Woodloch Staff Brings Smiles “On the Side”
~shared by J. Ranner
I have always enjoyed Superhero movies. As a matter of fact, one of my earliest memories was sitting in a movie theater watching Michael Keaton down the cowl of The Dark Knight in 1992’s theatrical masterpiece “Batman Returns.” But I always wondered, with a never-ending roster of villains menacing Bruce Wayne, how did he manage to take care of it all when things got too heavy? (I later learned it’s simply because he’s BATMAN.)
This matter took rest for a few year for me (especially through the George Clooney bat-years) until Marvel films started working on the Avengers initiative. We had a collection of incredible humans / demi-gods, each with magnificent powers, joining forces to do something truly spectacular.
So it dawned on me- Woodloch is also sort of like the Avengers. While you see us in our uniforms collectively working together to provide a vacation experience that is like no other, we are really an assembly of great people uniquely offering our own talents and abilities to our finished product.
Today, I thought I’d share just a few stories of our staff, and some of the talents they bring to our team that make Woodloch the “super” vacation destination you know and love!
Ryan joined the Woodloch Social Staff when he was just a teenager. As our resort needed to do more and more projects involving woodworking, Ryan was just sort of swept into learning a trade on the job. Slowly but steadily, he got better and better at the art.
One of Woodloch’s more distinguished quirks is our tree ring toss game. On a whim, Ryan decided to make a tabletop version of this game as a gift, so guests could bring just a little bit of Woodloch magic home to family and friends. Needless to say, demand spiked and Ryan found himself fulfilling orders. Partnered with his friend Matt (Woodloch’s Meeting and Corporate Sales Manager), Drill City was established as an Etsy store.
Within a week of going live, Drill City had sold hand-crafted shuffleboard tables (just like the ones in our North Lodge), customized bean bag games, chairs, tap handles and even beer flights for a local brewery. You can see Drill City’s craftsmanship around our resort and The Boat House Restaurant on Lake Wallenpaupack!
As a Front Desk employee, Cindy is one of the first smiling faces our guests see when they arrive at our resort. After hours and all through the weekend, Cindy keeps busy as an owner and manager of The Art Factory of White Mills.
She and her husband Jerry were looking for a space to not only build but also display beautiful works of glass. They stumbled upon a beautiful 105 year old building in White Mills, PA (just 15 minutes from Woodloch) where Jerry’s work could be displayed. The Factory was so spacious, that Cindy and Jerry extended the space to all sorts of local artists to display their work. With classes, workshops, and all sorts of special events on the calendar, it’s a wonderful sight to see on your way home from Woodloch! (Open 7 days a week, from 10 AM – 6 PM)
Rory O’Fee // Marketing Director and Wine Sommelier
As our marketing director, Rory spends a lot of time in the office and working with departments to keep guests coming through our doors. But as we all know, it’s hard to stray too far from your passions!
Rory studied marketing at Syracuse University where a course called “Wine Appreciation 101” caught his eye. While this would be a tempting elective for many college students, it “was actually very challenging,” said Rory. Enjoying the course content material (and of course, developing a taste for wine in the process) led him to take jobs at vineyards where he learned about the beverage from “vine to wine.” After working in our kitchen and meetings team, Rory was requested to do wine classes here for our guests, as well as tastings, pairings and dinner for The Lodge at Woodloch. Though we now have an in-house sommelier who does a great job with classes today (say hi to Leslie), Rory still jumps in every now and again.
Jackie Florek // Retail Division and Florist
As one of our leading ladies in Woodloch’s retail division, Jackie oversees our gift shop inventory, creates beautiful gift baskets for our guests, and even decorates the interior of our lobbies all year long. It’s quite possible her keen attention to detail comes from a life of fantastic floral work.
Jackie, her husband Andrew and son Nikos moved to the area about 10 years ago from Brooklyn, NY. There, she and Andrew owned and operated a floral shop, but were eager to escape the hustle and bustle of the city just in time for Nikos to begin school. Their talents for creating beautiful displays were soon discovered by our staff, and it wasn’t long at all before she was asked to create stunning floral arrangements for Woodloch Weddings and other special events.
And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg, folks. I work with so many great individuals with talents for music, writing, art, carpentry, cooking, landscaping, you name it. We do it all.
And, with our powers combined, we strive to give our guests the very best time that we can- so give us the opportunity to “save the day!”