Staff and Board
Carla Ahrenholtz, Education Manager - Carla@crrm.org
Carla 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 2-year-old son Jamison and husband Jay. A Colorado native, Carla loves playing in the mountains, traveling, biking, gardening, wildlife and reading.
Andrea Bestor, Store Coordinator & Buyer – Andrea@crrm.org
Andrea 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!”
Lauren Giebler, Curator/Volunteer Coordinator – Lauren@crrm.org
Growing up on a cold and windy sheep farm in southern Idaho, Lauren decided farming and ranching weren’t exactly for her and off to school she went. She graduated from Boise State University with a BA in history and a teaching certificate in secondary education, and then served two years in AmeriCorps as an environmental educator with the Fish & Wildlife Service. After winning a national award from the Department of Interior for her work, Lauren decided to pursue her MA in history at Colorado State University. She graduated in 2008 and shortly thereafter a brief contract job as a historian turned her attention towards historical interpretation and Colorado museums. Lauren joined the Railroad Museum in 2009 and has loved every minute of her work here.
Mike Horner, Restoration Manager & Shop Foreman – firstname.lastname@example.org
A former shop teacher in middle and high school and community colleges, Mike is the Museum’s Restoration Manager & Shop Foreman. As such, he is heavily involved in caring for the non-mechanical parts of the rolling stock–car bodies, etc. These days, you’ll find Mike directing the efforts of a large number of our volunteers, as they refinish and repaint a number of our cars so that they’re all shiny for the summer season! Mike is also a vocational model railroader, and has been interested in historic Colorado narrow gauge since around 1965, when he switched from modeling standard gauge to narrow gauge.
Paul Arnett, Guest Services
Paul Arnett is a new member to the Colorado Railroad Museum team, and he is very happy to be here! He has frequented the museum since he was a little kid. A railroad fan at heart, he has traveled the state riding the rails from Antonito to Leadville, and he will be happy to share everything he knows about railroads. He has volunteered with the DGRS since he was 7, and has been volunteering with the museum roundhouse crew since he was 12. He has won numerous awards for his documentaries and performances in the National History Day competition, two of which have been about railroads! He is studying at Denver School of the Arts in the stagecraft and design department, and plans on going to college at University of Colorado at Denver or Metro State University to study business, hoping one day to join the railroad big-leagues and open up his own short line railroad. He loves mountain biking, hiking, railroading, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, and of course having a gold old family barbeque at his uncle’s farm.
Jack Campbell, Chief Mechanical Officer – Jack@crrm.org
Jack manages the Roundhouse at the Colorado Railroad Museum, and is responsible for keeping all the rolling stock in repair. Recently he’s also been occupied with laying a lot of track, allowing us to move cars to new locations on the grounds. When not at the Museum, he also runs his own business dealing with industrial automation.
Sarah Hudson, Project Coordinator & Asst. Store Coordinator - Sarah.Hudson@crrm.org
Sarah serves on both sides of the museum. Sometimes you will see her in front helping guests and members, other times you will catch her in back working admin tasks. In her free time, Sarah likes crafts and video games.
Matt Isaacks, Multimedia Coordinator – email@example.com
Matt has worked at the Museum for more than a decade, including all of our Day Out with Thomas events! He also is heavily involved in the annual mail auction. When not at the Museum he spends much of his time with his railroad-modeling son, Matthew.
Steve Lee, Guest Services – Steve@crrm.org
Steve 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!
Kathy McCardwell, Archivist/Librarian – Kathy@crrm.org
Kathy grew up in Kentucky, and has an academic background in library science and cultural anthropology. She has worked in museums and archives for about 10 years, at institutions in Ohio, Indiana, Colorado, and Alaska. At the Colorado Railroad Museum, she is responsible for the running of the library, including cataloging, providing reference, and taking care of more mundane things, like malfunctioning copiers. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, cooking (especially vegan cupcakes!), playing classical violin, and gardening.
Bonnie Prater, Business Manager – Bonnie@crrm.org
Bonnie 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 Rep – Andrew@crrm.org
Andrew 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike is in charge of the Museum’s steam & diesel locomotives. 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. Stop by and introduce yourself!
Donald Tallman, Executive Director – Donald@crrm.org
Donald 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
Kenton H. Forrest
Ronald C. Hill
William C. Jones