Dan Schultz, JRA’s Chief Operating Officer, grew up in Batavia, Ohio – population 1,650. He graduated in a high school class of 46 before moving on to the much larger halls of the University of Cincinnati. Drs. Moe and Jack Rouse, then professors at the school, took Dan under their collective wing, eventually offering him his first theme park job as a co-op at Kings Productions. The rest, as they say, is history…
From his small town beginnings, Dan has built a 40-year career in themed entertainment: working through the ranks of some of the county’s biggest parks and park operators, traveling the world, and becoming one of the guiding forces behind JRA. Along the way, he’s learned more than a few life lessons, which he was kind enough to share with our staff in the second installment of our “JRA Discovers” employee education series. Here are five of his greatest takeaways from the past four decades:
- The most important international language tools are a smile and demonstrating a sense of respect. The rest is secondary.
- When working with a team, forget about the real or perceived hierarchy of the departments or positions. You must treat those who support you with dignity and respect. If you do, in your difficult times of stress, they will be loyal and supportive to you.
- There are people who have great ideas and are doing great things all over the world. Get out of your comfort zone and learn from them!
- Strive to look at things from the guest point of view. They are our ultimate clients.
- It is more difficult to listen effectively than to speak, but the former has more to do with your success than the latter.
For the past 25 years, Dan has been our “man behind the curtain” – leading without fanfare, listening before speaking, helping without asking for anything in return. So we are pleased that he has shared his story with us, and we’re even happier to share a piece of it with you.
Stay tuned for the next installment of JRA Discovers. We can’t wait to find out what we’re learning next!