Where are they now?

There have been a lot of amazing people who have called Vista Verde home for a season or two, or more.  It’s fun to look back on some of the folks who have worked at the ranch over the years, and see where they are now.

  1. Zac Dean was a wrangler from 1999 until early 2001, and was the head wrangler towards the end of his time at the ranch.  He lives in Alexander City, AL with his beautiful family.  With his wrangler days behind him, Zac spent 10 years in the private sector and is now a licensed land surveyor for the AL Department of Transportation.
  2. Jeff McClintic worked as a wrangler the summer of 2012.  He lives in Zionsville, IN, and is working at Traders Point Christian Church, pursuing ministry full time.  He and his wife are coming up on 3 years married with a 14-month-old little boy.
  3. Matt Moore wrangled for us the summer of 1998.  He’s been married now for 16 years, and lives with his wife, Kate, and their 4 kids in Springfield, OH.  Matt hasn’t strayed far from the world of horses as he has been running his own farrier service for 15 years now.  He says he’s starting to feel it (the farrier work), but we wonder if it’s the 4 kids!
  4. Rachel Daughenbaugh worked at the ranch from 2008 to 2010 as a wrangler (summer) and ranch hand & server (winter).  She is now married to Dr. Nate Daughenbaugh in Steamboat Springs, and they live on his family’s ranch. Nate and Rachel met at VVR when he was new to the practice and came out to vet a few VVR horses. She was the lucky wrangler who got to assist. After managing a boarding facility south of Steamboat, Rachel now works for Big Agnes in its marketing department.  In the photo is Bandit (gray), Rachel’s first wrangler horse. She later bought him from the ranch.
  5. Roxy Kestner, our infamous head housekeeper, was at the ranch from the winter of 1997 through the summer of 2000.  Roxy was an instrumental part of the VVR team and finished her time at the ranch as the staff manager.  She’s now living in Philadelphia, PA, and we just cringe for anyone who ever asks her to check if they cleaned something well enough….
  6. Lindsey Thorsen was a teen wrangler the summer of 2008.  Living in Muskegon, MI she is now working in marketing for ServiceMaster and coaches girl’s Varsity soccer.  Good thing she got all that experience with teenagers at the ranch!  Here she is with “the best horse ever: Chief.”
  7. Miles DeBardeleben, from Jackson, MS, was a ranch hand the winter of 2011/1012.  He is now finishing his first year of medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. This summer he will be working in the Department of Surgery: Urologic Surgery.  As Miles put it, “That’s only because I can’t commit to and I’m too old for a full summer season at VVR.”
  8. Meredith Ozier settled down at the ranch from the winter of 1997 through the summer of 2000.  She began as a server under yours truly and finished her time as dining room manager.  Now living in Middletown Springs, VT, Meredith is a clinical mental health counselor/psychotherapist in private practice.  She specializes in working with trauma, PTSD, and mood disorders. Meredith has been working for herself for going on six years now, but recently picked up a small contract with the state of Vermont to do critical incident stress debriefing with police and first responders.
  9. Eliza and Brett Leeper are one of our ranch romance couples!  Eliza worked at the ranch from 2006 to 2007, and Brett worked at the ranch from 2005 to 2006. They met at Vista Verde during the summer of 2006.  Eliza worked in the dining room, then the Nordic center. Brett was a teen wrangler, ski guide, and ranch hand.  After 5 years of living in Steamboat, they moved to Vermont in 2011 and were married in 2013.  They are expecting their first baby in August!  Eliza works for Vermont Creamery (a goat cheese and butter company), and Brett runs a cross-country ski area in the winter (using all the grooming tips he got from Charlie Cammer!) and runs his own landscaping and property management business in the summer: Leeper’s Property Management.  Fun fact: Eliza is childhood friends with Chef Chol’s wife Alaya.  They worked at the ranch at the same time, and that is when Alaya and Chol first met as well!
  10. Beth Rogers Bundy, from Portland, OR, was at the ranch the summer of 1997 and the winter of 1999/2000.  She was a kid wrangler during the summer and a server during the winter.  The photo is on Diamond from summer 1997.  She is now married with two teenage stepdaughters and a 3-year-old son, and is an art teacher—looks like some of those kid wrangler skills are still at work!
  11. Brittany Haile worked at the ranch the summer of 2012 as a housekeeper.  She lives in San Diego and is a Marketing Coordinator at Qualcomm.  Brittany’s family has been coming to the ranch since she was a teenager, and recently built a beautiful ranch across the river!  So, we still see Brittany here at the ranch, as she likes to spend as much time as possible at Serenity Ranch hanging out with Sarge, a retired VVR horse.
  12. Scot Keck (aka Waldo) wrangled at the ranch the summers of 1997 and 1998.  He’s been married for almost 10 years and lives with his wife, Angela, and their two children in Leipsic, OH.  Scot has been a Value Stream Leader manufacturing IAMS and Eukanuba Pet foods for over 15 years now.
  13. Brad Leeper (yes, there is a connection to #6 above….he’s Brett’s brother!) came to the ranch for the summers of 2006 and 2007 as a teen wrangler.  He lives in Nappanee, IN where he and wife Brittany have one son, Weston, and are expecting another boy in August.  Brad owns Leeper Land Management, LLC, a company that restores conservation projects in the Midwest. Restoration projects consist of wetlands, prairie plantings, and reforestation.
  14. Robin and Aaron Christensen are another one of our ranch romances that have worked out pretty darn well.  They worked at Vista Verde from 1992 to 1998.  Robin was the staff manager (she hired yours truly, Steph Wilson) and Aaron was the business manager and ran the fly fishing program.  These days you can find them wrangling their 4 children while managing a dude ranch down in Creede, CO called 4UR Ranch.  No surprise for those who knew Aaron that 4UR is known for it’s excellent fishing program!
  15. Alan Czepinski had a variety of experiences at the ranch including being a barn hand, guide, and ranch hand the summers of 2011 and 2012 and the winter of 2013.  After he left the ranch, he started working as a Marine Field Geophysicist.  He enjoyed the international adventures and life experiences with this position.  Currently, he’s back in Texas, but is always looking for a chance to travel.  Alan recently put together a pretty amazing video of some of his travels. Check it out!
  16. Jennifer Stewart Boyle was a housekeeper and server the summer of 1998 and the spring of 1999.  These days she is living in Euless, TX (Dallas-Fort Worth) and is working as a Management Analyst for the U.S. Dept. Of Health and Human Services and raising a baseball-playing 7-year-old boy.   
  17. Janice Tatum spent the summers of 1998 and 1999 as a kid wrangler.  She and her family have lived all over the world, but are now in North Carolina where she is a Kid Wrangler to her own two children.  Her job du jour is a Technical Assistance Provider for a non-profit that helps rural folk with water issues.  Her photo is from back in the days at the ranch with her best VVR friend Alison Wade!
  18. Jo Stolzfus represents another one of our ranch romances still going strong.  She worked at the ranch from 2007 to 2011 in almost every area of the ranch.  Head housekeeper, head wrangler, you name it, she’s done it!  These days she and her husband Javin live just across the river, where she manages a horse ranch for a wonderful couple she met while at the ranch.  Javin is working for us again, and we love having them as part of our community.  Pictured with Jo is her VVR bestie, the fabulous Beka Adam.