Six Flags Over Georgia president to retire - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Six Flags Over Georgia president to retire

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

What started as a fun summer job for a Mableton teenager turned into an amazing career. Imagine a job where your number one priority is to make sure that everyone is having the time of their lives.  Melinda Ashcraft has been doing just that for almost 50 years.

"I love being out here because that's what it's all about," said Ashcraft.

What started as a fun summer job the 16-year-old when Six Flags Over Georgia opened more than four decades ago, turned into a career.

"I started in 1967. I worked in the operations area, rides and also the Crystal Pistol, and worked my way up after 45 years," said Ashcraft.

To say the Atlanta native worked her way up is a bit of an understatement.  Next week, she will officially retire as the park president after nearly a half century with the company.  

"I just felt like how could you possibly not enjoy a job that allows folks to come in and have such a wonderful time, and you be a part of that every day."

Along with her early work at the Crystal Pistol, she operated the Jean Ribeaut Riverboat ride, which was located where Thunder River currently sits.

"I remember riding that. Bonjour mes ami, and welcome aboard the French riverboat, Suzette," recalled Ashcraft.

Her career with Six Flags included seven moves, and learning the business at different parks around the country.

"I was perfectly happy at any of the properties if I had continued to have a career there or even retired from those locations. But truly to be able to get that call that said would you like to come back to Six Flags Atlanta, and I was like wow!  Yes, I would certainly be able to do that. So I got back and it's been a great opportunity all the way around," Ashcraft said.

And looking back on 45 years with one company, she feels like a bit of a pioneer as a woman who worked her way up through the system, the old fashioned way.

"I always felt if I worked hard and I did the job that I thought was always the best, then I would have the opportunity to move up and that is what Six Flags has afforded me. I mean, they've always given me opportunities to be the best I can," said Ashcraft.

Ashcraft never married or had kids, but she did recruit several members of her extended family to work at Six Flags through the years, including her mother, who spent more than 30 years with Six Flags. Her last day is Monday.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Get educated with online classes

    Get educated with online classes

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-09-15 16:40:23 GMT
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
  • Good Day Explores The Wide World Of Gourds

    Good Day Explores The Wide World Of Gourds

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:36 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:36:21 GMT
    There's a chill of fall in the air, but that's not the only sign of the approaching change in season. Right now, pumpkin patches are opening around the region -- and whether you're planning on carving
    There's a chill of fall in the air, but that's not the only sign of the approaching change in season. Right now, pumpkin patches are opening around the region -- and whether you're planning on carving or cooking, there are dozens of varieties to choose from. Good Day Atlanta's Paul Milliken has a look from Dawsonville.
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:22:34 GMT
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices