A Whistle That Touches My Heart: Tony Warnock

July 12, 2017

Name: Tony Warnock

Home: Sedalia, CO

Job: Cowboy, CEO of Lost Valley Ranch

Tony’s Whistle: Hiring philosophy

How I Know Tony: Beginning in 2012, my wife, children, and I have vacationed annually at Lost Valley Ranch, which is nestled in Colorado’s Pike National Forest.

Whistle in Action: Tony is a real live cowboy, and he’s good at it. He rides horses with skill and grace, hunts deer and elk food, knows the rhythms of the flora and fauna of his mountainous home, and, yes, has a collection of awesome hats, boots, and belt buckles. But Tony’s whistle that has touched my life the most is his hiring philosophy. Employees at Lost Valley are hired based on character, and then trained to do specific jobs. It’s a deceptively simple approach that has yielded tremendous results. In the five years we’ve gone to Lost Valley, all the staff we have encountered (hundreds over the years) have been engaging, polite, warm, professional, and great at their jobs. Emphasizing character over skill yields staff who go above and beyond, who do the right thing, and who are tough, creative, and industrious. Tony and his team can teach people to cook, clean, fix, maintain, and wrangle, but they can’t can’t them honor and integrity, or why hard work, excellence, and service matter. It was the mountains and horses that first attracted us to Lost Valley, but it’s the remarkable staff that brings us back every year. For that, we have Tony Warnock to thank.