William F. Simpson, Jr. Named Chief Executive Officer of Hershey Entertainment
& Resorts Company
HERSHEY, Pa., Nov. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Board of Directors of
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (HE&R) announced that it has approved
the appointment of William F. Simpson, Jr., as Chief Executive Officer upon
the retirement of its current CEO, Ted Kleisner, at the end of this year.
A year ago, HE&R announced its succession plan that identified Simpson,
currently the company's President & Chief Operating Officer, as the successor
to the position of CEO upon Kleisner's retirement. Simpson will assume this
new position, in addition to his current role as President, beginning January
1, 2013. Kleisner will remain a member of HE&R's Board of Directors, a role he
has served since 1996.
"The succession plan outlined a year ago has been successfully implemented and
I am pleased to confirm the Board has ratified Bill's appointment as CEO,"
said Ted Kleisner. "Bill's passion for encouraging people to develop to their
highest potential is a quality that sets him apart from many other leaders.
His 17 years of expertise and successful service to our company makes him the
right person to take the organization into its next chapter."
"It is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to lead this company – so
intertwined with the history of Milton Hershey – and I am grateful for the
faith that Ted and the rest of the Board has in my leadership," Bill Simpson
said. "As a service-oriented company, we will continue to place our emphasis
on employee and guest service. But, truly, everything we do has to be looked
at through the lens of how we are furthering the legacy of our founder and,
specifically, positively impacting the Milton Hershey School."
Simpson began his noteworthy career at HE&R in 1996 as the General Manager of
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center (now Hershey Lodge). He oversaw the
extensive expansion of the Lodge in 1998 and guided that property to record
years during his tenure.
In April 2002, he became Vice President of the Entertainment Group overseeing
the operation of Hersheypark Entertainment Complex. He guided the Park to
achieve all-time records in its performance categories and unprecedented
levels of guest-satisfaction scores. In April 2010, Simpson was promoted to
Chief Operating Officer, followed by the role of President in November 2010.
He was appointed to the company's Board of Directors in 2011.
Prior to joining Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Simpson was General Manager
of the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Houston, Texas. He also held key leadership
positions with the Williamsburg Inn, The Opryland Hotel and Hyatt Hotels
Simpson has been an active member of hospitality and tourism trade
organizations, including the Small and Independent Hotel Committee of the
American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA). He also has been a member of
the Certification Commission of AH&LA's Education Institute and earned the
degree of Certified Hotel Administrator and Certified Rooms Division
Simpson graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science
degree in Business Administration/Hotel and Restaurant Management. He, along
with his wife and their two children, reside in Hershey.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and its subsidiaries own and/or operate the
Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica
North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Club, Giant Center, The
Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hershey Highmeadow Campground, Hershey Golf
Collection, Hershey Nursery, and Hershey Laundry.
For more information about Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, visit
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts is proud to help fulfill the dream of our
mutual founder, Milton S. Hershey, by supporting Milton Hershey School, the
largest home and school in the world, as it continues to provide opportunities
for children in need. www.mhskids.org
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