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 has had 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. In their free time, Brad and Marykay enjoy traveling, camping, canoeing, hikes and leisurely walks.
Director of Transformational Programming
Born and raised in Black Forest, Logan has never lived outside of Colorado for more than a few months. Although she grew up a stone's throw from the beautiful La Foret Conference and Retreat Center, she wasn't involved there and didn't know it was associated with the United Church of Christ. She was not involved in the UCC or any Christian church for the majority of her life. She discovered the UCC as a teen and became very involved in her home church- First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs. After feeling called to ministry at the age of 18, she gained a BA in Sociology from Colorado College, and a Masters of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology in Denver. She is a passionate rock climber, runner, and mountaineer and spends most of her free time on crazy outdoor adventures with her long time best friend (and new husband) Matthew. There are two things she is most passionate about: the joy of outdoor adventuring, and spreading the knowledge and experience of God’s extravagant, indiscriminate love through creative programming and worship. She is overjoyed to join these two passions in her position as Director of Transformational Programming at La Foret.
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.
Bemis Camp/Hospitality/Guest Services
"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."
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.
Buildings and Grounds Director
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."
Director of Hospitality
Kala is La Foret's Hospitality Director and has been at La Foret since 2004. For the last five 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."
Grace started working for La Foret in May. This was intended to be a second job for her, but thankfully she has chosen to make our guests her primary job. Grace has been a wonderful addition to our year-round team, and has done an excellent job stepping into the position. You can tell that Grace cares and will go above and beyond! "Although I'm still relatively new, La Foret felt like family from the start, I'm thankful to work somewhere that is meaningful and I can grow. "
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."
Program and Development Associate
Corina Hurst has been involved with ministry at La Foret since 2015 and has a strong passion for meeting the Divine in nature. She is a quick learner, servant leader, creative problem-solver and imaginative co-creator. With a background in the United Church of Christ, she brings a thoughtful demeanor and questioning spark to the table. Corina's artistic spirit is evident in both her work and play, and when she is not at her desk, you can find her gardening, exploring the outdoors with her dog, painting, making music or baking bread. Corina is very excited to be part of the team at her favorite "Sanctuary", La Foret.