The Team

The Skyline Team

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

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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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Dan Peak, PE

Partner / Director of Structural Engineering

Dan is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, and has worked in the entertainment industry for over sixteen years at Schaefer and Clark Reder Engineering prior to joining the Skyline team.

Through a partnership between Skyline Attractions and Clark Reder, Dan has provided the structural engineering for multiple Skyline Attractions projects. Starting with the foundation system for Mystic Timbers at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, Dan’s work has expanded to include the record-breaking Texas Stingray at SeaWorld San Antonio, the first-of-its-kind Roaring Timbers at Hon Thom Nature Park in Vietnam, and the upcoming SkyBlazer at COTALAND in Texas. Dan is also heavily involved in multiple yet-to-be-announced attractions with Skyline Attractions including additional roller coasters.

Outside of his past work with Skyline Attractions, Dan’s projects have also included engineering for a long list of live entertainment events for world-renowned artists and international brands. This includes projects with Kanye West and Criss Angel as well as larger-than-life marketing stunts such as a 60-foot tall full-size Hot Wheels loop which stunt drivers sped through at the X Games Los Angeles.

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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!

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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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Matt Calabrese

Mechanical Design Director

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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Jared Homer

Design Automation Engineer

Jared grew up in Acworth, Georgia, making Six Flags Over Georgia his home park. Before he was able to use a mouse, his dad built him his first computer with a handful of games, one of those being Roller Coaster Tycoon. This started his love for theme parks and technology as a whole.

While in high school, Jared participated in FIRST robotics, gaining valuable engineering and manufacturing experience. Through this club, he learned how to design in Inventor and produce sheet metal components using a waterjet. 

Jared studied Mechatronics Engineering at Kennesaw State University, gaining interdisciplinary experience in Software, Electrical, and Mechanical engineering. Through Mechatronics, he was introduced to Control theory and Control systems engineering. At the same time, he worked at Cana Communications assisting in the design and installation of low voltage building systems such as fire alarms and access control. After graduation, he worked as an Electronics Engineer for the Robins Air Force Base 581st Software Engineering Group, writing test programs for various electronic aircraft components. 

At the beginning of 2022, Jared accepted an offer from Skyline to assist in automating the creation of design data and documents for both new product offerings and Great Coasters International, Inc. wooden coasters. Jared also works on dynamic simulations to assist in analysis and control system integration.

In his free time, Jared tinkers with many personal projects. He and his friends design video games using Unity3D, Blender, and C#, having competed in multiple game jams. He also manages a server to host version-controlled development files, his website, and other programming related projects.

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Greg Lewis

Design Engineer

At eight years old, Greg had already decided that he wanted to be an engineer, almost entirely because of childhood trips to theme parks like Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Walt Disney World. Although he was too scared to ride them, he was always fascinated by how roller coasters and other rides worked. This spark grew as he learned more about amusement rides from any source he could find. Eventually, he had to experience them for himself, and though he doesn’t remember what his first roller coaster was, one ride was all it took.

Greg studied mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia and worked as a research assistant in the Bio-Inspired Engineering Research Laboratory during his undergraduate career. After graduating in 2015, he returned to UVA as a graduate student and continued to work in the BIER Lab, where he studied the motion biomechanics of tuna for use in autonomous underwater vehicles for the Office of Naval Research. He graduated in 2017 with an MS.

After graduating, Greg worked for four years as an engineer for the Navy, working on several classes on submarines in both design and construction capacities.

Throughout his career, Greg kept a finger to the pulse of the amusement industry and always looked for an opportunity to pivot into the field that inspired him to become an engineer. He was thrilled to join Skyline Attractions in June 2022 and looks forward to helping inspire the next generation of engineers as he contributes to the next generation of amusement rides.

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Eliezer Vargas Maisonet

Assembly Manager

Eliezer grew up in Arecibo, Puerto Rico and began working in different carnivals and fairs as an assembly mechanic after graduating high school. Eli had the opportunity to work on a diverse collection of rides, and it was here that Eli found his love for the amusement industry and for the machines themselves.

Eli moved away from Puerto Rico in 2010 to chase his dream of a career in the amusement industry. He gained experience in a wide range of roles, including as an installer for the newly-transformed Rougarou floorless roller coaster at Cedar Point in 2015. Eli next moved to Florida in 2017 and began working for Dynamic Attractions, where he played a critical role in the refurbishment of over 50 first-of-their-kind ride vehicles for a world-renowned dark ride in the Orlando area. Eli continued to contribute to the Dynamic Attractions team through 2020, when he returned to school for training as an electrical technician.

Eli joined the Skyline Attractions team in 2022 as an Assembly Manager, orchestrating the assembly of rides such as Strike-U-Up and US Thrill Rides’ SkyBlazer, as well as an extensive list of ride refurbishments and other amusement industry projects.

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Allison Miranda

Design Engineer

Allison started her journey to the amusement ride industry in the 4th grade, when she went on her first looping roller coaster at California’s Great America. From then on, she was going to be a “Roller Coaster Engineer”. Through forums and exploring on her own with K’NEX, Allison learned more about what it took to design roller coasters. She set her sights on studying mechanical engineering, which she began in 2015 at the University of Southern California. 

Shortly before graduating, Allison interned at Premier Rides, where she redesigned the company’s ride seat to accommodate smaller patrons. She created testing and safety procedures to evaluate patron safety, allowing the redesign to be successfully implemented.

With a recommendation from her boss, Allison began her next role as a maintenance technician on the Santa Monica Pier. During mornings she would inspect and repair rides, and in the afternoons she completed her last semester at USC. Thanks to the park’s Director of Operations, Allison went to her first ASTM F24 Committee Meeting in San Diego, where she met many engineers in the industry and was first introduced to Skyline Attractions.

After graduating in December 2019, Allison interned for the Sustaining Engineering Department at Disney California Adventure. She collaborated with ride engineers and technicians to identify what needed to be redesigned to make daily ride operations run smoothly.

In late 2020 Allison started at Canoo, an electric vehicle startup, as a Powertrain Test Engineer. She remained there for over a year before joining Skyline in January 2022 as a Design Engineer. Allison is currently focused on designing future attractions for the Skyline team.

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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. When he was 15 years old, he got his first job at Kings Island and continued to work there through high school and 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.

After graduating from Ohio State in December 2017, Tyler joined Skyline as an Engineering Intern and assisted with train assembly and process documentation. In March 2018, Tyler joined Skyline full-time as a Design Engineer. His role expanded and he became responsible for drafting many of the technical documents required for the successful operation of Skyline’s and Great Coasters’ rides.

Tyler has most-recently had the opportunity to assist with several future projects, working to create proposals for a variety of Skyline and Great Coasters’ attractions.

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Amado Sáade-Castillo, PE

Design Engineer

Amado grew up in Tampico, Mexico and San Antonio, Texas, with home parks Lagartomanía and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, respectively. While fond of waterslides and family rides, Amado was terrified of high-speed roller coasters until he was 16, at which point he was peer-pressured into riding Poltergeist at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. From there, his obsession with theme parks unfolded.

At age 10, Amado took an Introduction to 3DS Max course at the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Tampico Madero, where he first was introduced to 3D modeling and design. He continued through grade school with interests in Adobe Creative Suite and Rubik’s cubes.

Amado studied Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he was heavily involved with the Longhorn Maker Studio shop as well as the Texas Theme Park Engineering Group. He spearheaded design projects and attended industry events such as SKYnext, IAAPA, and ASTM F24. His first SKYnext in 2016 would end up being the event that first got him connected with the Skyline team.

Upon graduating in 2017, Amado interned at Great Coasters International, Inc., where he helped assess the fabrication of each standard part on new machinery to be purchased, as well as putting together mechanical assemblies for Alton Towers’ Wicker Man roller coaster.

From there, it was off to California! Amado spent the next five years in show set fabrication with Los Angeles shops Nassal and Scenario, where he took several creative designs and fleshed out hundreds of architectural scenery pieces into the fabrication phase, providing assistance through assembly and installation. At the same time, Amado learned programming in C# to streamline his team’s mundane or difficult routines in CAD. Amado is part of the Autodesk Developer Network.

Amado is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California as of October 2020. Based on his experiences with themed entertainment design and manufacturing, Amado qualified for US Permanent Residence under the National Interest Waiver in 2021.

In 2022, Amado brought his skills to the table and joined the Skyline team as a Design Engineer.

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Matt Sakal, PE

Design Engineer

Like many of those who work in the amusement industry, Matt gained a passion for theme parks and roller coasters at a young age. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Matt spent many of his summer vacations visiting either Cedar Point or Geauga Lake. Ever since he strapped himself into one of those rides, he knew that he needed to be involved in making these places come to life.

Knowing he needed to become an engineer to build and design these amazing contraptions, Matt began studying Civil Engineering at the University of Toledo in 2008. From there, he completed three co-ops with a local design and consulting firm, all while traveling the country with his friends and visiting as many theme parks as they could fit in their downtime from studies. Once he had completed his required co-op’s and was nearing completion of his studies, he started a job as a seasonal ride host at Cedar Point, working on one of his favorite roller coasters – Magnum XL-200.

Upon graduating from college, Matt worked at several different engineering firms in multiple capacities. He continued to work at Cedar Point while holding his first engineering job, and quickly packed up life and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2014. He served as both a structural engineer in the telecommunications field, as well as a project manager overseeing the design and construction of automotive assembly plants.

Knowing that he still needed to be a part of the amusement industry, Matt made another big life move in early 2020, this time to the themed entertainment capital of the world: Orlando, Florida. His first taste of working as an engineer in the industry began with a confidential new theme park, helping to design ride foundations and show buildings for a new, never seen before roller coaster. He then obtained his Professional Engineering license in 2021, and later began his journey with Skyline Attractions in July of 2022, with his first project being the new-for-2023 Zambezi Zinger at Worlds of Fun.

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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.