TEA Connect Blog

01 September 2021

Special Message from Our TEA International Board President, Chuck Fawcett

Hello to our TEA global members and colleagues.

I want to take a moment to give you an update on all the great things going on behind the scenes at the TEA as well as deliver a message of shared optimism and hope as we work through this challenging year. I also want you to know that our highest priority is to listen to you and to continue to identify the best ways for the TEA to support our industry.

The last several months have been among the most grueling, yet eventful and productive days the TEA has seen in a long time. While you were seeing renewed activity on projects, business travel and in many cases a return to the office, the TEA was making tremendous strides in building its staff and infrastructure to better serve you. Here are a few highlights I can share:

  • After an exhaustive search, the TEA hired our new Executive Director, Lindsey Nelson who hit the ground running with the launch of a 100 Day Plan and a Global Listening Tour in an effort to address short term issues while gaining valuable member feedback to better inform our long-term strategy.
  • As part of the Listening Tour, Lindsey participated in countless Zoom calls with TEA leaders across the globe. We also hit the road this summer visiting members across the US in St. Louis, Chicago, Orlando, and Los Angeles with a simple objective. To introduce our new Executive Director to this dynamic and very diverse industry and to listen to YOU. What we learned is that while the challenges are still enormous, member optimism for the future has never been higher.
  • In the second half of 2021 the TEA moved full steam ahead with the safe resumption of live in-person events, so far delivering 8 first-class events around the globe. Meanwhile TEA staff and division leadership have continued to create new ways to keep our members engaged through the delivery of over 30 virtual events and a combined registration of over 5,000 individuals!
  • We presented a unique SATE Global Series with a diverse group of participants built around the theme of Reinvention. This included 46 speakers from around the world representing 10 different countries over 11 sessions. The sessions included thought provoking content from our friends in China including Rita Zeng from Tencent and a wonderful storytelling segment from Evi Sari and the legendary Joe Rohde.
  • The TEA is continuing to deliver content recognizing industry excellence with the production of a six-part series of digital case studies featuring the recipients of the 27th Annual Thea Awards. We encourage all of our members to tune in and watch these amazing projects and hear the behind-the-scenes story of how each of them was created.
  • Speaking of behind-the-scenes, TEA headquarters led by Lindsey has continued to build operational and staff capacity including a complete overhaul of our financial and bookkeeping services transitioning to a fully online expense management system. We recently consolidated our office space to further reduce overhead and have engaged with an outside management company to fill immediate staffing needs.
  • We are also proud to announce that on July 15th the TEA received confirmation of the legal formation of the new TEA China based in Shanghai. This is a major accomplishment for the TEA and one that will pave the way for us to become a truly global association. While there is still much work to do to, the TEA has made history with this endeavor, and I want to thank our China Task force for their hard work and dedication to the process.

Our eyes are clearly looking towards the future and how our actions and decisions today will position the TEA for an even stronger recovery in 2022. With that in mind, we are now looking ahead to the remainder of 2021 with some very important goals in mind.

  • The TEA continues to plan for more in-person events in Q3 and Q4 including SATE Europe in Barcelona and IAAPA in Europe and Orlando.
  • The International Board is gearing up for an in-person strategic planning session in October to focus on critical issues facing the TEA including clarifying our priorities and focusing on the future needs of the industry and our members.
  • The TEA is now conducting its annual Board elections and has opened over 30 elected positions on the international and divisional boards. Now is the time to step up and serve for those of you who want to volunteer your valuable time to the TEA.
  • We’re getting ready to make some big announcements highlighting achievements in the industry with the upcoming release of our new TEA Masters and the 28th Annual Thea Award Recipients.
  • Our operational and budget planning for 2022 is well underway to ensure that the TEA is ready to deliver for our members in the year ahead.
  • We’re also looking at launching new content next year including a series of Owner’s Roundtable discussions designed specifically for small business owner members who want to share their entrepreneurial ideas and learn from their peers.
  • And we continue to explore legal and other options related to future expansion in the Middle East and other global markets for 2022.

We will continue to build a stronger TEA that is there to help guide and shape our industry, and ultimately to serve you. Your membership is the foundation that makes all of this happen and I want to thank you for making that commitment to the TEA.


Best regards,

Chuck Fawcett

International Board President

TEA – Themed Entertainment Association


Posted by Josephine Gilmore



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