Say hello to the RVR staff! We're a family of friends that's
blessed to work together in a fun and beautiful place. Plus, we love camp :)
RVR Executive Director/Peter & John Ministries President
Jon has RVR in his DNA. Given that his grandfather, John, founded RVR, Jon spent much of his childhood camping and working at RVR. After earning degrees from both Towson University and Wheaton College, Jon was ready to take the reins of RVR in 1999. His door is always open to reminisce about RVR’s rich past or to discuss the God-led vision of RVR’s future. He and his wife Courtney have two children, Anna and Aidan.
FUN FACT: Jon serves on the board of the Curim House Mission in Nogales, MX.
Rev. John Zeigenfuse
Director of Programs | Campus Pastor
John “Zig” has spent much of his life at RVR. As a child, his parents served on staff, and 16 years ago Zig and his family moved from Baltimore, MD to serve full time at RVR. He’s been a public school teacher, a triathlete, and a bull rider – his passion now: his family. John is married to Jolene and has 5 children: Garrett, Abbey, Logan, Austin & Wyatt.
FUN FACT: Zig’s favorite tv show is PTI.
Director of Operations
Mike’s heart is for the Gospel. Originally from Stockbridge, MA, he came to work at RVR 1996. He is very intentional with his responsibilities at RVR, but more so with his role as a godly father and husband. He and his family serve as worship leaders in their local church and have traveled to Nogales, Mexico on numerous occasions to minister. He and his wife, Jewel, met at RVR and have 5 children: Jedrek, Slade, Elena, Blane, and Liv.
FUN FACT: Mike and Sylvester Stallone share the same birth day… not the same year.
Director of Marketing
Raised in South Carolina by two homesteaders, Dan still has a love for the outdoors and simple living. (but now enjoys the comforts of indoor plumbing) While studying Communications at Liberty University he learned about RVR. After serving several summers, he joined the full time staff in 2003. He enjoys creativity, music, animals and family. He and his wife, Hope, raise three children: Cody, Riley and Shea.
FUN FACT: Dan was shot in the eye with an arrow when he was 8
Director of Administration
Just like most Massachusetts natives, Barbara is a Red Sox fan. Despite that, RVR still hired her in May, 2004. She’s been married to Kevin since 2007 and has a beautiful, energetic daughter named Greta. She takes every opportunity to cook for and entertain people. Her desire is to please the Lord in all that she does.
FUN FACT: The word pet peeve is Barbara’s pet peeve.
When Jennifer is not keeping everything at RVR organized, she can be found coaching soccer for her two daughters, Payton and Lindsey, or rooting for the Packers and Ravens on a Sunday afternoon. Originally from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, she’s worked at RVR since 2010. She and her husband Gordon call Reisterstown, MD home.
FUN FACT: “Taco is the son I never had”
Camp couldn't run without these guys! They are here for one full year and they get hands on experience in just about everything camp related, from retreats to running activities and summer programs. This year's zany crew consists of Emily, Kimberly, Mackenzie, Shiloh, Taylor, James, & Jeff.
Outdoor Education Director/Challenge Course Manager
Everywhere she goes, adventure follows! After studying Painting and Psychology at Truman State University, she moved to RVR in 2011 to be part of the GPS Intern Program. She oversees the Adventure Program during the summer and the Outdoor Education Program for school groups during the year. After practicing the banjo for 3 years, she still knows only 1 song.
FUN FACT: “I consider myself a professional napper”
Retreat Coordinator/Frontier Town Director
Hailing from the sprawling metropolis of Marion, IN, Aaron first stepped foot on RVR the summer of 2010. In 2014 he joined the full time staff. He graduated from Liberty University with a major in Worship and a specialty in youth ministry. Because of his vocal training he’s had to perform classical songs in four different languages. He enjoys rock climbing and creative arts like dance and spoken word. Aaron is married to Aubrey.
FUN FACT: Aaron can quote virtually every Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Experiences Coordinator/Fort Roller Director
Music creator and performer. Pizza lover and amateur adventurer. Likes small babies. We were able to summarize Elijah in three short sentence fragments. He is from Sebring, FL and came to RVR for the first time in 2005. He has 20 siblings. He’s repelled rock faces, whitewater rafted, and shared his testimony, all while wearing jorts. If it’s after May 30, 2016, Elijah is happily married to Zoe. (If it’s before, Elijah is wishing he could fast forward life)
FUN FACT: He has six tattoos, and his sixth tattoo was the number six!
Sioux Falls, SD - Liberty University – RVR – marriage. Those are the main themes of Ben’s life journey so far. After sharpening his paintball skills as a kid in SD, he played on the paintball team at LU. In 2010, he brought his expertise to RVR summer camp. When he’s not doing anything paintball, you’ll find him fishing, talking to others about God’s Word, or perfecting another card trick. Ben married the love of his life, Rachael, in 2014 and they have a son named Ezra.
FUN FACT: Ben treats his cat, Milo, like a human child.
Jake’s first experience at River Valley Ranch was at an RVR rodeo when he was 7. “All I remember was the Italian Ice”. That frozen treat made such an impact on Jake, that, in 2007 he began working at summer camp. Now, as a full time staff member, he uses his gift of creativity and his love of people to enhance guests’ Outdoor Education experience, and also brings production expertise to RVR’s programs – Jake has traveled as a production engineer for Building 429.
FUN FACT: I was once paid to chase black bears off of a property.
Grow up in Gaithersburg MD. Go to college. Move to Missouri. Join RVR’s GPS Internship Program. This is the script Jennifer followed that has her now serving at RVR full time. Jen’s uplifting, encouraging attitude is contagious, and her desire to serve others fits RVR’s culture like a glove. She takes every opportunity to not wear shoes and to drink tea while talking deeply… not in vocal tone, but in conversation content.
FUN FACT: I have an extra rib.
Josh "Thor" Crone
Race Operations Manager/Program Specialist
Josh has worked at RVR since 2014; serving in seasonal roles during Winter Meltdown, summer camp, and the GPS Internship Program. His love of sports and art is an asset to the ministry and is reflected in River Valley Run graphics and on the course. Although it is not a prerequisite to work at RVR, Josh was a certified Zamboni driver before joining our team. He is from Owings Mills, MD and proudly is able to clap with one hand.
FUN FACT: Josh’s ancestors were Scottish horse thieves.
After a summer at RVR, and then a year in RVR’s GPS Program, Luke was ready to join our team full time. When he’s not being a “foreman” with the GPS program, he’ll probably be hanging out with family, friends or the Lord, and from time to time, you’ll still find him on a skateboard, although they caused him a surgery-worthy accident once upon a time.
FUN FACT: Luke has a pet Lizard named Montey.
When selecting a store manager, RVR looks for someone who has a creative mind, a passionate heart, and excessively uses hash tags. In walks Lilya – perfect match. Lilya is passionate about 5 things: FAMILY. GRACE. HOSPITALITY. LETTERS. PURE INTENTIONS (and hash tags). She also brings her creativity and artistic eye to the RVR family. Lilya is one of eight children, and was led to Christ by her dad on the sidewalk of a Taco Bell. Regardless of the origin of their beef, TB still holds a pretty special place in her heart. #tacos4lyf #tacotuesday
FUN FACT: Eternity is a thing – and I’m pretty excited about it. #blessed #heaveniscloserthanyouthink
Since 2010, Ben has bolstered the RVR full time staff with his love for people and his pursuit of excellence. He is originally from Sebring, FL; probably where he honed his ping pong and shuffleboard skills. He met his wife, Christina, at RVR during the summer of 2001. They have 3 children, Adriel, Judah, & Isaiah.
FUN FACT: Ben won every superlative his senior year (he was home schooled)
Taco arrived at RVR in 2009 four hours before LaDessa – he never left. When he’s not honing his video drone skills, editing an RVR video, or traveling with the RVR recruiting team, he can be found playing Frisbee golf, leading worship at his church, or maintaining his personal video businesses: Ahavah Films and Anthem Aerials.
FUN FACT: Shaved his 6 year, 9 month, 10 day old Mohawk for a challenge to raise funds for RVR.
Our horsemanship queen first worked at RVR in the summer of 2006. Her dedication to the program and her passion for ministry through horses led her to leave her home in Richmond, VA to become full-time staff in 2008. When she is not working with horses, teaching lessons, or riding into the sunset, Morgan enjoys spending time in the great outdoors and playing volleyball.
FUN FACT: *insert clever line about Morgan’s bobsledding experience here*
In 2010, RVR continued their pattern of hiring quality staff and hired Christina. She’s from Reisterstown, MD and enjoys learning new things, perfecting her riding skills, drawing closer to The Lord, and being intentional with the people that the Lord brings into her life… and the Baltimore Ravens! She’s traveled all over the entire East Coast, and for the record, “MD’s the best.”
FUN FACT: Christina has more letters in her full name than there are in the alphabet, 34!
No one knows exactly where Greenmount, MD is, but that’s where Laura is from. Even the best clown can’t juggle the amount of things Laura does. She joined the RVR family in 2006 and has kept us all straight ever since. She desires to grow closer to the Lord and disciple others to do the same. Laura married a great man and has raised two daughters.
FUN FACT: Laura + volleyball = Game on.
Top 3 reasons you know Stephanie belongs at RVR? 1) She’s worked RVR summers for over half her life as store crew gal, craft shop coordinator, summer secretary, and yes, even a paintball ref. 2) She’s camped out on the Great Wall of China during a meteor shower. 3) Even when its 24 degrees she wears a short sleeved shirt… the list goes on. Where’s Stephanie? RVR Office, being the first RVR voice most people hear, or hanging with her cat, reading a book, enjoying flowers.
FUN FACT: She taught English in China for 10 years.
With his Chuck Norris- like beard, Josh attacks every project with gusto. His fingerprints are all over RVR – which some day may prove incriminating. Can’t find Josh? He’s probably fishing or working on something with wheels. Since 2005, Josh has brought an element of humor to RVR as well as his strong work ethic. He and his wife Rosey have two boys.
FUN FACT: Josh has a pet rabbit named Harvey.
Ryan has a long history with RVR: from field crew worker, to adventure camp counselor, to now working full time with the RVR operations team. When he’s not working at RVR, or being a husband and father, you may find him traveling the US as the guitarist for the band, Ashes Remain. He and his best friend, Laurel (who also happens to be his wife), have two sons: Everett and Shepard. They live at 147 West Gr… well, they live in MD.
FUN FACT: Ryan was born with that beard.
Jeff came to RVR from Atlanta, GA in 2013. When he’s not pouring his life and knowledge into those around him, he will probably be hanging with his wife, Leilani, or hunting with his son, Nicolas. Each summer Jeff helps direct the support staff team at RVR.
FUN FACT: Jeff has two chickens: Storm & Big Cheryl
Operations Assistant/IT Coordinator
If you have a problem, chances are, Brent has already fixed it. This Liberty University grad is passionate about serving and honoring the Lord in everything he does. Since 2013, he’s used his expansive tech skills at RVR. He’s from Richmond, VA and yes, that’s his real last name.
FUN FACT: Brent builds robots because he wants to.
Food Services Director
For 23 years, Diana and her husband Tim have been devoted to hospitality and serving in their local church. In 2011, they sold their home in Baltimore City and moved to RVR. Here Diana began her pursuit of creating healthy, homemade, delicious meals for all of RVR’s guests. We think she’s achieved that goal! Tim and Diana have raised three godly children: Alex, Olivia and Maddie. When not creating a new dish, Diana enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with family.
FUN FACT: Diana is RVR’s resident “Grammar Queen”
When she received the call about a job at RVR, TirzahRuth hopped off the Caribbean missionary ship she was serving on (after it docked), and joined the RVR team. She is from Arkansas and is the second oldest of 10 kids... probably sharpening her ability to cook for big crowds. She loves “serving the Lord and having the time of my life while doing so!”
Human Resources Coordinator
There’s not been one thing out of place at RVR since May 26, 2015 – the date Leilani joined the RVR staff. She brings her passion for organization, and her years of experience to the RVR HR table. She came to MD from Atlanta, GA, where she once completed a half marathon with 2 sprained ankles. If she’s not efficiently organizing something, she’s probably watching football. Her name means heavenly flower, and her husband, Jeff, and son, Nicholas would agree.
FUN FACT: "2 of my 3 brothers have broken my left collarbone."
Director of Development
The July Tina was born, her parents worked at RVR, living in a parked trailer. They are still recovering. She spent virtually every summer at RVR from grade school through college. She met her husband, Alan, in music school, and began working again at RVR in 2005 after the birth of their daughter, Evelyn. In 2006 Amelia was born. Tina longs to see people encouraged, comforted, and empowered by the love and kindness of Jesus.
FUN FACT: She played ukulele long before it was cool.
Director of Donations
When Melanie described herself as “passionate about organization” we knew good things were about to happen… and that her sock drawer was probably arranged by color and alphabetically. This database queen is from Reisterstown, MD where she lives with Will, Joey, and Lacey – who also happen to be her husband and kids. When not at work Melanie enjoys time with her family and gardening.
FUN FACT: She loves and needs all of the labels in her pantry to face the same way.
Stephani came to RVR in 2014 after a career in Community Relations with the Baltimore Orioles. She brings vast experience to RVR and has coordinated many events that have helped sustain the ministry of RVR. She loves her husband, Scott, her kids and Golden Retrievers… in that order. She and her family reside in Hunt Valley, MD.
FUN FACT: Toughest thing I’ve ever done? – Outward Bound Experience
Web & Media Coordinator
Young is the maestro behind the scenes. He directs and designs almost every print and digital media piece that portrays RVR to the public. After studying Graphic Design at Liberty University, Young joined the RVR family in 2009. Young is also a singer/songwriter and has released 3 albums to date. He and his wife, Juliann, met at RVR.
FUN FACT: Just a look from Young can make you wiser.
For over 50 years Mr. Miller has served the Lord at RVR. He has worked in many roles - hiring staff, designing brochures, and mowing grass, just to name a few. He also managed Trustworthy Bookstore, one of RVR’s sister ministries, for 36 years. He and his wife, Eleanor, who also served at RVR, continue to support the ministry in any way they can. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.
FUN FACT: Mr. Miller served as a hospital police during WWII.