Thinkwell Group Promotes Three Long-Term Employees to Become Principals at the Company

Thinkwell appoints Dave Cobb, Cynthia Sharpe, and Chris Durmick to new company designations
LOS ANGELES, CA — Thinkwell Group, a global experience design and production agency specializing in the creation of theme parks, major attractions, live events, and museum exhibits around the world, has announced the appointments of Dave Cobb, Cynthia Sharpe, and Chris Durmick to Principals at Thinkwell. The new designation of Principal is reserved for employees who are industry professionals that have built a robust career within the company and the industry, and have shown exceptional leadership qualities, subject matter expertise, and superior client rapport.

“We are incredibly excited for these three long-time Thinkwell employees to become the first Principals at Thinkwell,” said Joe Zenas, CEO of Thinkwell. “Dave, Cynthia, and Chris have been amazing assets to our organization and we couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments, not just here at Thinkwell, but also within our industry.”

Dave Cobb, who was formerly the Vice President of Creative Development, has been promoted to Principal, Creative Development and will continue to guide all phases of project development with a focus on story and guest experience. Cynthia Sharpe, formerly Senior Director of Cultural Attractions and Research, has been promoted to Principal, Cultural Attractions & Research, where she will continue to play an integral part in all cultural attractions projects and educational programming for the company’s projects. Chris Durmick, formerly Senior Director, Creative Development, has been promoted to Principal, Attractions & Museums and will guide the content and guest experience for projects that range from theme park attractions to museums and exhibitions.

“Dave, Cynthia, and Chris bring a remarkable breadth of knowledge and experience to our company. They are integral members of our creative team and bring an exceptional level of creativity, experience, professionalism and leadership to the projects they lead,” said Craig Hanna, Chief Creative Officer, Thinkwell.

About Thinkwell Group
Founded in 2001, Thinkwell is a global experience design and production agency specializing in the creation and master planning of theme parks, destination resorts, major branded and intellectual property attractions, events & spectaculars, museums & exhibits, expos and live shows around the world. The award-winning company has become a leader in experiential design by bringing a unique holistic approach to every creative engagement, delivering extraordinary results to notable clients over the years, including Fortune 500 companies, movie studios, museums, theme parks and destination resorts. For more information visit:
# # #

Coney Island Astroland

If Stillwell Avenue is the heart of Coney Island, then Astroland is the adrenaline, filling the body of visitors with thrills, excitement, and long-term memories. Astroland is first and foremost, fun. It is a collection of unique amusements, selected and designed exclusively for this place. Like Stillwell, this won’t be a recreation of the old Astroland, Luna Park or Dreamland. This is a new park with an old soul. Everything will be new, shiny, and safe, but also slightly familiar like a good friend’s child who bears a striking resemblance to the old man, but burns with youthful energy and just can’t seem to keep still.

ExaMedia Photography /
ExaMedia Photography /

The collection of rides will appeal to a broad audience, from the thrills of a coaster, to the huddle-up chills of a dark ride, to the safe, make-believe flat rides for the little ones. Some of these rides will be totally unique to Coney Island, designed exclusively for this location. Others will be the next generation of Coney Classics, using state-of-the-art technologies and safety features. What makes this Astroland special, is the sum of its parts and the rich environment in which they are set. The rides will be integrated into a single design vision. This won’t be a gaudy, rag-tag state fair midway comprised of generic, off-the-shelf rides. These rides will belong here and only here.

Chris Parypa Photography /
Chris Parypa Photography /

There are other aspirations to consider for Astroland. There are greenery and water features throughout the location (this is after all, a park). There will be a retractable cover over most of it to extend its operation throughout the year. The cover is in place during the winter and in inclement weather, but Astroland yearns to be outside, so the roof slides away whenever possible. A permanent circus just next door on Surf Avenue exudes its escapist personality throughout the park and provides a visual anchor on the north. The Boardwalk and the beckoning beach are accessible from the opposite side, where Astroland’s rocket shines anew. Hotels, retail, and residential spaces are a necessity that may intersect the area, but this is the amusement center first and foremost, but more importantly, it’s Coney Island’s amusement center, and it takes its responsibility seriously.