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Our Team

Meet Our Team

Smith Fork Ranch is an extended family of people who share the same taste, personality, and enthusiasm for creating a wonderful experience for our guests. We believe the human beings who animate Smith Fork Ranch have more impact on your experience than any of the decor of our rooms, the food ingredients that we use, the bottles of wine and our cellar, the horses and activities that we offer, or even the stunning scenery of our location. We want you as a guest to say, “We love your ranch… the activities, the food, the ambience is fantastic. But what we really loves how great your people are.” It is our goal to provide an unparalleled western vacation experience for you and we believe that is achieved through staff’s enthusiasm and discreet yet personalized service.

Ranch Owners
8- Marley and Linda at ranch

Marley & Linda Hodgson- Owners
New York, NY

On behalf of our entire family, Linda and I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Smith Fork Ranch. This year, 2019, marks the 18th consecutive summer that our family has spent at the ranch welcoming guests. Back in 1999 we found Smith Fork Ranch and spent a few years restoring the ranch property before inviting guests to come visit and our hope is that you experience it like a house party in the most gracious sense. During your stay we hope that you have a chance to meet and get to know us, some of our family members, and other ranch guests as this is a place where new friendships have begun each year.  Among the experiences and the friends you’ll meet here we hope that the fine food, the wine and the gracious staff make the experience for guests really special and that is the tradition we refer to when we think about what we want you to experience here at Smith Fork. We hope you will enjoy your time at Smith Fork Ranch as much as we do.

Year-Round Team
Courtney Rodwell - General Manager

Courtney Rodwell – General Manager
Littleton, CO

My Smith Fork Ranch career began as a dining staff member for my last summer before finding a “real job”. A summer turned into a winter and another summer where I was the head of the dining program and sommelier. A couple summers more passed and I entered my first year as General Manager in 2018 hoping to create the guest experience everyone is hoping for and more.  I’m a born and raised Colorado Native and attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins with a degree in Communication Studies (which honestly I thought I’d never use but am learning that it helps me in our day-to-day operations). After graduating I managed the housekeeping company that I had been working for to put myself through college and eventually just was looking for something more in life. That is when I found the ranch life and I made my way up to a remote ranch in Northern Colorado, now the rest is history. During the Summers at the Ranch you’ll see me just about everyday making sure we are doing everything we can to make your stay just what you are hoping for as well as encouraging the rest of the staff to enjoy their time too. The winters are quiet around the ranch which is at times a nice contrast to the busy Summers. During the winters I spend my time traveling, snowshoeing, spending time with the three-legged ranch dog Charlie and seeing what improvements we can make to the next season here at Smith Fork. The one thing I enjoy most about the winter season is hiring and talking to all the prospective staff members to build a star team to work with. I look forward to meeting each of the guests for our coming season!

RF - Ron

Ron White- Ranch Foreman
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Ron White, not to be confused with Sam Elliot, is Mr. Fix it around here. He started at Smith Fork Ranch in 2017 and lives year-round making sure the whole place is kept up with. You name it he can probably do it, he restores furniture, ensures everything in our cabins is working, irrigates our pastures, fixes fence, etc. In his spare time he enjoys getting off the ranch by means of motorcycle or Jeep.

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Marici Garber – Bookkeeper
Crawford, Colorado

Marici has been with Smith Fork Ranch the longest other than the owners. She spends her time here crunching the numbers and making sure the Smith Fork Ranch can remain in business as a place that people can come visit. Marici is one of the local Crawford community members on our staff and has been here her whole life. Fun fact, she enjoys riding dirt bikes in her spare time and even has a dirt bike course at her house here.

Kasey Bader - Ranch Reservations

Kasey Bader- Ranch Reservationist
Atlanta, Georgia

My time with Smith Fork began after deciding I was ready for a career move that would give me an opportunity to connect with two things that I love- the outdoors and hospitality. I grew up on a small farm in North Georgia surrounded by southern hospitality and endless room to explore outside. This ultimately drove my decision to someday incorporate both into my career, and the ranch lifestyle fit the bill. After graduating from North Georgia University with my BBA degree, I spent the next 3 years working for a local company, wearing many hats and jumping in where I could to help the business grow. Soon my interest in working on a ranch circled back around and a deep dive into researching how to make it happen led me to Smith Fork. It was a no brainer for me and I moved to Crawford in the spring of 2018. This will be my second season with the ranch. When I’m not working to make your ranch experience unforgettable, I can be found riding horses, hiking & camping around Colorado, or asking to pet your dog. If you see me around the ranch and need anything- please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m excited to meet all of you and look forward to a great 2019 SFR season!

Culinary Team

Anna Warnalis – Evening Executive Chef
Bedford, VA

Anna will be the mind behind the food in the evenings here at Smith Fork. She and her evening kitchen team are dedicated to excellence and bringing inventive twists to classic dishes. She’s excited to utilize the valley’s diverse offerings as well as those that come straight from our very own farmstead. We welcome her back for her 3rd year hear at Smith Fork after a couple years of traveling around and learning from various kitchens across the county. ⁣⠀

Darrel Johnson – Morning Executive Chef
Hotchkiss, CO

Darrel grew up in the North Fork Valley, moved to Arizona and moved back a little bit ago. In his 6th season with us he’ll be managing our morning culinary team making sure you get all the pancakes you want! He’s the one responsible for all the baked goods and pastries that are always around – so you can blame him when you’ve had your 3rd scone of the day. If you’re celebrating a special occasion he’ll be the one making sure a special cake or dessert is in store for you. ⁣⠀

Travis Vincent – Sous Chef
Olathe, CO

Travis hasn’t traveled too far to us having been living just outside the North Fork Valley in Olathe, CO (known for their famous Sweet Corn). After a short hiatus from us, having gone down to Pueblo last Summer, he’ll be joining us again for his second season on the Smith Fork Culinary Team. In the evenings, he’ll be assisting Anna with food preparation & plating for our 3-Course farm-to-table meals. He also has a knack for prepping charcuterie and curing our famous bacon that you will indulge in at breakfast or on the BLT that is offered in the picnic lunches.

Brendan Hall – Morning Sous Chef
Syracuse, NY

Brendan is traveling across the US, coming from Syracuse, New York, where he was born and raised. He’s exited about everything I’ll learn during our season – and most definitely looking forward to learning more about the baking and pastry world. Colorado is very different than New York – He’s grateful for the experience itself, and the perspectives I’ll gain. Before arriving to Smith Fork he spent some time with one of our favorite winemakers up in the Yakima Valley, Owen Roe.

Dining Staff

Mike Johnston – Head of Dining
Phoenix, AZ

Mike is back again, you’ll be meeting him at one of many amazing meals that you’ll enjoy here. In his second season with us at Smith Fork he’ll be making you that perfect cocktail to relax on the pavilion deck. Last summer he decided to take his skills and offer them to a new company that he could be proud of and we’re happy he chose us. “Throughout my life I have been an outdoor and nature enthusiast. I am an avid hiker and climber but really love everything outdoors. Being from Arizona I have spent many summers in Colorado camping and exploring. Smith Fork Ranch is the perfect place for me to show my dedication to hard work and exemplary service, while also enjoying a few days off in the beautiful Colorado mountains.”

Chelsea Selway – Evening Dining Staff
Phoenix, AZ

Chelsea too will be joining us for her second season at Smith Fork Ranch and you’ll see her in the evenings keeping up the cheer during our dinners. “I would describe myself as a likable, witty individual that can always find ways to lighten the mood. I’ve always enjoyed working in the hospitality and restaurant industry and I I after last year it is an incredible experience to work for Smith Fork Ranch. Not only is this ranch undeniably beautiful it’s pretty awesome to be able work in nature around animals while making some new friendships.”

Victoria “Vicky” Grindley – Morning Dining Staff / Youth Counselor
London, United Kingdom

Vicky met our Chef, Anna, this past winter while they were both over working in Utah. She joins our Dining Program for her first season as part of the Smith Fork Family. As needed she will also be spending some of her time here with the kid’s helping out our Youth Program. “I am 19 years of age and am currently taking a gap year, prior to studying Geography at The University of Sussex. I look forward to consolidating my abroad experience of living and working. I’ve been in Alta’s Ski Resort, during the Winter season, and my outdoors experience of trekking and community volunteering in Tanzania, during a World Challenge Expedition. I am a very diligent and hardworking individual who works well in teams as well as independently.”

Jenny McDonald – Morning Dining Staff / Housekeeping
Crawford, CO

Jenny was born & raised in this small town of Crawford, Colorado where she graduated high school and moved out school to pursue a degree in Radiology. She’s back in town for the summer and looking forward to meeting all the guests that travel far and wide to visit her neck of the woods.

Garden & Grounds

Cody Brady – Groundskeeper / Outdoor Guide / Resident Artist
Las Vegas, NV among many other places…

You’ll see him out and about making things green and grow around here. He came to us last season and worked as a guide, which as you can tell fly fishing is a skill of his, but he wanted to improve the look of our grounds and meticulously care for our spaces. You may see him out on the river this season as well but you’ll probably be asking him for tips on how we got such green grass. Before coming to Smith Fork he was in Georgia working Georgia Tech on their grounds crew. A fun fact about Cody is that he’s very artistic and may even be leading some painting classes here, he’d been a part of the art department at Trader Joes in Las Vegas, Costa Mesa, Atlanta, look for his artwork on our Welcome Board and Daily Activities schedule.

Kristen Eller – Farmstead Gardener
Rainbow, TX

Kristen, she’s pretty excited about greens and making things grow! As are we. Kristen has been with us for what will now be her 4th season and has been in various departments. Over the years she spent some of here free time down at the garden helping out our gardeners and this year she’s taking the leap with us and will be our Farmstead Gardener. She is passionate about the garden, composting, our chicken flock, and growing fresh food

Housekeeping

Reina Carver – Head of Housekeeping
Crawford, CO

Reina will be joining us for her 4th season as part of the Smith Fork Family. Over the years she has been a part of several departments but has taken to make sure all things are clean & organized. She has a passion for making your cabins make you feel like you are home for the week. You’ll also see her out and about caring for our abundant flowers and collecting seeds for us to use in future seasons. And every once in a while you may find her helping with the kids and building a piñata to be broken open at our Friday night Cookout.

Outdoor Activities Guides

Timothy “Timmy” Cooke – Outdoor Activities Guide
Brandywine, MD

Spending is first year on the ranch with us, Timmy will be joining our guide staff coming from his hometown where he grew up on a small beef farm. “First, I’ve lived in Maryland my entire life and travel west for vacations. I’ve been wanting to make a home out west and I believe this is my foot in the door. I also do not fare well indoors, so a ranch setting is perfect for me.”

Jordan Clark – Outdoor Activities Guide
Bedford, VA

Jordan is re-joining the Smith Fork Family in 2019 as an Outdoor Guide, back in 2017 he was a part of our Culinary Team just helping them out with whatever they may have needed. This year he contacted us and wanted to test the waters our on the river and with the activities. “I am about graduate from Radford University with a Business Administration degree. I live in rural Virginia where I spend most all of my free time in the mountains trout fishing and hunting. When I came out to the ranch during 2017 I instantly fell in love with it and am looking forward to the opportunity to come back and work.”

Wrangling Team

Stacy Burke – Head Wrangler
Craftsbury, VT

Stacy visited Smith Fork Ranch back before it was named Smith Fork Ranch in the 80’s. She thought to herself that she’d like to be back here some day. She was right, she moved to Crawford a few years ago and she’ll be starting her 4th season with us. We’re happy to have her back for her 2nd season as Head Wrangler and Barn Manager. Around the ranch Stacy is responsible for making sure that our horse herd is well cared for and that our guests are safe on all their trail rides. You will be meeting her down at the barn for your orientation and she will ensure that you are comfortable going out on your rides.

Hanna Hurt – Wrangler
Clark Fork, ID

Hanna will be joining us for her second season here at Smith Fork. She began guiding when she was 21 years old at a small river-rafting company in a remote central Idaho town with a population of 63 people. She had few expectations going in, but what I had intended to only be a fun summer job turned in to a full-blown obsession. Since then, she has worked at a number of different operations, most recently guiding dog sledding in Montana, and have played many different roles, from support staff to management, and find the work incredibly rewarding. To share with guests an experience they will never forget and facilitate a new appreciation of our wild places and understanding of our western heritage is something I aspire to do every time I take out a tour/group and Smith Fork Ranch is a perfect place to do just that.

Cody Thieman – Wrangler
Fruita, CO

Cody will be joining our team for his first season this Summer and will be coming to us from Fruita, Colorado. “I was born and raised in many different cities and towns in Colorado. I am excited to learn all the trails and range around the ranch and about the history of the ranch. I am looking forward to the views up there and being able to ride a horse every day.”

Gretchen Meister – Wrangler
Annapolis, MD

Gretchen will be joining the Smith Fork Family from Laramie, Wyoming where she attends the University of Wyoming. She grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, right next to the United States Naval Academy. “I’m so excited to learn the ‘lay of the land” and spend time in the Western Slope of Colorado. I look forward to joining the family of Smith Fork and learning how to show the guests a wonderful Western experience. I’m looking forward to being outside and sharing it with new people. I love the mountains and the sun and exploring. A new place will be so fun to explore and get to know. I love horses and getting to spend time with horses and people will be incredible!”

Ranch Animals
Char

Charlie – Ranch Dog & Frisbee Catcher
Australian Shepherd – Heeler Mix

I will most likely be the first friendly face that you meet at the Ranch as you walk down the steps. One thing you’ll ask is if I’m a boy or a girl and I am a girl, yep a girl named Charlie. Four years ago my dog mom, GM Courtney, adopted me and I haven’t looked back since. One thing you’ll notice about me is that I only have 3 legs…about 3 years ago I wanted to take myself on a walk one day and decided to go through one of the windows at our cabin. Long story short, I injured my front left leg so badly that I couldn’t keep it. But don’t count me out of adventures, some of my favorite things to do are running, jumping, frisbee or catch and hiking with my mom. I also love to be loved and am super friendly with guests of all ages, feel free to give me pets anytime.

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Ginger – Ranch Dog & Fun Police
Collie

I will most likely be the second fur friend you meet at the Ranch, I move a bit slower than my friend Charlie. When I was just a pup about 14 years ago my dog dad, Ranch Foreman Ron, adopted me as a little fur ball. Around the ranch you’ll often find me lounging in the front lawn or making sure Charlie isn’t doing anything I don’t want her to be (hence my nickname the fun police). I too am friendly to guests of all ages and will welcome any pets or hugs that you would like to give me.