Our Team

Get to know the people (and pup) who are passionate about leading CBMR, living in beautiful Crested Butte and welcoming guests to the untamed destination at the end of the road.
Vice President & General Manager


Tara Schoedinger Personnel Photo
Tara Schoedinger was appointed the Vice President and General Manager of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in June 2021. In this role she oversees all resort operations, from ski school to dining and everything in between, and engages with the community on behalf of CBMR. 

Tara grew up in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1993 with a business degree with an emphasis on management information systems. She first joined Vail Resorts in 2010 as a project manager in the IT department. She managed the development of what would later become the EpicMix app, and oversaw the original design of Guest Connect — the software that allows guests to secure lift tickets, ski school classes, and other activities during their stay.  

In 2010, Tara also became Mayor of the Town of Jamestown, a small, historic town located in the foothills west of Boulder. While she originally expected her biggest challenge in the role would be barking dogs, she had no way to know what was to come. In September 2013, devastating floods consumed the town, destroying most of its roads, infrastructure and many homes. Jamestown was nearly wiped out, and most of the residents couldn’t return home for 10 months due to the lack of drinking water, accessible roads and emergency services. Tara stepped away from her role at Vail Resorts to fully dedicate herself to Jamestown’s recovery. She led the town’s ambitious recovery effort for nearly three years, working closely with state and federal agencies and local residents to rebuild and recover. 

Tara returned to Vail Resorts in 2016 and helped support integration efforts for Whistler Blackcomb after its acquisition. She became Chief of Staff for then-Chief Marketing Officer Kirsten Lynch, who is now the CEO of Vail Resorts, in 2017. With a strong desire to learn more about mountain operations, in 2019 Tara moved into the role of Chief of Staff for then-President of the Mountain Division Pat Campbell. In 2021, Tara was named the first female Vice President and General Manager for Crested Butte Mountain Resort, and of the five Vail Resorts mountains in Colorado, she is one of four women at the helm. 

Throughout her career, Tara has enjoyed and sought out leadership roles in small communities where she can truly make an impact. She spent 15 years volunteering with the Jamestown Fire Department. As a new resident of Crested Butte, Tara currently serves on the board of the Town of Mt. Crested Butte’s Downtown Development Authority, and as President of the Town Center Community Association. In addition, she is on the board for the Lodge at Mountaineer Square Homeowner’s Association and is a member of Air Command for the Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority. 

In her free time, Tara enjoys mountain biking, skiing and camping — making Crested Butte the perfect place for her to call home. 

Favorite memory at CBMR? 

“My entire first winter season as part of the CBMR team is my favorite memory – it was amazing!” 


CBMR Director of Skier Services Jesse Drees began his role in July 2022 after moving to Crested Butte from Vail Mountain. He started as member of Vail’s  Ski & Ride School staff in 2002, and most recently held the leadership role of Sr. Manager.  

His journey into the ski industry began in Northeast Wisconsin as a sophomore in high school, when he went skiing for the first time and immediately fell in love with the sport. He attended college in Northern Michigan, where he first began teaching skiing. The winter after he graduated, Jesse visited Crested Butte on a ski trip and marveled at the beauty and outdoor adventures in the Gunnison Valley. He had no idea at the time that he would return as a permanent resident many years later, but he is grateful to have come full circle. 

Post-college, Jesse moved to Vail in 2002, where he worked as a children’s ski instructor and staff trainer. While in that role, he met his wife, Molly, who was then working as a ski instructor. They got married in 2010, and two years later, Jesse joined the Vail Mountain Ski & Snowboard leadership team. His passion for the industry took him to Beaver Creek in 2016, where he managed the adult ski and snowboard school programs, before returning to Vail Mountain as a Sr. Manager of Ski & Ride School. When the director of skier services role opened at CBMR in 2022, Jesse saw an opportunity to join a new and vibrant community while learning and growing professionally.  

Jesse and Molly have four children, and they are excited to start a new adventure at the destination at the end of the road. When not skiing on the mountain or spending time with his family, Jesse enjoys hunting, running, camping, biking and hiking. 

Favorite memory at CBMR? 

“I have really great memories of learning a new mountain with my kids."

Director of Mountain Operations


Steve Duke Bio Photo

CBMR Director of Mountain Operations Steve Duke grew up in Salt Lake City, and learned to snowboard in high school in the Utah mountains. He loved the world of skiing and riding, but he thought he would pursue a career in the banking industry, so he attended the University of Utah to study business. In his junior year, he began working for Brighton Ski Resort in the terrain park department.
After graduation, he decided to take “just one year off” to follow his passion working in the resort industry, and took a job at Brighton as terrain park supervisor. One year turned into two, and Steve eventually transitioned to Canyons Resort in Park City, where he worked in the bike and terrain parks. When Park City merged with Canyons in 2015, he assisted with the integration of the resorts’ terrain park departments, leading mountain operations in becoming the first fully integrated department at the new Park City. In 2017, he moved to Keystone Resort to manage their A51 Terrain Park, where he helped construct the world’s largest mountaintop snow fort.

In 2019, Steve made the move to Crested Butte. He took on the role of senior mountain operations manager, where he oversaw grooming, snowmaking and the terrain parks. In 2022, he was promoted to Director of Mountain Operations, where he remains today.
Steve lives in Gunnison with his wife, Kristen, their four children and their two dogs. They are active outdoor enthusiasts and can be seen riding the slopes, floating the Gunnison or riding bikes every weekend around our beautiful mountains.

Favorite memory at CBMR?
“The 2021/22 season, when I rode Phoenix and Last Steep with our grooming team in 12” of fresh snow!”

Senior Manager of Health and Safety


Josh Kersten Bio Photo

CBMR Senior Manager of Health and Safety Josh Kersten has always been passionate about helping people stay physically healthy, having grown up as the son of a physical therapist in Davenport, Iowa. He is particularly passionate about helping people avoid injury so they can enjoy and make the most of each day. Josh attended the University of Iowa, earning his bachelor’s degree in health and human physiology and his master’s in occupational and environmental health. Josh’s experiences with skiing and riding as a child involved school trips to Snowstar, Ill., and in his sophomore year of college, he took up snowboarding and started participating in university-sponsored ski trips to Colorado.

After graduate school, Josh became a safety specialist with Amazon, and later, a workplace health and safety manager. As he grew as a company leader, he moved from Iowa to Illinois to Indiana and, in 2021, to Washington State. It was in the Pacific Northwest that Josh rediscovered his love for all things outdoors. It also made him miss the closeness of a tight-knit community like the one he had in Iowa. So when the opportunity arose to combine his passion for keeping people safe with his love for nature in a small town, he took it.

Josh began in his role as CBMR’s senior manager of health and safety in 2022, and is excited to apply his workplace safety knowledge and experience to the world of skiing so we can all enjoy the slopes all season long. Whether it’s in an Iowa cornfield, a Washington warehouse or on the peak of Mt. Crested Butte, Josh has one goal: to take care of people, so they can enjoy the next day.
Josh is looking forward to participating in summer activities across the Valley like biking, camping and hiking. When he’s not outside, you can find Josh cooking, at a concert, or playing guitar or Nintendo Switch.

Favorite memory at CBMR?

“Driving up the mountain in the Fall and seeing the rocky, gritty, rugged terrain. I had never experienced a mountain like that before. It was beautiful being up there, trying to imagine what this place looks like with snow. We got the first snow of the season a week later.”

Senior Director of Lodging


Bill MacFarlane Personnel Photo

Senior Director of Lodging Bill MacFarlane grew up in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with dreams of becoming a chef and restaurant owner. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked as a chef for 10 years. But Bill had other dreams, too — of getting married and having a family. He knew that working nights in a restaurant would make that dream more difficult. So, in 1990, he moved to Colorado, transitioning from cooking in the back of house to hospitality management in the front of house.  

Bill started working in Beaver Creek as a front desk clerk at what was then The Inn at Beaver Creek and is now The Osprey. He spent 10 years in hospitality at Vail Resorts, followed by 10 years as the general manager of the Inn and Suites at Riverwalk in Edwards, Colo., before returning to Vail Resorts in 2011. This time, he was general manager for the Osprey, Pines Lodge and Trapper Cabin in Beaver Creek. He continued to work his way up in hospitality, and in 2019, he was promoted to senior director of lodging for CBMR and made the move to Crested Butte. 

By moving to Colorado and shifting to hospitality, Bill fulfilled his other dream: he met his wife and best friend, Katie, on a mountain biking trip from Vail to Fruita in 2006. They have two children together, and when Bill is not spending time with them, you can find him anywhere outside. He has a passion for cycling, backcountry skiing, fly fishing, bow hunting and camping. 

Favorite memory at CBMR? 

“Mine would be from the 2021-22 ski season – the 99” Betty White snow storm we received in December 2021 over the peak holiday and occupancy period. It was incredible!” 

Director of Food & Beverage


Steven Vlass Personnel Photo

Director of Food & Beverage Steven Vlass grew up in Bethlehem, Pa., and taught himself to ski on his home mountain at a young age. He always had a passion for cooking, and started working in the restaurant industry after school. In 2000, that passion led him to his wife, Susan. They met while working at the same restaurant in Bethlehem, and the following year, Susan’s pastry chef career brought the two of them to Key Largo, Fla. 

While Steven enjoyed the Florida fishing, he quickly realized he was not a fan of the humidity or the beach and wanted to move to the mountains to continue his culinary career. So in 2002, Steve applied to the Culinary Apprenticeship Program at Keystone, and he and his wife made the move to Colorado. Once there, he decided he was never leaving the mountains (outside of their annual family vacations to Mexico — Susan still loves the beach).

After graduating from the culinary program, Steven began working as a sous chef at Keystone Resort’s conference center. He was eventually promoted to executive sous chef and spent seven years there doing large facility banquets and ice carvings. During that time, Steve and his team at Keystone had the honor of preparing a meal at the renowned James Beard House in New York City – a program of the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit known throughout the culinary world for helping to cultivate world-renowned chefs.  Then in 2011, Steven took a role as the executive chef at the Keystone Ranch restaurant, where he worked for six years before moving over to the executive chef position at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

Steven and his wife wanted to move to a quieter area to raise their son. So when Steven learned of an executive chef opening at CBMR during a trip to Crested Butte in 2019, they decided to make the move to the valley. In 2021, Steven was promoted to director of food & beverage and has enjoyed being able to use his knowledge of the kitchen in new ways.

Steven has a passion for cooking with fresh ingredients that let the flavors speak for themselves. When he is not in the kitchen, Steven enjoys spending time with his family and being in the mountains, whether that’s hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, backcountry skiing or mountain biking. 

Favorite memory at CBMR?

“When I first started at CBMR in March 2019 I got to experience one of the most amazing snowstorms. It snowed for 2+ weeks all across the state of Colorado with record snowfall in some areas. To see this mountain at its fullest potential with all the amazing terrain and an 80+-inch base was something to remember. I was able to ski with some locals during this cycle, and this town showed true passion and love for skiing. I knew this was where I wanted to be!”  

Avy Dog Captain


Mac the Avelanche Dog

Mac has been the avy dog captain for Crested Butte Mountain Resort since 2020. Originally hailing from British Columbia, Canada, this chocolate Labrador has been playing in the snow since he was born, and had dreams of becoming an avalanche dog from a very young age. He moved to central Oregon when he was 9 weeks old and began pursuing that dream at Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort alongside his handler, Jon. 

Two years later, Mac and Jon made the move to Crested Butte, where some of the most talented avalanche dogs have lived and worked. Mac was nervous at first that he wouldn’t be accepted into CBMR’s prestigious, decades-old Avy Dog Program, but he was quickly selected for his intelligence, athleticism, small build, and willingness to work hard. Avy dogs serve a number of roles at the resort, but the most important is to quickly help locate someone if they were ever to be buried in an avalanche. Thanks to their tracking abilities and strong sense of smell – many times more sensitive than even the most advanced man-made technology – dogs are natural first responders. Luckily, Mac has never had to make an avalanche rescue, but he continues to train hard so that he’s always at the ready to assist in an emergency.  

Mac takes his role as avy dog captain very seriously, and does his best to be a role model for the other avy dogs on the team. In a typical day, he’ll ride the Silver Queen Express lift to patrol headquarters and await his assignment. He’ll play with his fellow avy dogs a little and bring smiles to the faces of guests visiting the mountain. He may do some training exercises like finding an article of clothing that’s planted under the snow, or he’ll follow his handler out to check out the mountain. You may spot him at CBMR sporting his bright orange vest and making people happy everywhere he goes.  

When he’s not working at patrol headquarters, you can find Mac running around the mountain, hiking the peak in the summer, or enjoying pets from passersby. In his free time, Mac loves to swim in the river and play fetch – ideally, at the same time. 

Favorite memory at CBMR? 

“Passing my validation exam in a super fast time of 12 minutes to become a fully certified avalanche search and rescue dog!”