The San Diego 500, The Book of Influential Business Leaders, is the market’s most comprehensive product of people you should know in the business community. The 500 includes business leaders and executives who have founded or are running significant companies in terms of number of jobs, key products and services, experts who raise the level of the industry here and beyond and those who lead in the business community. The 500 is selected by the San Diego Business Journal newsroom.

Marilyn Hannes

President, SeaWorld San Diego

As president of SeaWorld San Diego and Aquatica, Marilyn Hannes is the first woman to fill the company’s top seat. She leads all operations for both parks, which have more than 4,600 employees and 12,000 animals. Prior to taking over San Diego operations, she served as the vice president of global sales for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s 12 theme parks in domestic and international markets. She has also served on boards of local, state and national travel industry and tourism groups, including her current service on the San Diego Convention Center and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce boards.

ALMA MATER: Sawyer’s College of Business

FUN FACT: “Guests often comment that they are surprised to see me picking up trash so often at SeaWorld. But when you’re having guests over, you clean up, right?”

TRIUMPHS: Both she and her daughter are cancer survivors.

BUSINESS ADVICE: “Follow your passion and build strong teams based on trust and collaboration.”