Person Details

H. Philip Bender

H. Philip Bender, Executive Vice President

Phil Bender is Cedar Fair’s executive vice president of Operations, a position he has served since November 2010.

Phil’s tenure with Cedar Fair stretches back to his high school summers when he worked as a seasonal employee at Cedar Point in Sandusky. After college, he returned to work full time at Valley Fair in Shakopee, Minnesota, as director of foods and retail games. In 2000, he became at the time Cedar Fair’s youngest vice president/general manager for Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri. In June 2006, Phil became regional vice president and served in that capacity until promoted to his current position.

In a business that offers entertainment for more than 25 million guests annually, Phil must ensure Cedar Fair’s human, operational and capital resources strictly adhere to sound business and safety practices, and that its parks manage day-to-day operations in a socially responsible manner in the communities they serve. Phil’s responsibilities include oversight of all operations and capital projects for Cedar Fair’s 11 amusement parks, two water parks and resort properties. Reporting to Phil are nine corporate vice presidents who are responsible for daily park operations including construction, security, maintenance, food, merchandise, games, entertainment and accommodations.

In Phil’s eyes, homeruns at Cedar Fair are additions or upgrades to its properties that have immediate impact, but that will also provide enjoyment for generations. Case in point were two initiatives for which Phil is most proud, the renovation of The Breaker’s Hotel at Cedar Point, named one of the best hotels in Ohio, and the complete reconditioning of the hotel’s mile-long beachfront, returning it as one of the Buckeye State’s treasured vacation destinations.

Phil earned his B.A. in Political Science from Miami University and is a former board director of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). Phil is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club International, a program that recognizes members responsible for substantial contributions to Rotary International’s ambassadorial scholarship programs. He is a former member of the Rotary’s Lee’s Summit Club located in south Kansas City, Missouri.

Phil is a historian of World War II and the Civil War, from which he frequents seminal sites such as Bloody Lane and the Witness Tree at Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland. Once he insisted his less than enthusiastic kids tag along, which much to Phil’s surprise left a lasting impression and appreciation of the Civil War with his then 14-year-old son.

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