset through connections made via the TEA and I am able to give back and serve my community in a myriad of different ways.

Posted by Judy Rubin

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