When you’re enjoying the sandy beaches or soaring by Commerson’s dolphins in Dolphin Plunge, you might wonder who helped bring Aquatica to life. Bryan Nadeau has been with the SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment more than 15 years and has held many positions ranging from culinary to merchandise to IT to operations, in St. Louis, Williamsburg and now Orlando. We sat down with Bryan to figure out what makes him tick.
You’ve worked in many areas of SeaWorld Parks, how does that help you now?
When I accepted the Culinary Manager position at Water Country USA in Williamsburg, VA, I really didn't know what to expect. I quickly realized that “This is it, this is the environment I want to work in the rest of my life.” My first nine years with the SeaWorld Parks were spent at Water Country USA, where I oversaw the Culinary and Merchandise departments for four years and then moved to Operations for my last five years. During that time I was involved in the planning, construction and operation of restaurants, arcades, gift shops and world-class, one-of-a-kind attractions.
What's the best part about your job?
One of my favorite responsibilities is building my team. Being able to put together an opening team for Aquatica was so exciting. From job fairs to interview panels to conducting lifeguard classes, we all pitched in and had a very strong opening year. Three years later, several team members are still around and it's great to reminisce about our “freshman year” together.
What’s a typical day for the Vice President of Aquatica?
I can’t answer because no two days are ever the same, and that’s what I love. I’ve been known to put on a pair of shorts and work a ride on a Saturday afternoon, and I really enjoy being side-by-side with the team and hearing about their day. Sometimes, when I get back to my office, there might be a random animal sitting at my desk!
What’s your favorite experience you’ve had while working?
When I first started working at our Parks, a young boy was wrapped in one of those white hooded towels was walking with his father towards the parking lot. I was a few steps behind heading to my office after a busy day and was worn out when I overheard the little boy look up and say “Daddy, I love you.” I knew right then, this was what it’s all about -- the memories shared at our Parks.