"The TEA presidency demands vision, leadership and commitment, and Steve Thorburn has all three. I have full confidence in Steve's ability to help guide TEA toward a brilliant future," says TEA sitting president Nick Farmer of Farmer Attraction Development.

As confirmed by the International Board of TEA (Themed Entertainment Association), the new president-elect of TEA is Steven J. Thorburn PE, CTS-D, CTS-I, principal of Thorburn Associates. Sitting president Nick Farmer will formally pass the president's gavel to Thorburn this November in Orlando, during the TEA members' meeting held annually at IAAPA, a major amusement industry trade show.

Steve Thorburn, 46, is an active and visible participant within his industry. Altogether he has served as project manager and engineer on more than 2,000 projects, including the lead engineer role on four projects that received Thea Awards, and, as a lecturer in the field, logged more than 40,000 student hours. He has been a TEA member for 15 years, and has served on the TEA International Board as Treasurer for the past four years.

Thorburn's other association ties include the Large Format Cinema Association (five years on the Executive Committee) and ICIA/InfoComm (1996 Educator of the Year). He has had some 50 articles published in the trade media and writes a regular column for Systems Contractor News. Within his own company, Thorburn Associates (founded in 1992 with his wife, Lisa) Steve Thorburn has fostered a service- and education-oriented culture and encourages his staff to continually advance in their professional development and training.

"It's an honor to have this vote of confidence from my colleagues at TEA," says Steven Thorburn. "and I will justify that confidence through my actions as president. I believe I can make substantial contributions in several areas, especially in TEA's current efforts to grow the association and diversify its membership. And with four years' experience as TEA treasurer, I will also help keep us fiscally responsible."

Thorburn began working as an acoustical engineer for Salter Associates (San Francisco) in 1985, after receiving his degrees at Michigan Technological University (a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Technical Theatre). He worked on studio projects for Lucasfilms, Todd-AO, Dolby and Disney, then entered the Experience Industry headlong as the acoustical engineer for the Disney MGM Studios Tour. Shortly after that, designers at WDI asked him to help with the acoustical design of Pleasure Island, when they found it had not been reviewed for acoustics.

He subsequently worked on Knott's Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America, and hundreds more leisure and entertainment projects for major operators. He provided technical design services on various specialty theatres, large format theatres, family entertainment centers and the development of construction guidelines and feasibility studies for a host of international projects.

TA has exerted a steady influence on the building and construction industry through its advocacy of Acoustically Integrated Architecture (AIR) and successful projects that embody its principles. AIR is a holistic best practice which, recognizing that the foremost purpose of buildings is to foster human community, seeks the optimal interface of disciplines for a result that supports the specific intended uses of the building.