Over the past 30 years, Wayne Kirk has been operating horse ranches and related charities including Majestic Ranch that was located at Frankford and Marsh in the City of Dallas, the 22,000 acre QB Ranch in King County, the 700 acre ranch known as Frisco Horse Park, he is now operating Storybook Ranch and in addition, was most recently chosen to run the Texas Horse Park, a 300+ acre facility located off of Loop 12 in the Trinity Forest.
Ranching and raising horses has been in Mr. Kirk’s blood since he was a child. Wayne’s humble beginnings in Oak Cliff included the dream of horses early on. His mom, Mary Kirk, operated the only riding stables in the City of Dallas, Halbert Stables, located at Kiest Park and later relocated to Mountain Creek Lake, over 50 years ago. He owned his first horse at age 5 and by the time he was 18 years old owned 14 horses that he paid for by bailing and selling hay.
In 1992, at the request of Catholic Charities and in concert with the YMCA, Kirk developed a riding program that was conducted at the Pines Youth Camp in Gladewater, Texas. He went on to establish and develop River Ranch Educational Charities and has been the driving force behind it with his dream to maintain a horse park that conserves a piece of nature in an urban environment in order to provide a unique facility for the community and for use by underprivileged children and those with special needs.
In order to support his efforts, Kirk started and ran a commercial construction company for over 20 years in the city of Dallas and then went on to become a top-selling broker, a passionate and motivational speaker and savvy business man. He currently oversees operations at the historic QB Ranch in Guthrie Texas along with his position at the charity providing the community and youth with a place and the chance to learn about horses and nature.
Vanessa Merlos Fry Vice President of Operations Board Member at Hope Rising
Vanessa Fry is Vice President of Operations. Vanessa has volunteered her time with the charity since March 2007 helping oversee the scheduling, daily duties, organizing and structuring of events, and making sure the welfare of the animals is intact.
Vanessa also oversees all of the marketing and assists with special events and spreading the word about the gifts the charity has to offer. In her spare time, she sits on the board for Hope Rising, another non-profit organization working to raise awareness about sexual and domestic violence. With her strong belief and background in holistic healing and spiritual pursuits, she does her best to help guide the charity in it's compassionate endeavors. She speaks Spanish and English and honors her Spanish-Indian heritage. Her dedication to the cause continues to motivate and help team members, children and guests alike.
Tessa has been an integral part of the charity since it's inception. She's also been an avid horse lover since she could walk. Up until she graduated from Baylor with a degree in Education, she was the head camp counsellor for the charity's summer horse camps. After teaching for several years, she got married, started a family and came back on board with the charity as part of our staff on top of her role as Secretary-Treasurer. Tessa also holds a top brokers license and enjoys continually educating herself. Tessa has a great love for kids, horses, what the charity can offer and how she can help!
Wiley "Cam" George Customer Care, IT, Events Sponsorships & Sales Cam has become an important part of the River Ranch team since he came on board over a year ago. Besides Cam's passion and history with helping children with special needs as an equestrian side walker, he also brings to the table his years as a technical expert and consultant, project lead, onsite service technician, Aftermarket salesman, onsite trainer, energy management consultant, best practices consultant, budget management, project and budget strategist. Cam says that his experience has taught him that his professional value can be summarized as: -I'm a multi-linguist. He speaks fluent Technology-Driven business, Marketer, Manager, Salesperson, Trainer, and Difficult Client care. - Understanding good communication skills, listening and allowing customers to express their needs and ideas for total satisfaction leads to great success and happy patrons! - I don't care who gets the credit, I just want to win. - I have big ideas and I get them implemented. - I am the calm one. - I run towards fires. - I love making new professional acquaintances. Reach out to me if you want to talk about great sponsorship opportunities, corporate events, networking, technology, business, or classic cars.