Pacific Park - Press Releases
June 11, 2011
Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce honors Pacific Park’s Mary Ann Powell with Roy E. Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award
SANTA MONICA, Calif., (June 11, 2011) --- The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce honored Mary Ann Powell, CEO and General Manager of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, with the Roy E. Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday, June 9.

The award was presented during the annual Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. The Chamber also installed its 2011-2012 Board of Directors and Ron Davis of Santa Monica Ford Lincoln Mercury Subaru as Chairman of the Board.

Roy E. Naylor was President of Naylor Paints and an active participant in Santa Monica service organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce.  Roy was a tireless and generous community leader and a dedicated and loving husband to Maxine and father to Larry, Cathy, Craig, and Mark.

Previous award recipients include Louise and Bob Gabriel, Jean McNeil Wyner, Iao Katagiri, Bob Sullivan, Kristina Andresen, Richard Lawrence, John Bohn and Tom Larmore.

“Mary Ann has and of course will continue to work tirelessly not only to improve the business community, but Santa Monica as a whole,” said Laurel Rosen, President and CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to have her as the 2011 Roy E. Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award winner.”

Powell, who leads Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, knows the ingredients of a solid business plan and Park success begins with safety and includes one-part model tenant, one-part family focus and a big heaping of community support; precisely what’s been cooking for the past 14 years.

“I’m truly grateful to be honored with the Roy E. Naylor award from the Santa Monica Chamber. His commitment to community and family is precisely the same long term objectives I’ve had for Pacific Park and the Pier,” said Powell, CEO and General Manager of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. “We will continue to focus on the community and entice families to the Pier and provide a memorable experience in a safe and fun environment.”  

Pacific Park’s recipe for success has been the drive to recreate a nostalgic pier experience for the popular seaside destination that’s layered with an overall sense of safety on the Pier and in the Park.

“Safety and security is serious business, but Mary Ann makes it as effortless as a turn on the Ferris wheel. During her 13 years on the Pier she has been a vigorous supporter and partner of the Police Department,” said Tim Jackman, Chief of Police of the Santa Monica Police Department. “Her support for the Police Activities League is both financial and personal for programs such as PALooween, PALpalooza and the annual PAL Golf Outing. Mary Ann’s commitment is a testament to her resolve in making Santa Monica a better, safer place for visitors, businesses and locals alike.”

As the major tenant on the Santa Monica Pier, the two-acre amusement park is always preparing something new to enhance the visitor experience with 12 amusement rides, 18 midway games and an oceanfront food plaza, drawing more than 4 million visitors annually to the Pier.

To service the increased visitor volume, Pacific Park is now Santa Monica’s biggest youth employer and one of the city’s biggest tax contributors. Powell’s team consistently produces record-setting revenue and profit for the Park.

Pacific Park supports the Santa Monica Pier Lessees Association (SMPLA) as an active member and works with all Pier tenants to constantly improve the Pier experience and awareness. Last year, Pacific Park’s support of the Pier’s traditions led it to donate $20,000 to the struggling Twilight Dance Series, which aided the 26-year-old seasonal concert series to avert cancellation.

 “Mary Ann is a tireless champion of all things Santa Monica. Her extensive tourism background and business savvy has been key in achieving the more than 4 million visitors to the City and Pier,” said Misti Kerns, President and CEO at the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We appreciate her services as past-chairman of the board and now an officer, currently as secretary. We are extremely grateful for Mary Ann’s contributions and ongoing support of the CVB and Santa Monica.”

From the first turn of the Ferris wheel over 15 years ago, Pacific Park continues as a family focused operation, adding more than 16 new amusement rides and attractions, introducing 10 new midway games and launching more than six new branded eateries in the oceanfront food plaza all centered on family demographics.

Pacific Park long maintained the “Kids’ Cove” area for children and parents. It was recently expanded to feature more than five new family-share rides that now cover more than half the Park.

The over the ocean, popular amusement park added Inkie’s Pirate Ship and Inkie’s Wave Jumper to its roster of family-share rides this year that also includes Inkie’s Air Lift, SIG Alert EV and Sea Planes.

Powell and Pacific Park are active partners in a variety of public philanthropy. Powell currently serves on the board of directors of Special Olympics Southern California, the Santa Monica History Museum and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. She is past-chairman of the board of the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau and is now an officer, currently serving as secretary.

Following on the heels of the $65,000 donation to Special Olympics Southern California generated from the sale of the original Ferris wheel on eBay in 2008, Pacific Park solidified its long-term relationship with Special Olympics Southern California by recognizing them as the Park’s primary charity. Pacific Park helped kick-off last year’s Special Olympics Summer Games with the arrival of the Law Enforcement Torch and official lighting of the stationary flame ultimately showcased on the world-famous Ferris wheel.

Pacific Park is also an ardent supporter of the Santa Monica Police Department and Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) and provides assistance with a variety of local events benefiting Santa Monica children.  In 2004, Pacific Park created PALpalooza, an annual charity event to assist PAL in raising money to maintain or develop programs at their facility. PAL provides free programs for more than 1,600 youths throughout Santa Monica including cultural, educational and recreational type programs.

In 2009, Pacific Park and its mascot Inkie the octopus was an inaugural member of the 4th of July Main Street Parade in Santa Monica that has become a local favorite each year and draws thousands of spectators from around the area.

In addition, Pacific Park receives and honors thousands of donation requests each year from schools, churches, youth groups and a variety of other organizations.

From safety and tenancy to business and community, Powell and Pacific Park have all the right ingredients to cook up more success and goodwill as it moves toward another 15 years of homestyle, family fun entertainment.

About Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 18 midway games and an oceanfront food plaza. Signature rides include the Pacific Wheel, the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel; The West Coaster, a steel roller coaster that races 55 feet above the Santa Monica Bay; and Inkie’s Air Lift Balloon Ride, the high-flying, family-sharing kids’ ride. For additional information and hours of operation, call (310) 260-8744 or visit www.pacpark.com.