Marilyn Hannes

Corporate Senior Vice President, Strategic Relationships


About Me

Marilyn Hannes was appointed Corporate Senior Vice President of Strategic Relationships for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in April 2021. She is responsible for Global Sales for 12 theme parks, strategic partners, alliances, and promotions as well as new sales channels. Prior, Hannes served as the first woman Park President at SeaWorld San Diego and Aquatica Waterpark, responsible for all operations for both parks with more than 4,000 ambassadors and 12,000 animals. Hannes began her 24-year career with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as Director of Travel Industry Sales for SeaWorld San Diego where she also served as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales. Prior to joining SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Hannes was the General Manager and Director of Sales and Operations for Wild Bill’s Wild West Dinner Extravaganza in Buena Park, California. Previously, she was Vice President of Spectrum Advertising and Promotions, a marketing company responsible for international sales missions for Visit California and advertising programs for Southern California tourism. Hannes also served during this time as the Director of Marketing for the Buena Park Convention and Visitors Office. Hannes began her career in the hotel industry in Anaheim, California in Marketing, Sales, and Catering leadership roles. Hannes is a Past Chair of the California Travel Industry Association. Additionally, she is a past Chair of the Visit California International Committee and was invited to represent California’s tourism leadership on Gubernatorial Trade Missions to China, Canada, and Mexico with former Governor Schwarzenegger and former Governor Brown. Hannes served the San Diego Tourism Marketing District via the Marketing Advisory Task Force and the San Diego 20-Year Tourism Master Plan Task Force. Hannes is also a former Chair of the Board for the U.S Travel Association’s Travel Experience Network Council. In 2014, Hannes was appointed by San Diego’s Mayor and City Council to serve on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. Hannes is a Past Chair of the Board of the San Diego Tourism Authority and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S Travel Association. She has also served on the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Board and Hubbs- SeaWorld Research Institute Board. Accolades include the Leadership Award for General Manager Excellence from Southern California HSMAI in 1994, TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) Award in 2005, and the California Diversity Council “Most Powerful and Influential Woman” Award in 2012. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, Hannes was recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as one of the “San Diego 500” Influential Business Leaders. She was highlighted by San Diego Magazine in January 2017’s “Celebrating Women” column. In 2018, Hannes received the Women in Hospitality and Tourism “Inspiring Leaders of Tomorrow” Award from the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Association. Hannes is also the recipient of the Travel & Tourism Marketing Association 2018 Anastasia K Mann Leadership Award and the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute Oceans Champion Award in 2019. Hannes is a California native and lives in Chula Vista (San Diego area) with her husband Phil, children and grandchildren.


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