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Our Staff


Laurie Harden_________________________________________Owner

Laurie took her first glider ride as a teenager and finally learned to fly a glider in 2005 when she moved to Carson Valley. She brings her experience in high-tech sales and marketing to SoaringNV.  She has two teenage sons, and several pets.  On her days off, she like to ride her horse.  She  looks forward to welcoming you to Minden, one of the greatest soaring locations in the world.


Stefan Valentin__________________________Flight Instructor/Tow Pilot

Stefan is originally from the Salzburg region, has lived in the US since the mid 70's, after working in the hotel and travel industries, has been working in general aviation for over 20 years, both in administration and as pilot and flight instructor. Flew charters in the four corners and grand canyon area, forest service patrols in the Pacific North-West and Utah, and for the last 5 years worked for glider operations in Colorado and Nevada.   


Mike Moore__________________________Flight Instructor/Tow Pilot

Mike has been instructing (glider & airplane) and towing at Minden since '96. His background (14,000+ hours since 1970) includes considerable personal XC and wave flying, contests (local, regional, national) as a contestant and tow pilot, pursuit of FAI badges (US Diamond 373), and hang-/para-gliding. Having flown/instructed at a number of western US sites, he believes Minden is an excellent site to learn and experience mountain and desert soaring.    


Taylor Phillips__________________________Flight Instructor/Tow Pilot

Taylor is an adrenaline junkie, and a driven and proved leader within organizations.  While striving to achieve his highly held values his adrenaline fix is found with downhill mountain biking, distance running, alpine ski racing, big-mountain competition skiing, and much more!  ...  And now, he lives for the jet-like maneuvering aerobatics gliders can provide.  Sharing his love of flying with others is what he strives to achieve around these parts.  Come take a ride with him and see what it feels like to be in control! 


Tim Gardner ____________________________Flight Instructor/Tow Pilot

Tim learned to fly in Boulder, CO in the early 80’s and has been flying airplanes and gliders ever since. He has both airplane and glider CFI ratings and really enjoys teaching cross-country soaring and aerobatics. When not towing in the Pawnee or teaching someone how to get to the Whites (and back), he flys an ASW27. Flying in his first contest, he won the 2012 Air Sailing Sports class contest. Tim commutes between the bay area and Minden in his Cessna TR182.


Elizabeth Tattersall______________________________ Flight Instructor

Elizabeth learned to fly at Minden in 2002.  In addition to being a glider instructor, she also teaches Biology at Western Nevada College and is a priest in the Episcopal Church.  If you want to get married in a glider, talk to Elizabeth.


Jill ___________________________________________________Office

Jill began working at SoaringNV in 2013, and has been “flying” the office desk ever since. Her specialty is customer service and lavishing attention on any visiting dogs. She has a wicked sense of humor, but she knows how to keep the lid on goings-on around here.


Silvio Ricardi___________________________________Tow Pilot 

Silvio recently moved to the Carson Valley from Melbourne, Australia. He completed  his Private Pilot's license right here in Minden flying CFIG Gabe Bourbeau's Luscombe.  He is our resident Spanish Speaker and Glider Girl's husband.


Patrick____________________________________________Tow Pilot

Patrick has lived at Tahoe for 15 years.  He learned to fly here in Carson Valley.  He loves backcountry flying, and likes to add new aircraft to his logbook. When not flying, you’ll find him fishing and doing other outdoor activities. He enjoys towing you wherever you want to go.  Just tell him what you’re looking for.


The Walkers__________________________Office/Maintenance/Line

The Walkers . . .    


John "Bumper" Morgan_______________________________Tow Pilot

Bumper came from England in 1952 and ended up in Minden some fifty years later. In between, he spent the Vietnam years as a Navy electronics tech, and 10 as a police officer in Oakland, CA (I'm a slow learner). He founded a company that did better than his police salary. Hobbies include flying his ASH-26E, Mooney 201, and the back country in a Husky A1-B. He is a part time machinist, inventor (MKIV yaw string and Quiet Vent), tow pilot and aviation addict.


Stewart Tattersall________________Tech Specialist/Weather Man/Geek

Stewart began living near Lake Tahoe 25 years ago and has been flying since 2000. He has been watching the weather since he was young as a skier/sailor and now as a pilot.


Webster _________________________________________Hanger Dog

Webster is a 10-year-old Kooiker Honje. Rub his belly if you want, but please don't feed him when he begs.


Winglet __________________________________________Hanger Dog

Winglet, nicknames include:  Wing-nut, Trim-tab, and Eagle Bait, is a chihuahua mix of unknown origin.  We think she was born in 2005 or 2006.  She is a lively one, and likes most people.  Whatever you do, don’t tell her that she weighs only 4 pounds.