Regional Management Team

  • Craig Ross

    President, The Dollywood Company

    Craig is President of The Dollywood Company, which includes Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, Dollywood Cabins and Dollywood's DreamMore Resort. He has over 30 years in the industry. Prior to leading Dollywood, Craig served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Kings Island in Cincinnati. He also served as Senior Vice President of Resale for Paramount Parks and held a variety of leadership roles in food, beverage and retail management at Kings Dominion and Carowinds.

    Craig graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served on several boards including the Red Cross and Adventures for Wish Kids. He was also President of the Board for the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Craig and his wife, Cathy, have two sons and reside in the Knoxville, TN area.

  • Howard Smith

    President, Harlem Globetrotters

    Howard leads the Harlem Globetrotters as President. He is responsible for directing the company’s entire line of businesses and operations. Prior to that role, he served as Senior Vice President of Content Strategy for HFE where he led the development and execution of the HFE content strategy plan. Under this plan, HFE leveraged its existing and new intellectual property into broader and untapped channels such as television, movies, digital video, publishing and more.

    Before joining Herschend, Howard was executive vice president of Nickelodeon Recreation at Viacom, where he was the chief architect in creating an integrated live entertainment division. Notably, he solidified Nickelodeon’s presence in the theme park industry, established its niche in the hotel industry, launched the company’s first-ever family cruises, and produced a wide variety of critically acclaimed live touring theatrical productions.

    Howard and his wife Lisa live in Atlanta.

  • Brad Thomas

    President, Silver Dollar City Attractions

    Brad Thomas is President of Silver Dollar City Attractions, which includes Silver Dollar City, Showboat Branson Belle and White Water. He began his career with the company in 1991.

    Brad earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Missouri State University, and serves on Missouri State’s College of Business Advisory Board as well as a Trustee for the Alumni Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Missouri (a program of Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry) & serves on the Board of Directors of Leadership Missouri Alumni Association. He has earned the Certified Festival & Event Executive designation (CFEE) from the International Festivals and Events Association.

    Brad serves on Skaggs Foundation Board of Directors (a not-for-profit foundation focused on meeting wellness needs of the Branson community), and Lost & Found’s Advisory Board (an organization dedicated to helping kids who have lost a parent or sibling to death). He is also a past chairman, and current member of the Board of Directors for the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB. He is a long-time member of Springfield’s Second Baptist Church.

  • Molly Deese

    Vice President and General Manager, Wild Adventures

    Molly is General Manager at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia, a 170-acre theme park, water park, animal park and concert venue. She oversees all of Wild Adventures’ guest and business functions including supervising more than 600 full-time and seasonal employees. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, Molly is responsible for the park’s strategic planning and leading the marketing, entertainment, safety and finance divisions.

    Until being promoted to general manager in 2012, Molly served as Wild Adventures’ operations director, overseeing all of the park’s attractions, including the water park and business operations. Prior to joining Herschend Family Entertainment in 2008, she worked with some of the industry’s most well-regarded and popular attractions including Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, and Kings Dominion in Richmond, VA.

    Molly and her husband, Frank, have three children and live in Valdosta, GA.

  • Michael Dombrowski

    Vice President and General Manager, Stone Mountain Park

    Michael Dombrowski is General Manager of Stone Mountain Park, the state of Georgia’s most visited tourist attraction. In this role, he oversees all guest and business functions. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, Dombrowski leads strategic planning for all of Stone Mountain Park's commercial operations, lodging and administration.

    Before joining HFE and Stone Mountain Park, Dombrowski served as vice president of PNC Bank’s Southeast Treasury Operations and national training manager where he developed programs that led to a significant drop in turnover and improvements in both employee satisfaction and productivity.
    Dombrowski holds an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Pfeiffer University. He is married to Stacey and lives a modern day version of “My Three Sons” as a dedicated father to three teenage boys.

  • Eric Rose

    Vice President and Executive Director, Newport Aquarium

    Eric joined Newport Aquarium in 2005 and is responsible for leading the facility's major initiatives. Eric has a strong background in aquariums and management including roles with the Walt Disney Companies and Sea World Orlando. Eric led the husbandry, animal collection and exhibit development activities for the Living Seas Aquarium at Walt Disney World Resort until 1997 when he left to work with the Sydney Aquarium as a key contributor to several expansion projects. He returned to Disney in 1999 serving in a number of consulting, marketing and sales roles.

    Eric received his bachelor's degree in aquaculture and environmental sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology and his MBA from Rollins College. He is a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and live in Newport, KY, with his wife, Martine and their daughter.

  • Vince Nicoletti

    Vice President and Executive Director, Adventure Aquarium

    Vince Nicoletti serves as Vice President and Executive Director for Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront, minutes from Center City Philadelphia. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, Vince oversees all business functions, strategic planning, and initiatives aimed to advance the aquarium experience and guest satisfaction.

    As a respected marketing leader and ardent guest advocate within the attractions & sports industries, Vince has driven business growth and guest satisfaction success and at over 20 properties from professional and minor league sports, to theme parks, water parks and FECs. Vince began his service with HFE in Upstate New York, where he served as Marketing Director for Darien Lake Amusement Park, a 300-acre family entertainment destination featuring a theme park, water park, concert amphitheater, 160-room resort-style lodge, and campground. Vince served as Director of Marketing for Adventure Aquarium before being promoted to Vice President and Executive Director.

    Vince and his wife, Mary, reside in Philadelphia with their son, Jack. The family is active in the ministry of their local Vineyard church, where Vince and Mary lead the Worship Arts ministry.