A 20-year Navy Vet has brought millions of dollars worth of free theme park admission – and priceless smiles – to nearly two million Active Duty personnel and their families since 2005. As the Chairman and President of Busch Entertainment Corporation, the family entertainment subsidiary of the Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc., Keith M. Kasen’s leadership demonstrates a corporate tradition of philanthropy and thanking those who serve.
Under his leadership, members of the military and as many as three direct dependents may enter any one of Anheuser-Busch's SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks with a single-day complimentary admission.
“For your service and sacrifice, we thank you,” says the special companion Web site, “Here’s to the Heroes.” The special tribute program has so far provided free admission to Anheuser-Busch theme parks to more than 1.7 million members of U.S. and coalition armed forces and their families.
"This is one small way we can acknowledge and thank the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen whose service helps to preserve the freedom and safety of every American," said Kasen. "It's important to all of us at Anheuser-Busch that we show our gratitude to the men and women of our armed forces and their families for the sacrifices they make on our behalf."
"It is gratifying to all of us at Anheuser-Busch that so many members of our armed forces took advantage of this program and honored us with a visit," said added Kasen. "This is a difficult time for our men and women in uniform, and we are honored to give them something back."
Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC) is a subsidiary of the giant brewer Anheuser-Busch, and one of the largest U.S. theme park operators, with nine locations in five states. BEC owns three SeaWorld parks in California, Florida and Texas.
Anheuser-Busch is also a major seven-figure contributor to the recently built “Center for the Intrepid,” the San-Antonio-based state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility funded by private contributors for injured troops returning from overseas. Read New Veterans Rehab Facility Brings State of the Art Physical Therapy to Those Who Need It Most for more information.
Before joining the theme park industry in 1985, Kasen served 20 years in the U.S. Navy as an aviator. In this capacity, he traveled to duty stations throughout the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Following his naval career, Kasen joined the staff at SeaWorld Orlando as director and later vice-president of park operations.
Prior to assuming his current role, Kasen was executive vice-president and general manager of the company’s Orlando parks, SeaWorld Florida and Discovery Cove. He also has served as executive vice-president and general manager of SeaWorld San Antonio and the company’s Busch Gardens Park in Williamsburg, Va.
Kasen has been active in civic and philanthropic groups in the cities in which he has worked. Most recently, he serves on the boards of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, the Boggy Creek Gang Camp, University of Central Florida Rosen School of Hospitality Management, the Florida Chamber, the Executive Committee of the Orlando/Orange County Convention Visitors Bureau and the Advisory Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Kasen earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of West Florida and his master’s of business degree from the University of Utah.
He enjoys physical fitness, photography and golf. Kasen and his wife, Claudia, have a daughter, Sonya.