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Dan Dipiazzo

Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at Georgia Aquarium

Dan Dipiazzo is an accomplished professional with more than 30 years of experience in marketing and communications.

He currently serves as chief marketing officer for Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere and the No. 1 ticketed attraction in Georgia. As CMO, he leads all aspects of marketing, sales and membership.

Prior to his current role, he was chief marketing officer for Feeders Pet Supply, a Top 15 U.S. pet retailer, based in Louisville, Ky.

Dipiazzo spent 16 years in marketing leadership positions for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, one of the world’s largest theme-park companies.  He was vice president of marketing for the company’s flagship parks in Orlando – SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica – and prior to that he was vice president of marketing for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Va.   He also served in corporate vice president roles with the company, leading marketing strategy and planning, loyalty and direct marketing, digital marketing and in-park retail marketing.  During his time in Virginia, he also held a concurrent position as vice president of marketing for Kingsmill Resort.

Prior to his marketing roles, he had a successful career in public relations.  He spent 10 years at global PR agency Fleishman-Hillard in St. Louis, where he rose to senior vice president and partner, helping to lead the agency’s consumer practice.  He managed several major accounts, including McDonald’s, Goodyear, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, KinderCare, Valvoline, AAA and SeaWorld/Busch Gardens.  After leaving Fleishman-Hillard, he joined Busch Entertainment Corp. as a consultant managing national and international communications programs and was part of the team awarded Corporate PR Team of the Year by PRWeek magazine.

Dipiazzo began his career as a reporter and editor, at The Telegraph, a daily newspaper in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

He earned a master’s of data marketing communication from West Virginia University and bachelor’s of journalism from Murray State University in Murray, Ky.  He is lead instructor in WVU’s Data Marketing Communications master’s degree program.

He has served on national and regional tourism boards and has been a popular speaker at events including the Arival international travel conference and Association of National Advertisers Integrated Marketing Conference.

Meet Dan Dipiazzo

0:00 Introduction
0:44 Why do you teach in the program?
1:40 How do you bring the real world into your online classes?
2:48 How do you engage with students?
4:36 Fun (surprise) question

As a new graduate student, I was incredibly nervous about how I would adapt to juggling my studies with my career and my family life. Professor Dipiazzo was the first professor I interacted with as the instructor for my DMC 660 course and I could not be more thankful for that because he paved the way for one of the best program experiences of my educational career. Professor Dipiazzo was knowledgeable, approachable, and really helped to build my confidence as a new graduate student; he provided great guidance and constructive critiques that helped me become a better student, writer, and colleague. His thoughtful approach to teaching helps to make students feel empowered and excited about learning. Despite all he has going on in hisown life, he always made himself available and that is an invaluable thing for a student. Professor Dipiazzo - thank you!

Professor Dipiazzo is and continues to be my favorite professor in the DMC program. He answered every single question I had and even chatted on the phone with me about an assignment for another class when I was in it. He encouraged me when I felt like I didn’t belong in this program and told me to keep pushing and that it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to. He even looked at a work project of mine and told me he’d be thrilled to receive something likethat from his own social media specialist.

Professor Dipiazzo has been a great instructor. This has been my first semester of graduate classes and he has been a wonderful resource. He regularly provides real-world examples to our online discussion boards and takes the time to provide good feedback on papers and assignments. I also appreciate that he is always available to answer questions, even outside of normal hours.