TEA Connect Blog

26 November 2020

Themed Entertainment Association enters transition as Chief Operating Officer, Jennie Nevin, departs

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced that Chief Operating Officer Jennie Nevin, is stepping down after seven years, effective November 30, 2020. Nevin will consult with the TEA during the transition period toward new leadership.

At the 25th Annual TEA Thea Awards Gala in 2019 with
TEA International Board President Michael Blau,
TEA Past President Michael Mercadante
and Chris Ho of Chimelong Group

Since Nevin joined TEA in 2013, the Association has reached new milestones in many aspects of its operations and programming, including membership growth, member services, brand identity, financial stability, internal organization, staffing, and global awareness.

During her tenure, Jennie Nevin stewarded the Association to achieve its goals of financial recovery, stability and to reach new levels of sponsorship and membership growth.

2016: Medialon-sponsored mixer at the TEA booth during the
IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando

Nevin's work enabled TEA to eliminate its debt, significantly increase annual income, establish a large operational reserve, more than quadruple its membership, expand its sponsorship base, and dramatically enhance the quantity and quality of its member events worldwide. She also took steps to foster a greater emphasis on diversity within the association.

Nevin led the development of several new policies and procedures. This development included the introduction of board governance training, as well as the establishment of code of conduct, antitrust, and conflict of interest policies.

With Michael Blau and Michael Mercadante, at the annual
TEA Member Meeting in 2019

She also worked to elevate the TEA brand, spearheading the creation of a new website, logo, and brand guidelines, as well as raising the profile of the TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index, TEA Summit and Thea Awards, and global SATE conferences.

In response to the global pandemic, Nevin successfully pivoted the Themed Entertainment Association’s programming from in-person to virtual, helping to produce over 55 TEA Digital events, including the inaugural Thea Awards Digital Case Studies.

With TEA Past International Board President
Steve Birket and Iron Man at Hong Kong Disneyland

She also drafted guidelines to safely reintroduce in-person events when appropriate, made the TEA Job Board free of charge to companies and job seekers, and worked to extend memberships for those companies and individuals financially struggling.

During this time she also helped create and formalize TEA’s new mentor program. Jennie’s focus on financial management and sponsor engagement throughout the past seven years has allowed TEA’s finances to remain stable even in the midst of the current economic crisis.

Jennie Nevin has been a familiar presence in the global attractions community, helping TEA to reflect and support the global expansion and evolution of the industry.

With TEA Past International Board President David Willrich,
at the annual TEA Summit at Disneyland Resort

She represented and promoted the TEA year-round at conferences and trade gatherings around the world, building relationships and establishing partnerships with other industry organizations and sponsors.

Nevin will assist in executing the current initiatives of the TEA, while a member of the TEA Headquarters staff will manage the day-to-day functionality of the Association. An Executive Search Committee is in the process of formulation, led by incoming TEA International Board President, Chuck Fawcett of Animax Designs.

“Jennie has been instrumental in the growth and stabilization of the TEA since she was brought on board seven years ago,” said Michael Blau, outgoing President of the TEA International Board.

With TEA Past International Board President Christine Kerr
and TEA Founder Monty Lunde

“She managed to formalize and professionalize the TEA through tremendous efforts, dedication, time, and unwavering commitment. Without her, we would not have been able to serve our members to the great extent that we have during her tenure," said Blau. "I want to very much thank Jennie, and I wish her success in her next role.”

“It has been an honor to serve the Association and its members worldwide for the past seven years,” said Nevin. “I care deeply for the TEA and for the leaders and members who have supported me throughout my time here, and I know there is a bright future ahead.”


2017: At the TEA Thea Awards Gala, Jennie Nevin with
TEA Global Headquarters senior staff
Erica Schwehr, Tammie Richards and Judith Rubin

About the Themed Entertainment Association

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is the international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences - worldwide. TEA members bring specific expertise in a variety of disciplines to a field that is constantly evolving: the creation of successful, highly engaging, out of home visitor attractions and experiences in the leisure and travel sector. These entertaining and educational projects include theme parks, water parks, museums, zoos, corporate visitor centers, casinos, restaurants, branded experiences, multimedia spectaculars, retail spaces, resorts and hospitality, destination attractions and more.

Jennie Nevin with her husband Michael Thayer, a lighting designer,
TEA member and active volunteer for the association

TEA was founded in 1991 and now encompasses some 1,800 members in four primary Divisions: Eastern North America, Western North America, Europe & Middle East, and Asia Pacific. TEA's leading contributions include the annual Thea Awards, now recognized worldwide as a top industry honor, the annual SATE conferences (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology, Experience), the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index and the TEA NextGen Initiative to help students and recent grads build careers in the industry. In the 28 years of its existence, TEA has changed the global conversation about how great guest experiences are conceived and realized and focused international attention on a vital niche of popular culture.

Media inquiries - Contact Judith Rubin

Posted by Judith Rubin



TEA Members please log in to comment

More TEA Connect Blog