Meet the Team

Reef Experience LLC's mission is to create interactive experience based products that will help resorts become more successful and to provide their guests with an attraction that will entertain them while encouraging them to appreciate the very nature on which their experience is based.

To ensure the success of each attraction produced, we have assembled a talented and experienced design and operational team that is uniquely qualified in working with animals, design, fabrication, operations, building and real estate development.

Tom Otten

Principal and CEO

Tom Otten began his career in the world of Marine Mammals in 1969 at Marineland of the Pacific. As Curator of Marine Mammals, Tom was responsible for the care and training of Marineland's extensive collection of animals; which included killer whales, dolphins, sea lions, walrus and seals. Much of the work accomplished at Marineland during those early years went on to shape the husbandry, training and education expertise that continues to be used in this field today.

In 1981 Tom began his work at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma Washington. Tom served as general curator, overseeing the zoo's entire animal population until 1986 when he was named Director, a position he held until 1999. Under Tom's direction, PDZA was rated as "one of the ten best zoos and aquariums in the country". While at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tom served on the board of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the national accrediting body for Zoos and Aquariums in the United States. Tom served from 1991 until 1997, when his service culminated as President of the Association during his final year of service. While on the board Tom worked extensively on issues such as education and elephant management. Tom has also been a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammals Parks and Aquariums, serving as both board member and chairperson. Tom continues to work closely with the Alliance of Marine Mammals Parks and Aquariums, conducting accreditation inspections at facilities worldwide. From 1999 to present, Tom's skills were recognized and sought out by Science Applications International Corporation to manage their $50 million contract in support of the Navy Marine Mammal Program.

As Chairman of Reef Experience LLC, Tom is positioned to work with this remarkably talented team in all its endeavors.

Phil Jones

Principal and President

Phil Jones has been involved in all aspects of residential and commercial building during his 35-year real estate development career, developing and entitling over 20,000 homes, lots and commercial projects in California, Florida and Japan.

Phil received his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Design from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an Associate of Arts Degree in Architecture from Orange Coast College, and has been a California State General Contractor-Class B designation since 1976, License #317657.

Currently, Phil is President of Heritage Pacific Development, based in Carlsbad, California, specializing in acquiring unimproved residential land for short and long term development, commercial developments and property management. In addition to the development business, he has been working with various banks and receivers, managing and liquidating REO office, commercial and retail developments in the San Diego and Riverside County area.

Phil's experience in real estate development and business finance brings validity to development of the project and the profitability of Reef Experience.

Allison Britton

Principal and VP Operations

Allison Britton has a proven track record of leadership and development of others, execution of visions, strategies and systems while meeting both individual and corporate objectives.

Under her operational leadership, Allison has led teams to their highest potential and efficiencies while ensuring structure, culture and profitability for the corporation. Allison has developed and implemented a system of management controls that increased productivity and a quality delivery model that was recognized as unique and highly successful and was validated by the 2002 Lee Evans Award for Business Management Excellence.

Her continued career progression and key accomplishments provide a strong base for excellence in productivity, profits and achievement of company objectives; a great fit for Reef Experience.

Gloria Otten

Principal and VP Marketing

In 1992, Gloria Otten left her work in the world of not-for-profit fundraising to begin a career as a business owner. What began as a small juice and espresso bar in a local health club eventually led to the creation of a business making healthy dinners for busy families and expanded to include seven kitchens in three counties.

Gloria's vast experience in administration, copywriting, graphic design, marketing, public relations and not-for-profit fundraising adds to this team an element of creativity and diverse talent.

After 20 years as a business owner, Gloria is excited to return to the world of not-for-profit and is currently collaborating to create the Reef Experience Foundation. Gloria's goal is to direct attention to locally focused, environmentally relevant issues while creating an engaging and enriching encounter for Reef Experience guests. With the ability to connect with guests long after their visit to the Reef Experience is over, Gloria is excited to build a bridge whereby everyday people can create a global impact on issues of conservation and education now dear to their hearts.


Frank Murru

Aquarium Specialist

As a member of SeaWorld's senior management team, Frank Murru served as General Manager of Discovery Cove Orlando and pioneered in the field of high-end resort-style interactive marine parks.

He has consulted with some of the most successful aquariums, marine mammal facilities, oceanariums and water parks throughout the world, most recently as chief marine officer at Kerzner International, overseeing development of interactive marine parks at Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

Frank's firm, Murru and Associates, is an international company well versed in both the biology and business of live animal attractions. They have assisted clients in everything from habitat design and animal acquisition, to animal pharmacology, staff recruitment, training, regulatory compliance, and marketing.

Murru & Associates combines the best business and marketing practices, education, research and science accumulated over more than three decades; with a network of scientists, educators, and animal care experts unmatched in the industry.

David Manwarren

Coral Creation and Habitat Exhibitry

Since 1979, David L. Manwarren has been creating realistic and beautiful habitats all over the world. Chances are, if you've ever been blown away by the beauty and life-like qualities of a zoo, aquarium or natural museum exhibit, you've seen David's incredible work.

David and his team have been involved in more than 1,000 zoo, aquarium and museum projects, with more than 60% of those projects being handled exclusively from conception to completion. David's work has won him international awards for exhibition, education, design and landscaping. David is reportedly the most important professional in aquarium exhibits in the world today. David's work can be found not only the United States, but in Canada, China, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Netherlands and several countries in the middle east, including the Kuwait Scientific Center.

Within the scope of the Reef Experience, LLC team, David's unparalleled expertise at creating the world's most beautiful coral reef environments is of special note and adds a dimension to the team unmatched anywhere.

David works his magic from his 6-acre production complex in Rancho Cucamonga California where his talented team of designers and artists continue to implement the most modern and cost-effective methods in their industry to design and build the most entertaining and accurate exhibits in the world.

Paul Cooley

Aquarium Engineering

Paul Cooley has 33 years of experience in the aquatic design industry. He has repeatedly met the unique challenges of applying sanitary engineering processes to marine parks, aquaculture and aquarium systems, and a variety of zoo projects. His expertise includes both fresh and saltwater systems, culturing marine and freshwater mammals and marine fish and invertebrates. Paul is a published authority on the design of technologically advanced water treatment plants designed to meet the extreme and diverse needs of a wide variety of aquatic environments. He has been responsible for process design, project management, and QA/QC on systems ranging in cost from $500K to $250M.

Rick Biddle

Strategic Planning

Rick Biddle brings to Schultz & Williams clients a high level of experience in finance, strategic planning, operations and fundraising. Rick supports a wide range of clients, with particular expertise in the operation of zoos and museums. He is a leading management and planning resource in the field of public/private partnerships and governance planning of zoos throughout the United States.

Since 1992, Rick has developed and provided oversight for each of the strategic business plans that Schultz & Williams has completed for more than 75 AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited institutions with operating budgets ranging from less than $1 million to well over $42 million. He has completed governance and financial plans to guide the privatization and shift in governance of the Dallas Zoo, North Carolina Zoo, North Carolina Aquariums, Santa Ana Zoo, Tulsa Zoo, Kansas City Zoo, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, WA), Detroit Zoo, Houston Zoo and, most recently, the Toronto Zoo. Other recent clients engaging Rick's strategic, organizational and/or business planning services include the Minnesota Zoo, Dallas Zoo, Toronto Zoo, Santa Ana Zoo, Birmingham Zoo, Hogle Zoo (Salt Lake City, UT), Mesker Park Zoo (Evansville, IN) and The National Elephant Center.

Tony Parinello

Sales, US Mainland

Tony Parinello created his own brand of sales training called Selling to VITO, the Very Important Top Officer in 1995. Today, over 2.5 million sales people in more than 30 countries use Tony's work.

Tony is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author of nine books and created Selling Across America; the first and only radio and Internet talk show dedicated to sales people and the art of selling.

Tony's ability to reach the world with artful, articulate presentations truly enriches this highly forward thinking and dynamic team.

Hugh O'Reilly

Sales, Hawaii

Hugh O'Reilly moved from the U.S. to Whistler, Canada in the early 80's and started a number of businesses that allowed him to enjoy his dual citizenship and the lifestyle of a mountain resort community. Wanting to influence the development of the fast growing Municipality, Hugh ran for city council and began a succession of six consecutive terms, three as mayor. During his time as Mayor Hugh championed not only the successful Olympic bid for Whistler with Vancouver; but also established one of the most recognized sustainability plans in Canada: Whistler 2020. In 2005, the lure of the ocean and warm days brought Hugh and his wife Patti to Maui where he enjoys the lifestyle of a different resort community and trades his skis for snorkels. Enjoying a successful real estate career affords Hugh time to continue to pursue his many interests.

Sandra Morgan

Sales, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas in the State of Baja California Sur, Mexico, is one of the world's premier tourist destinations and second home retreats, with incredible fishing, top golf courses, fabulous restaurants, shopping, and unlimited outdoor activities. This is the world that Sandra and KT Morgan work and play in, with Morgan Real Estate Development perfectly positioned as an established and effective Real Estate Brokerage in Los Cabos, Mexico, with experience in both commercial and residential properties.