Board of Directors
Bob Foster – Chairman
Robert L. Foster is General Manager of Lone Mountain Ranch, a multi-season guest ranch in Big Sky, Montana.
Bob was raised in Colorado Springs, CO and graduated from Wheaton College, IL. He taught and coached in a Chicago high school before serving five years as a Captain in the US Army. He then completed a master’s program at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. From the mid 1970’s to December 2011 he was President and CEO of Lost Valley Ranch, Sedalia, CO, a AAA “4-diamond” horse/cattle guest ranch
Bob is active in the hospitality and ranching industries. He is currently serving on the board of Visit Big Sky and the Educational Trust of the Dude Rancher’s Association. He is past Chairman of the Colorado Travel and Tourism Authority, past Chairman of the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association, The Dude Rancher’s Association and the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association and served on the board of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
Bob and his wife, Karen have two adult children and live in Big Sky, Montana.
Rita Cote – President
When I started at Tanque Verde about 20 years ago, I felt I had found my calling. I left the corporate world behind (7 years with Marriott) and found the world of Dude Ranching. Along the way Bob and I fell in love and married. What pleasure and joy I have found over the years with running the ranch, helping raise Bob’s four children and experiencing wonderful memories with our employees and guests. I am blessed.
David Van Berkum – Vice President
I am from Iowa but I have been involved with dude ranches since 1988, when I was fortunate enough to get hired on at the 63 Ranch. After five tremendous years there, and the dude ranch bug firmly planted, my family bought the Rainbow Trout Ranch in southern Colorado. I am very blessed to be able to work with my parents, Doug and Linda. I am married to a very shy woman, Jane, and we have three great children: Mary-Anne is 12, Caroline is 10 and Derek (aka Snuff) is 8. I look forward to representing the DRA as a delegate from CO. Jane and I are also the representatives for the DRA-AQHA Alliance. We raise and train our own quarter horses and we love to team rope.
Cory Inouye – Treasurer
I’ve always thought of Idaho as home, and in 2005 was honored to become a part of Red Horse Mountain Ranch. The vision of our ranch I consider priceless and I am determined to pass on the tradition of Idaho dude ranching to the next generation.
When I can get a chance to sneak away, you’ll find me spending time with my family, floating rivers searching for trout, or pursuing elk in September. I thoroughly enjoy the ranching lifestyle, its seasons, and the people. I’ve always been told to surround yourself with good people, and as a member of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, we’ve done just that.
I am grateful for the chance to serve the members and staff of the DRA. I look forward to learning, collaborating, and working hard to continue the protection and preservation of all member ranches and to strengthen and promote the importance of a ranch vacation.
Gary Grenzke – Board Member
I have never owned a ranch but my firm, Insurance Associates has been a DRA associate member for over twenty seven years. I consider it a privilege to serve on the Educational Trust Board.
Dan Schneider – Board Member
Dan Schneider has been President/CEO of The Schneider Group, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona, since 1982. He has also been very active in developing many industry programs. The single largest specialization is an insurance program for medical device product liability insurance. He also has worked with many dude ranches in their risk management, property/casualty insurance solutions and the creation and administration of waivers/assumption of risk forms. He has extensive experience in insurance production management and marketing management.
He has attended several insurance company schools including Fireman’s Fund, Hartford and Federated as well as continuing education classes in Agency Management, Sales Management and Commercial Property & Casualty Insurance.
Dan also played professional baseball from 1962 to 1971. He started with the Milwaukee Braves. He played with the Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals.
He has been Chairman of the Arizona Baseball Commission, President of the Southern Arizona Sports Development, League President, Little League Baseball and Tucson Commissioner, Big League Baseball
Mike Rediker – Board Member
I became an enthusiastic supporter of dude ranches from our family’s happy experiences as guests at the CM Ranch, an Association member situated in a spectacular location in the Wind River Mountains, during the 1980s. Since 1990, down to the present, our family has owned grazing acreage and a residence nearby CM’s location in the Dubois, Wyoming vicinity, where we spend time every year. We have visited or seen other dude ranches in the Wind River and Absaroka mountains area, as well as the Jackson Hole area. My daily business is as an attorney and counselor, but my passion is the American Western experience. Our sons grew up going to dude ranches and a ranch camp in various summers. Learning not only riding, roping, fishing, hiking, and other outdoors activities, but also the values of responsibility, self-reliance, teamwork, honest labor and its rewards, and preservation and enjoyment of the Western environment. I hope, by participating in the Educational Trust, to see such opportunities and salutary values extended more broadly to others.
Karen Ferguson – Board Member
Having recently retired from twenty plus years as a financial advisor/planner, folks felt my experience would serve this board. My home is Eatons’ Ranch where my husband, Bill, and I have lived and raised our two children, Will and Amanda. Working at the ranch for the time before my financial career broadened my experience.
DRA involvement over the years has given me great insight and more wonderful friends. Our family continues our participation in multiple ways and now the next generation, my grandson, Holden, joins us. That makes 5 generations working with fellow dude ranchers.
Amanda Ferguson Esch – Board Member
Phone: 307- 634-3210
Amanda Ferguson Esch comes from a long tradition of dude ranching, having been raised on the historic Eatons’ Ranch in Wolf, Wyoming. She is a passionate supporter of the dude ranching industry, and was a proud recipient of the Dude Rancher’s Educational Trust Scholarship. After living and working on the Ranch for many years, she currently lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming with her husband Luke and son Holden. She and her family try to make it back to the Ranch as often as possible. Amanda is a partner in the law firm of Davis & Cannon, LLP. She practices in the areas of general civil litigation, employment law, and natural resources, and deals with many other areas relevant to the dude ranching and recreational industry. She is excited to serve as the newest member of the Dude Rancher’s Educational Trust Board, and is committed to supporting and preserving the dude ranching industry.
Colleen Hodson – Authorized Agent
I am the Executive Director of The Dude Ranchers’ Association along with being the Authorized Agent of The Dude Ranchers’ Educational Trust. I have worked for the association for over 15 years. I love the dude ranch industry and feel it is extremely important to protect and preserve its heritage. If you have any questions please, do not hesitate to contact me.