Vista Verde Ranch, Luxury Guest Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch Luxury Colorado Resort
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Ranch Operations
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Ranch Operations

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Ben Martin
General Manager
Wilderness First Responder
Hometown: Terre Hill, PA
School: Messiah College/Denver Seminary
Interests & Hobbies: sports, ranching, reading
What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of? The TV show Finding Bigfoot. I can’t lie, I’m open to the possibility of the existence of a large undiscovered primate.
What is your hidden talent? I can catch peanut m&m’s in my mouth, thrown to any height. Try me.
Do you have any strange phobias? Large bells. I was in Hamburg, Germany touring a cathedral and we were winding up this set of stairs that went on forever, then in opened up into this giant room full of huge bells. It was so eerie… 

CharlieCharlie Cammer
Director of Ranch Operations
Hometown: Windham, NY
School: Coble Skill
Interests & Hobbies: horseback trail riding, road biking, hiking, snowshoeing, my grandkids
What was the worst punishment you received at school? The worst was definitely when my Dad had to come to my school and bail me out of the principal’s office because I was teasing another boy. He was NOT pleased, but at least it wasn’t jail right?
Where and when did you have your first kiss? In an apple orchard when I was 15, she was cute too!
Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? One year, some of the VVR staff serenaded me with a personalized birthday song they wrote. Also, the song, “Chuck E’s In Love” by Ricky Lee Jones – he wrote that about me.

DSC_0299Stephanie Wilson
Director of Hospitality
Hometown: Woodside, CA
School: UC Davis
Interests & Hobbies: mountain biking, skiing, yoga, riding, running….see the theme?
What did you get in trouble for the most when you were a kid?  My teachers used to get really frustrated with me because I was able to turn every assignment into something horse related.  Math problems, history reports (I remember doing one history report on Eohippus which is the most ancient horse), book reports, poetry assignments, art projects, etc…
Do you dance like crazy, when no one is looking? My girls and I have some crazy dance parties at night after dinner and before bedtime.  The curtains are closed and we crank up the music and dance like there’s on tomorrow.  It’s a great way to end the day.
What was your favorite toy as a kid? Breyer model horses- I had over 100 of them.

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Bill Backer
Properties Manager
Hometown: Waverly, IA
School: Western Michigan University
Interests & Hobbies: Old cars, hunting, building furniture
How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet? I have a pair of Hush Puppies in my closet that are at least 30 years old.
What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted? My family has this singing fish wall-mount that has been passed around the family for years. It started off as my Mom’s Dad’s and has since been re-gifted to all of my mom’s siblings, and last year, I received it on my birthday.
Do you have any strange phobias? I really hate clowns. No specific instance started the phobia, they have just always given me the creeps.

DSC_0070Melissa Zumbuhl
Front Office & Reservations Manager
Hometown: Sequim, WA
School: Linfield College
Interests & Hobbies: hiking, painting, drawing, snowboarding
What was the worst punishment you received at school? When I was in first grade there was a boy that would bug me constantly. No matter what I did, he would find me on the playground and pick on me. Finally, I had enough and told him that if he didn’t leave me alone I would kiss him. At this age boys and girls had cooties still, so I thought this would work. Instead he told on me. For the next three recesses I had to stand against the flagpole and watch all the other kids play on the playground. It was terrible. After that I asked another one of the bigger boys to be my bodyguard, and I was never picked on again.
Favorite TV Show growing up: 
Bonanza. My family lived in the middle of nowhere and we got like five channels. I was in love with all of the cowboys on the show..Maybe that’s why I decided to work at a ranch after college!
What is the nerdiest thing you have done in your spare time? I’m obsessed with Harry Potter. One day I decided I would memorize a list of spells and their uses. I still use one every once in a while but unfortunately, they never work.

DSC_0166Beka Adam
Human Resources & Activities Coordinator
Wilderness First Aid
Hometown: Alpharetta, GA
School: University of Georgia
Hobbies/Interests: trail running, skiing, backpacking, reading, hiking, baking, biking, traveling, reading, camping, fishing, and horseback riding…I love it all!
What was your favorite toy as a kid? When I was little I loved my fishing net. I would always go down to the lake a couple minutes away from my house and catch random creatures like fish, turtles, and snakes.
What are three things still left on your bucket list? Learn another language, live in Alaska, and visit Australia and Ireland.
What is your favorite cereal? Homemade granola. I make a delicious almond and coconut concoction.

DSC_0065Malori Plush
Front Office & Reservations
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
School: Texas Christian University/University of Colorado – UCCS
Interests & Hobbies: traveling abroad, learning to play the banjo, hiking, thrift shopping, triathlons, fly fishing
What has been your biggest adventure so far? This past April I traveled solo to Spain to hike 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago. I met so many amazing people from all over the world! As a bonus, I flew into Paris and got to sample crepes, rummage through thrift shops, and pose for a “selfie” with the Eiffel Tower – it’s justified, I was traveling alone.
Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? When I was in college I was sitting in my dorm room and my friend told me to look out the window. There was this guy in the middle of the common grassy area with big speakers and a guitar. He proceeded to sing a personalized song asking me to a formal.
What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of? Tea bag wisdom. Yogi tea bags always have the most insightful thoughts.

DSC_0296Patricia Burger
Accounts Payable & Payroll Processing
Hometown: Steamboat Springs, CO
School: Mountain Heart School of Bodywork
Interests & Hobbies: singing, music, yoga, reading
What is the one thing all your love interests had in common? Me; unless, you’re talking about Matthew McConaughey, then I’m not sure…
What is your hidden talent? Crying like a baby, seriously – I can show you!
What has been your biggest adventure so far? Taking a cross country road trip with one of my good friends. One day of the trip was a bit more of an adventure than the others. This trip was before the era of cell phones and I was following my friend’s car while driving my own. On the interstate in Indianapolis, we got separated and realized we hadn’t decided on a meeting place. I had an idea of the exit she got off on, so I drove in circles around the area for two hours trying to find her. I was in a panic because I had no idea what to do!  Finally I just stopped my car and waited. Luckily she eventually found me, but what an experience! I am thankful for cell phones these days!

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Carson Reese
Head Ranch Hand
Wilderness First Aid
Hometown: Peru, IN
School: Grace College
Interests & Hobbies: hunting, traveling, snowboarding
How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet? At least 10 BC. By BC, I mean, before Carson. I don’t even know where they came from!
Do you have any strange phobias? Staring at a computer screen too long. It makes me crazy, then my vision is blurred, and that’s just the worst.
What are three things still left on your bucket list? learn to Belly Dance, play a tambourine with Passion, and shoot lightning  out of my fingertips

DSC_0255Brandon McDonald
Ranch Hand
Hometown: Cheyenne Wells, CO
School: Front Range Community College
Interests & Hobbies: anything outdoors (hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, rafting, camping), collecting movies, reading books
Can you play any instruments? Yes, most people wouldn’t guess, but I play the alto saxophone
If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? Since I’m constantly tromping around outside, regeneration like Wolverine would be helpful. My mom would say I’m “reckless,” I just say “adventurous.”
What was your childhood nickname? My parents always called me Brandin Iron, but now most people call me BMac.

DSC_0250Steve Joling
Ranch Hand
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
School: Calvin College
Interests & Hobbies: landscaping, reading, remodeling anything, and beach volleyball
Can you play any instruments? I started playing the piano at age ten, all I wanted to do was play Jazz and cool stuff, but the two older women that taught me would only let me play ballads and mushy stuff. I took up the violin, but my hands got too big to play it. My teacher used to take me around to competitions and say, “look at this kids paw, can you believe he plays the violin?”
What has been your biggest adventure so far? I have been a foster parent to more than twenty young men. My foster kids were all boys between fifteen and eighteen years old. They had all lived more than half their lives in institutions. I was a supervisor in one, and could pick the best of the best, yet the damage done to them proved to be insurmountable most of the time. Some kids came right off the street, and their chances for success was much higher. I put one though college and the police academy. Ninety plus percent of it was great, the rest of it was sad. The average stay was six months, and some stayed for years.