KITCHEN & DINING ROOM
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
School: CU Boulder
Cholly started of as a Sous Chef at Vista Verde in the winter of 1998. He proceeded to stay on the ranch for approximately nine years before leaving to pursue Artisan bread baking skills. It didn't take long for Cholly to realize that Vista Verde was his true home, and he returned as Executive Chef in 2012 with his wife, Alaya, whom he met at VVR. They have a little boy named Eamon and love spending time with him along with their new baby girl! Some of Chef Cholly’s interests include: hiking, fly fishing, camping, bow hunting and bread baking. Cholly is also a lifetime member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a member of The Bread Baker’s Guild of America since 2004.
Chef de Cuisine
Hometown: Mohawk, NY
Jason comes to us with many years of experience as a chef. He is excited to join the Vista Verde staff, and is even more excited to be in Colorado for one of our beautiful winters. Jason loves to ski and snowmobile, and even brought his own snowmobile to the ranch!
Lead Line Cook
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
Phil is a person who greatly enjoys the outdoors. He loves fly fishing, camping with his family, and being around the beautiful nature of Colorado. Phil also enjoys golfing and throwing a Frisbee around in his spare time. He loves futbol (soccer as America calls it) and is an avid supporter of Chelsea Football Club. Phil has recently discovered an unknown love for wine which he sips on with his brother, Bubba. You can frequently hear him quoting classic movies from the past.
Hometown: Parker, CO
School: Chaparral High School
Josh is a Colorado Native. He has grown up spending time in the mountains camping, hiking and fishing. Josh's favorite hobby is fishing and hopes to become a fishing guide in the future. He loves spending time with his 4 siblings and extended family. Of course, Josh's favorite sport team is the Denver Broncos. In winter, you will find Josh on the slopes snowboarding as often as he can. Josh's favorite trip so far has been to Mexico and can't wait to travel to Alaska. His smile is contagious and his love of fun brightens any room!
Pastry Chef and Sous Chef
Hometown: Front Royal, VA
Previous Job: Bitterroot Ranch
A life-long love of food and family led Melissa to a career in pastry arts, with a love of horses not too far behind. She attended the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and after graduation worked in both catering and fine dining. After nearly 8 years working in the hectic Washington D.C. metro, she decided to take off for some adventures in the west. This ``gypsy lifestyle`` has offered many new experiences, new friends, and the opportunity to both delight guests with great food and get the chance to spend many hours on horseback.
Hometown: West Chester, PA
School: George Washington University
Nolan studies International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington D.C. He loves the mountain air, freedom, exercise and adventure that can be found in the outdoors. He is thrilled to fulfill his life-long desire to experience life in the Rocky Mountains. Nolan enjoys spending his time ocean fishing with his dad, discussing politics or philosophy, and most of all skiing. Nolan vacationed at Vista Verde as a child and decided it was so great that he needed to return as a staff member. Fun Fact: Nolan caught the biggest fish of his life this year, a forty pound striped bass!
Hometown: Roanoke Rapids, NC
Sarah absolutely loves to travel. One of the main items on Sarah's bucket list is her desire to visit all 50 states and climb the highest peak in each of these states.
While she has worked in Colorado for the past 6 months, she hasn't quite found the spare time to summit Mt. Elbert's glorious peaks, but is still determined to try!
Whenever she is not hiking and dreaming of hiking, Sarah enjoys slower past-times such as reading, singing, and trying out foods of all ethnic backgrounds.
Prep & Pastry Chef
Hometown: Clark, CO
Annie is currently set to attend Emerson College in Boston for journalism and film. She has a passion for reading, art and travel. She has found baking as a great way to express her creativity in the kitchen. Recently, she backpacked around New Zealand! Annie loved exploring and meeting new people!
Jesse comes to Vista Verde with a love of music. He helps out our band frequently with their tech. After working at Vista Verde, he has also developed a passion for fly fishing and can be seen most often on the river in our Summer season. Jesse originally heard about us from his brother, our former Chef de Cuisine.
CPR, AED Certified
Hometown: Bloomington, IN
Jake has always loved nature and the great outdoors. Camping and hiking is his idea of a fun weekend, all learned from being a Boy Scout and even achieving eagle rank. Jake is a geek of the highest caliber. Anything from Dungeons and Dragons to anime if it's nerdy Jake has probably done it. However just because he is a nerd doesn't mean he doesn't like sports. Jake loves skydiving and archery. Jake is existed to be working at VVR and being back in the states.
Hometown: Houghton, MI
School: Eastern Michigan University
Although Michigan is home, Lisa joins us from just outside Washington D.C. She has lived in many different places and is very happy to call Colorado home once again. Lisa is a high school math and physics teacher looking forward to attending graduate school in the future. When her friends ask her about her choice to come to Vista, her response is that she has come here to ``lose herself, find herself, and eventually get back to work.`` Lisa is looking forward to finding peace and happiness among bikes, horses, and skis.
Hometown: Lisle, IL
School: St. Norbert College
Although Illinois is home base, Mackenzie has lived many places where her heart still resides. The most extreme move was to live and study in Australia while simultaneously traveling around several other countries. Her favorite past times include road trips, exploring the great outdoors and seeking out new adventures. Her most recent adventure, however, was walking across the stage to accept her degree in Psychology. This will be Mackenzie's second summer living in beautiful Colorado, but her first at Vista Verde; she could not be more excited to join such a stellar team!
Hometown: New Holland, MI
School: Harcum College
Maritza is a recently graduated Veterinary Technician. She worked for the University of Pennsylvania's large animal hospital, New Bolton Center, in the OR prior to coming to Vista Verde this summer. She is an avid supporter of all things equine and has her own horse who just celebrated his sweet sixteen. She is also developing a love for travel and most recently visited Ireland. Maritza absolutely loves pigs and has recently gotten involved in raising, breeding and showing them.
Hometown: Fort Meyers, FL
School: Elon University
Hailey loves travelling, animals, and all things outdoors. She just graduated from Elon University with a degree in Psychology. Hailey’s greatest passion is working with children. In the past she has had the opportunity to intern at an autism center, educational psychology office and at a specialized preschool. She hopes to one day turn this passion into a career. She is incredibly excited that her next adventure is with Vista Verde. Fun Fact: During Hailey’s time in college, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Australia where she got to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, feed the Kangaroos, and learn about Indigenous culture. This experience further sparked her love of adventure!
Hometown: Malvern, PA
School: Penn State
Terence loves the outdoors, especially mountain biking and hiking. Terence previously worked as a host/server at McKenzie Brewhouse outside of Philadelphia. He likes to travel and recently climbed the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. He loves trying new foods, playing sports (especially basketball), and debating politics. Terence is a huge New York Yankees and Philadelphia 76ers fan.
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
School: Northern Arizona University
Relenne loves country music, two-stepping, hiking, fishing, random adventures, guacamole, sunsets, sunflowers, campfires, sunshine and bringing Joy to everyone around her. Fun Fact: Relenne snorts when she laughs!
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
School: Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
When Molly isn't studying vet medicine, she's at the stables hanging with her horse, Eddie, or exploring outdoors on the Appalachian Trail. She loves baking, crafting, eating good food and spending as much time as possible with her sister and year old nephew. She has her degree in Biology from Virginia Tech, through which she was able to spend an unforgettable summer studying abroad in New Zealand and Australia. Molly loves every kind of flower, handmade cards, and her favorite food is ginger.