Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks, The Story of Knapp Ranch book team

Betsy and Bud Knapp

Learn more about the Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks, The Story of Knapp Ranch book team.

Sarah Chase Shaw: Writer and Editor

Freelance writer and landscape architect Sarah Chase Shaw specializes in writing about design and lifestyle in the American West, including landscape architecture, architecture, community planning, environ- mental design, land use, gardens, people, families, and history. She has authored two books on residential gardens, including Garden Legacy: the Residential Gardens of Design Workshop, and New Gardens of the American West. A native of Flagstaff, Arizona, and now a resident of Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, Sarah spends her free time exploring the American West with her husband and son—on foot, in a boat, on a bike, or atop a horse.

Todd Winslow Pierce: Photography

Todd Winslow Pierce is a professional landscape photographer based in Vail, Colorado. His images have appeared in numerous national and regional publications, advertisements, select marketing campaigns, and fine art installations. His commercial and fine art assignments have taken him to locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean.

Todd is a lifelong resident of Vail, Colorado, where his father, Gordon, moved in 1962 as a member of the original resort develop- ment team. His deep connection to the land, especially to the mountains where he grew up, inspired the consistent focus on land- scape and conservation photography that serves as the centerpiece of his work today.

Lisa McGuire: Book Design

Lisa is a graphic designer specializing in exhibit design and book design. She began her career at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and spent seven years learning her craft while there. Since leaving the museum, she has worked independently designing and producing graphic programs for clients throughout the West.

Lisa’s strength is in storytelling. She enjoys working with teams to create strategies that encourage curiosity, enjoyment and exploration, whether by turning pages, or walking through a gallery.

Lisa lives with her husband and various critters in a renovated 1860s cabin at nine thousand feet in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Betsy Wood Knapp was an entrepreneur, angel investor, and philanthropist. She grew up in Evanston, Illinois and, prior to moving to Colorado full-time in 2013, she lived in Boston, New York City and Los Angeles.

Betsy’s early career began at MIT, which became the launching pad to her leadership in the computer industry. In the late 1960s, she became a founding member and then president of New York City- based Telmar Communications Corp., a company that pioneered online interactive computer access to consumer behavior databases, and decision support systems for the media and advertising industries. She was responsible for leading the creation of Telmar’s operating system and extensive library of interactive software.

After marrying Bud Knapp and moving to Los Angeles in 1979, Betsy became the senior vice president and director of Knapp Communications, the Los Angeles-based owner and publisher of Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, and other magazines and books by The Knapp Press, where she was responsible for the company’s transition to interactive computer technology and the creation of electronic media products.

In 1986, she founded Wood Knapp & Co. to produce and distribute quality special-interest home video programming, and Wood Knapp Direct, a direct marketer with an annual circulation of five million catalogues. After 1995, following her passion for new business creation, Betsy became actively involved in investing in new technology startups. Betsy was a founding member of the Committee of 200, a by-invi- tation association of women entrepreneurs and corporate executives and of the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council. She also was a member of Women Corporate Directors and the International Women’s Forum. She was trustee emerita of Wellesley College, where she co-chaired a $400 million comprehensive campaign.

In Los Angeles, Betsy’s involvement with UCLA led to her appoint- ment as the first woman to chair the UCLA Foundation, a $1 billion- plus fund which manages private donations for the benefit of the public university. She served on the Board of the UCLA Technology Development Group, which oversees university intellectual property, licensing, and industry-sponsored research. She also served on the Board of Advisors of UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management.

At Knapp Ranch, Betsy was deeply involved in the development of all aspects of ranch life. She was passionate about learning and practic- ing best agricultural practices to produce food of superior quality, taste, freshness, and nutrition. Betsy passed away on June 20, 2017.

Cleon T. (“Bud”) Knapp, former chairman and chief executive officer of Knapp Communications Corporation, a company he founded in 1977, is recognized throughout the publishing and business worlds as an innovative, entrepreneurial, and dynamic leader. Knapp Communications Corporation formerly published Architectural Digest and Bon Appétit, both of which were sold in April 1993 to The Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

Bud entered the publishing industry in the 1950s, working for his grandfather, John C. Brasfield, the founder of Architectural Digest. He helped in the office while pursuing studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Following his grandfather’s death in 1965, Bud, at the age of twenty-seven, purchased the John C. Brasfield Publishing Corp. Under his leadership, Architectural Digest’s mission became one of serving the high-income national consumer market with editorial work dedicated to the concept of the home as a work of art and personal expression.

The success of Architectural Digest reaffirmed Bud’s contention that, as Americans began to spend more time at home, food and enter- taining would become an increasingly important part of creating a fulfilling personal lifestyle. Accordingly, in 1975, Bud’s company acquired Bon Appétit magazine. Immediately, he instituted major changes aimed at realizing the magazine’s potential to meet the growing needs of “food enthusiasts.”

In 1977, Bud founded The Knapp Press, a book-publishing subsidiary that has sold 11 million copies, including the bestselling Italy: The Beautiful Cookbook. He also established Wilshire Marketing Corporation, a subsidiary that marketed merchandise designed to appeal to the readers of Architectural Digest and Bon Appétit. That company was renamed “Knapp Communications Corporation” in order to reflect its ownership.

Following the sale of Knapp Communications in 1993, Bud served for ten years as chairman of the Board of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and he sat on the Board of Advisors at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. Currently, he is president of Talwood Corporation, which functions as a family office for administrative, investment and tax planning, and business management activity; and the Knapp Foundation. He has three children—Brian, Aaron, and Laura—and five grandchildren.

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