May 2023 | Herschend Enterprise Newsletter May 2023 | Herschend Enterprise Newsletter

A Message From Our CEO, Andrew Wexler

National Smile Day

Today is National Smile Day, and our company certainly has lots to smile about! Learn more from our CEO Andrew Wexler.

World Penguin Day

Did you know that more than half of all penguin species are listed as vulnerable or endangered? Our three world-class aquariums celebrated World Penguin Day last month with guest activities to raise awareness about conservation efforts.


Newport Aquarium marked World Penguin Day with Lloyd the Gentoo Penguin sending out the call for everyone to help protect penguins! His caregiver, Biologist Tamara, plays a leading role among biologists at zoos and aquariums worldwide to help the Gentoo species thrive. It’s just one example of the important work being done behind the scenes to help our penguin friends. Throughout World Penguin Day, guests had an opportunity to speak with our care team to learn ways we can help protect penguins – like sourcing sustainable seafood.


Adventure Aquarium celebrated World Penguin Day by sharing some egg-citing news. Four little blue penguin chicks have been born since April – one on Earth Day and another on World Penguin Day! Check out this video to learn more about Little Blues.


The Vancouver Aquarium's African penguin population relocated to a new facility earlier this month to join a larger penguin colony. This move will help further advance efforts to address the population decline of this endangered species. Before their big move, Sechelt, Salt Spring, Steveston, and Hope spent World Penguin Day at the Vancouver Aquarium, enjoying a swim and participating in a mirror-based enrichment activity!

Watch Video

A Love (in Action) Story

In this month’s Love in Action story, Katelyn, a Dollywood Spotlight Bakery team member, shares what it means to love her Dollywood family and have a “Dolly-good Day.”

Grow Your Career with Love, Not Loans

Congratulations to the 14 individuals at Silver Dollar City who recently completed free education programs and courses through Herschend GROW U. Since launching GROW U. in 2022, more than 500 team members across eligible Herschend properties have signed up for fully-funded (100% free) diploma, degree, and certificate programs. View open positions across Herschend.

Learn More
Grow Your Career with Love, Not Loans Grow Your Career with Love, Not Loans
Share It Forward Share It Forward

Share It Forward: Emergency Needs Assistance

At Share It Forward, we understand that unexpected events and hard times can happen to anyone. That’s why SIF has made emergency needs cards available to employees who have situational and financial needs. If approved, assistance may be used for basic needs such as food, clothing, baby supplies, fuel for transportation, and prescriptions.

Connect with your HR team for details and a simple application. Please note that at this time, not all properties are eligible for Share It Forward’s emergency needs assistance.

Learn More

Property News

Herschend Happenings

Wild Adventures: Generosity in Action

Team members from Wild Adventures recently participated in several volunteer activities, including packing meals for low-income families as part of Hunger Fight’s annual outreach event and sorting donated food at Second Harvest of South Georgia as part of United Way’s Day of Caring. The WA team had a great time supporting these critical community organizations, helping nutritious foods reach community members in need.

Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay: Celebrating Our Heroes

To honor our military, Kentucky Kingdom was proud to offer a military appreciation picnic, including an all-you-can-eat meal and drink, with live music, on Sunday, May 28, to show their regard over Memorial Day Weekend. A portion of proceeds from online tickets was donated to Wounded Warrior Project®. Additionally, they welcomed a Veteran and organization representative to speak to guests about their service and remind eventgoers of the holiday's purpose. Kentucky Kingdom will continue to show appreciation towards service members all season long with discount admission.

Silver Dollar City: Cream of the Crop

Silver Dollar City has been voted America’s best theme park, and Wonders of Wildlife voted best aquarium by USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards following a nationwide poll of USA Today readers and fans of each attraction.

We recognize the importance of this type of recognition from our guests who visit from all over America,” said Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City Attractions. “Having the distinction of being the No. 1 theme park and Wonders of Wildlife as the No. 1 aquarium speaks to the quality of experiences that each attraction delivers to our guests.

Missouri is filled with incredible attractions for all types of travelers,” said Stephen Foutes, director of the Missouri Division of Tourism. “Silver Dollar City and Wonders of Wildlife’s top ranking is a testament to fantastic experiences that tourists can expect while visiting the state.

Governor Parson recognized this achievement with a proclamation issued on May 5, 2023. Silver Dollar City and Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium were nominated by a panel of museum, aquarium, amusement, and theme park experts, USA TODAY editors, editors, and other high-profile influencers nationwide.

Read The Proclamation
Silver Dollar City: Cream of the Crop Silver Dollar City: Cream of the Crop

Callaway Resort & Gardens: Masters of Water Sports

The 63rd annual Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament recently captivated attendees with its electrifying watersports action. Held on Memorial Day Weekend at Callaway Gardens, this prestigious event showcased the world's top athletes competing for the coveted Masters Champions title. From the Ski Pavilion at Robin Lake Beach, employees and their families cheered on the competitors, reveling in the exhilarating atmosphere and basking in the sun. The dedicated team members from all departments of Callaway played a vital role in organizing this world-renowned event, demonstrating their passion and pride in delivering an unforgettable experience for the community.

Beyond the thrilling competition, the Masters was a true celebration of summer. Families enjoyed a weekend with beach activities, breathtaking fireworks, and cherished moments together. With the picturesque beauty of Robin Lake as a backdrop, attendees immersed themselves in the tranquil ambiance while witnessing the awe-inspiring skills of the athletes. The media coverage extended from local outlets in Atlanta to worldwide publications, solidifying the event's global reputation.

This tournament served as a platform for emerging talent and established athletes to push the boundaries and leave their mark on the water. The Callaway team members' dedication and collaboration ensured this extraordinary event's success, leaving everyone eagerly anticipating the next chapter of this beloved summer tradition.

Harlem Globetrotters: Showbiz Stars

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the 50th Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards nominees this week. With this announcement, the World-Famous Harlem Globetrotters have received a coveted nomination in the ‘Educational and Informational Program’ genre for the organization's hit new TV show, "Harlem Globetrotters: Play it Forward," in partnership with Hearst Media Group.

"Harlem Globetrotters: Play it Forward" follows the team's adventures as they travel the globe, performing their trademark ball handling and spreading their message of sportsmanship and teamwork. The show has captured the hearts of viewers, young and old, and its nomination for a Daytime Emmy is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Harlem Globetrotters organization.

The Daytime Emmy Awards are among the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry, recognizing excellence in television programming specifically aimed at daytime audiences. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony next month.

Harlem Globetrotters: Showbiz Stars Harlem Globetrotters: Showbiz Stars

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