Meet the Noah's Ark Staff

Noah's Ark 2011 Staff
Extraordinary Staff Really Are The Difference

Despite the extraordinary natural resources that are available to us, the dynamic nature of our trip options and our reputation as an industry leader in professionalism, we believe that it is actually our STAFF that truly sets us apart. With seven full-time staff members and approximately 100 seasonal employees, we consider the staff our greatest resource.

Recruited from across the United States, our  hard-working, intelligent, friendly, and service-oriented staff specializes in meeting the needs of our guests. Noah's Ark employs guides, office workers, cooks, dishwashers, bus drivers, equipment managers and property staff to ensure that each and every area of the operation receives specific attention from specific individuals. We as an organization strive for excellence in everything we do. This commitment is what brings guests back year after year.

Another distinguishing aspect of our operation is the fact that we employ seven individuals on full time staff. These people are devoted, year round, to managing and developing the services that Noah's Ark provides. Each of them has moved from their respective homes around the country and relocated their families because they believe in the mission and purpose of Noah's Ark. Though their backgrounds and educations are quite different, these seven individuals have come together to create a team solely dedicated to providing a unique experience for everyone who walks through our doors.

Full Time Staff Biographies

Under Continuous Ownership Since 1983

Buffalo Peaks Wilderness ColoradoChuck and Lindy Cichowitz - Owners
Residents of Buena Vista, Colorado since 1982, Chuck and Lindy started Noah's Ark Whitewater Rafting Co. in 1983. For the past 27 years, they have been intimately involved with the daily operations of the organization. Their love for people, combined with their love for Colorado's great rivers and mountains, has influenced the quality of outfitted recreation services provided in the Arkansas River valley to Colorado's many guests and residents. They have three children: Cody, Cailee, and Kinsey. They too love being outdoors, experiencing all that Colorado has to offer. When they are not at Noah's Ark, Chuck and Lindy can be found spending time with their family, playing sports, traveling, and staying involved in various ministry opportunities.

Noahs Ark Staff: Cindy KramerCindy Kramer - Store Manager / Buyer
Cindy and her husband, Bruce, have lived in the Arkansas River valley for over 20 years. Cindy has worked at Noah's Ark for many years. All of their children have worked in some capacity at Noah's Ark, either as office staff, kitchen staff or guide staff. As the Store Manager, Cindy is in charge of making sure that all those T-shirts you look at in our lodge store are "cool" enough for you to wear! Cindy's eye for design and extensive experience in the retail industry allow her to portray on t-shirts, water bottles, and sweatshirts what we are all about here at Noah's Ark. Cindy is also an expert at welcoming people when they walk through the doors and always looks for opportunities to encourage others as much as possible. With over 25 years of involvement with students, Cindy loves seeing people create lifelong memories in the Colorado outdoors.

Micah SalazarMicah Salazar - Operations Manager

In the summer of 1994, Micah began guiding at Noah's Ark just after his freshman year at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. While successfully cramming his four-year degree into six years, Micah was able to fit in five summers at Noah's Ark, a few mechanical engineering internships and got married in 1997. His wife, Julie, has a degree in music from Colorado Christian University. After graduating in 1999, they moved to Buena Vista so that Micah could begin working full time at Noah's Ark. Since then, Micah and Julie have been blessed with four active and energetic children, Joel, Madelyn, Mallory and Joshua. Micah enjoys spending time with his family, being involved at church, climbing 14ers and taking staff on extended day river trips.

Noah's Ark Whitewater Rafting Co. Staff - Rob and Kami WilliamsRob and Kami Williams - River Directors
Rob and Kami Williams are part of the river leadership team. As Assistant River Directors, they help lead river training and other operational and administrative logistics within the river program. They both have been a part of Noah’s Ark since the mid 1990’s and Kami has been on full time staff since 2001. Rob also works full time as a Firefighter/Paramedic for North Metro Fire Rescue in the Front Range, and part time for Copper Mountain Ski Patrol. Relationships with Noah’s Ark staff and guests are what continue to bring Rob and Kami back year after year. Their two children Jackson, 4, and Taylor Grace, 1, have blessed Rob and Kami in so many ways. It has been their greatest joy to watch their kids grow up around and influenced by such an incredible and quality staff.

Pat, Kate, & Nora BellPatrick Bell - Adventure Program Director
Patrick began his tenure at Noah's Ark as a guide in 2004 while attending Grove City College and he's been here ever since.  He went on to pursue an M.A. in Counseling at West Virginia University which allowed him to continue to work with Noah's each summer as part of the Adventure Program Leadership Team.  Patrick's best moment at Noah's came in 2006 when he met his future wife Kate, who was a 1st year guide.  Before moving to Buena Vista for the Adventure Program Director position, Patrick and Kate lived in Grand Junction, CO where Patrick worked as a high school counselor (go Tigers!) and Kate pursued her elementary teacher's license.  Professionally, Patrick is most excited to continue in the                                                                                                          legacy of servant leaders who have poured into staff and                                                                                                        guests to ensure that trip goals are accomplished and                                                                                                            growth in leadership occurs.

Zach KhavariZach Khavari - Business Manager

Zach started at Noah’s in 2006 working as a seasonal guide.  Over the next 5 summers, he served on both the operational and river leadership teams before landing a full time position in 2010.  Originally from  North Carolina, Zach moved west after his first summer at Noah’s and graduated from the University of Montana in 2010 with a BA in Economics.  When he is not on the river or investing in staff or guests, Zach enjoys the serenity and tranquility of fly fishing the Arkansas River, time in the backcountry (on foot or on skis), and pursuing other activities that continue to provide opportunities to  develop relationally, professionally, and personally.  Surpassing his love for the outdoors, his love for building relationships with the staff and customers of Noah’s keeps him coming back year after year. 

Noah's Ark Whitewater Rafting Co. Staff - Maria JohnsonMaria Johnson - Reservations Manager
Originally, Maria moved to Buena Vista in 1989 with her husband Peter, after graduating from North Central College in Illinois with a BA in English and Psychology. They put down roots, built a home and have lived in the valley since then. After several years in camping ministry, Maria came on board with the Noah's staff in 1999 for four years as the Reservations Manager. She returned in 2007 to pick up where she left off, and is loving being back in the Noah's family! Her husband is a local builder, and they have two girls, Jessica and Chloe. Jessica is attending CSU, and Chloe is attending Buena Vista High School, and works in the Noah’s Ark kitchen in the summer. Their daughters keep busy with various activities like high school volleyball, basketball, soccer and cheerleading. Maria loves trying to keep up with them.

Dan Martin - Transportation/Maintenance

Dan came to Buena Vista in 1990 to work as an aircraft mechanic at the local airport. Due to the lack of air traffic, he started looking for other options without having to leave the valley. Dan joined the Noah's Ark staff in 1993 as a shuttle driver. Over the years, driving has expanded into maintaining the fleet of buses and trailers. It has been a joy and a challenge to keep the fleet in operating condition. During the off-season, Dan works as a Bus Driver for the Buena Vista School District.   

Highlighted Seasonal Staff Biographies

Extraordinary Seasonal Staff

Our nationwide search to hire the best staff begins each year in December, because unlike most rafting companies we are not content hiring whoever happens to show up in the spring. In contrast,  we only hire candidates who demonstrate extraordinary elements of character, integrity and community service. Each year, over 100+ candidates enter our competitive hiring process which is intense and extensive – lasting a total of three months. We only hire the top 15% of these candidates. We invest significant time and finances in our hiring in order to provide you with the best guides - incredible people who love what they do and love to share the wilderness and river with people. As you scroll through our highlighted staff bios, we think you will agree that they are the best in the business!

Kristie Neff  Kristie Neff
  • Hometown: Wheaton, IL

  • Undergrad: John Brown University, Sociology 
  • Graduate work: CUNY, Masters in School Counseling
  • Life Passion:  To use the public education environment to help young people see their potential and help empower them to live fully
  • What I love about Noah's: Being a part of the transformation that happens on the trail and how that transformation is woven throughout the whole experience of Noah's.  Then to see the kids get on the bus to go home changed.

John McGreevy

John Ryan McGreevy

  • Hometown: West Chester, PA
  • Undergrad: Elon University, Biology & Environmental Studies
  • Graduate work: Colorado State University, Anthropology & International Development
  • Life Passion: I hope to help improve the lives of people in rural Haiti by advancing infrastructure, medical care, education, and environmental stewardship.
  • What I love about Noah's: I enjoy guiding and providing a multi-faceted experience for our guests filled with outdoor adventure and strengthening of relationships.

Whitney Thomas Whitney Thomas
  • Hometown: Charleston, SC
  • Minnesota State University: Graduate Studies in Experimental Education
  • Life Passion:  I am passionate about helping to facilitate other peoples' journeys to create new meaning in their lives. 
  • What I love about Noah's: I love the genuine community and culture of Noah's.  At Noah's there is no need to have a facade about who you are or where you are in life.  Instead, there is openness, honesty, and acceptance.  My hope is that our guests encounter a space to be "free" at Noah's- free from distraction, free to express ideas, free to experience adventure, and free to love.

Logan Draughn Logan Draughn
  • Hometown: Mount Airy, NC
  • Undergrad: North Carolina State University, Biochemistry
  • Life Passion: My personal life passion is music.  I've been a pursuer of the arts since I was a young child and play guitar, banjo, and most recently, the accordion.  My professional life passion is understanding life's processes via science (e.g. advancing scientific of the biochemical properties of proteins).
  • What I love about Noah's: I love knowing that Noah's staff can be a part of the process where our guests get to experience the beauty of this valley and being out of their comfort zone. And hopefully create lasting impressions long after their adventure with Noah's is finished.

Our Commitment to Our Staff...

We are fully committed to staff development, and we care about their well being. We are the only outfitter in the Arkansas Valley to provide staff housing and a food service program for our guides. What does this all mean? You won’t get a burned out river or wilderness guide at Noah’s Ark. Our people operate in the freedom of knowing that their employer cares about them and is looking out for their current well being as well as their future aspirations. Come see the difference our staff makes. You won’t be disappointed!

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