Meet the Executive Staff (supervising a team of 50+ employees)
Monty Lunde is Founder/CEO of Technifex, Inc., an entertainment company he formed in 1984 that specializes in the design, engineering and production of technical special effects and show systems. He is also the CEO/Owner of sister companies Technifex Products (launched in 1999) and Technifex XR (launched in 2021). Monty actively manages the company(s) as well as contributes to the conceptual development of special effects and show systems for theme parks, attractions, iconic features, immersive environments, and training simulation systems. Monty is a named inventor of several patented technologies from which Technifex Products was born. He is also one of Blooloop’s top 50 Theme Park influencers, the first year this group of industry leaders was recognized. Monty is the visionary founder of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and he continues to be instrumental in bringing together industry suppliers and owner/operators, thus advancing the growth of the themed entertainment industry.
Senior Vice President, Creative Technologies
As Senior Vice President Creative Technologies, Joe Ortiz works directly with Technifex clients and their architects and designers, as well as with Technifex’s production leaders and engineering team, to ensure that new technologies are being utilized and adapted by the Technifex team to create world-class bespoke experiences for our clients. Formerly VP of Engineering at Technifex, Joe has created a unique position within the company to lead a team of key staff and expert consultants to keep Technifex forward thinking. In addition, Joe works closely with Technifex XR in the development and programming of VR/AR/XR training simulation experiences. Over the course of 38 years in the themed entertainment industry, Joe has been involved in many aspects of the industry including: Animatronics, Figure Finishing, Sculpture, Flame Effects, Mechanical Engineering, Controls Engineering, Fabrication, Installation, Show Programming and Video Game creation.
Senior Vice President & Executive Producer
As Senior Vice President – Executive Producer, John Polk supports Technifex’ most critical clients with design collaboration, project communication, and client support. He also supports Technifex project administration teams and inhouse R&D efforts based upon his nearly four decades of technical experience developing hi-profile entertainment projects. John continues to be intimately involved with all water and atmospheric effects projects at Technifex and brings an extensive background in large-scale technical aquatic design and fabrication of water features and special effects of all types including steam, flame, cryogenics, and illusions. He started his career in the architectural water feature industry in the 1980s where his journey led him to Walt Disney Imagineering where he led the Imaging and Special Effects department. John has worked on numerous award-winning attractions including The Themed Entertainment Association’s THEA awards, and IAAPA’s Brass Ring Awards.
Vice President, Engineering
Maurice Aboulache joined the Technifex team in 2010. As Vice President of Engineering, he brings a broad base of Themed Entertainment design, manufacturing and engineering experience to the company. Involved as a lead mechanical designer for many of the more sophisticated show action equipment, flame and water feature related projects that Technifex has created, Maurice also oversees all engineering and document control efforts to maximize efficiency and keep the design and documentation process streamlined. Starting his career in 1981, Maurice worked in the animation department at AVG Inc. on major attractions around the world. He then went on to lead the Engineering Department at The Attraction Services Company where he honed his skills in Document Control Management for military applications and used his unique expertise in the roll out of Technifex XR into the US Defense sector.
Senior Vice President
Tom began his career at Technifex in 1995, rising through the ranks from freelance Project Manager to Senior Project Manager to his present position of Senior Vice President. As the Senior Vice President, Tom assumes several business-critical responsibilities, primarily overseeing Human Resources and the management of various “back of house” business operations. The latter encompasses the maintenance and security of the Technifex computer network, oversight of office operations management including the accounting and purchasing departments, facility maintenance, facility security, and providing administrative support for the project management team. Before joining Technifex, Tom occupied significant positions at other companies such as Vice President of Operations at Creative Presentations, Inc., and Vice President at The Design Setters Corporation. Tom initially entered the entertainment industry in 1984, where his business and creative talents were developed while designing and constructing sets for film, television, and live theater.
Vice President, Technifex Products
As Vice President of Technifex Products, Ryan is the youngest member of the management team and an impressive 22 years of company loyalty. He began his career at Technifex at the young age of 11 sorting screws in the shop for his dad, Monty. With a degree in Design and a stint as a ski instructor during his college days, Ryan now runs Technifex Products, managing a dedicated staff of special effects technicians, fabricators, engineers, and support staff. Supplying the industry with Technifex’s 35 years of patented and off-the-shelf effects systems and rentals, Ryan also is integrally involved in R&D new product development, project management as well as outreach in nurturing new business relationships for the company.
Vice President, Production
As Vice President of Production, Gabriel Wilson brings his diverse experience in fabrication, engineering, and management to every project. Involved in each project from inception to final site installation, Gabe prides himself on his conceptual understanding of the project’s needs and works hard to carry those ideas through each step of the process. Gabriel’s experience in fabrication allows him to employ quality practices and efficient methods in all phases of the project. With 20+ years of experience, Gabe has worked on various projects, from fine art to film and TV fabrication, before joining Technifex. While at Technifex, he has led the fabrication and installation of Universal projects from the Hulk, Volcano Bay, Secret Life of Pets, The Walking Dead, and Kung-fu Panda.
Bill Clare is a project manager at Technifex working on major international project installations. Previously Project Coordinator representing Technifex on installs in China, Bill started his career in the theming industry as a vendor coordinator at Cockram Scenario, a major show set fabricator, handling vendors and communication between design and engineering departments on large-scale theme park projects. Experienced in working in China as a consultant for themed entertainment suppliers he provided estimating and ROM proposals for Disney and Universal projects. A graduate from San Diego State University, he earned a B.A. in both Music and French.
Paul Shozi started his career at Technifex in 1998 and currently heads up the Design Department as Manager of Creative Services. Paul’s primary focus is the creative development of client related architectural, show and special effects concepts, illustrations, renderings, and pre-vis. He is also responsible for the development of Technifex’ internal communication materials as the in-house graphic designer. Highly experienced in architectural and graphic design, 2D/3D computer graphic programs (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), 3D modelling and animation (Form-Z, After Effects), website design and video editing (Premiere) and oversight of all photographing, video documentation and editing of Technifex’s projects for use in client maintenance and operations manuals. Shozi received his Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Design from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Shozi also studied for one year at the Kyushu Institute of Design, in Japan.
Marketing/Business Development Consultant
Tracy Balsz began her entertainment career in the late 90’s as head of marketing for Warner Bros. Studio Facilities promoting the studio’s backlot production and post-production services, to not only the film and TV community, but the introduction of the highly artistic show set fabrication services into the themed entertainment industry. In 2005 she founded IndieMarketing, an entertainment marketing and business development consultancy specializing in themed entertainment. Privileged to work on a multitude of projects with an emphasis in launching new business verticals for existing businesses providing marketing know-how and business development acumen, she has provided her skillset to multiple location-based entertainment industry suppliers including Technifex, Technifex Products and Technifex XR. She is also very active in the Themed Entertainment Association and sits on the Board of Directors as President-Elect of the Western North America Division where she nurtures twenty years of relationships within the industry.
Director of Strategic Planning and Legal Counsel
Duf Sundheim – Technifex’ Director of Strategic Planning and Legal Counsel. Duf has decades of experience in themed entertainment and at the highest levels of government. Duf incorporated Technifex, served as its Legal Counsel for decades, worked closely with Monty Lunde to form the Themed Entertainment Association, and was the TEA’s first General Counsel. Duf then entered public service as senior advisor to governors, played a key role in the passage of historic political reforms, and received national awards for his efforts. Duf returned to Technifex in early 2020 while also serving as a member of the U.S. Federal Court’s Advanced Mediation Practice Group and the Leadership Council of California Forward, a bipartisan non-profit organization working with Governor Newsom’s office to help with California’s recovery efforts from Covid-19. Duf’s experience in mediation is especially valuable for his work as Chief Strategy Officer in which he helps build bridges with other companies and provides targeted strategic direction for the future of Technifex.