Owner, Director of Operationswilliam(a)scmountainretreats.com
At the turn of the millennia I was blessed to become the husband of Karen. In 2006 our son Lucas was born and his sister made her debut in 2010. These three souls are my greatest joys in life and I owe the most sacred responsibility of love and fidelity to them. I attempt to live out this duty to them by... read more
…working hard to become a better person each day, through the grace of God.
On a lighter note, I love to ski, hike and bike, which is most convenient since our business is ground zero for the world’s best skiing, hiking and biking. In high school, I achieved the rank of second degree black belt in martial arts. My sensei, Stan Singleton, was and is one of the greatest role models I have personally known. His tenacity for excellence and dedication to others is a seed that he planted in me long ago. During college, I worked hard, studied hard, and traveled as much as I could. Prior to marriage, Karen and I spent two summers traveling Europe and immersed ourselves in its richness. During our first trip in 1998, I used up about 50% of my lifetime allotments of romantic inspiration and proposed to Karen on a gondola in Venice Italy. It seems to be impossible for someone to say no under such circumstances. So here I am many years later still reaping the benefits of that inspiration.
My work experience has varied from alligator and chicken whisperer on our family farm in Louisiana, to martial arts instructor, to owner of a laser tag facility and as a “grownup” owning and operated a small real estate brokerage in a little hamlet called Houston, Texas. I matriculated at the University of Houston and majored in psychology and philosophy. Unlike most of my cohorts I truly loved school and enjoyed the learning environment of my college experience.
Once my interest in philosophy and psychology were ignited in college, I have maintained those interests. I most admire the philosophers of the past who emphasized a general or global understanding of the world. These people include Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Da Vinci and Galileo. Ultimately, I believe that all philosophy is an attempt to identify and understand the difference between the “real” and the “shadows”. The “real” that I have found is the person of Jesus as fully revealed through the Catholic Church. I aspire (though I often fall short) to live a consistent and moral life based on the Traditions handed down for the past two thousand years. For me, this means expecting very high standards for myself and others but understanding when those standards aren’t met.
In 2008, Karen and I wanted to tackle our biggest challenge yet. We sold our house, put aside our professional lives that we had built up to that point and moved to Colorado to start Summit County Mountain Retreats. As time passed and the business began to take solid form, I realized that I was given an opportunity to integrate morals, ethics, and philosophy and to interact with diverse folks from around the world, all within the context of our business. Summit County Mountain Retreats is more than just a business to us. It is an extension of who we want to be and how we believe God wants us to be impactful in the world. We wish to serve our clients, our guests, and our staff, through humility, integrity and stewardship.
Someone told me that a bio is suppose to be real short, not too personal and all things positive. Well sometimes I am not the best listener. So here is just a little more. Though all the things above are true, there were some hard times. A few years into Summit County Mountain Retreats, we were near the breaking point. My spirits were down. We were far away from home. Karen and I were trying to run a growing business with a five-year-old and an infant in the background 24/7. We were not thriving. In fact, the amazing thing we call parenthood was passing us by as we tried to juggle everything.
In 2011 we decided to move back to Houston and try to make SCMR work from eleven hundred miles away. The plan was to steer the ship via phone, email, regular visits and good systems. At the time we had all these things in place, except the “good systems”.
It was a bumpy year or so while we learned how not to be the universal fixers of every problem on the ground. Instead we were forced to refine our systems and create new ones that enabled our decisions and instructions to be executed by others on the ground. In hindsight, the decision to move back to Houston was one of the best decisions of our lives which was powered by God’s grace. It allowed Summit County Mountain Retreats to flourish into a strong business and it allowed us to recapture the things we lost by being so far from home for several years.
Finally, I feel compelled to tell you one other important piece to this story. In 2012, Karen found a tiny lump in her breast. The doctors all said it was benign, but it should be taken out just to avoid future issues. I am sure you can guess where this is going. It was not benign, but it was a huge blessing that Karen took the doctors advice and had the tumor removed. They caught the very earliest stages of breast cancer. After a small procedures and three months of radiation treatment, she has been cancer free since 2012.
Why did I need to tell you this? It was around this time that all the philosophy and Jesus stuff I mentioned earlier became real. It is when we had to decide if the words we said were what we really believed or just for show. Though I cannot claim perfect adherence to all philosophical and Christian principles that I believe in, I do assert that we try to be the people that God wants us to be and to use Summit County Mountain Retreats as a vehicle for His purposes. This is who and what you get if you honor us with your business.
Owner, Director of Operationskarenfuller(a)scmountainretreats.com
…to spend time with my family. Children grow up so fast, and after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, I have a newfound appreciation for God, family and friends, all of whom helped me through that very difficult time.
I hold a Masters Degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Houston, and I have served as a speech pathologist in various settings over the years. All of my previous work, and my entrepreneurial spirit, have served me well in the creation of SCMR. I am so proud of the thriving business we have built together. I sincerely believe that we are an asset to the Keystone community, and I hope prospective clients and guests give us the opportunity to prove just that.
When we started SCMR, we had a small staff working from our home office, and now we have grown to a core staff of 10-12 employees and numerous seasonal employees that work out of our office in Keystone. Our staff is like our second family to us, and we’re very appreciative of all their hard work.
I am originally from the Hawkeye State. No, I was not a farm girl, but there were a lot of farms around and I think a bit of the “get it done” mentality of farming rubbed off on me. I love challenges and have had life experiences that allow me to be as comfortable sitting at a desk as I am working under a sink. My degree is in... read more
…Business and Accounting, and I have used this education throughout my life. I spent many years as a restaurant proprietor in Summit County. I was also the on-staff accountant and administrative manager at a large ski shop for 10 years. After these experiences, I began my own bookkeeping company.
In 2008, I crossed paths with the owners of Summit County Mountain Retreats (SCMR), William and Karen. I provided bookkeeping services for their fledgling company and from time to time would help out in other areas of their business as well. As the years progressed, SCMR grew, and my involvement did, too.
In 2011, I took on some small managerial duties at SCMR and found that I really enjoyed the excitement of the unknown that comes with this business. In 2012, I was presented with an opportunity to take on a full-time role at SCMR. I accepted the position, and today SCMR is like my second family.
There really is never a dull moment at SCMR. I coordinate and delegate projects, and oversee the maintenance, housekeeping and office staff. I also look forward to resolving issues concerning clients and guests.My goal is to provide everyone with a positive experience. As the commander on the ground, I pretty much have my hands in everything.
I am dedicated to what I do and will stick around to make sure a job is done right. I have had to work for everything I have, and this has taught me to be independent and resourceful as well as created within me a strong work ethic. I do not ask anyone to do something that I would not do myself.
When I am not working, I like to snuggle with my 110-pound lapdog Buddy and Snickers, my kitty. Camping, four wheeling, and the outdoors in general are also activities I enjoy. Oh, and you will probably catch me at the Dillon Bowling Alley about once a week knocking down pins.
I have two children, Lauren and Brian. They are both adults now, and I am grateful to see them live out their lives knowing I did my best to help them be successful.
Assistant General Managermatt(a)scmountainretreats.com
…with a job in mind, a car to drive, and a little bit of money to find a new life in this beautiful state that I now call home. My background for as long as I can remember has been in customer service, and I really enjoy interacting and learning everyday from people. The property management business is something that is new to me, but like everything else in my life, I find a way to utilize my talents in a way that are beneficial both to the company and to myself.
When I’m not helping guests at Summit County Mountain Retreats I enjoy playing sports. I have played sports my entire life, from a little boy to this very day. Although the sports that I enjoy have changed depending on the year and season, my attitude toward them is the same: I want to be the best that I can possibly be in every aspect. This translates directly to my working life, benefitting both guests and my employer alike.
I have started a life here in Summit County, and for as long as I can see into the future, it will be where I reside. May The Force Be With You.
… I could sit on my couch editing pictures for hours, and sometimes I do just that! When I’m not capturing photos, my other passion creeps in: writing. I’ve been writing since I was 12, received my BA in Creative Writing and even have some articles that were published in the Summit Daily as well as their Home magazine.
I was a server for five years and have been working in hospitality for three years before I started working at Summit County Mountain Retreats. During my interview, I was asked, “What is it about hospitality that you like?”. I didn’t even realize how much work experience in hospitality I had until she brought it up. I told her that I’m good with people and I am. Did I not mention I received my minor in Psychology? I’m always wondering and learning what makes people tick.
I’m a big coffee drinker, I play co-ed soccer every summer in Summit and I’m a little bit of a gym rat. In my free time I’m usually doing a number of different things: pursuing my photography business, going to the gym, binge-watching Netflix, hanging out the clubhouse near my apartment, cooking with my love, or just lying in the sun.
…our clients and guests.
My husband and I were married in 2005, and we currently live outside of Houston with our two dogs we adore, Luke and Leia. My husband works as a freelance writer, and most of what can be seen online is about boxing. His work is on Bleacher Report, The Sweet Science and Boxing Channel as well as other outlets. In the past this work allowed us to pursue our interests while still being able to spend time together as we covered boxing events across Texas where I served as his photographer and videographer.
I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with a BBA in Business Management and found myself in an economy that was experiencing a recession. Throughout the years I worked as a server, retail manager and finally a teacher. For six years I taught kindergarten in the public school system and I cherish that time. 2011 brought changes that ended my chapter in the public school system, but opened up my life to new opportunities.
When we moved near Houston in 2006, we started attending First Baptist Church in Richmond. This is where we began what would become a close friendship with William and Karen, the owners of SCMR. Since that time, both of our families became Catholic, albeit via different paths. Our families are very close, and we know each other very well. So when SCMR had a need for a marketing person, and I was looking for work after taking a break from the workforce for a few years, William and Karen thought of me. Unlike when you hire someone you’ve never met through the traditional interview process, William and Karen already had a good idea of what I would bring to the table: a great work ethic, attention to detail, a strong desire to do well, and the ability to pick up new things quickly. I’m so thankful they took a chance on me, and am very happy to be a part of Summit County Mountain Retreats.
Staff Behind the Scenes
Without our employees who work behind the scenes, Summit County Mountain Retreats wouldn’t be the great company it is today. From our staff accountant to housekeepers to our seasonal employees, these are the folks who get the work done on a daily basis. They go largely unseen by guests and clients but they are not unappreciated. ... read more
Our maintenance staff is a very important part of operations. Not only do they attend to issues during the day like appliance repair, heating malfunctions and audio-visual failures, but they’re also on-call overnight serving any guests with emergency issues. Guests and Homeowners alike benefit from the hard work of our maintenance staff, and we’re very appreciative of our team.
We would like to especially express our appreciation for our housekeeping staff. We employ a full-time, in-house staff that includes eight to ten housekeepers, and during the high season this number can grow to as many as twenty. All housekeeping staff are paid a living wage and are eligible for benefits. These people get the hard work done so that guests and clients can truly relax and enjoy their accommodations.
Although managing various aspects of the vacation rental business in-house can be stressful, the benefits of maintaining quality standards is priceless. Over the years we’ve learned that the best way to provide guests and clients with consistent quality is to directly operate and manage the areas that some of our competitors contract out. In the Fall of 2015 we were able to move laundry in-house, allowing us full control over the quality and cleanliness of linens. Being able to confidently provide guests and clients with quality linens is something we’re very proud of, and we hope to continue being a leader in this field.
One of the most important parts of any business is the accounting. We understand how important it is to compensate our employees fairly while giving Uncle Sam his cut as well. Our staff accountant, Kim Cordova-Figallo, works hard behind the scenes to keep our books in order and our employees paid on time and correctly. None of us want to deal with the IRS, so we’re very appreciative of Kim.
One could say that a property management company is only as good as its photos. Photos of each property is an absolute necessity when advertising rental availability. Guests need to be able to see what they’re renting so they can make informed decisions regarding how they spend their hard-earned money on vacations. We’re very appreciative of our office staff that handles photography needs quickly so we can get a new property up and running, or replace photos when a homeowner renovates their property. We would also like to extend a thank you to Kiersten Underhill who photographed nearly all of our properties one summer, and then provided us with the edited photos.
And, finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to Omer Davidian Photography. Omer provides us with high-quality, professional photos on an as-needed basis. Our relationship began in the summer of 2015, and from the start he was an absolute pleasure to work with. He understands the nature of the vacation rental business and his flexibility is definitely one of his many strong points.
In the 21st century a functional, user-friendly website is an absolute necessity. Working closely with GuestStream, a digital marketing company focused on vacation rentals, we are able to keep our website up-to-date, while at the same time maintaining a seamless connection with our vacation rental software on the backend.