Sally Dark Rides Expands Sales Team, Promotes Company Leadership

Forecasts Future Growth With New VP of Global Sales, Sales Associate, VP of Marketing and Business Development, and VP Finance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Sally Dark Rides, leading creator of family-friendly ride experiences around the globe, expands its sales department and leadership team as part of the company’s vision for future growth. The new leadership changes will grow the foundation for global expansion and help the company deliver world-class entertainment to its partners. 

Karen Staley joins the team as vice president of global sales, while Hudson Wood was added as a new sales associate. Lauren Wood Weaver was promoted from director to vice president of marketing and business development. Victoria Lane, former corporate controller, stepped into the role of vice president of finance. 

“With these additions and our strengthened leadership team, we are laying the foundation to expand our client roster around the world,” said John Wood, CEO of Sally Dark Rides. “The last year has been an unprecedented challenge for our industry, but we see a bright future ahead. We have put in place the most talented team, and we are ready to deliver world-class entertainment to our partners.” 

Karen Staley, VP of Global Sales

Staley previously served as SVP of IAAPA EMA and IAAPA North America and brings more than 23 years of global attractions experience. In her new role, Staley will lead the sales team and manage global sales activities, building upon Sally’s exceptional quality and brand with new and long-term partners worldwide.

“Karen’s strong relationships and key partnerships with industry leaders worldwide will be a tremendous asset to our sales team here at Sally,” said Wood. “Karen’s passion, creativity, and dedication will help take us to the next level with our business.”

After serving 17 years in leadership for IAAPA and IAAPA Europe, Staley gained extensive knowledge of the amusement park and attractions industry along with strategic planning, marketing, and project management skills.

In her new role, Staley will lead the sales team and manage global sales activities, building upon Sally’s exceptional quality and brand with new and long-term partners worldwide. She will report to Rolf Paegert, COO of Sally Dark Rides.

Hudson Wood, Sales Associate

Wood has a Bachelor of Science in business administration and marketing from the University of Central Florida. Wood previously worked with Herschend Entertainment in the group sales department at Wild Adventures theme park. With his experience working in-park sales and operations, he will focus on new business development while maintaining current client relationships.

“Hudson comes to us with knowledge and experience working in-park sales and operations.  With his fresh perspective on the industry and positive attitude, Hudson will be a significant extension of the sales team, allowing Sally to continually expand its outreach to current clients and create new relationships,” said Wood.

Lauren Wood Weaver, VP of Marketing and Business Development

Weaver has over 15 years of experience in the global amusement and entertainment industry. A key member of Sally’s business development team, she will coordinate all marketing efforts including, but not limited to trade shows, strategic partnerships, social media management, IP relationship management, and product development.

"Lauren is an integral part of the Sally team. From spearheading our new company brand, leading our global PR and marketing efforts, and serving on our business development team, she’s helped take Sally to a new level,” said Wood. "Lauren is certainly the right person to keep us in the game and help us bring world-class dark rides to clients for years to come.”

Victoria Lane, VP of Finance | Treasurer

In her role as controller, Lane enhanced Sally’s reporting to include future forecasting, budget forecasts, and other pertinent information. Her diligent work monitoring accounts, keeping payroll current, paying bills, and collecting invoices led to her promotion to vice president. 

“When Vicki joined our team almost two years ago, her first task was to upgrade our antiquated accounting system into a modern and supportable system designed for the future. This was a major undertaking and we have enjoyed its successful implementation ever since,” said Wood. “Thank you Vicki for your hard work and dedication, and congratulations on your well-deserved promotion.” 

These internal changes will allow Sally Dark Rides to enter the new year with energy and fresh perspectives. “We pride ourselves on having a talented team of individuals who work together to deliver the best products and guest experiences possible,” said Wood. “Sally Dark Rides is entering 2021 with confidence. We look forward to seeing how the leadership changes will benefit the company and contribute to its success.”