TEA Connect Blog

05 April 2016

Liquid Gold: Appreciating Peter Chernack, 1948-2016


Peter Chernack, a past president of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), passed away on April 3, 2016. (The above photo shows him at the 1997 TEA Thea Awards Gala.)

Most recently he headed The Chernack Group; in past years, his company was Metavision. Peter is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and his daughters, Michelle and Daniella. Peter is remembered with warmth and fondness by his colleagues and friends as a wise, caring, generous and gifted man.

Members of the TEA community have shared comments, memories and appreciation:

"Peter always walked quietly in a forest of possibilities, seeing potential in everyone, in friends, in clients and their stories, in the TEA and its members, and most especially, such rich and deep potential in Rebecca, Michelle and Daniella. How his face lit up when he spoke of them! The comfort of his counsel was always livened by his humor, a sudden twinkling of his eyes when he dropped a little zinger perfectly designed to calm the soul and remind one of the important things in life. Times could be challenging, but Peter always found a way to make us search deep for our own potential. I heard him speak once about the Always Elvis Multimedia Extravaganza (who can forget that name!) in Las Vegas, where elements of the star’s career were assembled and presented to keep his life and music alive. Thanks to Peter’s spirit and generosity, each of us fortunate enough to know him will forever be part of the Always Peter Extravaganza, connected through the many happy memories of our time together." -- Gene Jeffers, former executive director, TEA

"I met Peter Chernack on the Castle Dracula project at Universal Studios Tour in early 1980.  (There were no other Universal Parks at the time.)  I believe we had a HUGE budget of $3 million, and I quickly became a lifelong admirer of Peter and his talent for understanding and articulating the balancing dance between creative, technology, management, budget and exceeding the audience’s expectations. Over the years, our paths crossed in business and in life. No one supported talent (of any kind) more than Peter. His kindness, words of wisdom and support meant everything . . . especially for me. As a founding member and a past President of the TEA, Peter’s passion and vision were vital to the growth of this crazy industry and . . . along with all the other Presidents of this prestigious group, his dreams have been realized. I was fortunate to see the joy in his eyes and smile whenever he talked about 'his girls' . . . his amazing wife, Rebecca and his beautiful daughters, Michelle and Daniella. I was grateful to call him a friend. Rest in peace, my friend." -- Cindy Aylward, Cinergy

"Peter will be sorely missed by his many friends and the hundreds of people who have worked with him. My first encounter with Peter was while I was working on the Panasonic Pavilion for CityWalk. It was my first foray into themed entertainment and Peter, wonderfully generous as always, reached out and guided me through the media process. It was his enthusiastic nature and kind demeanor for which I have always been grateful. He wanted to help even though he didn't have to! His passing is a great loss." -- Jeremy Railton, founder, Entertainment Design Corporation

“We met Peter in the mid-1980s and had the opportunity to work with him and his team on a Universal Studios project. Due to that introduction when Monty Lunde held the first meeting in Burbank to gauge interest in forming an association (which became the TEA) Peter was the only one in the room we knew…in fact he was insistent that we attend. Peter always put light into everything he did. Always generous with his time, talents and resources. Always generous with a point of view that he skillfully articulated – sometimes at great length!! Always up, positive energy. We cannot remember a time we ever saw him down. We will hold close those 31 years of happy memories! We will miss his light.” -- TEA past presidents Roberta Perry and Brian Edwards of ETI

"Peter Chernack... a true friend and wonderful professional colleague, an genuine inspiration for his dedication to the Themed Entertainment industry through his tireless and unbounded enthusiastic support of the TEA from its inception, has left us way too soon. His presence in all we do to make the world a better place, our industry stronger and our association ever more vital is already missed." -- TEA past president Rick Rothschild, Far Out Creative Direction

Many thanks to Cindy Aylward for digging into the archives 
of The Basix newsletter to find these vintage Chernack items
from the 1990s.

"Peter was a friend  and a mentor. Not only to me but to many in our industry. He loved what we do and had genuine care for everyone doing it.  Every visit with him left you feeling better about yourself and the potential for the industry. I will miss him greatly. Spending time with Peter on the TEA Past Presidents Committee, I came to realize that he loved the TEA and gave selflessly of his time and effort to ensure that we remember the past and build a strong future for the association. All of this was done behind the scenes with never a need for recognition. He will be missed by all of us." -- TEA past president George Wiktor, Show Producer, Universal Creative

"I first met Peter in 1997 when his company was bidding on a project I was working on. He struck me as a thoughtful, passionate and extremely articulate leader in the world of themed entertainment. As my involvement in the TEA grew, our paths crossed often and he encouraged me to continue to become more involved, and at the same time always thanking me (and the company) for my commitment. He was the consummate gentleman and we will truly miss his ongoing contributions to the TEA as well as his friendship." -- TEA past president Christine Kerr, BaAM Productions

"Both as friend and colleague, Peter was simply the best. His gentle soul and calm demeanor, together with a powerful intellect and strong work ethic, made him one of those people we are so fortunate to know and collaborate with in our working and personal lives. He will be greatly missed." -- Nick Winslow

"There’s only one 'Peter.' In the world of the TEA no last name was ever necessary.  Peter was always there when you needed him. There with a vision. With a smile. With passion and dedication to our industry. I’m fortunate to have known him so long that we go back to his old theatre days. At Metavision he changed the way we see. But most importantly it was the home that Peter gave to the TEA at the Metavision offices while he was our President for two terms that really put the organization on firm footing. Every meeting of the Thea Awards Committee with Peter in attendance was an exercise in inclusion and generosity. We are all diminished by the loss of Peter’s wit, wisdom…and most especially his words of liquid gold." -- Pat MacKay, Ones&ZerosMedia, TEA Summit Co-Chair and TEA Distinguished Service honoree

"Peter Chernack was an amazing and wonderful man. A true gentleman. A dedicated leader and champion for TEA. He was loyal and generous and loving. He never spared a compliment or acknowledgment. He made you feel special and wonderful. Time always passed to quickly when spending time together as you always wished for more. A brilliant story teller and master of his craft. His smile brightened the day and the problems of the world fell away with his hugs. He shared his wisdom and knowledge willingly and was a true mentor. My heart is breaking with his passing. This is a tremendous loss for TEA, our industry and the world." -- Jennie Nevin, Chief Operating Officer, TEA

"Peter was a prince of a human being. I'm so sorry that he has left us. I remember when a couple of us leaned on Peter to take a second turn of the wheel in serving as president of the TEA at a critical time in its early years. He was gracious and generous in committing himself and his company resources in helping the TEA to push forward. I last saw Peter a couple of years ago during the TEA Summit. He and Monty Lunde invited me to join them for the TEA presidents dinner. He know he had limited time then, but was gracious and giving as always. That's who he was. I consider myself lucky to have known Peter and to have worked with him. He was a good man and a better friend. May God rest his soul." -- Pat Scanlon, PRS Associates







Posted by Judith Rubin



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