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Barbara Karasek


Barbara Emener Karasek

CEO / Co-owner

Barbara, who with her husband Tony acquired Paradise from founder Cedar Hames in early 2018 following a near year long transition in 2017, brings an accomplished career history to her new role as CEO. She has more than 20 years of experience leading brand and consumer marketing, sports partnerships, entertainment, licensing, e-commerce, consumer products and retail departments for companies such as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, PGA TOUR, NASCAR, and the United States Olympic Committee.

Her ideas are BIG. Her ideas are BOLD. Her ideas deliver LARGER THAN LIFE results for clients. From leading NASCAR Champions Week branded events in Times Square with live media coverage from 20+ media outlets for nearly 100,000 fans, creating Emmy award winning TV Shows "Sea Rescue" and "Wildlife Docs" for ABC Family, and securing celebrities and musicians like Darius Rucker and Will Ferrell for national entertainment partnerships, to co-branding Southwest airplanes (Shamu One and Penguin One), and signing a record 10-year partnership for SeaWorld Entertainment with Coca-Cola, the largest in company history which created new marketing platforms for media, recycling, philanthropy, retail partners, QSRs, events, and even a new custom beverage.

Her mind and heart reflects global influences, having lived in eight countries and traveled to more than 20 during her career. The personal and business experiences from diverse cultures and businesses profoundly impacts the ideas and marketing plans for clients. 

A Tampa native, she cut her teeth in advertising and public relations at Crispin & Porter in MIami, The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee and the Earl Palmer Browne office in St.Petersburg where she interned under her mentor Cedar Hames. 

Barbara has a BA in Sociology from Furman University, where she earned a four-year volleyball scholarship and was named team captain. She also holds an MA in Mass Communications from University of South Florida, which honored her in 2008 with an Outstanding Alumnus award, and is a graduate of Strategic Marketing Management at Harvard Business School.