OCT. 6-14 2018

Event News & Updates

Mar 22, 2018

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Names Sam Parks as Director of Operations


Contact: Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group 505.898.8689, media@balloonfiesta.com 

Albuquerque, NM—The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Balloon Fiesta) is pleased to announce Sam Parks is joining the organization as its Director of Operations. Mr. Parks, an accomplished pilot and current Balloonmeister will start the inaugural duties in May, following his relocation from North Carolina. 

Sam Parks is an accomplished pilot, event director and has served as the Balloon Fiesta Balloonmeister since 2013. He will serve as both the Balloon Fiesta’s Director of Operations and Balloonmeister for the 2018 event. In his new position Mr. Parks will oversee the day-to-day administration and operation of the 501 (c) (3) Not-For-Profit Corporation. This will include overseeing flight operations, entertainment, guest experience, as well as a variety of other responsibilities that include communications, sponsorships and traffic management. 

“I’ve flown in Balloon Fiesta as a pilot and have worked with Balloon Fiesta for the last seven years, starting as Assistant Balloonmeister, says Sam Parks. “I’ve had the opportunity to participate behind the scenes and shape what the guests see. I’ve admired the event for a long time and the opportunity to work with Balloon Fiesta in this capacity is very exciting.” 

“Sam’s involvement as a pilot and a manager of flight operations provides a leader who has a proven record running safe and successful events,” says President of the Board of Directors Ty Young. Sam’s experience successfully managing and growing small businesses will benefit the organization.” 

“This is a great opportunity to grow the leadership from within the organization,” says Executive Director Paul Smith. “Sam’s skill set will help us remain focused on a premier guest experience.” 

Mr. Parks has been flying balloons since 1988, earning his commercial rating in 1989 and gas balloon rating in 2000. Collectively, he has logged over 1,500 hours in both hot air and gas balloons. In 1990 Mr. Parks established Parks Balloon Aviation, a commercial and corporate hot air balloon company. From 1990 to 2018, he owned Parks Quality Air, a commercial and industrial heating and air conditioning company in Statesville, North Carolina; he recently sold the company to his mentor. Sam and his wife Winna will be relocating to Albuquerque. 

About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta ©

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit www.balloonfiesta.com. Balloon Fiesta can be found on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.