The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has formed two chapters in the Northeast and Southeast United States to better serve the needs of its regional members, says president Peter Chernack. TEA board member and chapters liaison Mike Lo Celso (a principal of General Insurance Consultants Inc. in Los Angeles) has announced that Kirk Kennedy, of The Nassal Company in Orlando, has been appointed director of the Southeast Area chapter, which encompasses seven states and more than 50 member companies.

The chapter has established two committees-social, headed up by Jackie Vander Pol of Keenan Hopkins Schmidt & Stowell Contractors, and education, led by Anne Herzog of Florida Entech. The chapter will focus on special events and welcoming members new to the region.

Lo Celso has also announced that David Polinchock, of Location Based Branding Inc. of Brooklyn, NY, has been appointed director of the Northeast Area chapter, comprising 11 states and more than 25 member companies. It will focus on education: A program entitled "Expanding Your Brand Through Location-Based Venues" is being developed with New York University, and if approved, the 14-week course will be offered through NYU's Stern School of Business this fall.

Discussions are also underway to use a group of Stern School graduate students to initiate a comprehensive study of the themed entertainment industry. Polinchock sees that this will eventually lead to the establishment of a Themed Entertainment Center, a clearinghouse for information and statistics. He also hopes to use this developing relationship with NYU to create a certification program for the TEA and the industry.