Joel Manby is President and Chief Executive Officer of Seaworld Entertainment, Inc., a leading theme park and entertainment company based in Orlando, Florida.
Joel was a valedictorian graduate of Albion College and a Rhodes scholarship finalist. He began his career at General Motors and attended Harvard Business School on a GM scholarship. Upon graduation from Harvard, he was asked to join the start-up team for Saturn Corporation where he was instrumental in launching Saturn’s innovative marketing and distribution strategy. After seven years with Saturn and a two-year term with GM’s International Division, he was promoted to CEO of Saab Automobile USA.
Most recently, Joel served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Herschend Enterprises (HFE), the largest family-owned theme park and entertainment company in the United States. Under Joel’s twelve year leadership, HFE expanded its creative capabilities and demonstrated strong profit expansion through targeted acquisitions and organic growth. His association with HFE dates back to 1998 when he was asked to serve on the HFE Board of Directors. He later became Non-Executive Chairman of the Board and then accepted the role of CEO in 2003.
As a volunteer, Joel serves on the boards of several companies and organizations, including Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Inc, and the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. He and his wife, Marki, have four daughters and reside in suburban Orlando.
Joel’s first book is called Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders, (Zondervan, 2012). The book challenges leaders to allow integrity and faith to guide leadership decisions, outlining seven time-proven principles that break down the natural walls within corporate cultures, empowering managers and employees, disarming difficulties, and cultivating an atmosphere that builds long-term success.