Who We Are: Our Team

Tall Tales Ranch

Susan Mooney- Founder
Fairy Godmother

In My Other Life: I spend my time advocating for people living with special needs and building Tall Tales Ranch. I love to collaborate with other programs and am always on the lookout for groups who are doing creative things.

I Believe: Everyone should have the opportunity to live a full, satisfying life that honors who they are.

A Bit About Me: Pat and I have been married for over 30 years and have 3 kids who inspire and amaze me without fail. I have retired from teaching special education and am passionate about yoga, going for walks and reading.

 

Tall Tales Ranch

Pat Mooney-Founder
Board Member

In My Other Life: I am the Owner of Putting Greens Plus, a company that sells and installs artificial putting greens and synthetic turf products.

I Believe: Working within the disability community provides one with a great perspective, a sense of purpose and many spontaneous, joyful moments.

A Bit About Me: I have 3 amazing kids and have managed to keep their mother happy for over 30 years. I enjoy spending time with my family and playing golf when the opportunity presents itself.

Laura McKenna

Executive Director

In My Other Life: I have a master degree in Organizational Communication and I’ve spent my entire career in human services from working with people with intellectual disabilities to those experiencing homelessness.

I Believe: Everyone has gifts to give if provided the opportunity, encouragement and support. Realizing the gifts differently abled individuals have to give is a far greater gift to me than anything I have to offer them.

A Bit About Me: I’m a mother to two amazing young adults who keep me on my toes with their quick wit, curiosity, and love for life. I love to be in the mountains as much as possible and particularly enjoy hiking, snow shoeing, wildlife viewing and photography. At home you can find me cuddled up with my ragdoll cat, a good movie or book and a glass of wine.

 

Tall Tales Ranch

Sally McCance
Director of Programs

In My Other Life: I have a Master’s degree in Special Education.

I Believe: that all people are deserving of the two keys to true happiness: purpose and connection.

A Bit About Me: My husband and I live in Castle Rock with our three children and Springer Spaniel dog, Tilly. Our youngest, Louisa, has Down syndrome and has no problem keeping up with her big brothers. We love to be outside and active in the beautiful Colorado weather. In my free time, I enjoy reading, crossword puzzles, and trail running.

Emma Benner
Coffee Trailer Manager/Trusty Sidekick

In My Other Life: I am the production assistant for Sandyboy Productions Podcast Network, cohost of The Illuminate Podcast, and social media manager for Synapse Sitters. I like to keep my plate full of things that I am passionate about!

I believe: That everyone deserves to be included and treated with kindness!

A Bit About Me: I love spending my free time running, reading, hiking in the mountains, rollerblading, and baking! My heart is filled when I get to volunteer with organizations that work to better the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Tall Tales Ranch

Tim Batz
Board President

In My Other Life: I work for IMA, Inc., an employee owned commercial insurance broker and manage risk control services to our clients.

I Believe: Everyone has something to contribute, including the differently abled.

A Bit About Me: My wife Suzanne is a commercial pilot and we live in Centennial with our 26 year old son, Dylan…who has intellectual challenges but who refuses to let those limit him. Dylan is also a Tall Tales Ranch ambassador.

Tall Tales Ranch

Cam Philpott

Board Member

 In My Other Life:  I’m a private investor in the domestic equity markets having professionally invested for institutional clients for about thirty years.

 I Believe: that we can solve every problem by listening, thinking creatively, and collaborating with each other.

A Bit About Me: Ann and I have been married for almost thirty years and are blessed with three wonderful children. We live an active Colorado lifestyle and thoroughly enjoy the activities that this state provides. I also enjoy cooking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Tall Tales Ranch

Sue Wertz
Treasurer

In My Other Life: I have worked as an Accounting professional and Global Director of Client Account Management. I offer skills in finance and accounting, re-engineering of operational and accounting processes and software and team management.

I Believe: You can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it. The path may not always be straight or the one you started on, but with perseverance, flexibility and patience you will achieve your goal.

A Bit About Me: I have a wonderful husband and 2 amazing boys. Being a ski bum, hiking and travel are some of my passions. I also love curling up with a good book or watching old movies.

Tall Tales Ranch

Tobin Kern

Board Member

In My Other Life: I own a law firm that helps businesses with legal aspects of their operations and disputes that go to court. After 30 years of practice with large downtown Denver law firms and a bank holding company, I am loving my new “solo” practice which is not only more fun but leaves much more time to enjoy other aspects of life.

 I Believe: Inside every person with special needs is a personality to be enjoyed and appreciated by others. Those who are typically-functioning can learn so much from them!

A Bit About Me: My wife Linda and I have been married for 28 years and have four children – two boys and two girls. Our youngest is a 19-year old Down Syndrome boy who brings great joy to our family. We are mountain- lovers and enjoy skiing, hiking and being with friends and family.

Tall Tales Ranch

Wendy Wanger
Board Member

In My Other Life: I’m co-owner of a homebuilding company called Stoneridge Homes Inc . and real estate company called Carriage House Properties LLC with my husband Gary.

I Believe: That everyone should have to the opportunity to live life to the fullest and have a great time doing it.

A Bit About Me: I have been married since 1995, I have two great step (kids) adults and three step granddaughters. They all bring me great joy. I love to play golf, work out, travel and drink a great bottle of wine.

Tall Tales Ranch

Peggy Clarke Bernardis
Board Member

In My Other Life: I am a proud Denver native who grew up with 10 wonderful sibs! I am a tennis coach at Club Greenwood, since 1990.

I Believe: I hold “The Golden Rule,” with very high standards. I try my hardest to consistently treat others how I want to be treated. This love, validation and advocacy for all, gives me hope for our future.

A Bit About Me: I love taking advantage of our beautiful state. My active lifestyle includes hiking, cross country skiing and fly fishing. My biggest “catch,” happened in July of 1986, when I married my best friend, Pete. God, our four amazing children and our son-in-law, inspire us every day.

Tall Tales Ranch

Tony Saponaro
Board Member

In My Other Life: I am a white water kayaker runner and swordsman

I Believe: in the 5 freedoms:
1. Right to comfort and security
2. Right to shelter
3 Right to clean food and water
4. Right to freedom
5. Right to live without fear, cruelty, and the right to respect.

A Bit About Me: I am a steward and guardian of animals in need , I am a researcher a creative thinker to bring simplistic solutions to the social discussion.

 

Tall Tales Ranch

Wes King
Board Member

In My Other Life: I was a banker for 30 years at FirstBank. Great company, good people, learned a lot about banking and life.

I Believe: Oh, the list here is long. My beliefs are many, but one of my core beliefs is that all people are generally good, and you should meet them where they are. I try not to judge anyone, and can relate and connect with people of various backgrounds.

A Bit About Me: Raised in small town Michigan, with a very modest background. Mom was a teacher, dad a Lutheran minister. Three siblings, who I adore to this day. Was lucky to attend the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), where I received a business degree. Moved to Colorado immediately after graduation, and have never regretted moving to this wonderful state. I have two great kids, one of which is a teacher in Brighton, and the other is working his way through college. Retired now, have served on many boards over the years, and am really looking forward to how I can help Tall Tales Ranch succeed!

 

 

Tall Tales Ranch

Chris Stolzer
Board Member

In My Other Life: I have always loved building things and working with my hands. That passion led me to a career with Kiewit Building Group. Over the last 26 years, I have had the opportunity to build some amazing projects across the US and Canada.

A Bit About Me: My wife and I have been together for 29 years and have four children, 2 cats, and a dog. In my spare time I love to play and build guitars, listen to music, and work on cars. My interest in TTR is driven by my Uncle Herb, who would have been served very well by TTR. I am honored to be part of team that serves the Ambassadors of TTR!

I Believe: There is good in everyone.