The Hettema Group had a large presence at last weekend’s 2018 Thea Awards Gala in Anaheim, as our team celebrated our friend and leader, Phil Hettema, the recipient of this year’s Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements. The THG team wore accents of “Hettema orange” and waved THG flags in celebration of Phil’s well-deserved recognition. We all welcomed the opportunity to honor Phil for all he has accomplished so far in his career, and to thank him for continuing to inspire and challenge our team.  




With its annual Thea Awards Program, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) recognizes excellence across all genres of the themed entertainment, including theme parks, water parks, museums, visitor centers and spectaculars. The Thea Awards honor achievement in a diversity of categories—for example, the Classic Award (for experiences that have stood the test of time), the Award for Outstanding Achievement on a Limited Budget and the Award for Technological Achievement. 

The Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Outstanding Achievements was named after industry veteran Harrison “Buzz” Price, who received the very first Thea Award in 1994. Price was a research economist who was instrumental in the initial development of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The prestigious award named after him is considered one of our industry’s highest honors.



There are so many people who have made a difference in Phil’s life, and he wants to thank them all. Find Phil’s messages of thanks to his colleagues, family and friends here: Buzz Price Lifetime Achievement Award – Phil’s Thanks


There has been much excitement around Phil’s recent award, so we’d like to share some other links related to his career:


By The THG Team: Gentle Giant with a Mighty Vision  (Click for PDF)

LA Times Article: Themed Entertainment Designers From Disney, Knott’s, Efteling and More Preach the Importance of Play Over Technology


InPark Magazine: Celebrating Phil Hettema


Phil Hettema Recognized with Buzz Price Thea Award


Thea Blog: “We have an obligation” – Phil Hettema’s powerful speech at the 2018 TEA Thea Awards Gala