The Team

The Skyline Team

The small-but-mighty team behind Skyline Attractions combines nearly a century of amusement industry experience. The eight engineers and creatives trace their roots across North America and each bring a unique assortment of experiences and talents to the table.

Skyline_Attractions_Team_Chris_Gray

Chris M. Gray

Partner / Vice President

At eight years old, Chris Gray knew he wanted to design and build amusement rides, and he focused on that dream ever since. Chris found himself studying rides as a child and trying to figure out how they worked and how he could make them better. Growing up in rural Kentucky, his family didn’t have the financial means to send him to college so he went about it on his own. He started in 1994 by joining the US Navy, and upon his honorable discharge in 1998, attended Spencerian College in Lexington, Kentucky.

While in the Navy, Chris was continually networking his way into this amazing industry, working sometimes as a Ride Operator in Gulf Shores, Alabama and attending the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) annual Trade Show. Upon earning his degree from Spencerian College in Technical Drawing and Drafting in 2001, Chris landed exactly where he wanted to be as the technical manager for roller coaster train assembly at Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCII).

From there he worked his way up into as many positions as he could, and he became an integral part of GCII from marketing to safety training, design to assembly, and, eventually, became one of the primary faces of the company and perhaps even the roller coaster industry. During his 12 year tenure at GCII, Chris was responsible for $137 million of product purchases and deliveries, and supervised the precision assembly of 42 roller coaster trains. Chris saw the product through to delivery, eventually training all park maintenance and operational personnel in the proper upkeep of GCII products.

While at GCII, Chris also served on two committees for IAAPA: the Manufacturers and Suppliers Committee from 2010 to 2012 and the Trade Show Space Allocation Committee from 2014 to 2016. Chris has also been a member of the Orlando Convention and Trade Advisory Council, and he was invited by the Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers (AIMS) to teach a wooden roller coaster maintenance class and safety seminar.

As one of the founding members of Skyline Attractions, Chris adds his knowledge of this industry and the relationships he has built with park owners around the world. Chris is Skyline Attractions’ man with a huge imagination and the know-how to build those ideas into actual machines that entertain millions.

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Jeff Pike

Partner / President

Like so many in the amusement industry, Jeff has dedicated himself to rides and parks for as long as he can remember. From elementary school to the present day, he has been focused on roller coasters, amusement rides, and all around fun!

Through his years at the University of Louisville studying Mechanical Engineering, Jeff was in constant contact with industry leaders seeking guidance and advice. As a ride operator for both Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California, Jeff learned the basics of ride operations and closely followed the maintenance crews during their morning checks to learn more about the inner workings of the rides.

It was this curiosity and perseverance that helped Jeff land his first job on the design side of the industry: a drafting internship with D.H. Morgan Manufacturing. At Morgan, Jeff worked side-by-side with some of the most ambitious designers as they dreamed up plans for record-breaking rides such as Wild Thing at Valleyfair, Steel Force at Dorney Park, and Mamba at Worlds of Fun. These internships provided Jeff with valuable insight into the painstaking detail and precision that goes into every state-of-the art amusement attraction.

Through Morgan, Jeff met Michael Boodley, arguably the best wooden coaster designer of the era. Upon graduation from University of Louisville in 1998 with his BS in Mechanical Engineering and passing the FE exam, Mr. Boodley offered Jeff a position in the Design department of Great Coasters International, Inc.

In 2001, upon Mr. Boodley’s retirement, Jeff became Vice President of Sales and Design at GCII and took over the primary duties of roller coaster design and engineering coordination. During his time as Vice President, Jeff designed 15 roller coasters that span from the California coast to the Orient. His rides dot the European landscape, and he led the GCII team as they introduced exciting innovations such as the durable and elegant steel superstructure of the White Lightning coaster at Fun Spot America in Orlando, and the pint-sized Mini-llennium Flyer wood coaster vehicles which offer the little ones a chance to safely and comfortably experience their first wooden coaster thrill.

With Jeff’s leadership, GCII became the market leader in wood coasters in all of Europe, guiding GCII through the design of six wood coasters from Finland to Germany. He successfully navigated the bureaucracy in China to become one of only two certified wood coaster suppliers in the People’s Republic, and he has designed the two largest wood coasters in all of China. Jeff has negotiated more than $100 million in wood coaster design and support contracts, had design input into more than 25% of all wood coasters in the world, provided guidance for several young engineers who have gone on to success in the industry, and grew the GCII brand into the most recognizable name for the design and construction of safe and reliable thrills.

Today, Jeff looks skyward as he turns his attention to the promise of a new generation of fun and thrills with Skyline Attractions. With his skills and experience, the sky is quite literally the limit!

Skyline_Attractions_Team_Evan_Souliere

Evan Souliere, PE

Partner / Treasurer

Evan has been interested in engineering since an early age, and, more specifically, fascinated by the engineering of amusement attractions since before his teenage years. He spent his summers during high school working at Six Flags New England, working his way into a seasonal management position, in which he became responsible for the overall operation of seven major amusement rides and roller coasters.

In 2004, Evan started in a five-year cooperative education program in the Civil Engineering department at Northeastern University. His first co-op was spent in 2006 at Simpson, Gumpertz, and Heger, Inc, an internationally-renowned consulting engineering firm. In 2007, Evan began a co-op with Great Coasters International, Inc., one of just a handful of designers and manufacturers of wooden roller coasters in the world. For the next two years, Evan alternated between working for GCII and taking classes at Northeastern.

His role at GCII consisted of aiding the two full-time engineers with any and every task needed to design and create drawings for new roller coaster installations and improvements to existing wooden roller coasters. This included work on foundations, structures, buildings, ride dynamics, and mechanical systems.

Upon graduation from Northeastern in 2009, Evan was hired full-time by GCII, where his role was similar to that during his co-op, although his responsibilities and ability to make decisions increased. Over the next several years, the workforce in the engineering office increased, and Evan began to take on a supervisory role. He moved into a senior engineer position in 2013, which is the same year he applied for, qualified, and passed an exam to be certified as a Professional Engineer.

In 2014, Evan transitioned out of his role at GCII and joined three colleagues to form Skyline Attractions. He brings with him his engineering skills, organization, familiarity with networks and computer systems, and competence in decision making.

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Bill Wydra

Partner

In addition to his partnership in Skyline Attractions, Bill Wydra, Jr. is the President and Owner of Ashland Technologies, Inc. (Ash/Tec, Inc.) and Wydra International Properties, LLC. He is a member of an international joint venture, Amecosse, LLC, as well as a partner in Honolulu Hot Dog Company, Inc.

Bill’s first company, Ashland Technologies, Inc. has been ranked on the INC 500/5000 fastest growing US companies list for five consecutive years (2009-2013). In 2009, Ashland Technologies, Inc. was the #1 Fastest Growing Manufacturer in the state of Pennsylvania and ranked #55 in the US. Ashland was also honored as one of the Top 10 machine shops in the country by American Machinist Magazine. You can also find them frequently featured on a PCN Tours television show which highlights many of their cool products and capabilities. Most recently, Ash/Tec received its second nomination for the annual Governor’s Impact Award in the field of exporting.

Bill founded the company 18 years ago with the vision of becoming the “First International Chain of Machine Shops”, including a location in Central Florida. Although they can make just about anything, Ashland Technologies focuses on any market where they can “Turn Metal into Thrills”; as such, their target markets are amusement/roller coaster, food service, and energy segments worldwide.

Bill is an executive member of several boards of non-profit organizations including the Manufacturing Resource Center at Lehigh University (Former Chairman), Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (Treasurer), Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce (Past President) and Valencia College Manufacturing Advisory Board (Quality Curriculum Committee Member). He serves on the board of a for-profit company, Dynalene, Inc., for which he holds the position of Director of International Sales. Bill has been honored numerous times for his outstanding contributions to business and community; recent awards include Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year awards, Manufacturing Excellence award, and Business Journal Top 20 under 40. He was also a regional finalist for the Earnst & Young 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year award.

A graduate of George Mason University with degrees in Marketing, Economics and Finance, Bill’s philosophy on business is to empower all his employees and business partners to break the mold of convention and mediocrity and make the “impossible” possible.

Bill is a native of Pennsylvania and resides with his wife Angela and their twin boys and daughter, all of whom share Bill’s passion for thrills, adventure, and travel even at a young age.

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Matthew Calabrese

Design Engineer

Matt grew up next to roller coasters. Living ten minutes from Canada’s Wonderland in Ontario, Canada meant that the park was a central part of his life growing up.

Matt studied Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto, during which time he completed multiple internships in Automotive Foam Manufacturing. Working in the corporate engineering department, he provided engineering assistance to multiple R&D projects.

Also during his time at Ryerson, Matt was introduced to the Ryerson Thrill Club by a friend, and, by attending ASTM F24 meetings and IAAPA, he found an industry that is exciting, willing to try new ideas, and literally engineers fun! He continued with the Thrill Club, helping to organize the first Ryerson Thrill Competition, and later became the President of the organization. Matt worked a season at Canada’s Wonderland as a Rides Maintenance Technician, soaking up as much as he could about how roller coasters are operated and maintained. Upon graduation in 2016, he worked as an intern with Skyline at IAAPA and, at the end of that year, signed on with Skyline Attractions full time as a Design Engineer.

Matt proudly works with our mechanical team, aiding in the design of Skyline’s first steel roller coaster in 2018 and playing an instrumental role in the design of the Infinity Flyer train design for Great Coasters International, Inc. Matt has also worked on other projects and continues to represent Skyline at ASTM.

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Tyler Mullins

Design Engineer

Tyler grew-up in Cincinnati, Ohio, placing him right down the road from Kings Island amusement park. Having season passes to the park, and annual family trips to Florida and its collection of theme parks, Tyler became hooked on the themed entertainment industry from a young age. He spent his free time sketching-up new ride ideas, reading about roller coasters at the library and online, and creating his own parks in Roller Coaster Tycoon. At 15-years-old, he got his first job at Kings Island and continued to work there through college, supervising crews at a diverse collection of rides like Adventure Express, Drop Tower, and Woodstock Express.

Tyler attended The Ohio State University, where he studied Civil Engineering and became an active member of Theme Park Engineering Group. He attended construction tours at Cedar Point, participated in group design projects, and attended the ASTM F24 subcommittee conference in San Diego, California. It was here he began to professionally network with companies in the industry and work toward securing a career doing what he loved.

In fall 2016, Tyler interned at Great Coasters International, Inc., helping to bring Kings Island’s Mystic Timbers and Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s InvadR to life. Tyler became more familiar with AutoCAD and Inventor in the process, and he documented his experience on the Great Coasters Interns blog.

After graduating from Ohio State in December 2017, Tyler joined Skyline as an Engineering Intern. He assisted in the assembly of the train for Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, during which time he got a hands-on experience with the ride and learned more about the mechanical components of the roller coaster. In March, Tyler joined Skyline full-time as a Design Engineer. One of his first major projects with the company was playing a critical role in documenting the construction of Skyline’s first steel roller coaster and drafting many of the technical documents required for its maintenance and operation.

Tyler has most-recently had the opportunity to assist with several future attractions, working to streamline and unify many of the processes and better familiarize himself with technical standards from around the globe.

Skyline_Attractions_Team_Dustin_Sloane

Dustin Sloane

Director of Creative Processes

Dustin’s interest in the amusement industry has driven him from a young age. Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, only a short trip away from Busch Gardens Williamsburg, he gained a passion for amusement parks. Throughout his education, whatever the subject matter, Dustin found some way to apply it to amusement rides. His grade school education gave many opportunities to engage in this passion; whether it be drawing in art class in elementary school, programming class, or CAD in high school. Anything that could be adapted for designing, describing, and visualizing rides and roller coasters was used to do so.

Throughout high school, his passion for 3D modeling and programming continued to grow outside of the classroom, and it became an even more useful asset towards the goal of designing rides. It was around this time that he first began developing methods and software used to design full custom rides, layout roller coasters, and even simulate the physics of rides.

Dustin entered as a Mechanical Engineer at Pennsylvania State University, set to graduate in 2018. It wasn’t until his second year at Pennsylvania State University that this began to pay off, with his first sale to a European rides engineering firm of software that would be used for custom animations and visualizations of roller coasters. Throughout his spare time at university, he continued to develop software that could be used to design centerlines. With the help of classes in SolidWorks and other CAD suites, he was able to build a portfolio in mechanical design, including a full custom roller coaster train assembly.

During sophomore year in 2016, Dustin attended Skyline’s SKYnext event for young professionals, after which he received an offer for an internship position with the company. In this role, Dustin helped to develop projects from concept to reality, including the development of the earliest designs, animations, and visualizations for Skyline’s first steel roller coaster.

After graduating in 2018, Dustin joined the Skyline team full-time as our Director of Creative Processes. Dustin has been instrumental in many exciting projects, including the development of the Titan Track product for Great Coasters International, Inc. and many of our roller coaster designs.

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Anya Tyler

Design Engineer

Anya began her fascination with roller coasters after riding The Beast at Kings Island in Ohio, when she was finally tall enough to ride. She knew early on that her fascination went beyond just riding coasters; Anya wanted to be involved with the design and building of roller coasters.

Anya set her college goals with this in mind and attended the Colorado School of Mines, an engineering college, where she graduated in 2011 with a degree in mechanical engineering. She spent her first couple of years in the working world with a master planning company where she assisted in the overall design of both amusement and water parks. Additionally, she was in charge of the design and fabrication of water playstructures. She then went to work for Great Coasters International, Inc. for several years and worked on projects like Mystic Timbers at Kings Island and InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Anya transitioned to the Skyline team in early 2017, bringing her strong math and science capabilities and an eye for creativity, vision, and design.