MEET OUR TEAM!
John, Co - Founder/Officer
John has his MSW & LCSW, with certifications in EMDR, all earned while studying and living in Durango as a former raft and mountain guide. He has a broad range of therapeutic experience from wilderness to long-term residential, from treating substance use to major life transitions. He is also a consultant for private and non-profit business development, staff training, and research. In his free time, you can find John in his garden, running on the trails, throwing clay, or pestering his neighbors with his music.
Although a recent arrival to Durango, Regan has been in the restaurant industry for over twenty years. From working in small mom-and-pop cake shops, to creating with the Four Seasons and Wolfgang Puck, to running her own restaurant and hotel just over the hill in Del Norte, Regan
brings a full suite of experience and enthusiasm to our community.Now, as The Ore House’s Executive Chef, she has the opportunity to encourage the
improvement of the ever-mysterious restaurant work life balance, through the fascination of an evolving crew - what was once known as a group of misfits or miscreants - now more respected and understood as the pieces of an amazing, misshapen puzzle that magically fit together in a way only the hospitality industry could understand. Respect, and love. The family.
Megan has been in and out of the service industry for 12 years, starting out as a server while going to college. She has a degree in nutrition and utilizes both specialties in her work in Durango. She moved to Durango four years ago as an AmeriCorps member and has been in the nonprofit field ever since. She joined the board because she feels that In The Weeds employs the most important self-work among hospitality industry professionals. Megan is currently working at Manna as the instructor for their Culinary Program, and is excited to support her culinary students after graduation and into their future restaurant work through the programming offered at In The Weeds.
Giordano "Nano", Secretary
Giordano, or "Nano", grew up in the skate scene of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Whenever he wasn’t shredding the streets he was busy shredding lettuce for your pitas at Pita Pit. In 2015 He and his now wife decided to head north and begin their journey together. His love for food guided his career and landed him as the new Sous Chef of El Moro Spirits & Tavern. He now spreads his love and creativity through his skillful hands with saute pans. He loves to motivate and work with his team, which has brought him into the role of secretary at In the Weeds. Not only can he share within El Moro and the Peak community, he has the drive to continue using his passion to help the community he loves.
Max got his first job at a restaurant to put gas in his car. His career in the hospitality and service industry started in fine-dining scene in Santa Fe, to Durango’s most esteemed restaurants. He worked his way up from bussing to supervising. Max's love to travel and passion for people has led him from Brazil to Thailand, from art galleries to college classrooms. These days, he operates a collaborative work space and finds joy in Third Wave coffee, cooking at home, spending unstructured time in nature, and river surfing.
Dave Woodruff is the General Manager of El Moro Spirits & Tavern, formerly of Steamworks Brewing Company. He received his B.S. in Elementary Education (Minor in Biology) from Kansas State. Upon graduating, he decided to call Durango his home in 2005. Dave stays locally involved by volunteering for everything from the Colorado Restaurant Association to Leadership La Plata. Dave is a Certified Cicerone® and a Bar Smarts Advanced graduate with El Moro Spirits & Tavern. In 2015 and 2016, he traveled to Toronto, Chicago and Austin with the Colorado Tourism Office to preach the Colorado spirits gospel. He is also alumni to the “Most Exceptional” Leadership La Plata.
Mariposa “Mari” Velez started working in a restaurant when she was sixteen years old and hasn’t looked back since. She has spent twenty-eight years working as a server, manager, and events coordinator at a plethora of establishments both in and outside of Durango. For the last two and a half years, she has served as the reservations manager at Carver Brewing Company. When she’s not in the restaurant, Mari enjoys exercising, cooking, making art, and spending time with her seventeen-year-old son. She is thrilled to be a part of the In the Weeds’ Board of Directors and to help in facilitating the organization’s vision of creating a sustainable, safe, and sane restaurant community in Durango.
Born in Camp Hill, PA, raised in Denver, CO, Dave Cuntz has amassed years of experience in the Culinary Arts field and food service industry, both in the U.S. and abroad. While working on completing his BA in Fine Arts at Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO - graduated 1990), he spent time in Chambery, France, at the University of Savoie, where he became familiarized with French cooking and traditions. With many successful years in between, Dave is now the Executive Chef of The Roost where he had received Colorado Chef of the Year from the Colorado Restaurant Association (2021). Going forward, he is confident that with his integrity, love for the arts and industry, work ethic, experience/skillset and positive spirit, that he can just keep building and have high hopes for all there is to come.
Liz, Program Coordinator
Liz moved from West Chester, PA in 2016 to attend Western Colorado University in Gunnison, CO where she received a Bachelor's degree in English and Political Science. She moved to Durango in the fall of 2021 and has spent her time serving at Steamworks Brewing Company. Liz began working in a small pizza joint when she was 15, and since then has worked in steakhouses, breweries, diners and saloons. Kickstarting her career in the nonprofit sector, Liz is excited to hold a position that allows her to serve the people of the environment she's been submerged in for years, her own specific community - hospitality staff.
Blaine, Executive Director
Blaine was sous chef at Carver Brewing Company for 5 years. Working with Wisconsin farmers for a summer, Blaine experienced the reality of issues with mental health in the industry and decided to act on it. Blaine was the Sous Chef at El Moro Spirits & Tavern prior to COVID-19 outbreak, which led him to operating In the Weeds full time.