welcome wagon 2021 cohort

MEET YOUR WRANGLERS

CHANDLER SMITH
Lead Wrangler
Co-Founder | Roll Massif

Chandler thinks he’s a cowboy but in reality he’s all hat and no saddle… Truth is Chandler rides bikes, not horses. Chandler has worked in the cycling industry for nearly 20 years and is one of the original founders of Roll Massif, Colorado’s premier bicycle event company specializing in road, gravel and mountain bike experiences. Here in the valley he directs Wild Horse Gravel, Tour de Vineyards and Tour of the Moon. A Colorado native, Chandler is both an avid outdoorsman and music junkie. You’ll often find him on Colorado’s streams and slopes or exploring artists at a number of his favorite music venues; this of course when he is not with his amazing wife, Renee, and beautiful baby daughter, Charlie Harper!

NICOLE TROESTER
Locals Scout
Fundraising & Events | GJEP

Nicole was born in Grand Junction and never left. When she’s not binge-watching Netflix with her cat Earl Grey, she is out adventuring with her husband – Nicole is a newlywed!

On the weekends you can find her fishing, camping, hunting or painting (en plein air). She loves swing dancing to country music and, despite her sweet tooth, enjoys creating healthy recipes.

CILIA KOHN
Post Operator
Marketing Director | GJEP

Originally from Sweden, Cilia ended up on the #westslopebestslope via Europe, NYC and Denver. She manages all things marketing and communications for GJEP,  working mostly remotely so that she can balance work, two kiddos, a hubby, a dog and a cat. When she’s not fixing something around the house or the Airstream, she’s out hiking with the family. Her playlist spans everything from Blippi to Bey, Vivaldi and Wutang. She’s got several favorite local coffeeshops but she prefers a homemade superfoods latte.

say hi to the locals

ROBERT BURKEY
RM Sales Manager | ImageNet

Robert says he’s thankful every day that he calls the Grand Valley home – and he’s been here 38 years. Like a true local, he’s big on the outdoors – hiking, skiing, golf, off-roading, boating, fishing, camping, you name it. A bit of a foodie, Robert loves all kinds of food but his favorite might be to cook up some BBQ in his smoker. He’s got an “amazing” 11-year old daughter and a little Peekapo named Snickers.

LUKE CLAYTON
Area Manager | BBSI

Luke is a born-again West Sloper. He grew up here, but like many a teenager couldn’t wait to leave. Then he had a family of his own and couldn’t wait to come back. Luke and is wife have three boys aged 5 and under, so he spends a lot of time playing in the local parks. He also enjoys mountain biking, Pickle Ball, running the Riverfront trail and hiking. He’s into Alternative/Indie music, and he enjoys breakfast burritos and craft beers – but not together.

WILL HAYS
COO | Hilltop

Will and his wife Shawn moved here from Asheville, N.C. in 1993, pursuing a good job offer and to escape the rain.  He deems Grand Junction the perfect launching spot for any adventure: road and mountain biking, trail running, fly fishing, hiking, camping and generally exploring the outdoors.  While he and his wife have made careers working with kids, they don’t have any of their own except of the furry variety: a German Shorthair Pointer with endless energy.  An avid reader, Will is always open to a good book recommendation. He listens to almost everything from rap to blue grass and he likes good food, but would rather go to Bin707, Taco Party or the Hot Tomato than spend hours in the kitchen. 

LIZ HOWELL
VP of Student Services | CMU

Another born-again West Sloper, Liz grew up in Grand Junction but moved away for nearly ten years before she returned in 2012. Now she’s inspiring young adults to find their groove in the Grand Valley too, as acting VP of Student Services at CMU. She enjoys horseback riding, rafting, traveling, reading and family time with her husband of 12 years, two little humans and two furry kids. A westerner at heart, she loves country music and BBQ ribs.

DAVE HUERKAMP
President | ProSpace+

Dave’s favorite number is 40 – he’s lived in the Valley for 40 years, been married to his wife for 40, and worked at ProSpace for 40. His daughter is a Maverick and just graduated from CMU. He’s all about the great outdoors and rural western lifestyle – he’s got horses, dogs, cats, and two farms. He’s a hunter, fisher, and rodeo man. He’s a little bit country and a little bit rock & roll. For a meal – he’ll take fresh caught Walleye.

KELLY JOHNSTON
President | JFS Consulting

Kelly is a financial whiz – we know, she’s GJEP’s bookkeeper. When she’s not crunching numbers, you will find her working out, hiking, biking, skiing, riding horses and playing with her furry friends, which include dogs, horses and chickens. She loves Christian music and a good steak with some seasoned veggies.

LINDE MARSHALL
Principal | Purposeful Colorado

Linde was raised in the Grand Valley and returned home 14 years ago after she and her husband had their first child. Today, she is the proud mother of four kids ages 14 to 7 years-old. Linde runs her own PR and community affairs firm while she juggles her side business as “fake farmer” on a 2-acre hobby farm lovingly named #BunnyHillFarms.  In addition to being an avid reader, Linde enjoys running and hiking, growing plants in her garden, and preserving jams and jellies. She’s into good wine, hand crafted food, and all music from 90s rap to classic rock.

RANDY MILLER
President | srWorx LLC

Randy, a videographer and techie, just had his sweet 16 of living in the Valley. He rolls with a crew – wife, two daughters, a cat and a dog. Best part of living here, hands-down outdoor recreation. Within a 20-mile radius, you can be on world class terrain of all types in a single day (Randy made a film about this for GJEP – #GrandDayCO). When he’s not outside, he’s banging on the drums, snapping photos, or throwing on a vinyl from his eclectic album collection.

CHRIS MUHR
President | All Metals Welding

Chris is a fourth generation Grand Valley native. He takes his local ambassador duties very seriously – extensively researching mountain biking, beer and camping cuisine. He is owned by a mini–Australian Shepard, Zorro, who fully supports his passion for adventure. Chris is also involved with a local mountain bike trail building organization that has helped the Western Slope become a mountain bike and quality of life Mecca.

GREG OLSON
CEO | GROWL Agency

Greg has lived in the Grand Valley his whole life (mentally) – (physically) he and his wife Libby moved here with their marketing and technology company, GROWL Agency, about four years ago. Greg’s business is his hobby – the only thing he might love more are dogs (GROWL Agency… Hint hint). When he’s not whipping up creative campaigns, you can find him enjoying live music, hiking, RV camping, fishing, and cooking specialties from Asian to Italian food.  

ANGELA PADALECKI
Executive Director | GJ Airport

Angela’s lived here for three years with her husband and loves the beautiful location with easy access to the outdoors. Her fav thing about the community…is the community. People are engaged, respectful, and care about one another. She balances being the CEO of the Grand Junction Regional Airport, caring for three kiddos, and tending to a small farm. She’s a Freakonomics fan, she’s into any music but metal, ands she can’t turn down fried chicken.

RYAN ROBINSON
Marketing & Sales Director | Powderhorn

And winner of the most enviable job goes to… Ryan is the marketer for Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Not surprisingly, he’s into snowboarding and MTB. He’s lived here on and off his whole life. He recently became a dad for the second time and is now raising two sons plus some dogs with his wife of 10 years. He’s also an adjunct professor at CMU. He doesn’t have a favorite music genre but says The Clash “will always be the best band ever.” If you need a podcast recommendation, ask Ryan – he’s obsessed with them.

CALEB WEAVER
Videographer | Lightbulb Media

Caleb and his wife have lived here for 8 years. A videographer, producer and director, Caleb runs Light Bulb Media. He produced a short Grand Valley-specific mounting bike film that was accepted into the Banff Mountain Film Festival – so cool! He starts the day on his mountain bike and ends it working on his 100-year old home and 50-year old Baja Bug. Food – any coconut-based curry, like Khao Soi. Music – anything that artfully says things that need to be said.  

welcome the newbies

ROB EGGEBRECHT
CEO | Cloudrise

Rob left the snowy slopes of Avon for the desert scene to relocate his cybersecurity company, Cloudrise, with his partner (fellow Newbie, Hillary). It’s that rock n’ roll and EDM that pumps him up to hike, bike and ski. His taste buds aren’t picky – he’ll eat anything that tastes good. Speaking of good, he recommends you read Good to Great.

QUENTIN GRUN
Owner | Prostart

Relocating from France, Quentin wins the “most miles traveled” competition. He’s in the “half-move” category and will be back and forth as he opens the US branch of Prostart, which makes BMX gates and systems. Obviously, he’s an expert at BMX.  To close out the day, he enjoys a home-cooked meal with his wife Camille, who is a pediatric nurse looking to help the GJ community regarding childcare. They are on the lookout for some secret hiking spots here.

JONATHAN KAMINS
Owner |Kamins Construction Management

Jonathan decided he was leavin’ (Denver/Summit County) on a jet plane to head west. Really, he left on a plane – he’s a pilot! And, he brought his real estate development and investment company with him. On land, you’ll find him hunting and riding horses. He’s a fan of Yellowstone , country music and healthy cooking.

BRADY KAPPIUS
Owner | Kappius Components & Broken Carbon

Brady is a former professional cyclist who now runs two local bike businesses. Hailing from Charleston, SC, you’ll find him cycling, fishing or skiing on the weekends. At home, he’ll head out back to throw on some country music and smoke a rack of ribs with his wife. Watch out, you may find some dog hair from his two furry friends.

SHANE KINKENNON
Executive Coach | ShaneKinnkennon.com

Shane left San Diego to chase that famous Valley hero dirt. Luckily, he and his spouse are both their own bosses and can take their pup mountain biking and split boarding when they gosh darn feel like it. To replenish after a hard day of adventuring, Shane will try to fry up some chicken – and when that fails, he’ll whip up a pizza instead and pop on Game of Thrones or the Queen’s Gambit.

HILLARY LAIRD
VP Sales & Marketing | Cloudrise

Hillary , an experienced tech marketer, moved here from Denver (with her partner and fellow Newbie, Rob) to enjoy that famous quality of life, as well as engage with CMU. Hillary loves to travel so she can take time to actually read a book – preferably historical fiction. On her runs, she listens to techno or alternative metal. For a good ice breaker, ask her how old her cat is.

SCOTT PERRIN
Consulting Engineer, Mentor

Scott was called from Lakewood to the high desert to enjoy the outdoors. As a business startup and company mentor, he’s excited to plug into the active CMU community and growing entrepreneurial scene. After a day under the sun biking, hiking or golfing, he kicks back with his wife to enjoy BBQ chicken, jazz, and a deep conversation about cosmology/astronomy.

VICTOR RODRIGUEZ
Services Sales Executive | Adobe

Victor has reached enlightenment. He knew that leaving Castle Rock for the Valley would bring him greater access to outdoor rec (especially mountain biking), a lower cost of living, and less congestion and traffic. With Adobe, Victor gets those remote work benefits and can sneak out early to enjoy paddle boarding or a camping trip with his family and pup. If he’s cooking, it’s tacos. If he’s jamming, it’s to rock music.

BEN SNYDER
Executive Director | GGJSC

A Colorado Springs transplant, Ben moved here to run the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission.  He’s a fan of country music  and sports, particularly baseball and basketball. If he turns on the tube, he’ll throw on Breaking Bad, but his dog prefers when they watch The Office. He finds that the best fuel for a triathlete is dessert.

ASHLEY THUROW
Executive Director | Monument Health

Another Denver-ite who saw the light, Ashley moved to become the Executive Director of Monument Health. She’s got a full house – two young kiddos, a hubby (fellow newbie, David), and a wild mutt dog. She’s both an adventurer in the outdoors and in the kitchen with her cooking. Ashley’s either listening to Freakonomics or watching Schitt’s Creek.

DAVID THUROW
Principal | Prosono

The Spotify playlist, Hip Hop BBQ, fits David well – he’s a grillin’ machine who loves Hip Hop. David moved from Denver with his family (wife is fellow Newbie, Ashley) and furry muppet friend, Rainbow.  You will not find him watching much TV, but you will find him outside – doing really anything fun and adventurous.  When he must work, he’s a Principal with Prosono, a business strategy and social impact consultancy.

HOLLY WARREN
Resource Development Manager | United Way

Holly moved here from Colorado Springs for her job at United Way Mesa County. She’s a big fan of Vegas – not that Vegas – her black lab pooch named Vegas. After binging on the show Yellowstone, she loves to jump on her 4-wheel and hit the open road. After a long day of shredding on her snowboard, she winds down to indie music and cooking up a delicious dessert. 

MARIKO WILCOX
Financial Advisor | Northwest Mutual

This Northwestern Mutual financial adviser left Denver for the Valley lifestyle. For Mariko, happiness = ski + bike + hike + swim. If she’s listening to something, it’s a toss-up between bluegrass, jazz, classical or international music. She’s also a Freakonomics fan. If you are interested in economic and community development, ask her to meet you for a healthy salad to chat – she’s in.