Are you interested in being the next Midwester Spotlight?  If so, please contact Chris Tilsley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information!


Midwester Spotlight

Paula Werne

Occupation: Director of Communications at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
Hometown: The park is located in Santa Claus, Indiana (sometimes it FEELS like I live here!)
Years in ACE: we joined in 1994, the year we started building The Raven
Favorite ACE event: Spring Conference – May 19, 1995 – when CBS’s “48 Hours” shot a segment (blogged about it here:

Coaster Count: I have no idea; I’m usually traumatized after riding
Wood: 3 at Holiday World
Steel: 1 at Holiday World

Water: 2 at Splashin’ Safari

A little background info:

The first park I ever visited was Quassy, then called Lake Quassapaug (I blogged about that experience here:

I used to be a reporter (radio and TV) and then a magazine editor (Pizza Today; really).

I’ve been married to the same saint of a man for 32 years; we have three sons and a grandson and many grandpets.

I’ve worked at Holiday World since 1991 (and have been in the same position ever since; talk about a dead-end job – ha!).

My favorite ride in Holiday World is The Raven.

My favorite ride in Splashin’ Safari is Wildebeest.

I know where Santa parks.

I’m a really good secret-keeper; I know more than you’d ever imagine.

Did you know we started the first park blog ever? I’m really proud of that (you can subscribe to the HoliBlog by entering your email address here:

We were also the first park to use Twitter.

I served on IAAPA’s Communications Committee (and was chairperson for several years); best group of professionals ever!

We have an ACE tag on the HoliBlog:

Brian Lydy

Occupation: Medical Social Worker, but currently substitute teaching and working at Einstein Brothers Bagels

Hometown: Willard, Ohio
Currently live in: Lafayette, IN
Years in ACE: 18 years
Favorite ACE Event: Spring Fling (any of them)

Coaster Count: 529
Wood: 121
Steel: 408

Top 5 Steel:
1. Goliath, SFOG
2. Goliath, LaRonde
3. Behemoth (bless those Canadians)
4. Phantom's Revenge
5. Apollo's Chariot

Top 5 Wood:
1. Phoenix
2. Boulder Dash
3. Blue Streak (Cedar Point)
4. El Toro
5. Lightning Racer (both sides)

Top 3 Parks:
1. Busch Gardens, Williamsburg
2. Cedar Point
3. Hershey Park

Other Interest/Activities:
traditional log rides, drop towers, coaster/park coffee mugs, coaster chat, swimming/hanging out at the beach, action/horror movies, professional football, local breweries

Additional comments: I wish to dedicate my spotlight in the memory of my dad who was my best friend. He took me on my first coaster, The Blue Streak at Cedar Point, when I was five years old and many more after that. He always loved hearing about my coaster adventures even after he was too old to ride. I visit Cedar Point every year on the anniversary of his death and I still feel he is there with me. He was the best!

David Shoultz

Occupation: Chief Operating Officer – Tile Trends, Inc.
Bowling Green, KY
Years in ACE
: 7
Favorite ACE event:
Beech Bend Bash

Coaster Count:
I do not keep track. There’s more to it than how many I’ve rode. And there so many different ways people keep track...

Top 5 Steel Coasters:
1. Nitro
2. Raging Bull
3. X Flight
4. Wild Eagle
5. Raptor

Top 5 Wood Coasters:
1. Thunderhead
2. Kentucky Rumbler
3. Texas Giant (if it fits in this category)
4. Apocalypse
5. Zippin Pippin

Top 3 Amusement Parks
1. Beech Bend
2. Dollywood
3. Disneyland

Other Activities/Interest
s: Love to travel! HUGE shot glass collector. Enjoy on-ride photos – especially looking back years later and reminiscing about the day.

Additional Comments:
I love being a member of ACE. It provides many opportunities to visit places I might not have been, meet new people and ride amazing coasters.