Staff and Board


Carla Ahrenholtz, Education Manager –
CarlaCarla is the museum’s Education Manager. A self-described science-nerd and history buff, Carla has worked in informal/museum education since graduating from Colorado State University in 2002. Carla is passionate about life-long learning and teaching and is thrilled to be a part of the Colorado Railroad Museum. She is currently busy building brand-new education programs for museum visitors of all ages from school groups to adults. When not at the museum, Carla can be found spending time with her friends and family, including her son Jamison and husband Jay. A Colorado native, Carla loves playing in the mountains, traveling, biking, gardening, wildlife and reading.

Jeff Ambrose, Restoration Manager –
Jeff is a retired architect who became a Roundhouse volunteer in 2011 while looking for an opportunity to give back to the community that would allow him to make use of his lifelong passion for woodworking. He had a significant role in the restoration of the D&RGW Kitchen Car No. 04425, the C&S Refrigerated Car No. 1113, and has been the volunteer lead on the restoration of the Uintah Combine 50. In 2014 he accepted the position of Restoration Manager when Mike Horner retired. Jeff’s Roundhouse time is mostly spent working with a terrific crew of volunteers restoring wooden rolling stock. Away from the museum he always has a number of other projects underway. The Ambrose family, including their two daughters, hand built an off-grid cabin in the Arkansas Valley and he recently completed building a wooden gaff-rigged sailboat. Jeff is beginning his second wood kayak while finishing up a teardrop style trailer for his granddaughter (and her parents!) family. He always has a sailing trip and travel on his vacation horizon.

Rick Bernstein, Event & Volunteer Coordinator –
Rick grew up in Lakewood and has strong roots in Jefferson County. He has been a fan of The Colorado Railroad Museum for many years, remembering back before it’s Tier II status with SCFD, Rick has watched the growth of this organization as it has evolved into a national attraction. Rick has an extensive background in non-profit management, volunteer coordination, and event management. He is the founder of Miners Alley Playhouse located in downtown Golden. Formerly known as The Morrison Theatre Company Rick started this company in 1989. Over the past 25 years he has produced and/or directed over 175 theatrical productions. “I am thrilled to be joining the team at Colorado Railroad Museum. I look forward to meeting everyone as we take this new adventure together.”

Andrea Bestor, Guest Services Manager & Buyer –
02 AndreaAndrea has railroading in her blood! Her father was a gandy-dancer, and her grandma and great-grandads all worked for the New York Central lines. Andrea has lived in Golden for the past 20 years, and has enjoyed watching it grow. She has worked in retail for over 10 years, and is excited to keep the Gift Shop at the Colorado Railroad Museum stocked with interesting and fun “finds!”


Jack Campbell, Chief Mechanical Officer –
Jack manages all of the Roundhouse functions at the Colorado Railroad Museum, which includes, which includes railcar restoration and operations.  Prior to that, Jack served as Chief Mechanical Officer of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, where he was responsible for all aspects of restoration and maintenance of the 64 mile antique tourist railroad, including 6 operational vintage steam locomotives and many freight and passenger railroad cars. He was hired as a Shop Foreman and Machinist for the railroad in 1990 and became CMO by early 1996. Over this 8 year period the railroad ridership grew 60 to 70 percent, with a lower down time, or inability maintain advertised scheduling than any other time in its history. This success was from maintaining 6 steam locomotives for operation and making 4 or 5 of them available for daily use during operation seasons. The C&TS in-house shop forces generally achieved a boiler and or running gear rebuild per year along with maintaining and creating the passenger car fleet, and also maintained an operational steam powered rotary snow plow and used it to clear the snow and ice in spring time 4 different years in the 1990’s. When not at the Museum, Jack is a computer programmer and also runs his own business dealing with industrial automation.

Renee Fitzgerald, Customer Service Specialist –
Renee is a mother of three children and she has  lived in the Westminster/Arvada/Denver area her entire life. When she manages to find some rare personal time, she is usually out jogging or biking around the neighborhood. Renee’s previous work experiences have included childcare, office/secretarial duties, customer service, and computer data entry. “I am excited to be learning all about Colorado’s railroad history, all the new aspects regarding this job, and I’m having a great time getting to know my co-workers. I have a special interest in trains because my father worked for the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1970’s – 80s’. I remember all the lively and fun stories that he used to tell.”

Beth Glandt, Customer Service Specialist –
Beth joined the Museum staff in August 2014 and is responsible for a wide range of tasks & projects including donation requests, memberships and more. Beth has a BS in Business Administration and more than 20 years experience in education, field athletics and as a corporate travel agent. In her free time Beth enjoys photography, travel and spending time with friends & family! “I am excited to learn more about Colorado railroading history and to meet new people.”

Matthew C. Isaacks, Multimedia Coordinator –
Matt studied Multimedia Communications at WarrenTech and has been employed at the Colorado Railroad Museum since 2002 holding several posistions. He spends much of his time working on the Museum’s online web store, producing the annual Catalog of Gifts, organizing the annual Auction of Used, Out-of-Print and Hard-to-Find Books, updating the OnCell Audio Tour and developing Museum displays. In his free time he enjoys reading, gaming, fantasy football and golfing with his son.



Steve Lee, Guest Services Specialist –
steve-website-as-hiram-resizedSteve Lee came to the Colorado Railroad Museum after teaching sixth grade for thirty-two years. He’s pretty much recovered from that. Nowadays, he wears several hats at CRRM–guest services, educational programming/presentations, and shipping clerk. (He’s especially proud of his shipping clerk moniker, “The Armadillo.”)
Pictured, Steve as “Hiram Wheeler,” a brakeman on the Rio Grande Southern. He also portrays Otto Mears, the Pathfinder of the San Juans, and the builder of the RGS. His living history presentations have garnered rave reviews across the state!


Bonnie Prater, Business Manager & Controller –
03 bonnieBonnie began her career with the museum as a volunteer in 2006 for a “Day Out With Thomas”, Halloween Train and Christmas Train. She then started as a Part-Time Guest Services Employee until the Business Manager retired and Donald asked if she would consider taking the position.  She agreed and has been in this position since 2007.  When she is not at the museum, Bonnie likes playing with her 4 parrots, fishing, playing on-line games, and target shooting.

Andrew Ridder, Guest Services Specialist & Grounds –
02 andrewAndrew works in the gift shop as guest services and also manages the museum grounds.  When not working, Andrew likes soccer and skateboarding.



Mike Spera, Master Mechanic & Grants Manager –
mike-s-for-website-resized1Mike is in charge of the Museum’s steam & diesel locomotives, as well as managing funding initiatives and nominations to the State and National Historic Registers for equipment. He started volunteering at the Colorado Railroad Museum at age 8, and was mentored by a Master Mechanic of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He has also worked at many tourist railroads in Colorado. Most days, you’ll find Mike elbow-deep in grease and oil out in the Roundhouse, or working in his office in the Library. When Mike is not at the museum he is working at his own shop in Denver, restoring steam locomotive appliances.

Donald Tallman, Executive Director –
Donald-coors-field-cropped-resizedDonald is in his sixth year as the Executive Director at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Active in the community, Donald currently serves on the Boards of the Lariat Loop and Golden Visitor Center and is a member of the City of Lakewood Budget and Audit Committee. As a professional singer, he performs throughout the Denver area, and regularly performs the National Anthem at civic and professional sporting events. Donald is a member of the Colorado Mountain Club, and enjoys mountain-climbing and cooking. He and several of his favorite recipes are featured in the recently published cookbook “Denver Men in the Kitchen.”



Board of Trustees Emeritus
Charles Albi
Dave Bender
Thomas Daniels
Mike Danneman
Richard Farewell
Kenton H. Forrest
Martin Frick
Ronald C. Hill
William C. Jones
Ray Kenley

Lindsey Ashby
Jim Barton
Al Blount
Michael Davis
Larry Dorsey
Walter Downing
Bill Henderson
Roy Johnson
Sharon McGee
Steve Parker
William Robie
Dave Ropchan

Advisory Board
John Bush
Jack Campbell
Cornelius Hauck
Randy Lee
Richard Luckin
Linn Moedinger
Alan Olson
Mike Porter
Michael Ramsey
Henry Reynaud
Dave Schaaf