Matt Eckert (pictured) has been appointed as the new president and CEO of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana, following the departure of Dan Koch.
“Matt was hand-picked by my husband, Will, to be in a leadership role at the park; I know he would be pleased with our choice,” says Holiday World vice-president Lori Koch. “My brother-in-law Dan stepped in to serve as president following Will’s sudden death in 2010. We thank him for his leadership and wish him well as he returns full-time to his law firm in Florida.”
Lori, widow of Will Koch, Holiday World’s late president, recently took a controlling interest in the park following a two-year lawsuit. She fired Dan Koch shortly after the verdict was handed down in early December. Dan is appealing the verdict, and remains a minority shareholder in the holding company Koch Development Corp. The park’s board of directors also includes Lauren Koch, Leah Koch, William A Koch III and former IAAPA president/CEO Chip Cleary.
Matt Eckert, meanwhile, began his tenure with the family-run business in 2000 and acted as one of two Holiday World general managers from 2007 to 2012. He has also served on IAAPA’s human resources Committee.