BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JOHN G. ROWE
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.
Amanda Kuenzi has lived in Durango, CO for 11 years and has been a part of the nonprofit community for 5 of those years. She is passionate about working to find solutions to solve the problems facing her community. She joined the In The Weeds board to lend her experience with grant writing and knowledge of the nonprofit world. Although she has spent most of her 20-year career as a biologist, she did spend a summer as a waitress, and is excited about the opportunities to support Durango’s service industry. She can often be found floating down a river or making her way up a trail.
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.
GIORDANO "NANO" ASCENZI
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.
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
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.
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.
INSTRUCTORS & FACILITATORS
A local industry member who will be instructing the classes! Her yoga journey began approximately 7 years ago to help her body recover from intense workouts while playing division 2 college field hockey. During her last semester of college while earning a bachelors degree is health science, she also completed 200 hours of YTT in June 2020. Through her years of working in the service industry in between college and through it, yoga has helped her recover physically and mentally. She is excited to be able to share her love of the practice to others through teaching.
Originally a massage therapist from New Jersey, Kimberly DeVenero became a certified yoga teacher when she completed her 200-hour training in 2009. Since then, she has healed her body learned to observe the amazing being within, and fallen in love with yoga! She has done trainings in the Bahamas and New York at the Sivananda Ashram with her beautiful teacher, Arjuna, as well as, weekend trainings with some of her favorite instructors. Her goal is to weave a deep spiritual practice with a playful, light spirit. After she moved to Durango, she opened up Thimbleberry Smoothie Co., a thriving organic smoothie trailer in town!
Paige was born on a small llama farm in Western Massachusetts and raised an athlete in the hills of Vermont. She began running in college and the practice of yoga soon followed. She received her 200 Hour Certification from Kripalu Center in 2013 and her 400 Hour from The Sivananda Ashram in 2016. Since then, she has been collecting experiences to augment in the evolution of her teachings. She is inspired by community. Her flows are strong and powerful, sweet and savory , heavy on breath-work and mind body connectivity. You can find her trail running around the Four Corners, serving up pizza downtown Durango and teaching yoga at The Sweaty Buddha.
Chloe is new to teaching yoga but her personal practice has been an important part of her life for 10 years. The practice and teachings of Yoga have greatly impacted her heart and she believes it is a gift to be shared. She aspires to facilitate an experience which is welcoming to all and focused on awareness, self compassion and embracing movement as medicine. After completing a 200 hour Ashtanga Vinyasa inspired training this year, she is excited to step into her love for yoga with others.
VINYASA, ASHTANGA YOGA
Through yoga, Ayla learned to acknowledge, name, feel and release emotions and narratives in the to deepen her connection to her Higher Self and Spirit. Ayla has experience in a great variety of styles, students and studios. Ayla is a Wild Woman Project Circle Leader and recently completed her Channeled Light Healing Level 4 certification. She infuses her gifts and skills as an intuitive healing catalyst in all of her yoga classes, and intends for each yoga class to be a sacred space of healing and devotion. She loves to play with creative, intuitive sequencing, and is extremely inspired by the natural world.
Brenden has spent 15 years in the Culinary Arts and is a recent "transplant" from Virginia. Focusing on being a Pitmaster he has moved over to diversifying his culinary skills at El Moro Spirits & Tavern. For the past 10 years whenever he wasn't smoking meats, he began smokin' discs into baskets! Disc golf is a great way for Brenden to get outside with his dog Loki and enjoy nature! He has a wealth of knowledge teaching technique and skills in the disc golf realm. Join Brenden for the 'Huck Off!' program!
Tyler is a longtime industry member working in the Durango area for several years. From the dishpit to the bar to managing a kitchen, he has done a bit of it all! Having played Disc Golf professionally in the past, Tyler still loves to "huck" the discs and has great knowledge to share on the tricks of the trade!