I started my career by helping out at The New England Carousel Museum back in 1991 when I was 12 years old. The museum was a family owned business owned by Bill & Claudia Finkenstein.
I helped out giving tours about the carousel history artwork and how the carousel's got started. I also help out with the carousel horses donning, painting and gold leafing on the horses. Because of my love of the carousel horses and the Wurlitzer band organs, I also worked in the gift shop with Claudia.
Owner of Gold Leaf Galleries
In 1992 I went to Lake Compounce Theme Park to help them open up for just one weekend. The park was looking for volunteers to help open the park. The park had been closed for some seasons and they wanted to keep the running record of the park. From that one volunteer day I got myself a job at the park and worked in many different departments there.
My first job at the park was as a sweeper, basically walking around the park all day picking up trash, and then would move on to the parking lots. When I finally turned 16 I became a ride attendant. This job was a fun thing to do and since then I kept going back year after year.
When I turned 18 I became a Ride Operator and ran lots of the rides, even the carousel. Afterward, I became a Rides Coach, which is a manager that runs a section of the rides area. After doing that for a while I became the head of Rides Operations Manager.
I have been in the amusement industry since 1992 and love every bit of it!
After all the years doing this, I wanted to change my life around, do some other things, and preserve my fond memories of the grand Carousel Organs. I started a Band Organ Music roll company call Gold Leaf Galleries. I have been running my organ roll business since 2005 and really enjoy the freedom of running my own business. Even though I am not at a park any more I am still part of the Amusement Industry and proud of what I can contribute to keeping these memories going.
I have to give a big thank you to Kate Wall the Director of Operations at the park for what she has done for me by taking me under her wing and teaching me about the Amusement Park Industry. If it was not for her I would not have gone this far in my life and I have to owe her a big thank you for it.
In June 2012 I got a job at Six Flags New England for the summer time as a Ride Operator which was fun as well.
A little about me personally.
I like a lot of things; I love to ride horses, line dance and go on trips with my friends and family. My family and I love the Wurlitzer Band Organs on the carousel rides. My big goal is to have theme parks keep playing their organs, and keep the history and nostalgia of the band organ rolls alive. It's a big step but I know one day I can keep this alive and going.
I can't do it all by myself, that's where you all come in. If you see parks losing site then let's all talk about it and talk to the park people about how import it is to keep these wonderful organs up and running.
See you on the carousel!