We are pleased to announce that Elmwood Park Zoo is the first zoo in the world to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC). The designation is being awarded to us by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). As members of our guest community, we wanted to share this exiting news with you in conjunction with the press release IBCCES issued this morning. Continue reading the press release below:
Elmwood Park Zoo is the first zoo in the world to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC). The designation, given by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), is awarded to organizations who have completed a training and review process with the goal to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs.
“We are extremely excited to be the first zoo to offer its guests on the spectrum services that are tailored to their needs. We know that the interactions our guests have with our animals can be so rewarding; we thank the IBCCES for helping us to extend these same experiences to an underserved community, and there's no doubt that they will truly benefit from this inclusion,” said Al Zone, executive director and CEO of Elmwood Park Zoo.
Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find vacationing and traveling to new destinations a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. While research shows that traveling and enjoying new experiences is one of the most intellectually stimulating events for individuals on the spectrum, there are still few trained and certified travel options for parents looking for destinations and attractions to accommodate their needs. For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children with special needs have limited travel options and created programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry.
“For years, research has demonstrated positive outcomes for individuals with sensory disorders who interact with animals. We’re excited to partner with such a great organization that is truly committing to serving those on the spectrum. We believe it’s important to ensure all guests can experience the world around them in a safe way,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Our Certified Autism Center designation is awarded to premier organizations who have completed rigorous training and meet the highest industry standards.”
Rather than relying on the growing number of organizations promoting “autism-friendly” options that can vary widely, more parents are now seeking out destinations that have completed research-based training and professional review. IBCCES also created, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center requirements, which include extensive staff training and an on-site audit conducted by leading autism experts. Elmwood Park Zoo will also be listed with other CACs on, a partnership between IBCCES and
Autism Society to connect families and individuals with businesses and resources committed to serving individuals on the spectrum.
Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders - IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders. As part of our commitment to sharing the latest innovations and research, IBCCEs also hosts the International Symposium on Cognitive Research and Disorders to create a forum for collaboration among industry stakeholders.
About Elmwood Park Zoo
Elmwood Park Zoo was established in 1924 when a local farmer transferred 16 acres and a small menagerie to the Borough of Norristown. Today, the Zoo is owned and operated by the Norristown Zoological Society, a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment that will inspire active participation in conservation. The zoo is home to dozens of wild and endangered species, and is visited by well over half a million people each year.





Chauncey Hotel & Conference Center Announces Executive Chef Brian Wagner as the IACC Global Copper Skillet Award Winner


Princeton, N.J. – Brian Wagner, Aramark executive chef at the Chauncey Hotel & Conference Centerwas named the 2018 IACC(International Association of Conference Centers) Global Copper Skillet winner.  The Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference venues around the world and give recognition to their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference venue experience. The 2018 event was conducted as a three-part competition held in phases around the world.   The final winners representing IACC Americas, Australia/ Asia Pacific, and European member venues competed for IACC’s prestigious culinary award at The Franklin Institutein Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday April 17th.    

The competing chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a "mystery basket" of proteins and other fresh grocery items. They were given 15-minutes to gather ingredients and 30-minutes to create and present their dish to the judges:  Iron Chef Jose Garces,  restaurateur Chef Walter Staib and Steve Poses, the founder of the catering company Frog Commissary were on the competition judging panel.  Chef Brian’s winning dish was Roasted duck breast with five spice, caramelized fennel, orange, baby carrot, and a soy honey glaze


IACC Americas President, Sean Anderson, commented on the recent U.S Copper Skillet competition; “Food is such an important element of everything we do. I’m proud to see IACC chefs entertain the audience with a terrific display of creativity, passion and talent! I congratulate all the chefs for being part of this special event.”   General Manager of Chauncey Hotel & Conference Center said, "We are very proud of Chef Wagner and his accomplishment.  To prepare a winning dish under such great pressure is such a testament to not only his culinary skill, but his creativity. We're glad he's on our team."

Chef Wagner is a local New Jerseyan.   He was educated at the Arizona Culinary Institute and began his career in several four and five star dining restaurants in the Northeast. From being a tournant to a fish cook, Chef Wagner gained experience early on in his career to develop his culinary skills. He was later recruited to work at Joel Robuchon’s restaurant in Las Vegas as a Master Cook. This unforgettable experience at the three Michelin Star Restaurant allowed Chef Wagner to learn from the very best in the business. After years of refining his culinary skills in the Vegas restaurant scene, Chef Wagner came back to his Jersey roots to take on the Executive Chef role at the Chauncey Hotel & Conference Center in Princeton, New Jersey. Chef Brian’s culinary experiences have all contributed to his philosophy of local, and fresh, creative cooking.  



PR contacts : Cindy McQuaid 609.279.6471

About IACC


Founded in 1981, IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally and is, by definition, the future of the meetings industry realised. The association brings together the brightest, most innovative minds from around the globe.  IACC elevates the meeting experience by creating a unique point of entry that is inclusive of the best-in-class meeting venues internationally.  IACC membership is a symbol of meeting excellence and exceptional connections amongst the best in the meeting industry.  This exclusiveness makes IACC’s members part of an elite group representing the most innovative, forward-thinking and results-driven meeting venues globally.  


All members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics.  IACC includes over 350 members from the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kenya, Nigeria, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Mongolia, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Germany, England, Wales and Scotland.  


For Immediate Release 








June 28, 2018


Atlantic City, NJ (April 18, 2018) - Today, Hard Rock International Chairman & CEO, Jim Allen, announced the Grand Opening date for the highly-anticipated Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. This announcement included a star-studded entertainment lineup with more than 50 shows and events that will go on sale Friday, April 20th. This unprecedented event will create sound waves for the coastal town with over 200 nights of music, ranging from A-list artists, epic bands and headlining comedians. The unveiling of the Grand Opening date along with the all-star lineup and the hotel reservations announcements were revealed simultaneously at a three-city press conference in New York City, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City.

“The Grand Opening of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will set the tone for a new era of entertainment in Atlantic City. Our 500 million dollar, newly reimagined property will offer something for everyone and we’re thrilled to welcome our first guests in June,” stated Hard Rock International Chairman & CEO, Jim Allen.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will be the new go-to destination for world-class entertainment, rock star service and their signature legendary vibe. The music-inspired hotel will feature dynamic culinary experiences, superstar performances, sporting events, a beach bar and a spectacular casino complete with more than 2,100 slot machines and 120 table games. The entertainment lineup set to kick off the summer will include A-list talent and performances, such as Amy Schumer and Friends, Florida Georgia Line, Kid Rock plus over 50 shows and events booked for the new casino resort.

On any given day of the year, musical talent will include artists that are leading the music scene across the nation. From Country artists like Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith and Trace Adkins to Broadway sensations, such as Rock of Ages and Million Dollar Quartet, guests will have access to a variety of genres. Legendary artists like Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and rock favorites such as Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo and Rick Springfield, Steely Dan and Stone Temple Pilots with Bush & The Cult will all set the stage at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.



7/1 - 9/16- Motor City Live: A Motown Tribute

7/5- Third Eye Blind

7/6 - Country Fridays featuring Kellie Pickler

7/12 - Ted Nugent

7/13 & 7/14 - Florida Georgia Line

7/20 - Country Fridays featuring A Thousand Horses

7/21 - Chris Young

7/26 - Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo and Rick Springfield

7/26 - Rascal Flatts

7/27 & 7/28 - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

8/1 - Stone Temple Pilots & Bush & The Cult

8/4 - Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

8/9 - George Thorogood

8/11- Million Dollar Quartet

8/18 - Blake Shelton

8/23 - Counting Crows with LIVE

8/26 - Toby Keith and Trace Adkins

9/1- Amy Schumer and Friends

9/8 - Fab Faux

9/22 - Cole Swindell

10/13 - Steely Dan

10/19 &10/20 - Kid Rock

10/30 - 11/4- Rock of Ages

4/30/19-5/6/19 - Kinky Boots

*Tickets on sale Friday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. at 


Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City launches online room reservations; visit www.hardrockhotelatlanticcity.comor call (609) 449-1000. Hotel Guests can book now to experience music inspired offerings such as The Sound of Your Stay program.


Hard Rock International

With venues in 75 countries, including 181 cafes, 25 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include St. Petersburg, Fortaleza, Casablanca and Chengdu. New Hard Rock hotel, casino or hotel-casino projects include Atlanta, Atlantic City,

Berlin, Budapest, London, Los Cabos, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Dalian and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit


For All Media Inquiries:

Sharon Pearce

Director of Advertising & PR

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

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Amanda Haynes/Tyler Burrow

Fingerprint Communications

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