In the heart of Colorado’s Sawatch Range, Knapp Ranch is propelled by a vision to preserve the land, water, and wildlife in a rustic and timeless setting.
Our staff consists of bright and enthusiastic individuals who are dedicated to the vision of preserving this magnificent land for the enjoyment of future generations.
Leadership / Administration
Knapp Ranch, Owner/Principal
Knapp Foundation, Chairman
Cleon T. (“Bud”) Knapp is the former Chairman and CEO of Knapp Communications Corporation, where he developed and published Architectural Digest and Bon Appétit magazines, which were sold to Conde Nast Publications, Inc. in 1993. Bud was born and raised in Arizona and spent most of his working adult life in Los Angles, with some time in New York City, before moving permanently to the Vail Valley in 2013. Bud has been active in professional, philanthropic and civic organizations as both a member of and Chairman of several boards. Most recently, Bud and his late wife Betsy wrote Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks, published in the fall 2018. It is the story of Knapp Ranch and their vision for land stewardship, architectural traditions, conservation and sustainable farming. Bud lives at Knapp Ranch and enjoys high-altitude farming, land and stream preservation, reading, spending time with friends, and planning for the legacy of his land.
With a degree in hospitality management from Stenden University in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, and four years of front office management experience at Vail’s Sonnenalp Hotel, Kelly Fossberg brings a high level of European-style, service-oriented expertise to her position as Administrative Manager for Knapp Ranch. Most recently, Kelly managed over 80 homes and 3 Homeowner Associations for East West Hospitality, a job that entailed everything from solving plumbing issues to explaining yearly budgets to HOA members. A native of The Netherlands, Kelly grew up in Curacao. In her spare time, Kelly and her husband enjoy mountain biking and backcountry skiing, and planning their next travel adventure.
Chief Financial Officer
The eldest Knapp sibling, Brian brings a wealth of knowledge in business and risk management to his role as Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Manager at Knapp Ranch. As a research manager at Simmons Market Research Bureau and later at TIAA-CREFF, Brian became facile with product-specific marketing surveys designed to increase revenue and customer satisfaction in the publishing and advertising industries, and the insurance sector. From there, he moved into risk management operations at Citigroup, General Electric, and finally, Synchrony Financial, where he was responsible for overseeing credit and capital management risk aggregation data platform initiatives related to date aggregation, quality, accuracy, reporting, and analytics. Brian moved to Colorado from North Carolina with his family and enjoys reading and photography.
Chief Marketing Officer
As Chief Marketing Officer for Knapp Ranch, Aaron is utilizing his entrepreneurial expertise to expand the Ranch’s brand throughout the region, and to develop partnerships with organizations that share the Ranch’s vision to promote accessible, diverse, abundant, and sustainably produced local products. A Los Angeles native, Aaron got his start in media relations at the advertising firm Chiat/Day, managing a team of professionals working on the Nissan account. From there, he moved to Director of Consumer Promotions for DIRECTV, developing retail promotions for consumer subscriber acquisitions. In 2003, he started Bar One Beverage Catering in his garage, developing it into a $1.5 million business over the course of 15 years to service corporate clients including UCLA, Disney Motion Pictures, the California Science Center, Mattel, and Allstate. Aaron lives in Eagle, Colorado with his family and is enjoying the Colorado lifestyle.
Laura Knapp & Rene Delgadillo
Main Lodge Managers
California natives Laura Knapp and Rene Delgadillo keep the day-to-day operations of the Main Lodge running smoothly. Their responsibilities include overseeing general operations, including managing guest visits, scheduling maintenance and repair work, handling household bills, and keeping the pantry and shelves stocked with food, supplies, and other items. In their free time, Laura and Rene are learning to love Colorado’s mountains and dynamic four-season climate. While it’s not balmy Southern California, even the snow, they admit, is beautiful!
Seth grew up in Keene, New Hampshire and in 1992, moved to Colorado from New England to discover the west. Seth started work at Knapp Ranch in 1997 where now, in addition to serving as Knapp Ranch’s on-staff historian, he is acting Ranch Manager and resident artist. Seth’s experience working for a master painter has translated into artistic woodworking and welding expertise. His portfolio of works includes a wedding arch of Aspen boughs for Mr. Knapp’s son’s wedding. Seth’s knowledge of Knapp Ranch infrastructure, preservation practices and systems make him an invaluable part of the leadership team. Seth’s interests include expedition overland travel, camping, snowmobiling and caring for animals. Seth enjoys being an active member of the Toyota Land Cruiser Association. Seth and his wife Sophie live as caretakers on an adjacent ranch with their three dogs.
Buildings & Infrastructure Manager
Matt was born and raised in the Vail Valley and attended Colorado State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Matt’s love for the outdoors ultimately brought him Knapp Ranch, where his organization, attention to detail, and reliability rapidly advanced him to the leadership position of overseeing the management and maintenance of Knapp Ranch lodges, guest cabins, and structures. When Matt is not working, he can be found enjoying the Colorado wilderness with his wife, Courtney, while camping, whitewater kayaking, backcountry skiing, and dirt biking.
Agro Forestry & Grounds Manager
Andy was born and raised in the Vail Valley. After graduating Battle Mountain High School, he attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. Andy's true love of the mountains beckoned him back to Vail where he worked in the kitchen at Sweet Basil, and simultaneously began studies in biology at Colorado Mountain College. Andy has his Wilderness First Responder certification, and is working towards becoming a Certified Arborist. At Knapp Ranch Andy oversees key aspects of the 320 acres including irrigation for hay, the farm, and estate grounds, collecting data and conducting research with Wellesley College and Colorado State University on high altitude fruit tree growing, and under the direction of the Colorado Forest Service, implementing Knapp Ranch’s forestry plan. Outside of work he can be found adventuring with his Golden retriever, Brie, hunting, whitewater rafting, and backcountry skiing.
Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Chuck left New England for the west coast to teach ski and snowboard aerial maneuvers at San Francisco’s House of Air. While there, he also received his EMT license, a skill we are always thankful to have here at Knapp Ranch.
Arriving in Vail, Chuck hit his stride as a snowboard instructor and snowmobile guide during the winter, spending summers in Bend, Oregon to manage a 70-acre hemp farm. Chuck’s strong work ethic, customer service experience, and ability to operate and fix almost anything make him a great addition to the crew of ranch hands at Knapp Ranch.
Depending on the season, Chuck spends his spare time exploring the Colorado mountains on his motorcycle or his snowmobile.
Sandy grew up in Ohio and Denver and moved to Vail in 1994. Her son and daughter were both born and raised in Sweetwater, the valley where Sandy owned and operated an 18-acre ranch growing organic vegetables and raising Pekin ducks. Sandy has a Master's Degree in Agriculture from Colorado State University and brings incredible experience to Knapp Ranch as a business owner and farmer. She created a program in 2009 for the Vail Valley Foundation called Sowing Seeds, with a mission to teach horticulture (food production) and sustainability to over 6,500 students in Eagle County Schools and she built the organic garden at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards, where Knapp Ranch now partners to grow in the CMC greenhouse during the winter months. Sandy’s curiosity, creativity, and hard work have increased the productivity and varieties of produce available from the Knapp’s experimental farm. The delicious taste of fresh food grown by Knapp Ranch can be enjoyed at many local Vail Valley restaurants. Sandy is an avid volunteer and participates in 4H and rodeo with her daughter, and loves discovering new food trends, and eating out.
Knapp Garden Center Supervisor
Donna’s journey into the world of plants began at the Metropolitan Plant Exchange in Fort Lee, New Jersey. With many years of horticultural experience and a Master Gardener Certificate from Colorado State University under her belt, Donna is the Ranch’s go-to plant expert.
At the Knapp Garden Center, you can find Donna sharing valuable information about gardening in our challenging growing conditions, and the effects of our landscaping choices.
A longtime resident of Eagle, Donna and her husband, Ken, have two grown daughters. When she is not peddling plants, she loves softball, skiing, hiking, floating the river, and camping.
Steven grew up in Bronx, New York. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Geology from the University at Albany in New York, and has completed certificate programs in Medical Botany at the New York Botanical Garden as well as Food Handler from ServeSafe National Restaurant Association. He brings a wide breadth of experience to the Farm at Knapp Ranch including working as a Farm Management Teacher at Project EATS, incorporating horticulture therapy practices as Health Educator for the New York Department of Education, conducting fresh food tastings and cooking demonstrations as Market Manager for Down To Earth Farmers Markets, and working as Head Hemp Farmer at Blue Forest Farms and Colorado Hemp Projects in Longmont, Colorado. Outside of his passion for growing delicious healthy food, he loves spending time with his son, James, and paragliding.
A native of Detroit, Michigan Sarah comes to Knapp Ranch from Keep Growing Detroit, an organization that prides itself on supporting food sovereignty in urban settings through gardening and beekeeping. With a background in urban farming, environmental stewardship, and vegetable gardening, Sarah is ideally suited to help launch the Knapp Ranch Mushroom Project.
Sarah earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a geology emphasis from Wayne State University. When she’s not researching, experimenting, and growing beautiful and unique products for the community, you can find her on her dirt bike, hiking, camping, paddle boarding, tending to her houseplants, and spending time with her new puppy, Arlo.
Andi hails from northern Michigan. Prior to joining the Farm at Knapp Ranch, Andi spent seven years working at a family owned certified organic vegetable farm in New Jersey, where her passion for organic local growing and a chemical-free healthy lifestyle began. Before discovering her interest in sustainable living and healing through food, Andi was Assistant Technical Director of the Stage Production Design department at the Savannah College of Design, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. She was responsible for overseeing the drafting, building, technical elements and safety of all stage sets, as well as the basic wood and metal shop training of all students in the program. At the Farm at Knapp Ranch, Andi established Good Agricultural Practices protocol, oversees the HACCAP standards, food processing, seeding, and germination. Outside of work Andi enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, home fermentation and homemade skin care.
Retail Associate Knapp Harvest
As a young athlete in the outdoor mecca of Breckenridge, Mackenzie was a nationally competitive figure skater, skier, and mountain bike racer. Later, with multiple medical certifications from Colorado Mountain College under her belt, Mackenzie realized her passion for helping others while working as a preschool teacher and as a personal medical caretaker.
Look for Mackenzie’s friendly face on your next visit to Knapp Harvest. When she’s not in the shop, Mackenzie likes to camp, hike, perfect her interest in photography, and, best of all, nap.
Social Media Manager
California-born Carissa received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Sociology. After an extensive stint spent traveling and living abroad, Carissa moved to Vail to follow her dream of living in the mountains. There, she developed a travel blog business and managed the social media for a local restaurant in Vail Village.
At Knapp Ranch, Carissa is responsible for creating and posting content related to all aspects of the Ranch’s activities, interacting with customers and followers, collaborating with relevant social media accounts, and researching social media trends to effectively increase website and social media traffic. Like her colleagues, Carissa enjoys camping, hiking, snowboarding, and seeking new adventures in the Colorado outdoors.
General Manager, Osage Gardens
Raised on a hillside dairy farm in rural Vermont, Jared McDermott has spent the better part of his life in the food and agriculture industry. In 2000, after purchasing his family’s farm, Jared founded the Vermont Herb & Salad Company, turning the four-season farm into a commercial operation that produces and distributes organic microgreens, salad greens, and culinary herbs throughout the United States. In 2010, Jared and his family relocated to western Colorado and he became the manager of Osage Gardens. Jared brings to the Osage Gardens/Knapp Ranch collective significant knowledge about the expanding future of local agriculture and the economic sustainability of consistent and long-term product specialization and distribution.
Head Beekeeper and Manager
Carmen was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and moved to Vail, Colorado in 1990. She began her career in the Vail Valley opening hotels for the Hyatt Corporation. She also worked in construction management and wrote construction loans for First Bank of Vail, before starting her own property management business in 2002, Albert Incorporated. Before joining Knapp Ranch as Director of Estate Operations, Carmen managed 23 homes, a ranch in McCoy and a Homeowners Association for Cattleman’s Ranch in Lake Creek, Colorado. Carmen and her husband Daniel reside in Eagle with their three dogs. Carmen loves to garden, bike, Nordic ski, and hike.
As a fourth-grader in Akron, Ohio, Jake Allread got his first formal introduction to honey bees as a student taking part in a bee-centered science program that was the brainchild of the late Conrad Ott, the longtime Akron Schools superintendent who was also a hobbyist beekeeper. At age 12, Jake embarked on a career in beekeeping. In addition to taking care of the bees, he educated local elementary school students about the importance of bees, mentored other beekeepers and, at age 17, became Ohio’s youngest bee inspector. His adolescent beekeeping career peaked when he successfully transferred control of the Conrad Ott Bee Education Program to the Akron Zoo.
After graduating high school, Jake took a hiatus from keeping his favorite insects to pursue a degree in business management from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. His passion for sustainability led him to Knapp Ranch post graduation. When not tending to the hives, Jake can be found hiking, backpacking, and exploring the wilderness (and the wild bees) of Colorado.
Hospitality and Events Director
Colorado native Cary Hogan grew up on a 200-acre working ranch in Fraser. An avid competitive skier, Cary was the first woman in Colorado to be offered a ski patrol job at Winter Park Resort, a position she turned down in favor of a management position with the lodge and restaurant at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in the Fraser Valley. A leader in the local and national wine industry and the owner of several small businesses in the Vail Valley, Cary is well-versed in sales, employee mentoring and training, event planning and management, media outreach, and customer service. Cary and her family own properties in Gypsum and Ridgway. She enjoys gardening, skiing, hiking, painting and writing.