Bob Weis: Champion of Young Artists

We are pleased to celebrate that Ryman Arts longtime supporter and friend, Bob Weis, has been honored with the Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Outstanding Achievements at the 27th Annual Thea Awards!

We have a rich connection to the Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Outstanding Achievements. Now named after Ryman Arts Co-Founder Harrison “Buzz” Price, Buzz was the first recipient of the Thea Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. In 2018 Ryman Arts Board President and founder of The Hettema Group, Phil Hettema was presented with this distinguished award for his exemplary leadership and contributions to themed entertainment.

“Congratulations to Bob Weis on receiving the Buzz Price Lifetime Achievement award. Bob has been a long-time supporter of Ryman Arts programs, and he shares our commitment to the education and encouragement of young people in the arts. This award is a well-deserved recognition of Bob’s remarkable career, and his visionary leadership.” – Phil Hettema, Ryman Arts Board President

It is our pleasure to congratulate Bob on this achievement for the breadth of work that he is done in the themed entertainment industry and within the larger community. While many people know Bob for his work at Disney, we know him as a generous supporter and champion for young artists.

In addition to his many years of support for Ryman Arts, Bob founded the Hani El-Masri Scholarship in 2017 and underwrites this scholarship annually. The Hani El-Masri Student Artist Award’s purpose is to celebrate the life of the late Hani El-Masri by recognizing at least one outstanding Ryman Arts student each year who represents the diverse talents in our community, and who is an immigrant to the United States. Hani El-Masri immigrated to the US from Egypt, became a Disney Imagineer, and also worked at other studios. The Award fund covers the cost of the student’s participation in Ryman Arts and a stipend towards college expenses. Learn more about the Hani El-Masri award.

As the President of Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob oversees large teams transforming EPCOT as well as Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris. His early achievements at Disney include being part of Disney’s first international theme park development – Tokyo Disneyland, and later worked with the Oriental Land Company, to create Tokyo DisneySea. At Walt Disney World Resort, Bob worked on the creation of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and continues to oversee the transformation of that park with recent inclusions of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. His creative leadership with Disney California Adventure included extending guest stays into the evening with the World of Color nighttime spectacular and the introduction of the highly immersive Cars Land.

Bob serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian, is a member of the advisory committee of the Walt Disney Family Museum, supports Cal Poly Pomona, School of Environmental Design, and was one of the founders of the Bobby Brooks Studio.

Bob truly has contributed a lifetime of creativity, leadership, and heart, and we are so proud that he is a part of our Ryman Arts community. Thank you, Bob, for all of the work that you do and for inspiring generations of young artists to come!

Photo Caption: Bob Weis, Hani El-Masri Award Recipient Ivy Bi (Ryman ’17), Julie Svendsen at the 2017 Ryman Arts Graduation