The Wild Animal Safari Team
We are proud of our team of dedicated professionals. It is through their continual combined effort that we are able to serve the community, care for our animals and achieve great things. We wanted to take a moment and give you a bit of information about the people that make our organization work so well.
Parks! America Management Team
Dale W. Van Voorhis — Chairman and CEO
Dale has worked in the amusement and entertainment field for most of his professional career. He served as a senior officer and founder of an amusement and entertainment company which spanned 26 years and grew from $1 million in revenues to over $53 million! Additionally, he has been a treasurer, vice president of finance and president and CEO of Funtime Parks, Inc..
Currently, Dale serves as Chairman and CEO of Parks! America. As a certified public accountant and MBA graduate, he has had a long and successful career of leadership and entrepreneurship. He brings strategic ideas, financial knowledge and innovation to the exciting world of amusement and entertainment.
Jim R. Meikle — COO
Jim has worked in the theme park business for the last 50 years. He started his career at the age of 14, working at Cedar Point Park in Sandusky, Ohio. This is one of the most successful and profitable parks in the United States, which Jim worked his way up to serve as the Vice President of Park Operations.
Over the course of his career he has held many managerial positions with large-scale amusement/entertainment-based companies. He is vice president of Amusement Business Consultants, president of Wild Animal Safari Inc. and COO of Parks! America. As part of his responsibilities he has directed over $50 million of construction and capital improvement projects.
Todd Randall White — CFO
Todd has a long track record as an effective finance professional and business leader. He spent eight years as Vice President Global Controller for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company where he spearheaded a variety of mergers and acquisitions. He also has extensive knowledge of technical accounting, complex business contracts and large-scale management.
Currently Todd serves as Chief Financial Office for Parks! America. As a strong business professional he brings a wealth of knowledge, foresight and expertise to the organization.
Wild Animal Safari Georgia Park Management Team
Mike Newman – General Manager
Mike grew up in Georgia and holds a bachelors degree in human resource management. He has a diverse background in management, plastics, real estate and as business owner. He also worked with the white-tail research facility at UGA. Additionally, he is also a family man, married to his high school sweetheart and raising two daughters.
Currently Mike is the General Manager of Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia. He uses his unique blend of skills and love of the outdoors to successfully manage the many challenges of our park.
Kylie Deese Head Animal Keeper/Assistant Manager
Kylie has been an employee at Wild Animal Safari since 2012. After graduating from LaGrange College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology, she dedicated her life to become a full-time keeper at Wild Animal Safari in 2013. Originally from Carrollton, Georgia, she has been interested in and active with animals since childhood. Hobbies outside of work include traveling, observing wildlife and enjoying the great outdoors.
As of April 2015, Kylie is the Head Animal Keeper and Assistant Manager of the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Ga. Her goals include daily enriching the minds and bodies of our animals, as well as improving the quality of their lives.