Episode 240 – A Heartfelt Journey into Horse Rescue with Maury “Jonesy” Jones

By Michael Moeri | 05/04/2023 |

Maury “Jonesy” Jones is the dedicated founder and operator of Jackson Hole Horse Rescue, a nonprofit sanctuary for older horses in need. With a deep passion for horses and a heart for their well-being, Jonesy shares the inspiring story of how he started the rescue and the challenges and joys that come with running it.

From braving harsh winters to making tough decisions about end-of-life care, Jonesy gives us a candid look at what it takes to keep a horse rescue going, and how the support of committed volunteers has made all the difference. We also explore the importance of proper horse care, and how initiatives like Old Bill’s Fun Run have helped the organization become financially self-sufficient.

But what really sets this episode apart are the unforgettable stories of the horses themselves. Jonesy takes us on a journey of discovery, introducing us to some of the amazing equines under his care and sharing the unique paths they have taken to find love and purpose. And as the episode draws to a close, we delve into the sensitive but necessary topic of horse euthanasia, and the empathy and respect Jonesy brings to this difficult decision.

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Episode 239 – Singing, Storytelling, and Wyoming Roots with Jill King

By Michael Moeri | 04/26/2023 |

Jill King is a singer, business owner, marketing maven, and rancher with deep ties to Wyoming. Jill originally moved to Wyoming to fulfill her dream of becoming a singer, forming her own band, and eventually cutting an album in the heart of country music. Today, Jill is the owner of a local franchise in the publication industry and runs a cattle ranch with her husband near Lander, Wyoming.

In this episode we delve into Jill’s background, her family’s history in Wyoming, and her journey from working in marketing in New York City to pursuing her passion for singing in Jackson Hole. Jill shares her experience of leading a cowgirl band and the challenges of balancing her music career with her desire to be a mother. She also discusses her passion for marketing and her commitment to supporting her clients through her work with The Scout Guide, a national publication that she bought the franchise for in both Jackson Hole and Bozeman.

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Episode 238 – From Cowboy to Chocolatier: Crafting Single-Origin Chocolate in Wyoming with Tim Kellogg

By Michael Moeri | 04/19/2023 |

Tim Kellogg is a former rodeo competitor and wrangler turned chocolatier, living in the beautiful community of Meeteetse, Wyoming. 

In this episode, Tim shares the journey from growing up in his grandmother’s kitchen to handcrafting gourmet chocolate at his business, Meeteetse Chocolatier. Originally created as a side hustle to earn money for a new saddle, Tim now makes high-quality chocolates without additives, preservatives, or stabilizers as a full-time business. 
Tim talks about sourcing beans directly from Belize, where he visits farms and meets the families, ensuring they receive a fair share of the profits. This direct support of farmers not only provides them with a better income but also guarantees that the chocolates produced at Meeteetse Chocolatier are of the highest quality.  Stephan and Tim then discuss the terroir of cacao, and its similarity to wine and how it affects the taste of the chocolate and why he chooses not to blend beans from different countries. 

The world of single-origin chocolate may be lesser-known, but thanks to dedicated individuals like Tim, more people can experience the unique and complex flavors that each variety of cacao has to offer. 

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Episode 237 – Women-Led Wildlife Conservation: Exploring “Her Wild Life” with Jocelyn Stokes

By Michael Moeri | 04/12/2023 |

Jocelyn Stokes is a passionate conservationist and filmmaker focused on documenting and sharing the importance of wildlife conservation and the success stories that inspire and educate people about protecting the natural world. Growing up in the Arizona desert, Stokes developed an early interest in wildlife and animal behavior. She has traveled around the world to document the impact of conservation efforts on various ecosystems, including Nepal’s success in tripling its tiger population in the past ten years and seeing a significant increase in their one-horned rhinoceros population since 2010.

Stephan and Jocelyn also discussed her upcoming documentary series, “Her Wild Life,” which focuses on women-led wildlife conservation solutions worldwide, showcasing the incredible stories of real-life legendary women working to protect endangered species and wild places. She talked about the importance of educating visitors about wildlife behavior and safety protocols, as well as finding a balance between human expansion and respecting our wild spaces.

Jocelyn Stokes’ work serves as an inspiring and educational reminder of the importance of protecting our natural world, and she hopes to inspire a new generation of conservationists dedicated to preserving our planet’s incredible biodiversity. To learn more about her work and upcoming documentary, you can follow her on Instagram at @wildandstoked or visit her website, jocelynstokes.com.

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Episode 236 – Embracing Life, Death, and Authenticity with Katherine Standefer

By Michael Moeri | 04/05/2023 |

Katherine Standefer is a nature lover, published author, speaker, trauma writing doula, and survivor with a captivating story to tell. Katherine is the author of Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life. Originally from suburban Chicago, Katherine always felt a strong connection to nature which eventually drew her away from the suburban landscape to Jackson Hole.

In this episode, Katherine shares her brush with death, having to leave Jackson and how it changed her writing focus. She talks about her heart journey and the origin of the components that make up her cardiac defibrillator. Alongside Stephan, she sheds light on the impact of the healthcare industry on mental wellbeing in America. They also explore the importance of discovering one’s true calling, the power of nature, and not settling for a life that lacks joy and fulfillment.

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Episode 235 – Preserving the Diamond Cross Legacy with Lauren Long

By Michael Moeri | 03/29/2023 |

Lauren Long is the Head of Events at Diamond Cross Ranch and is raising the 5th generation of stewards. Lauren shares her journey from New York to Jackson Hole, as well as the ranch’s origins, evolution and its serenity.

Discover the rich history of the Diamond Cross Ranch, which has been maintained by the same family for over a century. Stephan and Lauren explore the ranch’s past, present, and future, and the family’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and history while meeting changing needs. Lauren also dives into the unique experiences and events hosted at the ranch, such as weddings, photoshoots, and celebrations of life, and the hand-built log cabins that have been part of the ranch for 30 years.

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Episode 234 – Navigating the Tetons and Beyond with Morgan McGlashon

By Michael Moeri | 03/23/2023 |

Morgan McGlashon is an ex-ski racer turned freeride competition skier turned mountaineering and backcountry skier and now full-time guide. She is also the youngest documented female to ski the Grand Teton.

In this episode, Morgan shares her experiences growing up in Jackson Hole, competing as a professional freeskier, and becoming the youngest woman to ski the Grand Teton at just 19 years old.

Morgan discusses how her ski racing background has contributed to her body awareness, nutritional habits, and work ethic, and emphasizes the importance of taking care of one’s self helps in pursuing a passion. Stephan and Morgan also chat about the highlights and challenges of leading groups in both the winter and summer seasons, and the importance of educating young athletes about the backcountry.

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Episode 233 – Racing to the Top: The Jackson Hole Snow Devils Hill Climb  with Jeff Toolson

By Michael Moeri | 03/15/2023 |

Jeff Toolson was born and raised right here in Jackson Hole. He is the owner of Toolson Telephone and a board member of The Jackson Hole Snow Devils.

This week’s episode of The Jackson Hole Connection is all about the Jackson Hole Snow Devils and their impact on the community. Jeff Toolson, whose family has been part of the Snow Devils for decades, discusses the history of the Snow Devil’s, their fundraising efforts, and the 46th Annual World Championship Jackson Hole Snowmobile Hill Climb happening March 23 – 26. Get an inside look into the history of this extreme sport and learn about the challenges riders face during the ascent up Snow King Mountain.

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Episode 232 – Creating Gear for Every Body with Taylor-Ann Smith

By Michael Moeri | 03/09/2023 |

Taylor-Ann Smith is a graphic designer and the entrepreneur behind Ride Force. Taylor-Ann is originally from Montana, but has Wyoming roots. Taylor-Ann started Ride Force 3 years ago after she discovered that she couldn’t find any clothes that made her look and feel good on her mountain bike.

In this episode, Taylor-Ann shares her fascinating story about what led her to move to Jackson and her family’s deep roots in Wyoming. We learn about her grandfather Duane Wiltse, who pioneered the first KOA in Wyoming, and her other grandparents who owned a cabin in Colter Bay.

Stephan and Taylor-Ann engage in a compelling conversation about the birth of Ride Force, delving into how Taylor-Ann manages to balance her full-time job as a graphic designer while also running a successful business. The two explore the topic of overcoming obstacles and fears when embarking on new ventures, and Taylor-Ann openly shares the ups and downs of creating a clothing brand from scratch. Above all, she explains how she is striving to make a positive difference for anyone who wants to enjoy their favorite outdoor activities, no matter their body type.

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Episode 231 – Flying Our Furry Friends to Their Forever Home with Peter Rork

By Michael Moeri | 03/02/2023 |

Peter Rork is a retired orthopedic surgeon and co-founder and pilot for Dog is My CoPilot. In this episode, Peter shares his inspiring journey of finding purpose in his life after his wife passed away.

In 2012, he teamed up with Judy Zimet, a Scottsdale real estate attorney and animal lover, to start Dog Is My CoPilot. Over the past decade, Dog is My CoPilot has grown from flying 20-30 pets at a time to now rescuing 1,000 dogs and cats a month all across the country.

Peter and Stephan talk about the dedication of the volunteers at the animal shelters and the hard work and logistics that goes into transporting hundreds of animals at a time. In 2023, their volunteer pilot team has grown, and they now have ten pilots helping to fly their rescue missions.

Dog is My CoPilot works collaboratively with city shelters, local animal welfare organizations, and individuals to save the lives of pets abandoned in animal shelters. They reduce animal euthanasia in overcrowded shelters by ensuring that each pet has the chance to find a safe and loving home.

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