Behind the scenes of Mystic Mansion - The Park at OWA
Behind the scenes of Mystic Mansion - The Park at OWA
John Wood is one of the original founders of Sally Corporation and has been a key member of the company’s management team and Board of Directors since it's inception.
For his entire career, Wood has been an active participant in the industry. He has twice served as a director of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for his work in 1994 and the Lifetime Service Award in 2016. He has been a member of the International Board of Directors of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) for three terms, a long standing governor of the prestigious Applause Award and currently serves on the IAAPA Hall of Fame Committee and Audit Committee. In 2013 John Wood was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame for Sally’s work in the field of dark rides.
In addition, Wood has been active in the Jacksonville community and is past president of the Greater Jacksonville Fair Association, a Board member of the North Florida Boy Scouts of America and Trustee of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.
A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Todd Gillrup brought his academic training in industrial design technology directly to the Sally production department. While at the Institute he focused on special effects technologies. Gillrup began his career as a staff artist at Sally in 1992. He worked his way through the supervisory and management levels of production operations since that time. Along the way, Gillrup’s research and experimentation contributed to a new level of knowledge in artistic figure finishing and enhanced the company’s reputation for high quality realism. Today, he manages the company’s production and fabrication operations.
With an award-winning background in art, theater, and music, Hunter leads Sally’s full-service design department in the creation of characters and story. He oversees a team of designers, sculptors, scenic and finish artists. Hunter is a fine arts graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana with post-graduate studies in Rome. He has worked as a show designer, muralist, scenic artist, illustrator, fine arts painter, playwright, and actor. His experience includes: designer for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums, wax museum creative director, president of Vorta, Inc. and even television’s Bozo the Clown. Hunter is a founding member of the International Association of Haunted Attractions. Hunter came to Sally as a specialist designer in haunted attractions and was promoted in 2001 to department director.
Visit DrewEdwardHunter.art to see what kind of creations Drew is up to in his free time.
Donna Gentry, who graduated summa cum laude from La Grange College in Geogia, also holds an MBA, with honors, from the University of North Florida. Gentry came to Sally in 1983 as a member of the art department. Since then she has held a succession of supervisory positions with the company. As internal project manager, she has been responsible for coordinating many dark ride and animatronics projects. Gentry works directly with subcontractors, architects and engineers, also handling internal production coordination. She is a member of the Project Management Institute.
John Stegall has an extensive technical and supervisory background. Prior to joining Sally Corporation, he served in the U.S. Navy as a technical manager and supervisor in support of aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt and air wing electronics operations, retiring as a chief petty officer. John plays a great role in the design and specification of Sally projects, is responsible for laying out ride infrastructure requirements, and the procurement of all control, audio, lighting, special effects and interactive devices, in addition to managing the in-house electronics production team.
As Sally Corporation’s Creative Director, Rich Hill oversees the development of major attractions from idea origination through opening day. Creative vision, storytelling, technical knowledge and department leadership are qualities that make Rich a valuable member of Sally’s management team. Over the years, Rich has led the design of numerous award-winning attractions that have helped define Sally Corporation as a leader in the next generation of themed entertainment.
Besides overseeing ride and show development for Sally, Rich is also a professional sculptor, fine artist, illustrator, writer and movie-maker. During his 20+ year career in themed entertainment, Rich has worked with Disney, Universal Studios, Cedar Fair, Six Flags Entertainment, Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and many others.
Rich holds an Industrial Design degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh where he majored in Attraction Design and minored in Digital Animation. His attraction designs have received recognition from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the Themed Entertainment Association, Theme Park Insider, USA Today and others. He is frequently asked to speak to industry groups and schools including the American Coaster Enthusiasts, The Art Institute of Jacksonville and Savannah College of Art and Design.
Lauren Weaver joined the dark ride and animatronics design/manufacturing company in 2008 as a member of Sally’s business development team. She has since taken on the role of digital marketing manager, maintaining the company’s social media channels, as well as trade show coordinator, organizing the company’s expo presence internationally. A graduate of Jacksonville’s Stanton College Preparatory School, she holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Florida State University. Lauren has extensive experience in modern marketing tactics and now oversees Sally’s advertising, public and media relations, marketing materials, website and social media channels.
As the Controller at Sally Corp., Victoria manages the company's financial statements, general ledger, cost accounting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, taxes and insurance, as well as various special analyses. She is also responsible for all human resources, benefits, and compliance within. She brings 20 years of experience in accounting/finance and operations, and has a demonstrated history in a wide variety of industries. A successful manager and team player, Victoria brings a track record of working with and building highly productive and efficient teams.
Prior to joining Sally, Victoria spent her career as the Corporate Financial Controller at nationally focused technology companies such as Ezassi, Inc, OnSite-Physio, and InHouse, Inc. Vicki, as we like to call her, is a transplant from Long Island, where she grew up. She has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational management / accounting from St. Johns River State College.
Greg Rodriguez has over 19 years in the Dark Ride/ Animatronics manufacturing industry, with experience in Mechanical fabrication, Pneumatic installation and CAD. He moved from the production floor after 10 years, to take on the responsibility of providing customer service and support. He serves our international client base with patience and understanding of language and culture. Greg has proven to be adept at working across a broad range of clients on a wide variety of mechanical and technical issues. He represents the company with confidence and skill never jeopardizing our reputation and always keeping the company in the best light. Greg has a passion for service excellence, a strong business-to-business acumen and an ability to quickly turn customer complaints into opportunities.