Meet La Foret's Permanent Year-round Staff
|Larry is a retired senior leader in several high-tech companies and a long time member of United Church of Christ congregations. Following retirement, Larry accepted the challenge of applying sound business practice in the church outdoor ministry context and now thrives on the deep and lasting contribution that can be made to young and old alike by providing a place of sanctuary for all. Under his leadership, La Foret is thriving with increased revenue and a stable workforce committed to engaging our customers with a quality experience and deep compassion. He loves the staff of La Foret and enjoys passing on a few things he has learned over the years. Larry and Janet have three grown children and two grandchildren.|
Assistant Executive Director / Operations Director
Brad joined the La Foret staff in November of 2017. Brad has a long career that includes, restaurant work, health/dietary care food service, contract food service, hotel management, sales and scheduling, and most recently operations management. Through all his career, what he has enjoyed the most is; planning, preparing and welcoming guests to conferences and retreats. He strives to serve those he works with and all guests with the heart of a servant leader. In addition to career work, Brad has enjoyed serving at local churches in layperson roles, serving as scoutmaster of a local troop, and as an EMT with a local first responder crew.
Brad and his wife Marykay, have two grown sons, Thomas and Josh. In their free time, Brad and Marykay enjoy traveling, camping, canoeing, hikes and leisurely walks.
Guest Services Director
Jennifer joined the La Foret team in January of 2014. Her role as director of guest services allows her to utilize her management and customer service skills in an all new way. From booking a retreat to the group's departure, Jennifer focuses on the details to ensure an awesome experience at La Foret. Jennifer has two sons in the Air Force and a beautiful new granddaughter.
Guest Services Associate
Melanie and her husband Bill have lived in Black Forest for 11 years and can't imagine living anywhere else. Being a Colorado Native, Melanie grew up camping, hiking, fishing and skiing. Her nature-inspired childhood developed an exceptional appreciation for the outdoors which she has passed on to each of her four adventurous children. She hopes to marry this love for nature with her experiences as regional director with a local non-profit to help foster the growth of La Foret. Her marketing and communications background along with office management skills will help her deliver the finest in customer service by providing knowledgeable and personal attention to each guest. If you don't run into her at one of our local coffee houses, you'll see her running on the BF trails, competing in community races, or sharing her passion for running with our youth by coaching XC & Track at local schools and as Head Coach of the Junior Olympic XC team.
Julie received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah. She moved to Colorado Springs in 1987 and was married in La Foret’s own Taylor Memorial Chapel. Shortly after that, she began working for Academy District 20, first as a school bookkeeper and then as the central office bookkeeper. She then had a successful 18 years as the business coordinator for a dental practice management consulting company. She started bookkeeping at La Foret in 2015. She enjoys providing financial information to decision makers who use it to validate business decisions. With life changes, she is now working remotely from home which happens to be in St. George, Utah. She has three adult children and three wonderful grandchildren.
Originally from Dallas, Tim first came to Colorado on a camping trip at the age of 19, and from that day forward he had his sights set to make it his home. It took nearly 20 years, but Tim finally made it to Colorado and started working at La Foret in April of 2014.
"Never did I imagine I would end up in a place that captures the essence of Colorado like La Foret and Black Forest does. I love it here immensely. I am grateful every day for the challenge and opportunity to help La Foret, myself and the rest of the staff move into the future."
Kala is La Foret's Hospitality Director and has been at La Foret for 12 years. For the last three years, Kala has led a dedicated team of hard workers whose goal is to provide guests with a home away from home. Kala cherishes her time at La Foret and could not have chosen a better career. In her spare time, Kala enjoys taking hikes and smelling the trees.
Brodie is one of our longest serving employees, and is a master in the kitchen as one of our head cooks. He can do almost any job at La Foret, and carries a great deal of the institutional memory for us.
"La Foret has always been a wonderful job, but more than that, it has helped me work on fears, to learn, to grow, to improve not just myself but all aspects of my life. If I could, I would live here."
"What do I love about La Foret? This is a difficult question, but not for the reasons you'd think. What I love about La Foret changes from day to day. So I guess I'll have to pick out the things I love the most. I love the peace and comfort La Foret gives you. I love the wide open space and the wildlife that lives in it. I love the different kinds of groups that come in. I love being able to work at La Foret and interact with people who come in. And last, but not least, I love working with all the employees at La Foret; who are all very supportive, kind and easy to talk to."
Head of Housekeeping
"La Foret was my first job when I moved to Colorado. I have had a couple other jobs since, but now La Foret is my home away from home. It's my second family."
Guest Services / Childcare
"My two favorite things in the whole wide world are forming and building relationships with people and spending time breathing in God's beautiful world. La Foret gives me the opportunity to experience both of those things.
I enjoy getting to know all of La Foret's employees, seeing to the needs and wishes of the guests and particularly I love interacting with La Foret's youngest guests through the Bemis School of Art Day Camp or just saying hello to campers. The awesome environment I work in is also relaxing and inspiring. I never know each day what surprise awaits me in nature if I take the time to look around. Thank you, La Foret, for the opportunity to work in this most friendly and awe-inspiring work environment."
Housekeeping / Kitchen
Born and raised in Northern California, Amber moved to Colorado in 2012. She started working at La Foret in May 2016 and has been an invaluable addition to the La Foret team. Willing to help with any task at hand and always doing so with a smile, Amber takes great care in her housekeeping and kitchen responsibilities.
"I love it here because my boss is awesome and so are my coworkers."
Tasha has a background in childcare and public school education, where she taught a variety of courses, including: archery, meteorology, reading, outdoor education and more. With her experience and interests, La Foret was a dream job and place to be! Tasha started with La Foret at the beginning of the year 2015. Originally, she was hired to be La Foret's: Bemis day camp helper, as well as archery instructor, housekeeping, a kitchen helper, and a lifeguard. After a year of embracing the 'wearing many hats' at La Foret, Tasha took on even more roles as La Foret's Creative Coordinator, where she creates programs for the community (social dance, kid's summer day camp), she writes the monthly newsletter, and even teaches dance lessons.
When Tasha is not home at La Foret, she is off on another adventure- as an international competitive professional dancer and instructor. She teaches, competes, and performs around the world with the UCWDC organization- and of course, she also dances and teaches here at La Foret! Tasha runs the "Dance in the Woods" - La Foret's community dance lesson and practice party, every month.
"I feel so blessed to be where I am in life. It's an empowering feeling to be able to impact lives and bring the community together in such an outstanding place as La Foret. It's even more deeply empowering to be able to love to go to work... and I do! I LOVE my job and workplace!"