The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has appointed attractions industry veteran Doug Stagner as chief operating officer and executive vice president of worldwide operations.

Stagner began his career in 1984 as a ride operator at SeaWorld San Diego. He has held a variety of positions from entry level through senior leadership and has extensive experience in operations, business development and strategic planning.

Most recently as vice president of international operations for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Stagner was the company’s point person on expansion efforts in Asia.

Additionally, he has been an active IAAPA volunteer as a board member, former chair of the association’s education committee, expert speaker at global events and the 2013 recipient of the IAAPA Meritorious Service Award.

As COO and EVP, Stagner reports to IAAPA’s president and CEO and directly oversees the management of global membership, communications, education, human resources and IAAPA’s four regional offices.

In addition, he is a key point person on the relocation of the global headquarters from Alexandria, Virginia, to Orlando later this year.

“Doug is an inspiring leader who brings with him more than 30 years of industry knowledge and extensive IAAPA experience,” said IAAPA President and CEO, Paul Noland.

“Doug’s understanding of the association coupled with his previous work overseeing international business development opportunities and day-to-day operation of 12 US domestic parks, uniquely positions him as the person who can help direct IAAPA toward its bright future.”