One of the best parts about working at Knott’s Berry Farm is the availability and openness of the leadership team. This extends from my boss, to Knott’s General Manager, Raffi Kaprelyan, and even all the way up to the CEO of Cedar Fair and former Disneyland President, Matt Ouimet. I am always impressed by how I consistently see him walking through the park and backstage. The depth and breadth of his knowledge about the company is staggering. He once spent thirty minutes in my office discussing our social media strategy.
Disneyland President and Cedar Fair CEO
Matt Ouimet has been the CEO of Cedar Fair since January 2012. Prior to joining Cedar Fair, Matt served as President, Hotel Group for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide from August 2006 to September 2008. Before joining Starwood, Matt spent 17 years at The Walt Disney Company, where he last served as President of the Disneyland Resort. Before becoming the Disneyland President, he also served in a variety of other business development and financial positions during his time at Disney, including president of Disney Cruise Line and executive general manager of Disney Vacation Club.
Earlier this year, many of the different Cedar Fair parks’ marketing staff gathered for a summit to share and exchange ideas. During the event, we had the opportunity to ask our CEO a few questions. Much of the conversation involved confidential new capital and other proprietary company information, but some of the most interesting takeaways from the conversation centered around Matt’s career advice:
1. Strive for insights instead of simply ideas
2. Don’t stress about moving up the career ladder. As long as you are learning, you are ok.
3. Work for the right person. Your boss is more important to your long term career and happiness than a title on your resume.
4. Don’t forget that execution trumps strategy
6. Read “Iacocca: An Autobiography”