TEA Connect Blog

05 February 2021

TEA holds first-ever Town Hall Meeting

Friday, January 22nd, 2021 was an historic day for the TEA.

The first-ever, global and association-wide Town Hall was convened at 7am/Pacific by co-hosts Lacy Katherine Campbell and Kile Ozier with an inaugural crowd of over 200 members entering the virtual space.

TEA International Board President Chuck Fawcett took a moment at the top of the session to articulate the vision for this forum; that it represents a sweeping, forward step in the opening up of Communications Pathways and Philosophies for the Themed Entertainment Association. Establishing multilateral channels and forms of open communication between and amongst members and leadership; these envisioned-as-quarterly TEA Town Hall forums can be the tentpoles of transparency necessary to collaborative, communicative, compassionate growth and leadership, worldwide.


[Note that the full list of pre-submitted questions is posted at the end of this article.]

In refreshing contrast to scripted and pre-produced segments, this Town Hall format is 100% live. The “Agenda,” such as it was, was organized through the gathering of the questions received in advance; thus offering for this first iteration of the format a virtual Smôrgasbôrd, a veritable panoply of topics, questions and concerns that came directly from membership.

The TEA Town Hall is about representation and participation rather than presentation.

All members of TEA were invited to attend and participate (though we still are encountering some difficulty breaching the Virtual Wall of China); with that invitation including the opportunity to submit any question on any topic. Questions could be submitted in advance - either authored or anonymous - and all questions were guaranteed to be acknowledged and addressed in the TEA Town Hall.

Questions and comments were also taken ad hoc, during the meeting. The concept being to create a virtual forum experience as close to gathering, live, as virtually possible. Thus questions came from all quarters; Board Members, former Board Members (a rather vast demographic in the case of TEA), New Members, NextGen and…um…Legacy members.

Questions that called for comprehensive response or deeper research were shared, if not fully answered due to time constraints, were embraced by the appropriate EC member with the caveat of assurance of a timely response and follow-up by the proximate Town Hall date.













All members of the International Board Executive Committee were present; there to respond to questions asked of topics under their individual purviews.

We learned a lot; some things worked great, some might benefit from improvement. We are still and will continue to take feedback, session by session; massaging and enhancing this collaborative, informative and frankly pretty fun format.

Ya shoulda been there! Though we are happy with the over-200 who could be there on the 22nd; were plenty of seats with excellent views remaining to be filled.

The next TEA President’s Town Hall will be held on Friday, April 9th, 2021.

[Full list of pre-submitted questions is posted below.]


As reported by event moderators:
Lacy Campbell and Kile Ozier








What is the most important use of TEA's time and influence? Is it working to make relations between members more effective? Is it creating networking opportunities and helping people find work and employees / partners / collaborators?


 Is it putting on events? What should we be doing or place emphasis on? What should we stop doing?


How are we going to truly support our members who are going through unprecedented upheaval and loss of jobs? How will we have a clear focus on the local needs of our members and provide resources? We need to be more than parties and stand up for our members. Do we have funds set aside to help educate and allow those members who may not be able to afford their dues a way in to the support?


A question for the membership -- would you buy TEA-branded stuff if we opened a store? If so, what kind of stuff? Hats? Shirts? Mugs? Keychains? What would help you carry your passion and love of TEA with you every day?


Having college requirements and membership fees for NextGen, including young people and those attempting to enter our industry creates socio-economic barriers that favor elites and their children.


 Has the TEA given any thought to changing these requirements and fees, in addition doing an audit of the organization for systemic barriers?


I'm excited that the Diversity & Inclusion committee has been formed. What are the goals, and what initiatives will be taking place?


How, specifically, does the TEA plan to transform into an international organization, representative of and responsive to the myriad worldwide demographics of current and evolving membership (culture, gender, age, geography, economy, language)...and when?


Related question -- if you aren't currently feeling the love for TEA, what would help restore that for you?


What is current intention to allow regional independence - maintain global oversight from the international board, however I feel that not enough leeway is allowed for the regional divisions to 'self perform' without having to return to mother to ask permission.


As this discussion is focused on “walking our talk,” I would like to hear how the TEA is going to become a truly global association and support members from all around the globe. I believe that the TEA is still too North American focused.


Being a Board Member of TEA Asia, I am anxious to know how and when TEA Board will decide to set up an official entity in China to allow TEA Asia to receive sponsorship funds, membership fees and events revenue domestically to fund TEA programs in China. China theme park entertainment industry is robust and they constantly look for United States companies' assistant in many ways. It is important we engage them as members, connect them for more business opportunities and introduce them with more of our US members. Without an official TEA presence in China will truly handicap our goals to expand in China.


- The vision and mission of the TEA International - in a new climate which we are in now. With Covid situation not likely to recede until possibly end of 2021 or even to 2022 - how do TEA remain relevant and be a source of advice and support for members of the industries.

 - The crisis and the opportunities the next 5 years and how can we rise to the challenge.

 - How can we be more nimble whether in structure OR having channels of communications that ensure that information and resources be made easily available to members, information and resources that is of value in times like this.

 - With China being such a key strategic market - how are we in TEA APAC - equipped OR is given the authority/freedom to grow it's membership and be an association that is to be of value to the market.




Posted by Erica Schwehr



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