The year-round staff at TVRC is a dedicated group of individuals, who on a daily basis devote themselves to providing a fun-filled summer for everyone who takes part in the TVRC experience. Their areas of expertise and talents differ, but their dedication to the education of children is constant.
Born and raised in Jackson Hole, Jim has had the outdoors and camping in his blood from a young age. Jim attended TVRC as a yearling at the Kelly campus in the early 90s. He has worked at other camps in Idaho, Wyoming, Algonquin Park Canada, and North Carolina as a lifeguard, cabin counselor, fishing instructor, and program director. Jim graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management and a focus on Nature-Based Tourism. Jim brings enthusiasm and love for the camp that is evident through his leadership and vision for the future.
Jim has also worked as a fishing guide, snowmobile guide, and outfitter all in the Jackson Hole area. He spearheaded the start of a nonprofit outdoor program in Boulder, Wyoming. Most recently Jim comes to us from the Teton County Sheriff’s Office in Jackson, where he was the supervisor for the 911 emergency call center; while at the Sheriff ’s Office, Jim received a Lifesaving Commendation for saving the life of an individual. Jim enjoys sharing ideas and networking with other camp professionals through participation in the American Camp Association (ACA), Western Association of Independent Camps (WAIC) and Wilderness Risk Management Programs.
Jim met his wife Cora at a summer camp near Asheville, North Carolina where they were both parts of the management team. Jim and Cora have three high spirited children; Elsie, George, and Jamie. Their Shetland Sheepdog named Huck rounds out the mix. Jim and his family enjoy all things outdoors, and when camp isn’t in season, they can be found hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, and sledding!
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Cora grew up in the small North Carolina town of Shelby in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains… famous for its BBQ and Bluegrass. Summer camp was a huge part of her younger life. She attended Camp Greystone, in Tuxedo, NC, as a camper. She then worked 6 summers at Greystone serving as staff in the kitchen and as a counselor. While attending UNC Chapel Hill, she was hired for the summers as the Kitchen Program Director at Camp Arrowhead, a camp down the road from Camp Greystone. She worked in that position for three summers. While at Camp Arrowhead, she met her best friend, Jim Ligori. Their friendship turned romantic and they were married in 2007. Following their wedding, the couple moved to Jim’s hometown of Jackson, WY.
Cora knew she would love living in Jackson. As a senior at UNC Chapel Hill Dental school, studying to be a dental hygienist, she spent a month working on the Wind River Reservation near Lander, Wyoming. This was her first trip to Wyoming and to Jackson. Since moving to Jackson in 2007, she truly feels this valley is home. Cora loves to ski, but in recent years she loves cross country skiing the best. Her favorite thing to do is spend time outside, doing almost anything, with her young family. She and Jim have three children, Elsie, George and Jamie.
Before joining the TVRC leadership team, she worked as a Registered Dental Hygienist at Larsen Family Dentistry in Jackson for 13 years. Her office was voted best dentist in the Best of Jackson Hole for the last 12 years consecutively. Although she loved her coworkers and patients at Larsen Family, working alongside Jim in a camp setting once again is a dream come true. “Jim and I always hoped we would once again work at camp together. We love the daily adventure it brings and believe there is no better place to raise our kids.”
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Whitney was born and raised in West Michigan and has always had a strong tie to Jackson Hole. She started visiting her grandparents in the valley as an young child and her fascination with the valley and her family’s history here was born. Her grandfather, Jack Cornelius, worked for Weenie Wilson in the early to mid 1940’s wrangling under Jack Davis, among other roles.
Whitney was a Rough Rider in 2000 and went through her Trailblazer year in 2003. While attending Northern Michigan University she majored in Communications and Public Relations and minored in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. During this time she came back to the ranch as a summer staff member from ’07 to ’09.
After graduating from Northern in 2010 Whitney worked in multiple capacities as a marketing specialist. Her professional experience started out in freelance and moved to boutique marketing and advertising agencies as a project manager for a variety of clients; including non-profit, health care and furniture. After several years on the agency side Whitney transitioned to the corporate world working in the grocery and consumer packaged goods industry as a Marketing Manager.
Whitney returned to TVRC in 2018 as the Director of Development and Marketing and is excited to continue to use her skills in marketing and development to support the organization. She loves seeing how generation after generation TVRC welcomes in children to the wilds of Wyoming for experiences that will not only change them but leave a lasting positive mark in their hearts and souls.
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Natalie is originally from Ashland, OR and grew up with nature right in her backyard. She first came to TVRC in 2016 as a Counselor and Photographer and returned in 2017 as a Counselor and Trip Leader. Natalie attended University of Denver, with a degree in International Studies, Leadership and Sustainability, and upon graduation she pursued a career in Outdoor Education. She believes that the human relationship and connection to nature is essential, and it can be the source of renewal for many people. Natalie spent a semester completing the California Outward Bound Instructor Course and has since worked for organizations and companies like SOS Outreach, Outward Bound, Naturalists at Large and Rustic Pathways.
Natalie returned to TVRC in 2018 as the Program Director and she is grateful and excited to have the opportunity to share her love of the outdoors, as well as learn from campers about their passions. TVRC changed the course of her life and career and returning to Camp full time felt like the perfect next chapter of her journey. She finds that working for TVRC is such an amazing opportunity to make a significant impact on lives and future leaders.
Natalie spends her free time backpacking, swimming and taking photos! She loves to explore the Wyoming backcountry and be outside as much as she can.
Matthew was born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and first experienced the wonders of Wyoming on a NOLS course in the Absaroka Wilderness. He moved west and studied at the University of Montana where he earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology.
Matthew worked as a ranger-naturalist in Grand Teton National Park, spent a year as a graduate student at the Teton Science Schools, and then earned an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Wyoming where he investigated coyote habitat use patterns in Jackson Hole, WY. He also spent a summer working with the Murie Science and Learning Center in Alaska studying wolves in Denali National Park. Upon returning to Wyoming, he earned an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Montana State University, where he studied culturally relevant, project based learning, while teaching high school science to Northern Arapaho students on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Matthew most recently worked as an outdoor educator with K-12 students and adult learners during his time at Teton Science Schools. He also teaches wilderness medicine courses for NOLS.
Matthew is a wild lands enthusiast, mountain biker, climber and backcountry skier, and loves discovering new places to explore with family and friends. When he is not working at TVRC you will find him exploring in the mountains, reading, playing guitar, cooking or riding his motorcycle. Along with his wonderful wife, Lisa and adventurous son, Dylan he enjoys his quality of life in Jackson, where he is inspired daily by this beautiful place and the community.