"Undercover Boss" Amuses Theme Park CEO

Joel Manby, President and CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment, the largest family-owned theme parks in the nation, learned that it takes a lot of hard work to keep the fun and excitement alive on CBS' "Undercover Boss." CBS

Joel Manby, president and CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment, the largest family-owned theme parks in the nation, learned that it takes a lot of hard work to keep the fun and excitement alive on CBS' "Undercover Boss."

In last night's episode, Manby takes on the alias of John Briggs and undergoes a physical transformation, which included a beard, glasses and a new haircut.

While undercover, he meets a kid-friendly captain who loves his job conducting the "Ride the Duck" tour and learns that it might be easier to run a boardroom than to keep the attention of a boat full of kids.

Manby also works the front gate at Silver Dollar City Theme Park, where he learns that first impressions and a warm welcome make all the difference.

He also meets a young man aspiring for his job. A roller-coaster enthusiast, Manby's employee shares his passion along with some ideas he hopes to implement when he takes over the company.

"Albert does overwhelm me a little bit, but you can channel that," Manby says.

His employee speaks highly of Manby as well, saying, "He is an awesome guy."

Manby appears touched by the compliment.

Manby grew up in a family with financial struggles. At a young age he started working for the auto industry (Saab of North America). Yet with a tough schedule, there was little time to spend with family and too much work, something that he says led him to do too much drinking.

With the support of his wife and kids, Manby survived that rough period, he said he realized the importance of spending quality time with his family, which ultimately led him to Herschend Family Entertainment.

The show, which just has been renewed for a second season, has already featured Waste Management CEO Larry O'Donnell; Hooters President Coby G. Brooks, 7-Eleven chief Joseph M. DePinto and White Castle owner Dave Rife and Michael Rubin, CEO of GSI Commerce.
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