Phil Hettema is the President and Creative Executive of The Hettema Group (THG). With a distinguished legacy of over 40 years in themed entertainment, Phil leads a world class team of experience designers, architects, and media producers known for creating uniquely compelling guest experiences with great emotional resonance. Notable projects include One World Observatory at One World Trade Center, the High Roller Observation Wheel at The LINQ in Las Vegas, and Beyond All Boundaries at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Prior to forming his own company, Phil was Senior Vice President, Attraction Development for Universal Studios Theme Parks Worldwide for 14 years. He was responsible for the creative development of all major attractions and shows, including Terminator 2: 3D, Jurassic Park, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Backdraft, and many more. He oversaw master planning for all five Universal parks, including domestic and international expansion for Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s PortAventura in Spain, Universal Studios Japan, and, most notably, the conception and delivery of Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Florida.
Phil is an alumnus of ArtCenter College of Design, instructed courses at the institution, and endowed a scholarship for environmental design. He has been a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, USITT, IAAPA, KIN, ICOM, SIGGRAPH, and at the TED Conference. Phil holds four patents for entertainment technology solutions and has been honored with numerous Thea awards from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) including Theas for One World Observatory (2016), Beyond All Boundaries (2010), FiestAventura (2000), The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (2000), Universal’s Islands of Adventure (2000), and Terminator 2: 3D (1997).