The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has elected a new president, Brian Edwards, CEO of Edwards Technologies, Inc. Edwards will take office for a one-year term on November 20 at a ceremony to be held during the 81st annual International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) convention and trade show in Atlanta, GA. John Wright, CEO of Lexington Scenery, currently presides over the 600-member company association, which was established in 1993.

Edwards, a 25-year veteran of the themed entertainment scene, was elected to the TEA board of directors in 1997 and charged with the task of establishing a marketing committee. During his tenure, the committee created a website (www.themeit.com) and concentrated on attracting international developers and corporations to "jump on the themed entertainment bandwagon."

In 1984, Edwards founded Edwards Technologies, Inc. (ETI), an El Segundo, CA-based company that has worked with clients such as the Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Viacom, MGM, Coca Cola, McDonald's, and Volkswagen, to name a few.

"It's an honor to follow in the footsteps of so many great leaders of our industry," says Edwards. "With the dawning of the new millennium, I've made it my mandate to reinvent the TEA into a respected global organization that benefits every one of its members, from the individual consultant to the major corporation--as well as developers in both the domestic or international market who have or plan to invest in themed entertainment."

The Themed Entertainment Association is an international alliance of professionals in the location-based entertainment industry. Member companies have played key roles in the development and/or production of theme parks, entertainment centers, museums, and themed hotels, restaurants, and retail worldwide. Recently, the organization won an Excellence of Presentation award from the Trends in Leisure Entertainment (TiLE) Conference for its "Projects From Hell" seminar, moderated by Jack Rouse of Jack Rouse Associates. Another TEA-sponsored event at TiLE was "Shoppertainment: Trends in Themed Retail," produced and creative-directed by Ryan Harmon, chairman of the TEA marketing committee under the guidance of Edwards.