Charles “Hank” Salemi is Park President of Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor Chicago and Hurricane Harbor Rockford. With over 23 years at Six Flags, Hank has been in his current role since 2006. As Park President, he is responsible for a staff of 165 full-time and 4,500 seasonal team members and oversees all Finance, Sales & Marketing, Maintenance, Operations, In Park Revenue, HR/Safety activities for the parks.
Prior to his current role, Hank was chief marketing officer for Six Flags, overseeing all marketing and advertising for 40 parks worldwide. From 1997 – 2000, he was the marketing director at Six Flags Great America where he introduced Raging Bull, the world’s first hyper-twister roller coaster and the park’s tallest, longest, and fastest coaster at the time. Hank got his start in the industry with stints at Feld Entertainment before joining Ogden Corporation and then joining Six Flags.
During his tenure as Park President, Great America, one of the largest parks in the Six Flags system, has introduced a number of the most innovative attractions in the company and the theme park industry.
In 2011, Riptide Bay was added to Hurricane Harbor Hurricane Harbor Chicago. Featuring five unique attractions, including a pair of exhilarating drop slides and a children’s splash zone, Riptide Bay was designed for the whole family.
In 2014, Great America introduced Goliath. At its debut, Goliath broke three world records as the world’s fastest wooden coaster at 72 mph; world’s tallest drop for a wooden coaster at 180 feet; and world’s steepest drop for a wooden coaster at a near-vertical 85 degrees.
Great America’s most recent addition, the park’s 17th roller coaster, is the triple, record-breaking Maxx Force. This air launch coaster features the fastest acceleration in North America, taking riders from 0-78 mph in under two seconds. It also breaks two world records with the tallest double inversion at 175 feet and the fastest inversion with a 60 mph zero-g roll.
In addition to debuting Maxx Force in 2019, Six Flags Great America took over operation of Magic Waters Waterpark in Cherry Valley, Illinois. Rebranded as Hurricane Harbor Rockford in 2020, the waterpark is home to 15 world-class attractions and 11 heart-pounding waterslides, including Illinois’s largest wave pool.
Hank received his BS in Marketing and Communications from the University of Alabama and lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with his wife Kathleen and daughter Claire.