Chris Jaskiewicz, ICON Park President and CEO, was named one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2021 CEOs of the year for his role in restoring the tourism and entertainment industry as the first attraction to present to the Orange County Economic Recovery Committee with a plan for reopening.
Using an innovative combination of B2C and B2B marketing that included branding The Orlando Entertainment District, Chris signed or opened 12 new tenant projects from June 2020 to June 2021 during the pandemic making the ICON Park entertainment complex one of the most dynamic real estate projects in the United States.
Chris recognizes that this success through the pandemic would not have been possible without his team, noting that “The biggest lesson was one I already knew but it was validated most clearly: the best way to successfully navigate a crisis is to have a team already in place that is capable, smart, reliable and loyal to the company mission.”
When selected for this prestigious distinction, Chris also invited three special guests who deserved acknowledgement. These guests each had an important part in making Orlando the top entertainment destination it is today and in inspiring Chris throughout his career.
“We are honored that these three legends of our industry attend today’s luncheon as our guests,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, president and CEO of ICON Park. “Their contributions to laying the groundwork for Orlando as a top tourist destination deserved recognition.”
Jim Passilla, former Senior Vice President of Human Resources at The Walt Disney Company
Jim Passilla, one of the three honored guests, was a key player in the launch and operations of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, MGM Studios, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland. From the start of his career in 1964 to his retirement in 1992, Jim was an integral part of Disney’s growth from a single park in California to a multinational theme park operation.
Bob Snow, Church Street Entertainment Complex Developer and Promoter
Bob Snowis Orlando’s most legendary entertainment developer and promoter. Bob Snow developed Church Street Station into an entertainment complex where guests could enjoy restaurants, lounges, nightclubs and more for a single admission price. The complex was one of the largest attractions in Florida and drew over three million people each year. It was because of these contributions that Bob Snow was selected as one of the Ten Most Important People in Orlando’s History in 1989.
Lee Cockerell, Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World
Lee Cockerell, prior to his retirement in 2006, led a team of 40,000 Cast Members at Walt Disney World as Executive Vice President of Operations. At the same time Cockerell also took charge of over 20 resort hotels, entertainment and recreation complexes, and numerous theme and water parks. One of his lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies, which trained 700 leaders at Walt Disney World.
ICON Park is at the center of the Orlando Entertainment District in the International Drive Resort Area. With free parking and conveniently located near I-4, Universal Boulevard and the Beachline, this premiere entertainment complex is easy to access for any Central Florida resident or Orlando tourist.