About Us | Management Team
November 4, 2019

The Paidia Company is a Louisiana based company that specializes in themed entertainment development. The Paidia Company was created with the mission of creating new, enriching experiences for guests. Paidia, our namesake, was the Greek goddess of fun and amusement, but the word has evolved in the Greek language to take on more of an edutainment type meaning. The Greeks believed that people learned best while at play. With this in mind, we aim to have educational components embedded in everything we do.

Tonya Pope

Tonya Pope has owned and operated a themed entertainment consulting business for the past nineteen years. Ms. Pope started her career in the aerospace industry working at NASA where she helped develop and program simulators used for crew training. She moved on to pursue creative opportunities. She earned several awards for creative work prior to founding her themed entertainment consulting business. Ms. Pope now has over twenty-five years of experience in project management, with over fifteen years of experience working at the executive level. She has been a member of several groups, including IAAPA, Mensa, and the Society of Computer Simulation. Tonya received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Louisiana State University.

David Bakas

David Bakas is a dedicated themed entertainment professional with experience in both the creative development and operational management of world class theme parks and attractions. For the past 25 years, David has served as CEO of Dreamscapes Vacation/B.I.G., Inc., a travel agency and tour operator group dedicated to leisure travel destinations worldwide. Concurrently, he has held multiple roles, including Guest Services Manager for nearly 20 years at Walt Disney World, both directly for Disney and as an Operating Participant. He has provided magical experiences in various lines of business including merchandise, attractions and foods. David currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Odyssey Parks & Resorts, a cooperative consortium that teams several theme park development projects worldwide.

Roy Turley, Theme Park General Manager

Roy Turley has been involved in the theme park, themed entertainment and service industries for over 25 years, having developed, constructed, managed and operated various projects across the country. His career in theme parks began at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri and included assisting with the opening of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Roy was recruited by Gaylord Entertainment, Opryland USA in Nashville, Tennessee as Operations Supervisor and later became Manager of Operations of Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Texas. Roy was recruited by Leisure and Recreation Concepts of Dallas, Texas to become the Project and General Manager of Park City Silver Mine Adventure in Park City, Utah. While with Leisure and Recreation Concepts he also was involved with WonderLand Theme Park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and later became the Vice President/General Manager of Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City, Colorado. Roy was recruited to be the Director of Guest Experience for the Kansas City Museum and Science City at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the founder of Crossroads Consulting; a retainer based executive search, operations and training firm specializing in the themed entertainment and hospitality industry. Roy has received the Best Speaker award at the 1994 and 2000 World Waterpark Association Convention and Trade Shows. Turley was also the General Manager of Town Center Plaza in Leawood, Kansas, an up-scale out door shopping center.

Roy took his park experience and applied it to government operated parks as the Parks Division Manager for Travis County, Texas Parks. This includes 34 parks (5000 acres), 6300 acres of nature preserves and construction of two new metropolitan parks and expansion of three existing metropolitan parks and the acquisition and operation of the largest parkland and open space in the county's history.

Most recently Roy was the General Manager of Rawhide Western Town Theme Park in Chandler, Arizona. Rawhide is part of the Gila River Indian Community and was operated and managed by Starwood Resorts and Hotels International. Roy was recruited for this position to turn the operation around and help it see new growth and development. Roy reported to the Wild Horse Development Board and Starwood Resorts and Hotels International. Roy also served as a member of the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa Executive Committee. Turley was responsible for all aspects of the operation including marketing, sales, attractions, entertainment, maintenance, food and beverage, retail, ticketing and security.

Kenny Handler, Waterpark Operations and Management Specialist

Kenny Handler has operated and managed California's finest Waterparks for the past 23 years. His road has taken him from the training supervisor for Raging Water, San Jose to the original Park Supervisor of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, and Raging Waters San Dimas Operations Manager. He has entertained millions of guests throughout the years.

He also excelled as the General Manager of the Wave Waterpark and received acknowledgments through the World Waterpark Association winning countless awards on marketing and programming. His experience, creativity, and strong work ethic have been the foundation for successful consulting and management in municipalities and the entertainment industry.

He has received national recognition for his marketing and success as an operator and General Manager. Awards from the World Waterpark Association include: Best in marketing commercials, radio ads, print media and promotional events. He also has won numerous safety awards through Ellis and Associates and the first ever National Title for Lifeguard Competition. He was honored by The City of Vista with a proclamation by turning The Wave Waterpark from a general funded ($300,000 support) to creating a reserve of over an average of tens of thousands of dollars annually. Kenny as a past General Manager and Community Services Director (Rancho Santa Margarita) has successfully managed large parks such as Raging Waters San Jose (400,000 annual attendance, Hurricane Harbor CA. 400,000 annual attendance, Raging Waters San Dimas 700,000 annual attendance and The Wave Waterpark 150,000 annual attendance).

His current partnerships have him flying across the country to name a few; Chesapeake Beach Waterpark, Gulf Island Waterpark, and NRH2O in Dallas Texas. Plus, the Director of Operations for Backyard Grille at California's largest municipal waterparks Drytown, Splash and The Cove Waterpark.

He has also spoken at National Conference and Regional Conferences for the past decade at: National Parks and Recreation Association, World Waterpark Association, California Parks and Recreation, Illinois Parks and Recreation Association and Minnesota Parks and Recreation Association.

About Us

Who to Contact:

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Contact Info

Phone: 225-395-9449
E-mail: info@jazzlandpark.com
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The Jazzland Proposal

TPC-NOLA, Inc. proposes to re-open the park as a true celebration of Louisiana by connecting the dots of community, history, identity, and artistry in a living testimonial to our spirit and pride. Additionally, we propose to add a water park and mixed-use venue to the site, creating a true destination resort.

This proposal for Jazzland includes locally owned businesses and is working with area youth organizations to offer internship programs and art & music education programs at the park.

Why Save Jazzland?

Families of New Orleans would like to be able to bring their children to the park again. The City is trying to attract more tourist by showing them that there is more to the City than Bourbon Street. Jazzland is a perfect fit to add to that campaign and to attract more families to visit.

The infrastructure is already there for it to be a THEME PARK. Historically, the park attracted over 800,000 guests annually while operating seasonally and competing with Astroworld. Today, the closest regional park is over 450 miles away and we plan to operate year-round.