When I started at Tanque Verde about 19 years ago, I felt I had found my calling. I left the corporate world behind (7 years with Marriott) and found the world of Dude Ranching. Along the way Bob and I fell in love and married. What pleasure and joy I have found over the years with running the ranch, helping raise Bob's four children and experiencing wonderful memories with our employees and guests. I am blessed.
David Van Berkum Rainbow Trout Ranch, Colorado
I am from Iowa but I have been involved with dude ranches since 1988, when I was fortunate enough to get hired on at the 63 Ranch. After five tremendous years there, and the dude ranch bug firmly planted, my family bought the RTR in southern Colorado. I am very blessed to be able to work with my parents, Doug and Linda. I am married to a very shy woman, Jane, and we have three great children: Mary-Anne is 12, Caroline is 10 and Derek (aka Snuff) is 8. I look forward to representing the DRA as a delegate from CO. Jane and I are also the representatives for the DRA-AQHA Alliance. We raise and train our own quarter horses and we love to team rope.
I’ve always thought of Idaho as home, and in 2005 was honored to become a part of Red Horse Mountain Ranch. The vision of our ranch I consider priceless and I am determined to pass on the tradition of Idaho dude ranching to the next generation.
When I can get a chance to sneak away, you’ll find me spending time with my family, floating rivers searching for trout, or pursuing elk in September. I thoroughly enjoy the ranching lifestyle, its seasons, and the people. I’ve always been told to surround yourself with good people, and as a member of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, we’ve done just that.
I am grateful for the chance to serve the members and staff of the DRA. I look forward to learning, collaborating, and working hard to continue the protection and preservation of all member ranches and to strengthen and promote the importance of a ranch vacation.
District I: Wyoming
Hunter has extensive ranch and outdoor experience and a passion for ranch life. Before finding his niche at the CM Ranch Hunter spent 8 years at the Spotted Horse Ranch south of Jackson, where he served as Ranch Operations Manager. He also has broad backcountry and fly-fishing experience. Hunter, Mollie, and their 6 year old son Luke are beginning their sixth year as CM Managers. Their love of the CM grows with every passing season and they continue to carry on the rich traditions that the CM is well known for, with a few added touches of their own.
District I: Wyoming
Bill was born in Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1950, a fourth generation member of the Eaton family who pioneered and maintained ownership and management of Eatons’ Ranch. Bill came home to Wolf to join his family and even in the early years of his life was a presence on the ranch. By the time he was fourteen, his help in the summers for the dude season, was considered critical and he was a full time employee. His livestock expertise with both horses and cattle grew with the tutelage of his father, Tom, and his grandfather, Bill. For a short time in his young adult years, he worked with thoroughbred race horses with a trainer in Colorado adding another dimension to his experience.
Bill was educated in the country school at Wolf for his first eight years and then continued at Sheridan High School. He attended Sheridan College for a time. Working and living on the ranch for his entire life has given him the greatest portion of his education in managing and operating a multifaceted ranching operation. Bill manages the livestock and corral, puts up the ranch hay with the help of his son and nephews, and serves on the corporate board of the ranch. Involvement in various organizations such as rodeo has given him community experience. His service on the DRA board and as president continues the tradition begun by his father.
Presently, Bill and his wife, Karen, live on the ranch. They are the parents of two children, Will and Amanda, both having work experience at the ranch. Will, a teacher at a local school, works summers and weekends at the ranch. Amanda is married and lives in Cheyenne where she is an attorney, as is her husband, Luke.
District II, Montana
I was born on a cattle ranch in central Montana and had a great childhood working with cattle, training horses, cooking, and taking friends riding. I was very involved with 4-H and High School Rodeo. I married Zack, graduated from Montana State University, raised six wonderful kids, and was part of our Construction Company. When Zack’s dad died we bought his families’ ranch near Wolf Creek, MT, moved there, built our house, and tried to make our living ranching and being a general contractor. Zack got tired of the construction business. We brain stormed about our options and how to make the ranch pay. Zack commented that “Everyone who visits here gets out of their vehicle, takes a deep sign, and says how pretty it is. How do we make money out of pretty?”
We had never visited a dude ranch but we knew how to build and take people riding. It is a great life having people come from all over the world and enjoy our horsemanship, horses, riding, and family. It has gotten better every year. Five of our children are now married and we have 15 grandchildren! The 2 youngest daughters and one spouse - Anna, Maria and Ben - are on the ranch. Our other children and their families are all great help when needed. It is a great honor to be on the DRA Board. Starting from scratch, it is very valuable to have the expertise and promotion as part of this association.
District II, Montana
Having grown up on a family dude ranch & outfitting business, I've been blessed with the opportunity to show many guests their dream vacation and the beauty of the backcountry. After graduating from Montana State University, I married Kim and we returned to the ranch where we have raised our two daughters, Kelsey and Hayley. I've been very involved in many aspects of our industry, so am honored to serve on the DRA board.
District III, Colorado
After climbing the corporate ladder and having a successful career in the business world, at age forty three I was burned up. It was definitely time for a change and time to look for a more satisfying and rewarding lifestyle. I was always interested and fascinated with the west, and after visiting several dude ranches both Cheri and I decided that the multi-dimensional aspects of “dude ranching” offered the lifestyle and environment we both wanted and were looking for. In 1995, we purchased the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Colorado. That year required giving up a successful career, selling all our worldly possessions, cashing in all our retirement investments and leaving the area I was born and raised in. While we had no background in ranching, we were able to apply our previous skills and experiences to build up our dude ranch operation. Twenty some years later I can honestly say I never looked back nor had an ounce of regret. I consider it an honor and privilege to serve on this board and to participate in supporting and promoting the business of “dude ranching.”
District III, Colorado
I was born in Loveland, Colorado and raised on a Pig Farm and Cattle Ranch. My love for Farming and Ranching started early with my Dad and Grandpa out in Ault Colorado, and my Uncle Virlon in Loveland. We ran cattle most of my life in Pingree Park Colorado and had a great passion for it. As, the economy changed and the land became scares we had to sell out. I started a home inspection company that has been going strong since 2000. That in turn was where our life changed when I inspected Rawah Ranch. Soon after we had discussions with the owners and Meg and I became the Managers of the Rawah Ranch. My wife Meg and I love the challenges and the friendships that we make while running the Ranch. Our two sons, Corey 25 and his wife Caroline live in New York City, and our other son Austin, 21, plays Basketball for Cornell College. Meg and I have been managing the Rawah Ranch for 3 years now. We are excited about the opportunity we have in meeting so many new people and bringing our guests to love the Ranching life style as much as we do. Our Employees are a part of our family, and once you have been to Rawah Ranch you are also part of that same family.
District IV, Other states
Janice was born and raised on the ranch that guests know as Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. Her family roots have grown pretty deep in the Gold Creek Valley, with six generations from her mother’s side and five generations from her father’s side calling the Gold Creek Valley their homes.
Janice married her high school sweet heart, Roley Schoonover, in 1982. After a few years away for college the couple returned to Northern Idaho and added guest ranching to the family ranch in 1991. Their two children Danielle and Isaac grew up on the guest ranch. Both have married and live and work at the ranch, along with two grandchildren Emily and Gabe.
District IV, Other states
I was born and raised on the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. I am part of the third generation of my family to live and work at the White Stallion. As a result, a love of Dude Ranching was instilled in me at an early age. I spent my childhood growing up on the ranch, causing mischief and making friends with all the visiting children.
After graduating from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in 2011, I worked at a ranch in Montana to gain valuable outside experience. I returned to the White Stallion in 2013, met my wife, and I'm happy to be back working with my family. I cherish the opportunity to make people's dream vacations come true and I'm excited to help the Dude Ranchers' Association in promoting our industry.
I started my ranching career early on as a young guest at Elkhorn, MT. A number of years and many summer seasons later I started working for Elkhorn Ranch after graduating from Knox College, Galesburg, IL. Like most out of college, my career path was not set, the winter months were filled with cooking at Lone Mountain Ranch in MT. This led to another direction; I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and returned to Montana to work in the culinary field. I returned to Lone Mountain Ranch and was the Food and Beverage Director. After that I opened up my own restaurant in Manhattan MT. This was a great eye opener for me to realize that the hospitality industry was fantastic, but I was missing something. The return to dude ranching came with the opportunity to work at the Red Rock Ranch as the manager for the MacKenzie family owned ranch. Here with my wonderful wife Addie and our two children Ellory and Paedon we have found our “home,” we are a part of the Red Rock Ranch family and a dedicated part of the larger family of dude ranchers.
Along with being Executive Director of The Dude Ranchers' Association I am the Authorized Agent of The Dude Ranchers' Educational Trust. I have worked for the association for 14 years. I love the dude ranch industry and feel it is extremely important to protect and preserve its heritage. If you have any questions please, do not hesitate to contact me.