Life in Hershey just got sweeter for John Lawn.
Lawn, the COO of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co., has added president of the company to his title as part of a succession planning process.
He succeeds William Simpson Jr., who plans to retire on Jan. 5, 2018. Simpson has been president and CEO. Lawn became president effective Sept. 30, while Simpson will stay on as CEO for the time being.
Lawn started with the company in 2004 as food and beverage director at Hersheypark. He was promoted to assistant general manager of the park in 2005 before moving to associate vice president of company operations in 2010.
He quickly advanced to vice president of operations and was named COO last year.
“I look forward to doing everything within my ability to further enhance and develop our outstanding team and continue to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests,” he said.
Before coming to Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Lawn spent more than a decade in a number of management roles in the sports, entertainment and hospitality industries, including general manager of Centerplate at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and executive director of major events for Ridgewells in Bethesda, Md.
Hershey Entertainment and its subsidiaries own and operate the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Club, Giant Center, The Hotel Hershey, The Spa at the Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hersheypark Camping Resort, Hershey Golf Collection, Hershey Nursery and Hershey Laundry.