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Meet Our Staff

Deke Rider, Site Director

Full time staff since 1999, serving first as Outpost Coordinator; then became Program Coordinator, Interim Site Director, and named Site Director in November of 2007. Married to Su Rider (Equestrian Coordinator), with one child, Lia. Hometown: Farmington, Iowa

Joanne Appenzeller, Office Manager

Full time staff since 1995, performing bookkeeping, keeping track of the staff, and providing hospitality services. Married to Eldon Appenzeller, with four adult children: Lora, Traci, Jennifer, and Brian. Grandmother to 10 grandchildren. Hometown: Indianola, Iowa.

Jess Moore, Retreat Coordinator

Jess joined us in 2011 as a part-time staff person working with the Equestrian Center and in 2012 moved into the role of Program Assistant. We are excited for her to move into the Retreat Coordinator position and for her to meet all of our group leaders and guests. Jess is married to Matt and has one daughter Karrigan. Jess grew up in Burlington, Ia and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in family services.

Suzanne Rider, Equestrian Coordinator

Full time staff since 2003. Manages horse herd and wrangling staff, leads trail rides, teaches lessons/HHP, and does baking for camp. Married to Deke Rider, mother to Lia. Hometown: Oskaloosa, IA

John Miller, Maintenance

Full time staff going on 25+ years. He served in program positions before taking over as Buildings & Ground Manager. Originally from Northeast Missouri, married a local girl from Indianola (Lora Appenzeller). Currently blessed with four children: Andreas, Anna, Angelika and Anson.

Marni McMillian, House Keeper

Staff since 2005. Provides clean and beautiful facilities for retreat guests. She has two children, Kiersten and Sarah. Hometown: California

Jessica Barber, Food Service Coordinator

A graduate of the Iowa Culinary Institute with a degree in Culinary Arts.  Jessica was raised in Indianola.  She is married to Adam Barber and they are blessed with two children: Abigail and Aiden. 

Bill Tomlinson, Full Time Volunteer

He has been serving as a full time volunteer since 1991 and specializes in handyman and woodworking tasks. Married to Eileen and is a retired UMC Pastor. Resides in Indianola.


Program Assistant

Live on grounds and concentrate on the summer camp program and the Wesley Woods internet presence.