Busch Gardens names new president as Cromwell steps down

Busch Gardens has named Kevin Lembke as its new president, succeeding David Cromwell, who stepped down to pursue an opportunity with a sports franchise.

Lembke will begin as president Feb. 1.

“Kevin is an entrepreneurial leader with both park support center and park experience,” said John Reilly, chief operating officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in a news release. “He has achieved a strong record of financial performance and guest satisfaction results.”

Lembke has previous experience at Busch Gardens, having been the vice president of merchandise at the James City County location from 2013 to 2016 before going to Busch Gardens Tampa to be the vice president of culinary operations. He has been with SeaWorld, which owns both Busch Gardens locations, since 2000, when he started his career as an area manager.

Lembke is a graduate of the University of Buffalo. His wife and their four children will relocate to Virginia in the coming weeks.

Cromwell started his SeaWorld career in 1997, serving in various operational roles before landing in Williamsburg.

During Cromwell’s tenure as park president, he oversaw the opening of its latest attraction, the InvadR roller coaster, which opened in April 2017.

“David has had an impeccable career with our company. His leadership has helped guide the Williamsburg theme parks into premier local and tourist destinations,” Reilly said in the news release. “We wish David all the best and thank him for his many years of service and accomplishments with the company.”

Busch Gardens will open a new virtual reality attraction, Battle for Eire, this spring.

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