Sirko Adler joined the WhiteWater team just last month, after having an illustrious career at Wiegand-Maelzer, creators of the SlideWheel®. Hailing from Germany, Sirko has been working in the water park industry from the start of his career, which is unique in and of itself! Part of the team that invented the SlideWheel, his insights into water slide innovation and the water park industry in Europe are invaluable.
Please tell us a bit about yourself
I was born and raised in Thuringia, Germany, which was at the time, part of East Germany. Thuringia is a beautiful place, with stunning views of mountains, massive forests, and sports a deep Celtic history. I am still based here, and live with my wife and two sons. My career started when I was a young lad, shaped by the German water slide producer, “Wiegand.Maelzer GmbH”. This company is where I started my career as an installer and later as project and sales manager. During this exciting and instructive time, I discovered the European water park industry, my passion for it, and its clients.
What do you do at WhiteWater?
I joined WhiteWater on April 1st, 2020 as a business development manager for Central and Northern Europe. It is a segment that is vast and is expanding on an unprecedented scale.
What made you decide to join WhiteWater? What has it been like to join a brand new company in the middle of a global pandemic?
I worked with Grant Poje on several European developments in the past, which is why I was familiar with WhiteWater products and their market approach. I was impressed by their extensive product range and the possibilities that result from it. My final decision, which was not an easy one, was made during a dinner with Geoff Chutter in Paris. His passion for WhiteWater and the industry was so compelling and genuine that I decided to join. This was before COVID-19 started to influence our lives in the way that it does today. COVID-19 had dramatically changed the situation worldwide. We must, and we will make the best out of it.
What’s your favourite WhiteWater product?
In every man, there is a child. The WhiteWater product range is incredible and I have a lot of favourites, but above all, the gigantic SlideWheel is my clear favourite. To experience the development of this innovative idea was really exciting. Over the years, the complexity of the products in the industry has increased, with all the competitors trying to top each other’s products, bringing in a vast array of new designs. There are a lot of new products in the market each year, but the arrival of the SlideWheel has heralded a new era. When it comes to other WhiteWater products, I personally love the Tailspin and the multi-level AquaPlay structures.
What’s on your bucket list?
Usually, I take things as they come, and right now, after 9 weeks in quarantine with two youngsters, the priority on my bucket list is getting back to normality. The original plan was to go to Ibiza this year—there is nothing like going on a beach vacation!
Also, I’m a drummer, and one day, I would like to play at the WhiteWater IAAPA party – for all my new team members.
How do you see yourself growing in your role at a bigger brand?
In Europe, people in the industry generally have a high level of awareness of WhiteWater as a brand. But clients here are reserved and need special care, as they like to stick to the suppliers that they have had a good experience with already. With a strong European team and WhiteWater’s ability to react quickly and flexibly in the European market, I see myself increasing WhiteWater’s success in these growing and exciting markets. If necessary, I will even tighten the screws myself at a construction site to accomplish this!
What’s the most exciting place that you’ve visited and why?
My job brings me to unique places regularly, and right now, my thoughts keep drifting to my memories of the magnificent beach of Saint-Pierre La Reunion. Snorkelling among bull sharks was thrilling! I later found out that the probability of a shark attack in the coastal waters of La Reunion is currently a thousand times higher than along the coasts of Australia and North America. ????
What do you do outside of work?
My job and family don’t leave much room for many other hobbies, but I have played the drums for 23 years. When I have free time, I enjoy going for rehearsals and performing gigs with my band.