Our People

Chuck Hellmer, President and General Manager

Chuck is perhaps the only Midwestern president of a cheese company with a serious dairy allergy. The Ohio native discovered Haystack in 2003, while searching for an alternate-milk cheese that didn’t exacerbate his cow’s milk allergies (he succeeded; thanks Boulder Chevre!). Now, he runs the joint.

Chuck’s background is in electric utilities; he’s worked as an auditor, process improvement facilitator, IT project manager and account manager, and financial director. He actually loves that stuff. But he’s quick to add, “How can you not love goats?”

Chuck was Haystack’s operations, financial, and project manager from late 2006 to early 2009. In February, 2009, he became President and General Manager. He still gets to play on the computer, and while his cheese consumption is limited by necessity, he’s a big fan of all things Haystack.  In his free time, Chuck enjoys hiking, peak-bagging 14ers, road biking, and playing his family of guitars.

Jackie Chang, Cheesemaker

Jackie grew up in Taiwan and South Korea, eating black market Kraft Cheese Singles and participating in beauty pageants. Despite these inauspicious beginnings, she moved to the United States in 1982, and landed in Boulder in 1989. She soon began working at Haystack founder Jim Schott’s dairy, caring for the goats (“I fell in love with them when my daughter and I visited on a school field trip”), and ended up working part-time in the cheese room.

In 2004, Jackie became Haystack’s full-time cheesemaker, and has developed some of our most popular varieties, including Camembert, Green Chile Jack, and Aspen Ash. She continues to win numerous awards for Haystack from both the American Cheese Society and World Cheese Championships. Despite working grueling ten to 12-hour days, Jackie consistently leaves her co-workers in awe of her boundless optimism, energy, and unrelenting passion for cheese.

When not working over a milk vat or on the production line, Jackie loves cooking elaborate Taiwanese feasts, yoga, hiking, cycling, swimming, and drinking wine. Her dream is to eventually open a food truck specializing in Asian snacks. With cheese.

John Scaggs, Director of Sales and MarketingJohn and Herd

John started slinging sides of beef and making sausage at his family’s traditional, Neapolitan-style macelleria in New York at age 15. This experience kick-started his love affair with artisan food culture. After earning a master’s degree from NYU, John went on to work for luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants from New York to Sicily before settling in Colorado in 2005.

John is responsible for managing our farmers markets, wholesale accounts, and distribution partnerships. When he’s not at the center of this three-ring circus, he enjoys yoga, skiing, and caring for his goats, pigs, and chickens.

Oda Wilson, Bookkeeper and Administrative AssistantOda

Oda brings 30 years of small business experience, including a stint running her own 90-acre fruit and vegetable farm, to Haystack Mountain, where she does bookkeeping, orders supplies and generally helps keep the place running smoothly. She was raised on a 210-acre farm in northern California, and she enjoys working with all the other animal lovers at Haystack Mountain. We can’t help but share this vintage photo of Oda’s daughter, taken at Leadville Boom Days in the early ’90s. We also love the note she left us with image details:
“Bambi. Saanen. Prolific milker.” Pet goats. They have a way of ensuring you never forget them.

Special Thanks

We are very grateful for our wonderful team of consulting partners: Russ Croop Photography, Meg Hamilton Photography, and Eat.