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

Take Class Outside with Valleyfair's Youth Programs

When you participate in our youth programs or student field trips, Valleyfair becomes your own interactive, state-of-the-art classroom (and the ultimate playground for after class).
Read More

Get ready for all new AWESOME in 2020! 

Get rewards simply by having fun? YES! With Valleyfair's Pass Perks, a new rewards program exclusively for Season Passholders, each and every park visit counts toward earning fantastic surprises that you can redeem on future visits!
Read More

Meet Former Navy SEAL - Dan McKeon

Today and every day we are proud to honor the heroes who keep our country safe. We also want to recognize and thank the veterans who work right here at Valleyfair for their service!
Read More

Preparing Valleyfair for Winter

As the temperature drops and snow starts to fall, many of us focus on the upcoming holiday season and winter activities. Not the Valleyfair Maintenance team. It is full speed ahead to get the park ready for 2020.
Read More

Favorite Moments from 2019

Can you believe the season is already over? Here at Valleyfair, we are already missing the rush of roller coasters, the splashes from speed slides, and the screams from giggling children in Planet Snoopy. It has been a whirlwind of a year and there were so many awesome moments from this season, we wanted to take a second to review some of our favorite moments from 2019.
Read More

Valleyfair Earns Certified Autism Center™ Designation

Valleyfair Amusement Park has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, which is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and demonstrates Valleyfair’s dedication to providing a supportive environment for guests with autism and other sensory disorders. 
Read More

Spooky Menu at Surly Boowery for ValleySCARE

Surly Brewing has taken over Chicken Shack! In this new residency program, Valleyfair is partnering with Surly to provide outstanding and unique food and beverage throughout ValleySCARE.
Read More

Halloween Help from Goodwill

With three kids, coming up with Halloween costumes that please them all without driving myself crazy is one of the most daunting parenting tasks of the year. There have been years when we’ve had to run to party shops and makeup stores, borrow pieces from friends, sew, glue and cut until late into the night of October 30.
Read More

New Treats (No Tricks) at The Great Pumpkin Fest

We have some new shows and activities that we’re bringing to The Great Pumpkin Fest this year that will be sure to be all treats (no tricks!).
Read More

Halloween Haunt Bringing Fresh Frights in 2019

If you’ve been to ValleySCARE before, you may THINK you know the drill. But, beware – we may have some new tricks (no treats) up our sleeve that are sure to give you goosebumps.
Read More