Chief Executive Officer
Mike loves to work. You’ll find him in the mix every day as a working partner at Amusement Park and co-founder of The Values Institute. Right alongside his partners, Mike is the cultural leader of the agency creating a values-based environment offering everyone the opportunity for growth on every level.
The Values Institute, a strategic think tank that sits beside the agency, does research and consulting dedicated to identifying and cascading shared values. Mike and the institute publish OC’s Most Trustworthy Brands survey and host the annual Trust Summit. In 2013, The Values Institute entered into a joint venture with California State University, Fullerton, to create the Center for Brand Values Communication and Research. It is our nation’s first-of-its-kind academic organization dedicated to the study of how brand and corporate values are lived and communicated.
Mike sits on the Foundation Board of Cal State Fullerton and Board of Directors of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce where he co-chairs the Economic Development Council. Mike is also an active member of Downtown Inc., whose mission is to facilitate the enhancement of the downtown area as a vibrant shopping, entertainment, business and cultural destination.
Has jokingly referred to the Internet as “The Interwebs” so many times that he now says it even when he’s not joking.
Chief Creative Officer
Many people know how influential advertising greats Lewis Williams, Dan Wieden, John Jay, Jim Riswold, Jon Kamen, David Lubars, Lee Clow, Michael Roth and funk legend, Bootsy Collins have been in the career of Jimmy Smith. However, what many people don’t know is that if it were not for Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, David White and Agnes Moorehead – Jimmy might never have considered a career in advertising. Montgomery, York, White and Moorehead played Samantha Stephens, Darrin Stephens, Larry Tate and Endora, respectively, on the TV show, “Bewitched.” Darrin was a creative director and Larry was an account executive. Not only did the show introduce Jimmy to advertising, it unintentionally planted the seed of the idea of branded entertainment.
Throughout his career, Jimmy – a 2012 Fast Company magazine Top 100 Most Creative member – has worked his magic in a variety of roles as a copywriter, creative director, author, TV writer, video game creator, film and record producer. His work has been recognized for its fresh advertising approaches (One Show, Cannes, D&AD, ANDY, Time magazine), for its TV show originality (Emmy nomination - Gatorade Replay) and for its beauty (Stiftung Buchkunst International Book Art Competition, Copenhagen Museum of Applied Arts - Soul of the Game). And in 2013, Jimmy added TV show talent to his list of accomplishments, as he appeared as a judge on VH1’s reality show, “Model Employee.”
As you’ll often hear Jimmy say, “Jesus has hooked a brotha up!”
The guy who beat out Michael Jordan for the spot on his JV team.
Executive Creative Director
Jon leads Amusement Park's creative departments, ensuring that all the work is of the highest level. With over 35 years in the advertising business, Jon’s efforts have been recognized by the industry’s most prestigious awards competitions. Jon has served two terms as Co-President of the Orange County Ad Club, and three terms on the board of Arts Orange County. Jon’s vast experience includes such clients as Wienerschnitzel, KFC, Toshiba, Hilton, Apple Computer, California Avocado Commission, Quiksilver and Shimano.
Jon’s talents don’t just live within the agency. He’s very hands on with Downtown Santa Ana’s evolution and performs locally with his band, Peanut.
Bailed out of Monty Python just before they made it big.
“Figure it out. Make it happen.” That’s more than just a title for Ed’s blog, it’s his view on life. He’s also a fan of, “Rub some dirt on it” and “Walk it off”. As the agency president, Ed is a key leader of our staff and business. He applauds people who have a strong “whatever it takes” attitude and is convinced that the combination of intelligence, creativity, compassion, and tenacity is what differentiates great from good.
He brings a wealth of experience to the agency and to our clients, having spent time at premier advertising agencies; Y&R, DDB, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Hill Holliday, and Berlin Cameron United. He also led business development efforts for AOL Time Warner and NCC Media.
Ed is also a big believer in the next generation. As an adjunct professor of advertising at Chapman University, he’s helping prepare our upcoming leaders.
Can provide the jersey number of any major sports figure you throw at him.
Bobby Ware is the Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Amusement Park Entertainment, LLC. Ware’s primary area of involvement in the company is the execution of business, financial, and legal strategy as it relates to the global business affairs of Amusement Park. Ware integrates brand initiatives with APE’s prime directive of building partnerships that monetize intellectual property on multiple platforms in non-traditional ways.
Since the start of Amusement Park, Ware has perfected several partnerships with major brands, music artists and professional athletes where each participant shares in the responsibility for monetizing the intellectual property on multiple platforms. Ware also identifies and implements potential growth strategy for the future of Amusement Park as it relates to trends and opportunities in the industry.
Has the willpower to eat just one Thin Mint.
Chief Financial Officer
Dean’s not new to the amusement park game. After barely graduating from the Escola de Clown de Barcelona, Dean began as a junior carny in the late 70s. Days were spent keeping the midway clean and nights were controlled chaos manning the Tilt-a-Whirl and Vomit Comet. Stepping on the misshapen heads and greasy hands of his co-workers he quickly moved up the fair circuit corporate ladder. However, Dean’s headstrong nature isn’t for everyone and it wasn’t long before he’d pissed off the wrong person and found himself in the sideshow as Delilah the Bearded Lady. He made it work though – see page 347, Barnum and Bailey Book of Records.
Now fast forward and imagine Dean’s surprise when he responded to Amusement Park’s ad for CFO - thinking it stood for Clown Faced Omambe he figured he was a shoo-in. Unfazed he dug deep into his clown college training during the interview and convinced the Partners he was perfectly qualified as an advertising agency Chief Financial Officer. After all, the job is successfully performed by a sideshow of freaks at agency holding companies all over the world. And just like that, Dean now enters the gilded doors of old city hall in Santa Ana on the daily, hell bent on changing the game.
Believes the Earth is a trapezoid.
Chief Marketing Officer
Johanna has been working in marketing for over 30 years. She knew her first semester of college that she wanted to work in marketing and keeps a copy of her Marketing 101 textbook in her office as a reminder of the professor who inspired and challenged her to become a successful, well-rounded marketer.
When ordering chicken fingers she asks for only middle fingers.
Strategic Planning Director
Mark has a simple take on Planning - it’s the foundation on which we build relationships between clients and their customers. Simple? Yes. Easy? No. But for 30 years, Mark has helped clients launch, rebuild or manage global and local brands in almost every category from automotive to travel. His experience includes strategy for Black & Decker, California Avocado Commission, California Science Center, Hyundai, Hilton, Nissan, PacSun, Thermador, Toyota, Wendy’s and more. Mark also heads up the BalancedHealthy practice at Amusement Park which researches, publishes and provides POVs on the 76% of Americans that live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Insists his wife is the one who married up.
Cathy has been here from almost the beginning, which means she has dirt on everybody. But more importantly she knows every nook and cranny of this place and the business. She boasts 30 years of background research, planning and implementation of all facets of media for clients including Century 21’s national account, Lincoln Financial, and Argent Mortgage, and franchise clients like Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, and Wienerschnitzel. Media reps love Cathy despite the fact that she consistently “works” them to get the greatest value for her clients.
Has a support dog for her support dog.
Public Relations Director
Want to get the word out? Bob’s the guy to know. He brings AP a diverse, award-riddled, 20-year PR and marketing background with extensive hospitality, hotel, attraction, restaurant, food and retail PR experience. Pre-Amusement Park he spent 8 years as the Director of PR and a member of the Senior Marketing Team at Knott’s Berry Farm/Knott’s Resort and has worked on collaborations with the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Anaheim/OC Visitor and Convention Bureau and State of California Tourism Office.
Fit model for the original Hanes Beefy T t-shirt.
Cindy manages billing, payroll, accounts payable and financial reporting as controller. She also handles benefits administration and all human resource functions and coordinates facilities management. Cindy has worked at a few other agencies and has experience with several accounting software systems. She embodies the Amusement Park core values of community, collaboration and tenacity. When she’s not making life better for us humans she’s making things better for dogs by volunteering at her local animal shelter.
Was banned from further contact with Cheesecake Factory for causing a “ruckus”. On a Tuesday. During lunch.
Associate Planning Director
Greg is seasoned in helping both national and local brands achieve results. Curious by nature, he enjoys taking a fresh approach to each client’s unique situation. In his 25 years in advertising, Greg has helped clients grow their business in a variety of industries including CPG, automotive, technology, fashion and healthcare. Prior to bringing his talents to AP Greg cut his advertising teeth in LA at Chiat/Day.
Gave up surfing out of fear of being featured on Kook of the Day's Instagram feed.
Courtney started out like most copywriters … as an aspiring screenwriter. And thus she began her career in the national publicity department at Sony Pictures Studios. In a shocking move, she decided to trade the glitz, glam, and ‘coffee getting’ of the entertainment industry for the hustle and bustle of the ad biz, and hasn’t looked back. Her award-winning campaigns include Wienerschnitzel, DOLE Food Co., Yamaha, Hilton Garden Inn and CHOC Children’s, just to name a few. She lives to create meaningful connections and communications, and brings this passion to every brand she touches – always exploring new ways brands can engage and excite customers.
Pronounces the “u” in the British spelling of colour.
Steve grew up in a North Carolina town of about 150 people – many of which were family members. During his 20+ year career he’s balanced those small town beginnings with big time experience in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Denver working on brands like Cisco Systems, Coke and Kia Motors—and managed to win a few awards along the way. But probably the smartest thing he ever did was marry up and make two beautiful daughters.
Tiger Beat magazine. February. 1986. Pages 32-36. Check it out.
Brian started his professional career in the printing industry right out of high school. After several years of working in almost every department, it was time to apply his knowledge to his first interest: advertising. Brian has spent most of his time at Amusement Park heading up the studio, managing the day-to-day creation of brilliant work. During his time here, he also helped to develop software that tracks jobs and workflow. When needed he also has been an acting account manager to clients in New York, London, China, and India. Brian is a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of guy who isn’t afraid to jump in at any point.
Thinks spellcheck is for suckers.
Jim has over 20 years of experience helping brands tell their unique stories. His broad visual vocabulary allows him to integrate a full spectrum of communication tools, including advertising, graphic design, film, web, social media, and more. Jim helps weave together coherent brand platforms that allow companies to stand apart from the rest. He has helped create award-winning branding campaigns for Toshiba, Kodak, Thermador, Infiniti and CHOC Children’s Hospital, to name a few. When he’s not working he and his wife use their sailboat to teach their kids the world is definitely not flat.
Great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandson of the inventor of the wheel.
Director of Broadcast /
Director & Editor
Aron has spent 20 years in broadcast advertising, creating award-winning branded content for broadcast and social media. He was named one of Shoot Magazine’s up-and-coming directors to watch in 2012, and was a featured director for RED Collective. Over that time Aron has brought his talents to JBL, Wienerschnitzel, LA Dodgers, Ryka, Toshiba, CHOC Children’s, Hilton Garden Inn, and KFC just to name a few.
Had a very successful career as a Tony Danza lookalike before “the accident”.
Senior Art Director
Julia is an award-winning Art Director with over ten years to her credit. She’s more than comfortable working on a wide range of creative from development to production. Among others, long time client, Wienerschnitzel is fortunate to have her handling print, out-of-home, in-store, broadcast, digital, and other non-traditional mediums. If you can’t find her at her desk she’s probably on a Duffy boat in the Newport Harbour or on a plane headed to a country most people can’t pronounce.
Hand model for the thumbs up emoji.
Director of Account Management
Michael has been in the marketing industry for over 10 years, with a diverse background that includes QSR and casual dining, traditional retail, and the high-energy and entertainment of the NBA and MLB. He has the unique ability to both lead from the front and roll up his sleeves and get in the mix. He has helped companies redefine their brand image, bring new ideas from concept to market and had the privilege to meet and work with many franchisees across multiple organizations.
As a Texas native, Michael moved to California in 2009 with his college sweetheart, and his two school-age daughters. They enjoy both the beach and the mountains, but not on the same day.
Was offered the title role in Doogie Howser, M.D. but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts.
Manager of Creative Services
Smoke graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She worked in the field of accounting for 10 years before becoming a full-time homemaker, where she helped raise her two sons with her husband, Jimmy. Smoke is currently writing an animated series for APE. She has been a part of the team since its inception in 2011. So far its been one big CRAZY ride!
Was the second person to jump out of a plane without a parachute and land safely in a giant net.
Director of Digital Strategy
Gabrielle has been inspiring digital marketing strategies and engagement since Titanic won Best Picture in 1998. Her passion is media-forward integrated marketing via a digital first mindset. She loves to ‘go native’ and understand each client’s business, brands and users, which is key to creating strategies that inspire great creative, media, and user experiences that drive results. She’s seen the industry from all sides working as client and agency on big brands like Sony, Boost Mobile, Land Rover, Jacuzzi, Acura and Adidas Golf. Her driving inspiration is goodness – seeing it, being it, sharing it.
Insists on pronouncing gif as the originator intended.
Senior Digital Art Director
Chris has 10+ years of experience in the industry. His combination of talented design work and digital knowledge create exciting interactive experiences in every campaign he can get his hands on. Chris has worked on various projects from films for Paramount Studios and Sony Pictures, to work for Mitsubishi Automotive, Redbull Brands, Myspace, Yakult Probiotic Drinks. Here at AP he’s bringing his brand of creativity, technology and humanity to Toshiba, St. Joseph, Dole, and the LA County Fair. He’s always looking to learn, push, direct, and have fun on every project he works on – and it shows. When he’s not doing all that he’s home roughhousing with his boys.
Paid for college working as a model for wet floor signs.
Michelle has been in advertising for more than eight years, honing her skills at top Southern California agencies. She has managed a number of national accounts; built brand strategy for clients’ produced TV, print, radio and DM creative; and purchased all forms of media.
For the past six years, Michelle has focused on results-based media and tactics for her clients. She has tracked, measured and analyzed every media vehicle to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. She has also successfully implemented direct response marketing programs in order to grow customer bases, drive revenue and retain customers.
Only contestant in history to get all the number one answers in Family Feud’s Fast Money Round.
This business is in Jeff’s blood; his father was a founder/partner in a small ad agency right here in Orange County. Follow in his inspiring footsteps, Jeff has worked on everything from tractors to mutual funds and enjoys finding the emotional connection between brands and consumers - no matter the category. He’s worked at some of the best and most creative agencies in the country, including TBWA\Chiat\Day, RPA, Campbell Ewald and Grey on brands like Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), Principal Financial Group, American Century Investments, Kaiser Permanente, GE, Pioneer Electronics, LeapFrog Toys, LA Kings, California Pizza Kitchen, The Getty Museum, and Mitsubishi Motors.
Regrets not stepping up that one time on Soul Train.
Helen Cho has rejoined the agency after nearly 10 years managing brand communications and product marketing efforts on the client side within the financial industry, most recently at Deutsche Bank in New York City. Prior to this, her career in advertising included a wide range of clients from The Truth Initiative (formerly the truth campaign), PG&E, Qualcomm Wireless to various investment banks. Her focused expertise in niche and B-to-B integrated marketing and communications has helped brands establish relationships with their constituents with immediate results and long lasting impact.
Born and raised in Southern California, Helen currently resides in Ridgewood, New Jersey with her husband of 11 years and their two young children.
Ratted out Bernie Madoff in order to keep from paying off a small loan.
Director of Creative & Development
Poetri is a Tony Award winning poet/actor and all around nice guy. Throughout his career he has written and appeared in more than 300 commercials for clients such as Nike, NFL Films, BET and Delta. He can also be seen in the movies Blades of Glory and Yes Man, and has appeared on television in House of Payne and Bones. On any given day you can find him in the halls of AP leading poetry workshops and preaching the power of the spoken word.
Knows a word that rhymes with orange but he's not telling anyone. And no, it’s not smorange.
Having trouble with your computer? David is really good about making sure the phone is on mute before he laughs at you. That’s just how nice a guy he is. As the IT/Interactive technology director at Amusement Park, he and the team have developed Web and mobile Web sites, mobile applications, self-serve portals, commerce, content management, intranet and other dynamic/static websites.
He's always taken great interest in the development and use of technology to create simpler solutions to complex applications that had been based on older technologies. Industry experience includes QSR, technology, finance, insurance, B2B, commerce, educational and media. When he’s not working, David spends time pursuing a mix of ancient and future technologies that includes air wells, permaculture, traditional foods and alternative energy. He was also voted “Best Beard” in the building.
Hosts a podcast on the therapeutic virtues of knitting.
Associate Media Director
Sabrina may have started her career in accounting, but after conquering numbers, she moved into the media department in 2004. She’s been putting in work ever since. Sabrina has both offline and online media experience with a particular passion for print. She has worked with clients like KFC, Wienerschnitzel, California Avocado Commission, Bard Valley Natural Delights, Papa John’s, Omnitracs (formerly Qualcomm) and Mimi’s Cafe. She also works on project-based accounts like Polly’s Pies and dd’s Discounts.
Married her kindergarten sweetheart.
Tashion has a PhD in psychology and an MBA in marketing – she has a track record of delivering innovative, best-in-class marketing communication strategies and leading global marketing communication initiatives. She spent four years at T-Mobile where she managed their $400 million media budget before joining our team.
Senior Editor /
Motion Graphics Artist
Brandt is down for anything – seriously, never heard the guy say “No.” Since 2001 he’s been an integral part of our broadcast department, boldly taking on a wide variety of projects including music videos, TV & Theater spots, corporate brand films, online content, logo animation, stadium display boards and more. Brandt has shined on projects for nearly all our clients including award-winning work on JBL, Wienerschnitzel, LA County Fair, and Toshiba online content.
Was an ugly baby but really turned it around as a teenager.
Director of Creative & Development
Deirdre comes to Amusement Park with experience as a singer, actress, writer, producer, director, choreographer and casting director. She is the lead singer for Amusement Park Music's band, Welcome Home. Deirdre has worked with Madonna, Chris Evans, The Black Eyed Peas, Redfoo, Rosario Dawson, Quest Love, Bootsy Collins, Jabbawockeez and choreographed 107 young performers (at one time) for the City of L.As production, "Nutcracker in the City." In her "free" time, she runs a performing arts nonprofit, Peace Quest, Inc.
Saw the twist of The Sixth Sense coming from a mile away.
Senior Account Executive
Collin will stop at nothing to get the public engaged with a brand - even if that means dressing up as a life-sized banana in front of hoards of people at events for Dole Fresh Fruit across the country. Collin’s four years of agency PR experience have earned him extensive campaign-based experience working with lifestyle-consumer brands including Suzuki motorcycles, Dole Fresh Fruit and Chicken of the Sea. Collin also plays a mean squeeze box on the weekends.
Considers himself a Choosy Mother.
Beth graduated from USC in 2006 then started her career at Davis Elen Advertising and has enjoyed collaborating with clients and colleagues on effective media plans ever since. Beth spearheaded campaigns for the McDonald's Operators Association of Southern California, Farmer John, OneWest Bank, and the Toyota Dealers Associations of Southern California and San Diego. In 2013, Beth was bestowed the honor of Most Passionate Employee of the Year. When she isn't working on media plans and leading the passion parade, Beth enjoys playing golf, going to USC football games, wine tasting, and doing community service.
Secretly loves Wonder Bread, but orders the fancy stuff in order to not disrupt social norms.
Director of Creative Services and Production
Don’t challenge Julie in a who’s busiest contest – she’ll take you every time. First off she’s AP’s Print Producer and she’s been in the production business for eleven years, working at two local ad agencies and Taco Bell Corporate. Her print experience includes ads in publications, post cards, billboards, stickers…you name it. She also is our amazing art buyer putting together photo shoots and getting proper usage rights on stock images. She’s also in charge of Creative Services, which is a whole lot like herding cats. Julie is also our baseball nut. In addition to her 35+ Angel home games a year, she also travels to Spring Training in Arizona and to a new MLB ballpark each year. Dang, that’s a lot of also’s.
Still believes her childhood dog is living on a huge farm in Connecticut.
Jr. Agency Producer
Christina has been living in the broadcast production world since 2007 gaining experience in broadcast traffic and business affairs at agencies such as Young and Rubicam and Saatchi & Saatchi, LA. Never one to sit still, she has used her time at Amusement Park to expand her Broadcast knowledge to include both agency and production producing. Now her experience includes third-party licensing, talent negotiations, network clearance, music licensing, and post-production scheduling. And she brings that experience to get the best work for AP clients like JBL, Toshiba, Wienerschnitzel, and LA County Fair.
Didn't watch Star Wars until she was in her 30's.
Katie was introduced to the world of advertising, when she began as an account management intern. After moving to public relations, with an emphasis in fashion and consumer products, she ultimately found her way back to all things advertising – working in traditional, digital, and social – and eventually Amusement Park, where she currently works as a project manager specializing in digital marketing.
When not scouting the digital horizon for client opportunities, Katie enjoys wine tasting, cheese tasting, and the growing field of wedding crafting.
Her middle name is a hyphen.
Senior Public Relations Account Executive
Lindsay Winn brings years of experience in public relations and has worked in all aspects of her field including strategic planning, media relations, special event PR, and event planning. She’s worked as a consultant and recently boomeranged back to AP because she couldn’t stand to be away from this cool place any longer. Throughout her career, she’s worked and gained experience in non-profit, healthcare, real estate, business, culinary, arts, general consumer, and fashion industries. She will do whatever it takes to get that coverage for her clients and has an extensive track record to prove it. She graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations. Outside the walls of AP, she loves to spend time with her son, at the beach or by the ocean, hanging out with friends and family, and practicing Pilates.
Senior Digital Account Executive
Born in England, raised in South Africa and adopted by America … Dominique has been living the California life since 2006. She began her career in the action sports industry working as a product developer but quickly realized her professional calling is in marketing and advertising. She has worked at Amusement Park since 2013 (with a brief hiatus) on clients such as Toshiba, Providence St. Joseph Health, Discovery Cube and Taller San Jose Hope Builders. Her calm and easygoing personality is a great fit for the challenges of advertising and she tackles complicated integrated digital projects with enthusiasm and determination. She is results driven and creatively resourceful, with an eagerness to learn. When she is not working she is usually swimming, biking or running to train for her next triathlon.
Once totally misunderstood the meaning of a potluck dinner and was asked to leave.
Rel Smith comes to Amusement Park Inc. with experience in directing, writing, and art direction. He enjoys cheese, bacon and cheese. Rel has worked and lived in numerous places around the world including Oregon, Germany, Colorado, Chicago, Amman (Jordan), California, and Hawaii. In his off time he enjoys movies, playing Mr. Jump on his iPhone, and learning new dance moves. He loves to learn and is excited to share his insights about what he has learned from across the world with his colleagues and clients.
Wears his lucky Spiderman Underoos under his clothes to every new business pitch.
VP Strategic Partnerships
Nekeda has a golden contacts list. For the past ten years she has been on the forefront of product placement and brand integration having done one of the first ever product-gifting suites at FOX’s 2nd Annual Teen Choice Awards. Nekeda spent five years as the associate director of entertainment marketing at NIKE where she was responsible for overseeing entertainment operations, music, film, and television for the sports giant. Getting her start as the music marketing manager at Nike, Nekeda has worked with music personalities like Madonna, Janet Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Jay-Z, David Foster (music producer), Randy Jackson (American Idol), Celine Dion and many, many more.
Sequel Smith is a writer, director, creative, and three-time Jenga "world champion." Prior to having his work showcased on CNN and MTV, Sequel played professional basketball overseas. Sequel and his creative counterpart/brother/partner-in-crime Jarrel Smith have written, directed, and produced music videos and short films. When he is not busy coming up with creative ideas or rescuing snails from the crushing fate of being stepped on in his driveway, you can find Sequel in the kitchen cheffing it up. His fried chicken and BBQ are out of this world!
Uses a check at the grocery store to seem more mature.
David can do anything. He is king-of-all-trades in the graphic design world. Early in his career, he worked as a designer in the game industry working with clients such as Tokyopop, MGM Studios, and Jim Henson Productions. He then decided to make the move to the advertising industry at a new homes ad agency where he found his love for advertising. He now resides in the studio at Amusement Park working on pretty much every client that comes through the doors. In his free time, he also enjoys Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Tai, and short walks on the beach (cause the sand gets everywhere).
Is constantly getting the El Camino and the El Ranchero mixed up.
Dion Watkins is a Creator/Writer at Amusement Park with experience in feature film, television, advertising, and digital. Dion earned his master’s degree from the University of Southern California's Graduate School of Cinematic Arts and his bachelor's at Morehouse College. Dion has worked in production for MTV, Fox Studios, Walden Media, and iHeartMedia, and has directed Grammy Award-winning artists in music video, helping artists visualize their latest creations. Before joining AP, Dion served as a consultant and worked in production design for Tyler Perry Studios. Dion also happens to be incredibly strong with the force and a Star Wars fanatic, but has yet to venture over to the dark side.
Made his wife’s wedding ring out of flecks of gold he’d been collecting from years of drinking of Goldschlager.
Senior Account Executive
Annie is a proud University of California, Irvine Anteater – ZOT-ZOT-ZOT! (Ask what that means when you see her.) After graduating with a focus on Sociology and Psychology and Social Behavior, Annie entered Amusement Park as an account management intern. The values-based agency was a natural fit for the social scientist. With a couple years of experience and a few big projects under her belt, this account executive finds herself more eager to learn than ever. Annie refines her account and project management skills while contributing to fully integrated, award-winning campaigns. She prides herself on her tenacity, resourcefulness, and ability to see projects through from start to finish. AP clients Yogurtland, Wienerschnitzel, California Avocado Commission, KFC, Thermador and Custom Building Products have benefited from Annie’s big brains.
Crowd sourcing ideas for her upcoming wedding.
Clarity. Consistency. Common sense.
All the important stuff. This is what Franklin looks for when copyediting and proofreading client projects. He appreciates the English language for both its fluid, ever-changing, high-concept aspirations and its down-to-earth, let's-get-to-the-point realities. Franklin has written and edited broadcast, video, editorial, print, collateral, PR, and digital work for consumer electronics, software, entertainment, automotive, real estate, banking, medical, agricultural, and packaged goods. He also enjoys sports, big music, and epic road trips.
Is never not using double negatives.
Lori is a Web programmer with a love for logic and creativity. She approaches problems open-minded and full-heartedly, allowing her to explore all possibilities in order to create elegant solutions in both front-end and back-end development. She works closely with her team to ensure an innovative and sophisticated user experience that is custom-built for clients and their users.
Still has a marble in her nose that she put there as a toddler.
After graduating from Cal State Fullerton in 2014, Danika started AP as a planning intern. Fro there it didn’t’ take long to make her mark and she was hired on as an account coordinator with The Irvine Company team. The fast-paced life at Amusement Park keeps Danika on her toes and she is eager to learn as much as she can each and every day. When off the clock, Danika finds any excuse to travel, most recently taking trips to China, Denmark and the Dominican Republic. Next on her list: Greece.
Has repeatedly denied being the one who let the dogs out. And is sick of being asked, quite frankly.
After graduating from the University of Washington Lisa faced a choice: advertising or law school. The world works in mysterious ways, and before she had to make the choice she went to work for McCann Erickson and she was hooked! Lisa has earned local (Los Angeles) and international (Cairo, Egypt) experience in advertising, marketing, and sales, yet somehow account management within the agency life always seems to work back in. Her diverse background includes most forms of media and experiential marketing within the CPG and auto industries.
When not at work, Lisa is either enjoying the newly married life, involved in church activities/service, trying to play soccer, or traveling any chance she gets! Next on the list: Spain and Greece!
Previously worked as a perforator at a graham cracker factory.
Devin Bradford is an Art Director + Designer who hails from the great country of Texas. She received her master’s in Advertising and Awesome. Her big personality and diverse perspective have opened doors for valuable opportunities to work for some of the most talented and progressive advertising agencies. She has even had the chance to dabble in the art department for a few cable television series. She was once addicted to the hokey pokey but she turned her life around, and that’s what it’s all about. When Devin is not directing artsy things she enjoys family, friends, dancing, anything bacon, 90s TV trivia, crafting and adventuring.
Her name is an anagram for Viand Brr Def Do.
With four years of visual arts at UC San Diego under her belt, Bethany was ready to take the AD world by storm. With experience in post-production and motion graphics, she aids both the Broadcast and Production teams. An avid couch potato and classic novel consumer, Bethany continues to hone her skills and glean from the creative knowledge of those around her.
Refuses to use an iPhone case because Steve Jobs would have wanted it that way.
Previously an intern with Amusement Park, Samantha returned to the agency shortly after her graduation from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in Business Administration, and Psychology and Social Behavior. Her marketing background and interest in how people make decisions have landed her in the Strategic Planning department. Samantha's research-focused, curious mind assists the planning team by observing overall consumer trends, industry trends, and sifting through large amounts of insightful data to provide our clients a strong base of information. Outside of the office, Samantha spends her time trying new activities and savoring delicious foods.
Originator of cat videos.
Cristina graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism with a concentration is Public Relations. Soon after, she moved back home to Orange County to explore her newfound passions for crisis communication, event management and writing.
Her adventurous attitude, proactive work ethic and quick thinking has made her a great addition to the public relations team. Cristina looks forward to applying social media and communication strategies with clients such as: Dole Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, and Genova Seafood. Outside of the office, she enjoys practicing Pilates, cooking, traveling internationally with her Italian passport, and cheering on the Oregon Ducks.
Was picked up by her prom date on a riding lawnmower.
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2014, Allie dove into the tech business world gaining experience in sales and marketing as an account manager at the online home design company, Houzz.com. She joined Amusement Park in 2015 to further fuel her passion for being in a fast-paced, creative environment, and she is very excited about being a part of the team with its goal of being the GOAT.
Whenever she sees someone on a recumbent bike she grits her teeth and mutters something about how if they wanted to lay down they should have just stayed in bed.
A proud Southern California native, Amber graduated from CSU Fullerton with a degree in advertising in 2008. Since then she has worked using her skills to creatively manage multiple brands, and opened her own boutique in Long Beach. Although she enjoyed the challenges of running a business, a more team-oriented environment pulled her back in and Amber joined Amusement Park. When she is not busy working in our media department you can find her at home snuggling with her dogs or at the local karaoke bar singing her heart out.
Currently working on getting a patent for a car that fills with marshmallows upon impact. Shhhh…
Emma was born, bred and made smart in Pennsylvania – she graduated from Penn State with a double major in advertising and integrative arts. After a handful of account management internships in Philadelphia, Emma jumped coasts and spent a few years working on the Honda account at RPA in Santa Monica. She gained valuable experience in all areas of traditional and digital advertising on a national level. A series of fortunate events occurred and Emma joined Amusement Park in 2017. This food-lover has the pleasure of working on the Wienerschniztel and Dole accounts. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her cat, Grace Kelly of Meownaco, and visiting the many wonderful breweries of Orange County.
Spent years on the run from Blockbuster over late fees until they finally went out of business.
Salilo recently received a master’s degree in PR from California Baptist University, the first agency PR intern to earn this distinction. Throughout college she worked in multiple internships ranging from special events logistics to social media branding, while also pursuing her working thesis on diversity in the field of PR. As a homebody by nature, nothing beats a Friday night in with the entire series of Monk on queue or a creative project from her Pinterest board. Salilo dreams of being a key player in influencer relations and participating in advancing all women in the communications business – she also is on the quest for California’s best chicken tacos.
Unlike everybody else, puts her pants on two legs at a time.
So who’s the guy with the trumpet? He’s the guy that was born in a house in Macon, GA. He’s the guy that watched a Badu concert backstage in London because they thought he was in the band, then opened up for her in Atlanta because … he was in the band. He’s the guy who came to a live pitch competition just to watch, but left as one of the winners. He’s Marcus Graham meets Malcolm X. He’s Vinson Muhammad aka Allah’s Apprentice. He’s a writer and he’s focused.
Is on the record as being against New Coke from the very beginning.
Kyla is a Georgia native and a proud graduate of The University of Georgia – Go Dawgs! She earned her degree in advertising in 2016 and has worked in the advertising, public relations and summer camp industries with experience in social media, client relations and account management. Kyla is eager to bring her diverse background and skillset to AP and looks forward to soaking up some California sunshine. In her free time, she enjoys painting, taking (well attempting to take) her cat Milo on walks, and trying new restaurants.
Her laugh was the inspiration for the Friend’s character Janice.
Reina is a Santa Ana native where she started her professional life in the medical field doing billing and coding. She wanted to get back to her roots in accounting, and is doing so at Amusement Park. A quick learner with a can-do attitude, Reina has also taken on additional responsibilities. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, hiking and spending time with her twin sister.
Owns the only known photo of Aurelia Castillo.
Eric Cachua was born and raised in Santa Ana, so Amusement Park is kinda his destiny. But before he got here he was a graduate of Cal State University, Fullerton with a Business Administration Degree in Marketing and worked in the financial industry and fashion industry, with most recent experience in paid search Internet marketing. With his diverse skillset, Eric decided to bring his passion to AP in the account management department and is excited for the projects ahead of him. In his free time, he enjoys keeping up with fashion, owns a streetwear line called Lxgndxry, volunteers in the community, and spends time with family and friends.
Makes a little pocket money freelancing as a tumbler on the weekends.
Born and raised Californian, Jessica recently received a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton, and holds a special passion for PR. Throughout her four years she worked multiple internships gaining diverse experience in the entertainment, food, fashion, social media, nonprofit, and business operations industries. Being bit by the travel bug at a young age, exploring new places is in her nature. When she’s not working, she’s traveling to around the world, and firmly believes that adventure has no limits.
Still feels bad about the time she snuck 11 items through the Express Checkout.
California grown, Samantha Kumjian, is as versatile as California’s produce crops. She has experience in various skill sets including accounting, graphic design, and photography, just to name a few. She is always eager to take on new challenges and add to her skill set. Outside of work, she enjoys playing with her son Leo, hiking, camping, and going to the beach in her hometown of Huntington Beach.
Celebrates Christmas a week late in order to get a free tree.
Fresh off earning her Bachelor’s degree in Communication and minors in Professional Writing and Sports Management from UC Santa Barbara, Abby fulfilled her destiny of working at Amusement Park. She earned her chops here as an intern (which, per tradition, included dressing up as a hot dog for Wienerschnitzel) as well as working with Division I college sports teams in PR, and even survived a Black Friday in retail. In her free time she enjoys running with her rescue pup, scuba diving in new places, listening to ‘70s rock, and managing her own consulting business. She is passionate about empowering herself and others to push comfort zones, think differently, and listen to curiosity.
After a high school band trip to London she had her steering wheel moved to the other side of the car to “keep the feeling alive.”
Born and raised in Southern California, Christie earned a BA in communications with an emphasis in advertising from Cal State Fullerton and a certificate in marketing from Orange Coast College. Her professional background includes working in the grocery, mortgage and finance industries. She also spent several years working in the entertainment industry. One of her highlights was serving on the nominating committee for the Screen Actors Guild Awards. She enjoys life by having as much fun as possible and helping others. Her passions include traveling, music, movies, snowboarding, sports, skydiving, philanthropy and church ministries.
While a direct descendant of Robin Hood, she still pays her taxes every April.
Ever since Josh was a young, wide-eyed child, he has been strongly attracted to the world of storytelling. At Amusement Park, he now has the opportunity to pursue storytelling professionally. Josh attended The Art Institute of California – Orange County, bringing home an undergraduate degree in digital film and video production. When Josh is not at the office you can find him at the movies, playing basketball, looking for new restaurants or wandering around a theme park known for its epic storytelling: Disneyland.
Still has his baby teeth.
Marek Poniedzialek believes in the power of well-thought, efficient and engaging design, because contemporary language is a language of visual imagery. Every project is an opportunity to learn, grow and pass on values. Regardless of the scale and budget of the project to which he is entrusted, he approaches the task with full devotion and commitment.
In spare time he bicycles through the neighborhoods with his analog film camera photographing forgotten icons of the American automobile industry hiding behind bushes and parked on dark side streets. He loves greeting the outdoors and he is one of those people for whom the journey alone is more important than the final destination. If he were to tell someone about his country of origin, Poland, he would prepare “pierogi” for him.
His Tamagotchi is alive and well.
Social Media Coordinator
Leslie Gomez is a recent graduate from California State University, Fullerton and received her bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Gender Studies. Ever since she first picked up a fashion magazine as a preteen, she’s been intrigued in pursuing a creative career and exploring her interests in photography, design and videography. It only fit naturally that she land a position in the Social Media Department where she gets to delve into these passions on a daily basis. Since she has so much free evening time now that she graduated, you can usually find her at a concert, watching YouTube videos, admiring food photography, or re-watching The Office for the millionth time.
Begins each day with a pestering email to the International Olympic Committee about adding hula hooping as an official sport.
Andrew has been working with technology since he was little, using Ubuntu for his desktop and setting up game servers when he was 10. It seemed only natural that his interests would lead him to IT, and they did. Currently the youngest member on the AP team, he supports the office and staff working the IT help desk. In his free time Andrew is a huge gamer, is learning to prepare sushi, and is an avid photographer and videographer.
Tommy Nelson is a Southern California native, born and raised. Right now he’s a senior at Chapman University getting smarter every day chasing his bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertisement. Like many of his fellow students, he initially desired to pursue the creative side of the ad world. However, he also wanted to dive into the analytical, business side of the industry when he acquired this internship in the media department and he is loving every second of it. With his experience in public relations, social media marketing, creative production, and now media, he is excited to branch out into different sectors of the ad world, build his skill set, and propel his career by being an intern at Amusement Park. He is an avid concert junkie and loves to talk about all things food, drink, streaming media, and music.
After graduating from Loyola Marymount University, Andrew knew his future was in marketing. The Los Angeles native has a plethora of experience working with companies in the fashion, food, music, beauty, and lifestyle industries. Andrew’s past as led him to recognize his passion for dynamic creative branding and social marketing strategy. Andrew thrives in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment that encourages both creative and critical thinking while also promoting personal growth. His previous experience in music, marketing, and sales motivate him to continue seeking new and exciting opportunities to learn and develop his skill set!
On his time off, you’ll probably find Andrew with a smile on his face as he looks at the tacos he is about to devour. Taco ‘bout pure joy!
Krista Langston discovered the world of advertising and immediately knew she wanted to immerse herself in a creative environment. She is pursuing her BA in advertising at California State University, Fullerton, and will be graduating in December 2017. While she was originally interested in pursuing a lifelong devotion to art direction, Krista has since expanded her focus and is now learning the ins and outs of life in the production arena. She was born and raised in beautiful SoCal and loves exploring the outdoors. When Krista isn’t working or studying, she’s either embarking on new adventures, getting her fill at Instagram-worthy “foodie” spots, or spending time with her horse, Slick, who loves peppermint candies and sunbathing in the dirt.
Ravi Lodhia is currently a psychology and advertising student at Chapman University. After taking Ed Collins’ Principles of Advertising course, Ravi decided he hadn’t had enough of Ed’s words of wisdom, and knew he wanted to work at Amusement Park.
His work experience ranges from mom & pop shop marketing to motion picture marketing. Ravi is always thrilled to take part in the creation of meaningful connections between people and brands. Nothing excites him more than developing strategic initiatives that are needed for successful marketing, and finding creative solutions that are not in plain sight. He hopes to use his study of psychology to help people and bring more positive messages to advertising.
Beyond work, Ravi enjoys playing guitar (hit him up for a jam session anytime), catching live music and consuming unhealthy quantities of ramen… tacos…sushi…well, this list could go on for a while.
Allie White’s Twitter bio says she’s a self-proclaimed pop punk princess, and it’s true. As an avid concert-goer who thrives in the genre of ‘Warped Tour 2008,’ Allie can almost always be spotted at a local OC or LA concert venue on the weekend. She’s just as comfortable in the middle of a mosh pit throwing elbows as she is in class studying. Allie was born and raised in Laguna Niguel, and is currently attending Chapman University, so it’s up for debate if she’s ever really left home. Like most people her age, Allie is in a state of constant denial about being a senior in college. She is studying both public relations and advertising, and strategic corporate communication, so she’s well versed in all things advertising, publicity, marketing, and promotions. Having interned in the marketing side of the music industry previously, Allie is excited to be expanding her advertising and public relations knowledge interning in the PR department here at AP! It’s also incredibly important to note that Allie’s Facebook feed is strictly cute dog videos, so feel free to shoot her a friend request!
Account Management Intern
Ana is currently pursuing a dual degree in public relations & advertising, and political science at Chapman University and plans on graduating in the spring of 2019. Ana can’t go a day without communicating with everyone she meets, and attempting to make them laugh, so what better way to do that than intern at Amusement Park, communicating with colleagues and clients? That was a trick question, there is no better way!
Ana values honesty, integrity, and simplicity, which she feels are lacking in today’s ad world. She ambitiously expects to change the face of advertising by bringing these values to the forefront of the industry. Her mantra: I will find a way.
In her spare time, you can find Ana on the dance floor (go join her, she’s fun), eating her body weight in various foods, laughing at her own jokes, and tagging her friends in gross amounts of memes. Her mom is her number one fan.
Account Management Intern
Mady Dewey got her first real world taste of advertising as a student in Ed Collins’ experimental course at Chapman University. When the semester came to an end, the SoCal native was confident that Amusement Park was the place for her. A senior public relations and advertising student, Mady has experience in event planning, social media marketing and company culture consulting.
Mady is excited to learn, grow, and take on different challenges as an account management intern, a new part of the ad world for her.
When she isn’t at Amusement Park, you can find Mady at the beach enjoying an acai bowl, hiking semi-steep mountains with friends, or walking backwards around Chapman as a campus tour guide.
Broadcast Production Intern
Some say that people born under the astrological sign Aquarius are known to be friendly, creative, original, intellectual, independent, honest, extroverted, problem solvers, humanitarians, and at times even walking paradoxes. Heather Dumlao embodies most of those traits with the exception that her open and friendly nature may be a contradiction to her New York/New Jersey roots. She draws inspiration from all types of people, which fuels her passion for creative processes. With a professional background spanning in TV production, ad sales and brand marketing, Heather is currently studying the wondrous world of advertising and copywriting. Outside of school and work, you can find Heather exploring cultures by travel, cooking and foodventures, and documenting moments with panoramic views through amateur photography. She also enjoys binge watching Netflix and Hulu shows, hiking, exercising at the gym, and sipping Old Fashioneds.