Marilyn Hannes was appointed Park President for SeaWorld and Aquatica in April, 2016. As the company’s first woman Park President in San Diego, she leads all operations for both parks with more than 4,600 ambassadors and 12,000 animals. Prior to April, Hannes served as the Vice President of Global Sales for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, leading sales and distribution for domestic and international markets for 12 theme parks. Hannes began her 19-year career with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as Director of Travel Industry Sales for SeaWorld San Diego where she also served as Director of Sales and Vice President of Marketing and Sales.
Prior to joining SeaWorld in 1997, Hannes was the General Manager and Director of Sales and Operations for Wild Bill’s Wild West Dinner Extravaganza in Buena Park, California. Previously, she was Vice President of Spectrum Advertising and Promotions, a marketing company responsible for international sales missions for Visit California and advertising programs for Southern California tourism. Hannes also served during this time as the Director of Marketing for the Buena Park Convention and Visitors Office.
Hannes is a Past Chair of the California Travel Industry Association. Additionally, she is a past Chair of the Visit California International Committee and was invited to represent California’s tourism leadership on Gubernatorial Trade Missions to China, Canada, and Mexico with Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Brown. Hannes served the San Diego Tourism Marketing District via the Marketing Advisory Task Force and the San Diego 20-Year Tourism Master Plan Task Force. Hannes is also a former Chair of the Board for the U.S Travel Experience Network, a council of the U.S. Travel Association. In 2014, Hannes was appointed by San Diego’s Mayor Faulconer and the San Diego City Council to serve on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. Hannes currently serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Tourism Authority.
Hannes received the 1994 Leadership Award for General Manager Excellence from the Southern California Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association. Other accolades include the TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) in 2005, and the California Diversity Council Woman of Power and Influence in 2012. Hannes is a California native and recently relocated back from Orlando to San Diego with her husband Phil and son Brandon, the youngest of her five children.