SeaWorld, Busch Gardens parks get new leaders

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 04, 2017, 4:57 PM EST

The new presidents of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks in Orlando and Tampa are bringing a lot of experience to their new positions.

  • Jim Dean, Stewart Clark accept new positions at SeaWorld
  • Both men bring years of theme-park experience
  • Donnie Mills is retiring after 42 years of service

Jim Dean has been named as park president for SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove.

Dean has spent much time as president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. Dean originally started out at the corporate headquarters of Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis as a financial analyst before he transferred in 1990 to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as finance manager.

From there, he moved on to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania as finance vice president in 1993. In 2000, he was in London as Anheuser-Busch's head of finance, but it was not until five years later that he returned to the U.S. as vice president of account with the brewing company.

"He moved back to the company’s theme parks in 2008 as head of corporate finance before accepting the role of park president for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island in 2010," SeaWorld stated in a press release.

Meanwhile, in the Tampa Bay area, Stewart Clark has accepted the position as park president for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. He was Discovery Cove's vice president, where he was instrumental in developing interactive programs and animal exhibits.

Clark has been a fixture to SeaWorld since 1983.

"... (Clark) brings more than 30 years of zoological and theme park leadership experience. During his career, Clark served in five parks including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay," SeaWorld stated.

The current park president of Orlando's parks, Donnie Mills, has announced his retirement after 42 years with the company.

The changes will be effective Jan. 16.