SANTA CLAUS, IND.—–Eleven employees at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari were recently honored for their years of service at the world’s first theme park.

“Each year, we present Service Awards to employees who have been with our park family for multiples of five years,” says Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari president Matt Eckert. “It’s this core of longtime staff members that helps to make the transition smooth each spring as our employee numbers swell from 100 to more than 2,200—we’re very fortunate to have them on our team.”

The Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari Service Award recipients are:

  • Mike Johannes, Managing Director of Sales, 25 years – Santa Claus, Ind.
  • Tommy Johnson, Paint Shop Manager, 20 years – Owensboro, Ky.
  • Lori Gogel, Executive Director of Guest Experience, 20 years – Dale, Ind.
  • Susan Lautner, Payroll Specialist, 15 years – Santa Claus, Ind.
  • Joan Griffith, Regional Sales Rep., 10 years – Dandridge, Tenn.
  • Tammy Berg, Food & Beverage Manager, 10 years – Huntingburg, Ind.
  • Eric Snow, Vice President of Marketing, Sales, & Entertainment, 10 years – Santa Claus, Ind.
  • Tom Hart, Maintenance Technician, 5 years – Gentryville, Ind.
  • Joe Raaf, Painter, 5 years – Santa Claus, Ind.
  • Andy Kreyling, Painter, 5 years – Boonville, Ind.
  • Emily Thompson, Museum Director, 5 years – Santa Claus, Ind.

Holiday World opens for its 72nd season on May 5. For more information about the parks and job opportunities, visit or call 1-877-463-2645.

2017 Holiday World Service Award recipients

Photo, left-right: Susan Lautner, Tom Hart, Eric Snow, Mike Johannes, Emily Thompson, Tommy Johnson, Lori Gogel, Joe Raaf, Andy Kreyling, Tammy Berg (not pictured: Joan Griffith)
Released: January 8, 2018
Media Contact: Paula Werne,