Skip to Main Content

Valleyfair

Skip to Next Section

Celebrating the Women of Valleyfair

Kelsey Bailey

Kelsey joined the Valleyfair team in 2017 as PR and Communications Manager. She enjoys eating endless funnel cakes, riding Renegade multiple times a day, and telling all the wonderful stories about the inner workings of Valleyfair. Twitter: @kelseymegard.

This International Women's Day, we want to take the time to celebrate our female leadership team! Their dedication to the park inspires us, motivates us, and makes Valleyfair one of the best places to work in Minnesota. 

Jessica Naderman - Director of Operations

Jessica began her journey in the amusement park world as a young high schooler, landing a summer job at King's Island amusement park in Ohio. There, she built the foundation of her career as a ride operator of The Beast, at the time the world's longest and fastest wooden roller coaster. 

Throughout her time at King's Island, Jessica learned many leadership skills and responsibilities at a young age. "I was fortunate that there were already strong women in leadership positions at Kings Island when I started working there and they set a great example for me," Naderman said. 

She transferred her work skills to California's Great America, where she developed the park's rides and aquatics team. Jessica now leads Valleyfair's entire operations department, including rides, security, safety, aquatics, park services, and admissions. 

"I want all the girls who start working their first job at Valleyfair to feel like they can be just as good of leaders as the men," Naderman said, "I want women to feel empowered, and at the end of the day, I just want to treat everyone equally."

Melissa Lutz - Director of Human Resources 

Melissa has worked for many organization's Human Resources departments throughout her career. She has worked with a wide variety of people, but she remembers one boss who was crazily energetic and authentic to herself, which inspired Melissa to manage the same way. 

"My boss brought her whole self to work every day. She would laugh loudly and not care if she made a bunch of noise," Melissa said, "Her personality inside and outside of work were so similar. In my past, I always had a character outside of work and a different one at work, but she inspired me to authentically myself all the time." 

"One of the things that I love about Valleyfair is that we treat everyone equally," Melissa said, "I hope that our young associates see women in all leadership positions across the park and feel empowered." 

Rachel Wingard - Account Executive, Youth Events

Rachel Wingard has always had a love for amusement parks. As a child, her family would take annual trips to Disney World, which led her to apply for their College Program. Rachel stayed in Orlando for five years, working at both Disney and Universal Studios, before moving back to Minnesota and accepting a position at Valleyfair. 

"I love working in a department that is dominated by women," Rachel said, "Just seeing all the wonderful women I work with every day is empowering."

Meg Riesenberg - Manager, Admissions & Guest Services

When Meg turned 15 years old, her mom told it was time for her to find a job, so she applied to work at Kings Island amusement park. She was hired right away to the admissions department, where she stayed for ten years before transferring to Valleyfair. Meg loves the challenge and opportunities that the amusement park industry provides every day. 

"I want to make sure that everyone on my team has a voice and knows I will listen," Meg said.

Kat Illies - Corporate Account Executive 

Kat Illies' first job was as an intern in Valleyfair's Group Sales Department. She was promoted to Group Sales Coordinator, then to Youth Events Manager, and then to Corporate Account Executive. Kat credits her success to the leadership that inspired her to succeed. 

"Pam, my director, inspires me because she holds such an important role with this company and encourages my success at Valleyfair," Kat said, "Seeing women supporting other women is so important and so empowering."

Related Topics:

Share This

Kelsey Bailey

Kelsey joined the Valleyfair team in 2017 as PR and Communications Manager. She enjoys eating endless funnel cakes, riding Renegade multiple times a day, and telling all the wonderful stories about the inner workings of Valleyfair. Twitter: @kelseymegard.

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Coast to Coaster Virtual Road Trip

Take the ultimate virtual road trip this Memorial Day Weekend, a wild ride along 54,000 feet of wood, steel and fiberglass. Go coast to coast on a 10-mile wild ride on favorite coasters – wet and dry - from each Cedar Fair park across North America.
Read More

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at Home - Valleyfair Style!

Looking for things to do in Minneapolis this Memorial Day Weekend? Look no further! We have put together the perfect Memorial Day Weekend activity guide that will make you feel like you've spent the day at Valleyfair.
Read More

Fun Color by Number Sheets for Home Artists

Spring has certainly sprung—and honestly, it doesn’t feel like summer’s that far off—and that means the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area is craving a trip to Valleyfair. Although we can’t be together in the park right now, we’re sharing as many ways as possible to take a mental vacation to Valleyfair. Who couldn’t use a little escape right now?
Read More

Working from Home: Valleyfair Edition

We asked our team to tell us about their working from home experiences.
Read More

El Taco Mercado Pollo Taco Recipe

Last year, El Taco Mercado debuted a new menu featuring a variety of delicious street tacos. Today we are bringing one of those recipes into your house, so grab your apron and mixing bowl because it's time to make some pollo tacos.
Read More

Celebrate Mom the Valleyfair Way

It's been interesting to see all of the ideas surrounding pandemic birthday vehicle parades, and virtual happy hours… But we can't forget about Mom! So, here are some "quaran-mom-time" ideas to get Mother's Day 2020 going in the right direction.
Read More

Virtual Rides at Valleyfair

We have rounded up all our POV videos and put them in one place for your viewing pleasure. So strap in and hold on tight for a virtual ride from the comfort of your own home.
Read More

Valleyfair's NEW Spam on a Stick Recipe

In 2020, we are adding a new item to our on-a-stick line up, a Minnesota delicacy - spam.
Read More

Valleyfair's NEW Vegan Juicy Lucy Recipe

Valleyfair is known for its delicious cheeseburgers, tasty chicken tenders, and savory funnel cakes, but this year our Foods Team is adding a new menu item, a Vegan Juicy Lucy.
Read More

Construction Updates from Valleyfair

While most of the Valleyfair team is working from home, a few of our associates are still preparing the park for operation while following local and national health directives. It is your lucky day because we are going to take you behind the scenes to show you some of the construction projects that have been happening over the offseason. So strap in and enjoy this sneak peek. 
Read More