Florida native, Eric, was always connected to Disney, even when stationed around the globe for his 21-year career in Naval Aviation where he honed his skills and developed his management style. Today, he leads a 45-craftsperson Engineering team at Disney's Contemporary Resort with the same ideology – to lead with honesty, integrity, and courage. To develop the people around you, build great teams, and then trust those teams and people you’ve invested time into and prepared.
“Our team constantly rises to the opportunity, which is super rewarding to witness and foster,” shared Eric. “The Disney legacy will always be a place where magic is possible. Upholding that ideal is as challenging as it is rewarding.”
The historic resort – which opened in 1971 – was the first hotel to open at Walt Disney World® Resort and features an ultra-modern ambiance with award-winning dining, spectacular views, and a mural created by Mary Blair – an imaginative color stylist and designer who helped introduce modern art to Walt Disney and his Studio.
“We carry an iconic resort on our shoulders,” said Eric. “We strive toward perfection when helping with guest concerns while maintaining a 52-year-old building.”
Before he started preserving magic in his engineering role, Eric’s Disney journey began on the Walt Disney World Monorail Transportation team, which he shared fulfilled another life goal. This experience opened additional possibilities like his role as a Textile Production Manager and then his transfer to the Wilderness Regional Engineering team where he was Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Building Trades Service Manager and later Disney's Wilderness Lodge Rooms Manager.
But the journey is not over! He continued exploring additional career paths at Disney with his next engineering role taking him to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – where he earned The Walt Disney Legacy Award – and then to Animal Kingdom Lodge as a Chief Engineer before starting his current role in 2023.
“Very few companies avail you to so many various opportunities to grow and develop like working at Disney,” he added. “There are endless locations, titles, responsibilities and opportunities across the company.”
In each position, Eric’s motivation stems from his passion for solving challenges, removing roadblocks, and alleviating concerns. While on the Wilderness Region Engineering team, Fort Wilderness was hit by Hurricane Irma, and he was part of the recovery team that cleaned up each campsite and cabin before guests were allowed back on the property.
“It was a monumental effort as 90% of the roadways were blocked by down trees and broken tree limbs posed a considerable hazard,” he shared.
“It was very rewarding when we saw our first guests arrive back on the property, and they noted that it looked better than before the storm.”
This positive feedback is no surprise when it comes to Eric and his team’s efforts as they continuously ensure Disney can continue to be the best in the industry with thoughtful maintenance and dedication to the craft. We’re thankful for their determination daily!