So many wonderful stories and anecdotes have been posted by so many of the industries brightest stars that worked with and were supported and inspired by Marty Sklar. I feel blessed to have sat in the same room with him while serving on the International Board and THEA Awards Committees of the TEA—both committees in which Marty was faithful in his support and involvement. All of us in the industry know Marty through legend, myth, and the recounting of inspirational stories in which he empowered or mentored so many of my colleagues in this industry. Of all the icons in the themed entertainment industry, Marty is arguably the greatest of all—measured by the impact his career at Imagineering has had on our industry and all those he touched along the way. I don’t think the TEA had a more vocal and active champion—one who constantly assured support from WDI, which in combination with support from Universal and others was essential to the growth and success of the organization during some difficult years. As for me, I was in awe of his insight, wisdom, focus, and sincerity in every meeting we held at the TEA. Indeed, there were several very strong egos in those meetings, but when Marty spoke, everyone listened. The sheer respect for him was unmistakable—but he had a way of wielding the power of that wisdom in the most respectful and supportive ways. He was an absolute gentleman that honored everyone’s point of view, and was always able to articulate his insights with wit and simplicity no matter what the subject. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to share some time with him in those meetings, but also sorry not to have had the opportunity to work with him directly and have had that “Marty-mentoring-effect” like so many of my peers.
Rest in Peace, Marty.