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. Cholly soon realized that Vista Verde was his true home and moved back to Colorado in 2010 with his wife, Alaya, whom he met at VVR. They recently had a little boy named Eamon and love spending time with him. In 2012, Vista Verde offered Cholly the position as Executive Chef, where he, has since, been in charge of the wonderful food and dining program. Some of Chef Cholly’s interests include: hiking, fly fishing, camping, bowhunting 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: Hanford, CA
School: College of the Redwoods
John loves to travel; last year, he and his wife Erica (Head of Kids Programming) traveled around Spain and Turkey. He also likes to cook and enjoy the outdoors via hiking and camping. One can most likely find John fly fishing all around Routt County on his off time with his favorite pup, Goldie. A few of his most prized fish he has caught in the area include a 24” Brown Trout and a 26” Rainbow Trout out of the Elk River. John and Erica are expecting their first baby in October and he could not be more thrilled to soon be a daddy!
Hometown: Westfield, IN
School: Ivy Tech Community College
Andrew, also known by fellow staff members as Fackler, enjoys playing guitar and backpacking. If you catch him on a good day, you can ask him to sing and play ``The Middle`` from Jimmy Eat World on the guitar (He's got a pretty good voice). For 8 years of his life, he only wore the color orange and still to this day, always wears a tie when flying on airplanes. Because of his time spent in Spain, he could eat Paella every day for the rest of his life and be fully satisfied.
Hometown: Yorktown, VA
School: Culinary Institute of Virginia
John loves cooking, mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing and working out. He has lived in six different states within the U.S. and three different countries, including three years in Italy and two years in Germany. He has been cooking professionally since 2012 and plans to open a food truck or restaurant in the future. Fun fact: John was the first of his high school graduating class to graduate from college and is the youngest graduate from the Culinary Institute of Virginia.
Hometown: Washington D.C.
School: New York University & UC Santa Cruz
Bridgette has spent six years living in the Middle East working as a freelance camerawoman and photographer. She is currently based in Beirut. Bridgette graduated from New York University with a BFA in Photography and Imaging and a MA from UC Santa Cruz in Social Documentation. She is an old friend of John & Erica Thompson who told her about VVR. She is excited to spend this season cooking with a great team and exploring the outdoors!
Hometown: Enon, OH
Previous Job: The Broadmoor Hotel
Rachel has an interest in travel, experiencing new things, and meeting new people, which is a perfect fit for VVR! She has an array of interests including snowboarding, motorcycles, outdoors, Jesus, and the piano! Rachel enjoys to be around great friends and create awesome memories. Her passion for motorcycles has lead her to chase her dream of becoming a professional motorcycle road racer. She believes that anything is achievable if you put your heart and mind to it!
Culinary Sanitation Technician
Hometown: Flushing, Michigan
School: Mott Community College
Aaron just finished his first year of college and is working on getting his private pilot's license. He enjoys being outdoors and staying active. Aaron spends his free time hiking, playing guitar, golfing and cooking. Fun Fact: Aaron has family in Ecuador and enjoys visiting them there.
Culinary Sanitation Technician
Hometown: Bettendorf, IA
It is fantastic to have Tom back at the ranch for a second season. Naturally, being an Iowa native, Tom is a sweet corn connoisseur. He loves creamed corn but the best and simplest way to enjoy it is grilled on the cob with a thick layer of butter. Tom is an avid trail runner, mountain biker and loves to repel off waterfalls in Hawaii! His next adventure is to tour Europe by bicycle.
Hometown: Providence, UT
School: Utah State University
Talitha has a wide range of hobbies that don't quite seem to coincide. From playing the harp to rock climbing, being on a ballroom dance team to hiking Mount Timpanogos each year (her favorite mountain). Throw in the fact that she is an avid reader who also loves interacting with people and you've got a pretty good summation of who she is. Talitha could not be more excited to be at Vista Verde and share her love of life.
Hometown: Parker, CO
Bubba loves spending time outdoors, especially fishing. He has been involved in guest ranch services for 6 years now. Fun fact: Bubba has performed two times in the Steamboat Dance Theatre, a production that showcases many different styles of dancing. He performed a Grease and Disney Princess piece this last year and was in the barn dance scene from the film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the year before.
Hometown: Columbus, GA
School: The University of Georgia
Collie is a rising Junior at the University of Georgia. She studies Art History, which is what interests her the most, but she is always up for a pickup game of soccer. This summer one of her goals is to read as many books by Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf as possible as well as a few comics. She has had the privilege of visiting numerous countries but Belize has been her favorite so far. She is looking forward to spending her summer at the ranch and after that she intends to spend next semester studying at the University of Oxford.
Hometown: Barrington, RI
School: Dickinson College
After staying at the ranch as a guest last summer, Katie fell in love with the west and is thrilled to be working as a member at Vista Verde. She is a rising sophomore at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA where she is studying Art History. She enjoys playing the piano, traveling, running, playing squash, and spending time with her family. Katie hails from the Ocean State, and naturally loves to spend time on the water, but is ready to trade it in and embrace a Rocky Mountain summer!
CPR & First Aid Certified
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Robert Morris University
Mary Frances is from Pittsburgh a.k.a. Steelers Country with a degree in Media Arts, concentration in Graphic Design from Robert Morris University. For the past 3 and a half years Mary Frances has worked with a large western Pennsylvania farming family where she has learned everything from operating large farm equipment to managing pest control to working with immigrant workers. She is an advid sportsmen with special interests in equestrian, hunting, fishing, camping, and biking. Her current life goal is to visit all 50 U.S. States.
Hometown: Fishers, IN
School: Ohio University
Chelsea's greatest passion is travel. She has been to Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia and China and is currently planning another trip abroad with friends. Chelsea played volleyball at Ohio University and lives an active lifestyle by hiking and biking the trails around the ranch. In her spare time she enjoys catching some ZZZ's, reading, riding and spending time with friends.
Hometown: Carmel, IN
School: University of Northern Colorado
It is high time that Taylor has come back to work at VVR! It has been 4 years since Taylor first worked at the ranch and we could not be more happy to have her back. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Human Services and Outdoor Education. Taylor is a competitive roller blade dancer, has been very involved in Young Life, loves to snow board and has a passion for caring for the elderly. She also just returned from a solo European adventure!