It’s been a long time since I’ve done a spotlight on a staff member post. As soon as I started to think about who to put the spotlight on, Mary jumped into my mind and I knew it had to be her.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Mary joined us during the winter of 2013-14. She had recently completed her degree in Art Education at Buffalo State University, and, like many of our staff, had that “What do I do now?” moment. Not quite ready to jump into becoming an art teacher, and not quite ready to pursue that Masters degree, she made the obvious choice to come work at a dude ranch!
Mary stepped into her interim career with ease. She learned the ins and outs of housekeeping, and performed her job with a non-stop smile on her face. She jumped into the community, quickly becoming part of the family, and immersed herself in the Vista Verde lifestyle. Now in her 3rd season with the ranch, Mary has been a key player in many areas. She’s our go-to when we need a crafty design for something, she helps with the kids program here and there, and she is an invaluable part of our housekeeping team. This coming summer, Mary will transition over to being a full-time Kid Wrangler, so know that your little ones will be in good hands if you’re heading this way for a dude ranch vacation this summer.
Not to miss an opportunity, Mary has made the most of her time in Colorado. She loves trying out all the activities here, and loves learning new things. Mary has traveled over most of the hiking trails around here (and there are a lot!), learned to skate ski, and has spent hours on horseback. She told me that what has made her time working at the ranch so special is the relationships with the staff, the camaraderie among the team, and being around other people who are here because they want to be here, not just to clock in and collect a paycheck.
I also learned that Mary really enjoys the night she and the housekeeping team host Game Night during the winter season. It gives them all a chance to hang out with the guests, have some fun with them, and most importantly, get to see their competitive side. And you thought corn hole was a casual back yard game? Not at Vista Verde!
So, what does someone like Mary do when she’s not taking care of guests, ironing, or folding laundry? She’s currently reading “How to be a bad-ass”, although her preferred type of book is a mystery with a really huge twist at the end. This coming spring 0ff-season she is planning on heading to Thailand to spend a couple weeks volunteering at an elephant sanctuary. Last fall she took a road trip with Meesh and Heidi to the Grand Canyon before heading home to spend some time with her family. And, when she’s here at the ranch, she typically has a handful of craft projects going from knitting a hat for Erin to helping Beka make a quilt. Her friends tease her about her endless trail of projects, but remember, she is an art teacher after all!
We’re lucky to have Mary as part of our team, and look forward to hearing her infectious giggle and seeing her huge smile each day!