Paul started with Area 3 as a rescue Ranger in 2013. In 2017, he was asked to join as a board member and is thrilled to serve as President in 2022. Paul is passionate about the Area 3 community and is looking forward to the future growth of our foundation.
VICE PRESIDENT, CO-FOUNDER
Together with Rafael Rivera and Alicia Boyle, Helen started Area 3 Foundation to help current and former character performers receive assistance to further their education. The hope was to be able to present one $2000 scholarship each year and provide small crisis grants to our character family members in medical crisis. Area 3 Foundation has received overwhelming support from the Zoo Crew family that has enabled over $55,000 in scholarships to be awarded by the end of 2021.
Our crisis support has also grown so that we have been able to cover the entire cost of travel to former character performers seeking life saving medical treatment that is out of state.
immediate Past president
Magic Kingdom 1986-1996
Jody was with Department 384 from 1986 through 1996. She was in the opening casts of Mickey's Birthday Land, Mickey's Starland and SpectroMagic. In addition, she was a show lead, area lead and ETR Lead.
Jody has worked the last 25 years in college admissions. She is currently the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment & University Admissions at Florida International University (FIU). Jody's passion is connecting people to a post-secondary education, opportunity and experience beyond high school. She believes we need to remove finances as a barrier to education and the Area 3 Foundation continues to do this as part of their mission.
She is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, American Association of Collegiate Registrar and Admissions Officers, and ACT Florida Council. In addition to the Area 3 Foundation, she is active with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Jody has a B.A. in English & a M.S. in Education
Magic Kingdom 1988-1999
Toma's first role at Walt Disney World was performing the summer of 1989 in the Main Street Electrical Parade. She was hooked, immediately! Her time in the Zoo was always her 'side gig', on school breaks and as a 2nd job. She also performed in the SpectroMagic Parade. In 1999, Toma was asked to open the Tapestry of Nations; a first-ever parade at Epcot, for the Millennium.
Despite it being a part time gig, the Department 384 family has been her foundation for close to 30 years. Professionally, Toma is the Vice President, People and Culture at DXagency. She lives in Miami.
Toma earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Miami in 1994.
Magic Kingdom 1988-90, 1992-93
Disney/MGM Studios 1994-96
Disney Equity Dancer 1999- 2007
Darren began his magical journey in 1988 as a male swing performer in the Main Street Electrical Parade. This role also allowed him to become "friends" with two special stepsisters and their love of a slipper. Over the years Darren's love of dancing allowed him many exciting performing opportunities including Princess Cruises and Merv Griffin in Las Vegas.
Because of the special bond pixie dust gives us, Darren knew that helping raise funds for it was a must. His commitment to the foundation has done more than just help raise funds; Darren's assisted with the production and talent for our foundation events.
These days, Darren is semi-retired, but keeps busy in corporate entertainment as a talent assistant and looking after Bridgette. He is honored to be a part of the Area 3 Foundation Board of Directors, along with the magic, joy and pixie dust they are making for others.
ANDREA 'BESSIE' ABEL
Magic Kingdom 1987–1999
Creative Costuming 2020 - Present
Andrea had the privilege to be in the Character Department for almost 27 years, performing in all 4 Florida parks, several states, and many countries. She currently supports the Projects Costume Buying Team working on new costume development and roll out.
After almost 8 years of supporting the Area 3 Foundation from the sidelines, she is honored to serve on the Board of Directors.
Patrick's career started at Disney in 1986. Over that time he had the opportunity to be part of the Department 384 family for over a decade. His favorite memories are the parades, shows and travels with his character family. Patrick said his time in entertainment helped groom his HR leadership as a servant leader focused on Inclusion and Diversity.
Since leaving Department 384, he's held the role of recruiter and HR manager with Walt Disney WorldWide Services and has worked with other Fortune 500 Global companies as an HR leader.
Patrick has a BA in Business Administration and a MS Degree in Human Resources and Change Management from the University of Central Florida.
"I am most excited about helping give back to the people who impacted my life both personally and professionally."