Sea Life Michigan Aquarium Names Leadership Team


AUBURN HILLS — Merlin Entertainments Group has hired Hayley Townsend as general manager, and Debbie Gibb as marketing manager, at the New Sea Life Michigan Aquarium to be built at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.

As general manager, Townsend, far left, will be responsible for overseeing all day-to-day aquarium operations, including hiring, staff retention and sales. In her role as marketing manager, Gibb will manage all marketing and advertising outreach on behalf of Sea Life Michigan Aquarium to build regional awareness and attract residents and tourists.  

Townsend has been with Merlin Entertainments Group more than 10 years, having served as catering manager, senior operations manager, and general manager at various U.S. and U.K. locations. She earned her business management diploma from U.K.-based University of Leicester.

Gibb has more than 20 years of marketing experience with a focus on tourism, with past positions including marketing manager for Flagstar Bank, vice president of communications and membership for the Michigan Association of CPAs and associate executive director of Student and Youth Travel Association.

Gibb earned her Bachelor of Arts in international business administration from Alma College, and her Master of Business Administration from Oakland University.  

The 35,000-square-foot aquarium is slated to open in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Spring 2015.