Phil Hettema is the President and Creative Executive of The Hettema Group (THG). With a distinguished 30- year legacy in themed entertainment, Phil leads a world class team of experience designers, architects, and media producers known for creating uniquely compelling guest experiences with great emotional resonance. Notable projects include One World Observatory at One World Trade Center; the High Roller Observation Wheel at The LINQ, Las Vegas; and Beyond All Boundaries at the National World War II Museum, New Orleans.
Prior to forming his own company, Phil Hettema was Senior Vice President, Attraction Development for Universal Studios Theme Parks Worldwide for 14 years. He was responsible for the creative development of all major attractions and shows, including Terminator 2: 3D, Jurassic Park, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Backdraft and many more. He oversaw master planning for all five Universal parks, including domestic and international expansion for Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s PortAventura (Spain), and Universal Studios Japan, and, most notably, the conception and delivery of Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Florida.
Phil is an alumni of ArtCenter College of Design, instructed courses at the institution and endowed a scholarship for Enivronmental Design. He has been a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, USITT, IAAPA, KIN, ICOM, SIGGRAPH, and at the TED Conference. Phil holds four patents for entertainment technology solutions and has been honored with numerous Thea awards from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) including Theas for One World Observatory (2016), Beyond All Boundaries (2010), FiestAventura (2000), The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (2000), Universal’s Islands of Adventure (2000), and Terminator 2:3D (1997).
Anthony Pruett joined The Hettema Group in 2008 as a project director with more than 25 years of experience managing the design and construction of tourism, hospitality, and retail projects. Anthony brings extensive on-site project and construction management experience in Asia, the Middle East, and North America to all THG projects.
Prior to THG, Anthony was involved in assignments that included the Ferrari Theme Park in Abu Dhabi, the Desert Diamond Hotel and Casino in Tucson, AZ, and a wide variety of Las Vegas-based projects. In addition, Anthony project managed a design expansion of the Gardens Shopping Mall in Dubai, U.A.E., the Durban Film City in Durban, South Africa, the Exterior Show Pavilion/MS Band of Choctaw Indians in Philadelphia, Mississippi, as well as projects in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines. Pruett also served as technical advisor to the Abu Dhabi government for a range of projects in the emirate.
Anthony’s career in the entertainment industry began with a stint at Spectra Entertainment, where select clients included the Sands Hotel (Atlantic City, NJ), Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, and Microsoft. Anthony possesses a rare blend of artistic talent and business savvy that make him a true renaissance man. He received an MFA degree in theatrical design from the California Institute of the Arts and is also an attorney, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2006. Anthony is also a member of the Themed Entertainment Association International Board of Directors and an AYSO13 soccer referee.
Scott has played leadership roles in the conceptualization and design of many high-profile themed entertainment projects, including the Dragons Wild Shooting interactive dark ride at Lotte World in Seoul, Korea; the Hello Kitty Theme Park in Anji, China; Tokyo DisneySea; Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland; Sony’s Metreon retail entertainment center in San Francisco and Mediage in Tokyo; and multiple live shows and parades for Disneyland’s Marketing and Entertainment Division. He has served as lead designer on numerous other ambitious projects, including Paul Allen’s Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, The National Ag Science Center in Central California, Ski Dubai indoor ski resort, and Paul Allen’s “Flying Heritage Collection,” a WWII fighter plane display in Seattle.
B.A., Theater Technology/Set Design, California State University, Long Beach
NOTABLE PROJECTS & CLIENTS:
Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland
Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, Seattle
Abbey Road Studios
Chicago Museum of Science & Industry
Chimelong Ocean Kingdom
Having worked on numerous show sets both domestically and internationally, Kelley is a producer/project manager with more than 20 years of experience in creative based projects. Before transitioning into themed entertainment, Kelley’s career began in the film/television industry, which ingrained in her the driving force of production schedules and the ability to achieve success within budget limitations. Kelley has held key roles in major entertainment projects, and her diverse project exposure makes her uniquely qualified to run multifaceted projects, guaranteeing any project she takes on will be realized beyond all expectations.
Harry Potter Escape from Gringotts queue scenic show set, Universal Studios Orlando
Optimus Prime marquee figure, Transformers attraction, Universal Studios Orlando
Cirque du Soleil, “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” scenic show set
Taylor Swift 2011, “Speak Now” concert tour scenic show set
Katy Perry 2011, “California Dreams” concert tour scenic show set
“Lights! Camera! Action!” special effects theater, Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World/Sentosa
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage scenic show set, WDI/Disneyland Resort
In Ashley’s capacity as Office Manager, she oversees the physical operations of the organization and the four buildings that comprise the company facility. With an array of responsibilities, she’s able to exercise her skills. Previously working within an office and retail environment, Ashley anticipates, problem solves, and multitasks effectively. From planning dinners and parties to organizing the company calendar, she is your go to! When she isn’t at the office, Ashley enjoys gardening, cooking, painting and traveling.
Pasadena City College
A.A., Natural Sciences
A.A., Behavioral and Social Sciences
As a project coordinator, Bria plays an indispensable role managing the day-to-day workflow of THG’s creative teams. Her dedicated and intuitive support to our teams is backed by more than three years of experience in corporate event staging and 12 years in customer service.
Before joining THG, Bria worked as a sales lead for a large event planning firm in Los Angeles, expanding the company’s customer base, training team members, and coordinating rentals and purchases. Prior to that, she served as a lead supervisor at a major home goods retailer, managing staff and operations, and ensuring excellent customer service. Additional experience in customer service reinforced Bria’s core belief in the power of teamwork.
In her spare time, Bria likes to enjoy the sun with her faithful canine, hiking in the mountains or strolling through Huntington Dog Beach.
Christine graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Art History. During this time, she studied abroad at Toulouse Business School to centralize her focus on French language and international business relations. She worked for several years as an administrative assistant and bookkeeping specialist before joining the THG team. She enjoys hiking, museums, and perusing albums at Amoeba Records.
B.A., San Diego State University
Connor Sinclair is a Los Angeles-based graphic designer specializing in one-of-a-kind environmental graphics for immersive attractions, exhibitions, and brand experiences. As a senior graphic designer at The Hettema Group, he creates environmental graphics, marquee signage, marketing collateral materials, and client presentations for some of most unique and innovative guest experiences worldwide. Connor holds a B.F.A. in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). He is an avid fan of mecha anime, rollerblading, and his cat.
B.F.A., Graphic Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Dragons Wild Shooting, Lotte World, South Korea
Bollywood Parks Dubai
One World Observatory at One World Trader Center, New York City
Galaxy Crystal Pavilion
Universal Studios, Beijing
With experience in the world of theatre and a background in art, David feels right at home in the themed entertainment industry. Whether concept design, color work, or illustration, David strives for quality, beauty, and consistency.
As an illustrator on Motiongate Dubai, David developed the visual design for a wide mix of dark rides, flat rides, play areas, retail spaces, and restaurants. He has additional experience in interiors, art direction, production design, and model making.
While not working on theme parks, David spends time designing sets and props for regional theatre productions.
Bachelor of Science, Graphic Design & Illustration, Communications Minor – Grace College, Winona Lake, IN
Master of Fine Arts, Scenic Design – University of California, Irvine
Bollywood Parks Dubai
With professional experience in the entertainment business, Estephan provided art and creative direction in TV production for a major network in Brazil. In the US, he has designed sets for corporate businesses, exhibits, sports and music events. His work includes global theme park development, facility and attraction design, food & beverage and retail development, rock work, landscaping and ride vehicle design. With the use of 3D models, realistic renderings, animations, scale models and drawings, he serves as the bridge between the concept stage and the project production.
F.A.A.P.Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, Sao Paulo, Brazil
B.A., Industrial Design
M.F.A., Interior, Set & Exhibition Design
X Games Mega Ramp
Red Bull Extreme Cliff Diving – ICA, Boston
2016 Desert Trip Animatics for Stage; Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan
A versatile creative force, Jacob Berding has professional experience as both a designer and art director for live entertainment, themed environments and museums. He prides himself on discovering new processes of design by working closely with vendors and partners to push the limits of what is possible, while getting the tasks at hand completed on time and on budget.
Jacob has worked in experiential design since 2014 and has specialized in a number of disciplines including 3D modeling, illustrations, graphics and drafting. He is fortunate enough to have participated in multiple high-profile projects through to completion, such as Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome (Frozen meet & greet) at Disney California Adventure Park, How to Train Your Dragon land at Motiongate Dubai, the Ghost Post interactive special edition subscription in collaboration with Walt Disney R&D and more.
Jacob completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in Themed Entertainment Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Along with his themed entertainment background, he has formed his own software development company, which has helped him learn to manage large and small projects alike.
M.F.A., Themed Entertainment Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome, Disney California Adventure Park
How To Train Your Dragon, Motiongate Dubai
As a senior producer for The Hettema Group, Jared has most recently led the design of two high-profile observation deck projects: Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center in New York City and Aon Center Observatory in Chicago. He has also led the blue-sky concept development of significant experiential design projects worldwide, including a technology-enhanced botanical garden in China, a pop culture theme park in Korea, and various theme park developments in the Middle East. In addition, he has overseen THG’s work on immersive exhibitions for some of the top science museums in the U.S.
Before joining THG more than five years ago, Jared served as the Production Manager at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. While at the Dolby, he integrated complex productions such as The Oscars, AFI Fest, AFI Honors, and a wide range of special events, including major movie premieres and theatrical productions. Previously, Jared worked as a producer on the design phases of Bollywood Park in Dubai, which opened in November 2016. In the eight years prior, he worked exclusively with Cirque du Soleil on the production and creation phases of three major productions: “The Beatles LOVE” in Las Vegas, “Zaia” in Macau, and “Iris” in Los Angeles.
Top of the Rock Observatory, New York City
Aon Center Observatory, Chicago
The Beatles LOVE in Las Vegas
The 87th and 88th Academy Awards
Bollywood Park in Dubai
Jeff is a creative producer who shepherds projects in all phases, from concept to installation, utilizing his logistical mind to drive the project and his creativity to adapt quickly to the dynamics of experiential design.
His experience ranges from make-up effects fabrication for film, visual effects producer for television, and projection mapping animation, to project managing a wide array of attractions and exhibits, both grand and boutique in scale.
Project clients include Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios Hollywood, Guide Dogs for the Blind Foundation, Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, California Science Center, and GES.
In his free time, he is probably building something in his garageshop with his daughter.
Once Upon a Time fireworks spectacular, Tokyo Disneyland, Japan
Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, Playa Vista, CA
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Anaheim, CA and Orlando, FL
B.A. in English, California State University Long Beach
Jessica serves as the interface between the Creative and Architecture departments to develop, coordinate, and deliver all architectural /experience show packages. She manages and provides document control for all digital assets for the Architecture department as well as providing 2D and 3D digital drawing support for Architecture team. Prior to THG, Jessica spent 15 years in the home remodeling industry, gaining diverse experience in construction and project management. She graduated valedictorian with a degree in set & exhibit design before crossing over into the themed entertainment world.
B.S., The Art Institute of California
Parkwide Holiday Decor, Universal Studios, Hollywood
Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios, Hollywood
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Press Event, Universal Studios, Hollywood
Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum, Yorba Linda, CA
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, UAE
DreamWorks WaterPark, East Rutherford, NJ
Theme Park Experience Center, Orlando, FL
Jodi has played an integral role in many architectural and interior design projects for The Hettema Group since 2009, including the Dragons Wild Shooting interactive ride at Lotte World in Seoul, the Malaysia Truly Asia Center in Kuala Lumpur, The High Roller Observation Wheel in Las Vegas, and the DreamWorks Water Park at the American Dream shopping and entertainment complex in New Jersey. She served as the Lead Architectural Designer for the award-winning One World Observatory experience at One World Trade Center in New York City.
Prior to joining THG, Jodi was Director of Design at Scenery West Design & Construction, creating turnkey projects involving multiple disciplines and specialty consultants, as well as architectural facility interface and show integration. She was responsible for projects such as Sony’s Where the Wild Things Are attraction in Japan, SeaWorld’s Circ de la Mer attraction in San Diego, the Texas Wild! 8-acre expansion at the Fort Worth Zoo, five GameWorks Entertainment Centers throughout the U.S., and Oakley flagship stores. As Senior Associate at JKI International Architectural & Planning, Jodi executed multiple design/build projects domestically, as well as interior entertainment facilities and attractions internationally. She also served as a consultant to Walt Disney Imagineering, assisting with exteriors and interiors for Disney’s California Adventure.
B.A., Architecture, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
M.A.,Urban Design and Planning Technical University, Athens, Greece
One World Observatory at One World Trade Center, New York City
High Roller Observation Wheel, Las Vegas
The Crystal Pavilion at The Galaxy Integrated Resort, Macau
As a Production Coordinator, Joli loves to combine her artistic and organizational skills by creating deliverables and presentations for project clients. She earned a degree in psychobiology, volunteering in a psych research lab, while exploring her creative interests on the side. She also worked as a graphic designer, producing signage and display cases for the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame, before graduating in 2015 and beginning her career in the themed entertainment industry. Joli enjoys painting and learning new crafts in her free time and is an accomplished meeting-notes doodler and knickknack collector.
B.S., University of California, Los Angeles
Possessing a rare combination of analytical thinking and creativity, Justine is a proven leader of complex and ambitious projects in the U.S. and abroad. She brings to THG a lifelong passion for rich and engaging content, as well as an intuition for collaborating with international clients and vendors. These talents are backed by academic training in anthropology and a prior career as a writer and producer in broadcast television. Justine’s television production experience engrained in her the tenacity to solve any problem, on time and on budget.
B.S. Anthropology & Spanish, Boston University
The Crystal Pavilion at The Galaxy Integrated Resort in Macau, SAR
Unannounced Project in Design and Production, Galaxy Entertainment, Macau, SAR
The Freedom Theater, National WWII Museum, New Orleans, USA
Broadcast Content for Networks such as: Netflix, National Geographic, Oxygen, NBC, Fox, ABC, etc.
Karen has more than 25 years in the themed entertainment and visual effects industries. Her focus has been color design and special effects. Karen was on the creative projections team for “Standard Time” at the Getty Museum, LACMA, and Tom Bradley Terminal. She served as Field Art Director on Little Mermaid, Clarke Quay Adventure, and Knott’s Kingdom of the Dinosaurs rehab. She was lead special effects painter at Digital Domain on Apollo 13, and Terminator 2-‐3D and at Disney Animation
Universal Studios projects included Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure, King Kong at USF, and Jurassic Park at USJ. Karen was lead special effects painter at Digital Domain on Apollo 13 and Terminator 2-3D.
Karen teaches Matte Painting at Art Center College of Design.
A master of illustration and design, and a powerhouse of creative ideas, Kristin develops concepts for THG projects and brings them to life in beautifully rendered illustrations. She first entered the design world as a set designer and scenic artist, applying her expert painting skills to projects for Universal Studios, the San Diego Zoo, The Goretorium in Las Vegas and a variety of television shows, music festivals and movie premieres.
Kristin quickly expanded her professional skill set to provide illustration, graphic design, art direction and concept design services for theme park attractions, resorts and television and film projects. She has collaborated on a myriad of projects with RGH Themed Entertainment, Granaroli Design & Entertainment, Global Entertainment Services and the Wyatt Design Group.
After working her design magic during the day at THG, Kristin works as an adjunct faculty member at California Institute of the Arts, where she teaches Art Direction II to the Applied Design students in the Theater School.
M.F.A., Design and Production, California Institute of the Arts
B.A., Fine Art and Technical Theater, California State University Stanislaus
Laura’s first experience visiting Las Vegas, at age 8, forever changed her by showcasing the endless possibilities of spatial experience, the magic that can be generated in highly themed spaces and how that transforms our perception. After receiving a BFA in Interior Design from the California College of Arts, she left San Francisco to head to Los Angeles for a chance to create highly unique and distinctive spaces. Eleven years later with The Hettema Group, Laura is now a design manager, providing overall direction of the graphic design department and creating presentations to reflect the creative stories THG tells and the experiences they create.
B.A., California College of the Arts
A.A., Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
One World Observatory at One World Trade Center, New York City
High Roller Observation Wheel, Las Vegas
Marlies Urbauer is an illustrator and character designer with a keen sense of color and an exceptional talent for creating lively characters that are full of personality. Prior to joining THG, she designed ride vehicles and costumes—and worked as a lead painter and POV artist—during the development of the Haichang Polar Ocean World in China. Marlies also served as a lead color designer for Universal Studios Hollywood and has conceptualized stories and character designs for multiple TV show ideas related to a project called Fun Star. Marlies has a passion for color, painting and travel, along with a love for the sea and the marine life living within it.
B.F.A. Cal State University Channel Islands
Haichang Polar Ocean World
Monica Buzzi is an accounting assistant and contract administrator with over 20 years’ experience at an executive level in the entertainment industry for companies such as Guitar Center and The Hettema Group.
As an executive assistant, she supported high level executives. She maintained projects, proposals, set up and coordinated meetings, conferences, coordinated travel schedules, accommodations, and logistics for her clients. Monica managed banking and bookkeeping for several accounts, administered human resources, payroll, and provided customer service.
She volunteers her time as often as possible, including over 100 hours at Huntington Hospital. A foodie and home cook, she adores her dogs.
Bryan College of Court Reporting
Nicole attended UCSC where she double majored in Film and Sociology. She jump-started her animation career with an internship at Creative Capers Entertainment where she worked over the years as a freelance artist and production coordinator, working with talented people on a number of Disney projects including the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive experience at Disney World Resort. Nicole also built an overflowing book, comic, and graphic novel collection while she was a manager at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena.
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Disney World Resort
The Lion King DVD Blooper Reel
As a technical coordinator for THG, Quinn assists the technical leads on our project teams in researching new ride and show technologies and documenting proposed technologies for guest experiences. In his six years of experience in the entertainment industry, he has performed a variety of roles across multiple forms of media. With a background in interactive entertainment, Quinn got his start in videogame development and co-founded a mobile game startup with fellow USC alumni. He later joined Sony Computer Entertainment of America as a technical audio designer for PlayStation titles, subsequently transitioning to post-production, for clients such as Netflix, Paramount and the BBC.
Quinn has spent time studying abroad and teaching in Japan, where he embarked on a grand quest to find the best ramen in the world. In his free time, Quinn enjoys traveling, photography and restoring classic cars.
B.A. University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts
Rowan Doyle is a Set Designer and Creative Director with a special talent for dreaming up unique immersive environments and compelling new modes of audience interaction. She has applied her design imagination to a diversity of popular experiences created in collaboration with The Museum of Ice Cream, Meow Wolf, Frog Design, GES, Thinkwell Group, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Rude Mechanicals, The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Great Small Works, New York Theatre Workshop, and Bread and Puppet Theater.
Rowan’s academic background in theater, English literature and writing reinforced her passion for story, which has informed her work in experiential design and theatrical design, as well as in film, television and photography. She is a co-founder of the theater collective The Duplicates and has received numerous awards in the world of set design. Rowan’s favorite jobs involve paper crafting, collaboration, and anything miniature.
M.F.A., University of Texas at Austin
B.F.A, Concordia University, Montreal
B.A., Concordia University
Meow Wolf Denver
Museum of Ice Cream, NYC & Singapore
Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition
Warner Brother’s World Abu Dhabi
Steve’s 30-year career in Information Technology began while working at Defense Contractors in Washington DC. He did coding for the Navy Fleet Modernization Program. Steve moved to Southern California to lead IT at the Broadcast Center for the Armed Forces Radio and Television program. After 9 years, he started working with telecommunications company Accurate Telecom, overseeing the company’s transition from Digital Service Offerings to Voice over IP Services. In 2014 he began at The Hettema Group, heading the IT Department, managing expansion in size and scope of services. Steve enjoys the outdoors, gardening and all things cars.
Technical Certification, CLC, Springfield, VA
Fiber Optic Network Build, Broadcast Center AFRTS, Sun Valley, CA
VoIP Conversion Management, ATI, Van Nuys, CA
As an executive architect licensed in California and Florida, Sunnie leads The Hettema Group’s architecture team on many company projects. For more than 20 years, she has worked on a wide variety of building projects, including entertainment, residential, commercial, and institutional facilities. She is known throughout the themed entertainment industry as a skilled leader in facility architecture. Sunnie’s knowledge, experience, and production management talents have been a key factor in the success of many projects at THG and industry wide.
B.S., School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology
M.A., Architecture, Southern California Institute of Architecture
Disneyland Resort: Anaheim
Universal Studios: Singapore, Japan, Hollywood
K-Culture Valley, South Korea
As a senior writer for THG, Susan is driven by a passion for transforming content and brands into guest experiences that provoke and inspire. She is a core member of our creative teams and focuses on story strategy, concept ideation, and experience narratives. Always game for diving into our most demanding projects, she has a special knack for distilling vast amounts of unwieldy content into compelling and entertaining experiences.
Over the past 25 years, Susan has contributed to uniquely creative guest experiences for high-profile clients around the world, including Tishman Speyer, Legends Hospitality, Universal Studios, CJ Entertainment, Delaware North, Boeing, the National WWII Museum, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Her undergraduate and graduate education in anthropology enables her to approach THG’s international projects with a deep respect and appreciation. She also has additional schooling and professional experience in documentary film production.
In her free time, Susan can often be found at the pool, training with her masters swim team, or enjoying the dog beach with her rescue pup, Gigi.
M.A., Anthropology, The American University
B.A., Anthropology, University of Florida
SELECT PROJECTS EXPERIENCE:
Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, NYC
One World Observatory, World Trade Center, NYC
Above & Beyond Interactive Flight Exhibition, Worldwide
Shuttle Launch Experience, NASA Kennedy Space Center
Veronica is often the first contact new clients have with The Hettema Group. As our Business Development Associate, she pursues new creative collaborations and acts as a client advocate, communicating the vision and needs of each client to the project team. Her role is informed by her unique background in both business and production. Veronica began her career in the events industry, before entering the world of themed entertainment. While working at BRC Imagination Arts, she was part of Thea Award-winning design team for the “Stories of the Bible” experience at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. From there, she went on to the Thinkwell Group’s Business Development team, where she successfully forged strategic partnerships and secured projects around the world. In her spare time, Veronica takes singing lessons, learns how to cook the foods of her people, volunteers at the cat rescue, and implements sustainable practices in her community.
2020 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement – Museum Exhibit, The Hebrew Bible Experience
B.A. Psychology, University of Southern California; minors in Science Visualization & Cinematic Arts, USC School of Cinematic Arts
Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter, Leavesden, UK
Niagara Parks, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, GA
Google, Multiple locations
San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA
Museum of the Bible, Washington, D.C.