Vista Verde Ranch, Luxury Guest Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch Luxury Colorado Resort
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Kitchen and Dining Room
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Kitchen and Dining Room

DSC_0435Chol McGlynn
Executive Chef
Wilderness Advance First Aid
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
School: CU Boulder
Interests & Hobbies: hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, bow hunting, and bread baking
What are three things still left on your bucket list? Hike the Continental Divide trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Hayduke trail.
What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time? When I first moved to the ranch years ago I would do math problems from an old textbook I had on lousy weather days.
What was the worst punishment you ever received at school? I got suspended in 7th grade for forgetting to do my spelling homework.

DSC_0196John Thompson
Chef de Cuisine
Wilderness Advance First Aid
Hometown: Hanford, CA
School: College of the Redwoods
Interests & Hobbies: fly fishing and cooking
If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? I would fly because I love to travel, but I hate the airports and time it takes to get from here to there.
What really gives you the creeps? Snakes, sharks and spiders are the three s’s that give me the willies.
What has been your biggest adventure so far? My biggest adventure was my honeymoon to Spain and Turkey with my wife Erica.

DSC_0210Vinnie Abate
Sous Chef
Hometown: Steamboat Springs, CO
School: Johnson & Wales University
Interests & Hobbies: skiing, hiking, bass guitar, classic car restoration (59 Pontiac Catalina)
What is your favorite kind of cereal? Chocolate Cheerios with vanilla almond milk. The cheerios make the almond milk chocolaty and awesome.
What really gives you the creeps? Small yappy dogs. They just bother me. Especially the ones with little or no hair. They look like aliens, and not the cool ones.
Can you fake any accents? I once tried to do a British accent and it ended up sounding like Forrest Gump. Since then, my British accent has improved.

DSC_0199Elizabeth Stover
Pastry Chef
Hometown: Ottobine, VA
Last school you attended: French Culinary Institute
Hobbies/interests: yoga, gardening, traveling
What is your hidden talent? I have an uncanny ability to measure liquids and the weight of things with just my eye sight. It’s really helpful when you work in a kitchen!
What was your favorite toy as a kid? I was raised by hippies that made our toys, homeschooled us, and grew all our own food…toys were sparse. I had an imaginary friend Tinty Lori: think “Drop Dead Fred”. We were tight.
What are three things still left on your bucket list? Visit all 7 continents (I have Asia, Africa and Australia left!), work in a Parisian bakery and become fluent in at least four languages.



Andrew Fackler
Line Cook
Hometown: Westfield, IN
School: Ivy Tech Community College
Interests & Hobbies: playing guitar, backpacking, running, facing my fears
What was your favorite toy as a kid? I loved Legos as a kid. I still do. I heard there’s a new Lego movie coming out, I will definitely be going to that.
What is your favorite kind of cereal? My favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it’s “The taste you can see.”
What is the worst pet you have ever had? I’ve never been able to have pets because everyone in my family except me is allergic; however I would LOVE to have two Newfoundlands and two cats.
What gives you the creeps? Dust bunnies give me the creeps. Yuck.

DSC_0205John Canipe
Line Cook
Hometown: Yorktown, VA
School: Culinary Institute of Virginia
Interests & Hobbies: kayaking, biking, hiking, cooking, baking and motorcycle riding
Do you have any strange phobias? Kinemortophobia, or the fear of the undead. In my case, I am afraid of zombies…
What are three things still left on your bucket list? running with the Bulls in Spain, swimming with great white sharks around the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and eventually, opening my own food truck or restaurant!
What has been your biggest adventure so far? Living in Europe for five years was one of my biggest adventures yet. Three years in Italy, and two years in Germany. Traveling around to different countries experiencing new foods and new cultures was the most epic of adventures.


Jessica Eck
Head Server
Hometown: Crestline, CA
School: Devry University
Interests & Hobbies: reading, creative writing, photography, riding, skiing, and music
Can you play any instruments? I am a self-taught piano player and have recently taken up an interest in singing (outside of my car or shower) and learning to play guitar.
What are three things still left on your bucket list? visit Ireland, publish a fictional novel (doesn’t matter if it sells at all), and learn to play violin
What has been your biggest adventure so far? My biggest adventure so far is probably when I went to Europe as a student ambassador when I was 17. I spent 20 days in France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy learning about the culture and history of each place we visited. One of the most adventurous days we had was when our chaperones dropped us off after breakfast in groups of 4 or 5 with a map, a list of things to see in Rome, and a time and location for dinner.

DSC_0399Maddy Christian
Hometown:  Burlington, VT
School:  Boston College
Interests & Hobbies: running, cross country skiing, snowboarding, bluegrass music, flannel shirts, leaf peeping
What’s the strangest talent you have? Re-enacting the Napoleon Dynamite dance with partner in crime, and previous staff member – Ben Rockey.
What was your childhood nickname? “Peepster” because I had huge eyes and peered (glared) out over my baby snuggie at everyone.
What is the worst pet you have ever had? “Ping” the attack duck. He was a very territorial male Peking duck,  and charged anyone entering the driveway. He also bit your toes/legs/crotch. The UPS man stopped delivering packages until we shipped him off to a farm.

DSC_0408Stephen “Bubba” Veteto
Wilderness Advance First Aid
Hometown: Parker, CO
School: Ponderosa High School
Interests & Hobbies: fishing, photography, singing, motorcycle
What do you do when (you think) no one is looking? I always get caught singing. I can’t help but sing when a song comes on…
What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time? I love reading. In just one month I read 25 books.
If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? I would love to have the ability to fly! I have been to Cambodia, Germany, Switzerland, and a lot of places around the US. The world is a big beautiful place! How eye opening would it be to fly anywhere, anytime?

DSC_0390Meagan Kelley
Hometown: Powder Springs, GA
School: University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!)
Interests & Hobbies: traveling, experiencing new cultures, trail running, seeing nature through the lense of a camera, journaling, reading
What is the worst pet you have ever had?  When I was in college, I drove by a flea market and decided to stop in and look around.  I came face to face with baby bunnies for sale, $5, how could I resist? Cute baby Milo quickly grew longer and bigger.  He pooped everywhere, tore up my carpets and pillows, literally ate my homework and kept me up at all hours of the night. Eventually we found a good home for him on a farm with other cute bunnies. Needless-to-say, sometimes my spontaneity comes back to bite me.
What has been your biggest adventure so far? Last year, I traveled to 11 different countries on an 11 month mission trip called the World Race. It was an amazing experience, more than I can summarize in a couple of sentences.  Some of the fun highlights included dancing all night in a Rwandan church, riding an elephant in Thailand, sleeping in a hammock in a tree house in Cambodia, playing soccer with teens in Moldova, sharing a sleepover with children with special needs in Guatemala, and bungee jumping into the Nile in Uganda.

DSC_0428Heidi Waldbart
Wilderness First Responder
Hometown:  Hendersonville, NC
School: Greenville University
Interests & Hobbies: horseback riding, wilderness survival skills, four-wheeling, fishing, sports, walking dogs, collecting cowboy boots, and dancing
What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time? In my spare time, I actually do crossword puzzles so that I can freshen up my vocabulary because I sometimes make up words.
What are three things still left on your bucket list? Three things I would love to do before I die: skydiving, ride an elephant, and be an actress in a play before an audience.
Do you dance like crazy, when no one is looking? To be honest, I dance like crazy even when people are looking, but most of the time that is in my car.


Troy Corless
Culinary Clean-up Chief
Hometown: Coldwater, MI
School: Kellogg Community College
Interests & Hobbies: home-brewing, hiking, trail riding
What was your childhood nickname? When I was a kid, my family nicknamed me (and still occasionally calls me) “Troynado.” I got this nickname because every time we had a family gathering, I was always running around and inevitably broke one, or more, unfortunate items in my trail.
What way does your toilet paper hang on the wall? I prefer when toilet paper is hung over the top, this way if it hangs right up against the wall you don’t have to mess around trying to get a hold of it.
Do you sing in the shower? Yes, I do sing in the shower (when I don’t think people are around at least), and when I do it is usually something in the country/bluegrass genre (i.e. “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Red Dirt Road,” etc.) On occasion, I will sing some Queen “Don’t Stop Me Now” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

DSC_0414Daniel Ford
Culinary Clean-up Crew Leader
Hometown:  Rescue, CA
School: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Interests & Hobbies: snowboarding, whitewater rafting, most outdoor activities, cooking, playing guitar
What was your favorite toy as a kid? As a child, I had a very large K’nex collection that I loved to build with, and each Christmas my parents would add to it. Eventually, the little kits were too easy, so they bought an 8-foot long, 4-foot high roller coaster kit that took up the entire living room. I spent a few days completing it, and loved every second.
What are three things still left on your bucket list? run a full Ironman Triathlon, sail from the coast of California to Australia (stopping along the way at various islands), snowboard in the Swiss Alps
Do you like to sing in the shower? I absolutely sing in the shower. It’s usually whatever song is stuck in my head, which can be anything from country to funk.