Robert and Joyce Holmes are the owners of Whistling Pines Gun Club.
After a stint in the Navy, Bob earned an MBA and went to work in high tech sales. Although he was a highly successful hardware and software salesman for many years, he was “downsized” out of a job in 2003. According to an article in the May 26, 2005 Colorado Springs Gazette:
“I’ve always wanted to go out on my own and do something,” Holmes said, “so I started thinking, ‘What kind of business can I do with this MBA I’m trained to use?’ The gun club was logical to me, because this town so desperately needs a range.“ A five-day National Rifle Association seminar in Phoenix gave Holmes an eye-opening introduction to the dos and don’ts of indoor range management.
According to Bob, We could have cut costs by renting a warehouse somewhere and retrofitting it for use as a shooting range, but building it literally from the ground up let us do everything right. Only complete lead removal from the air is good enough. Joyce, I and our kids shoot here along with the rest of the members. Only total safety is safe enough.”
Joyce, an Army veteran, majored in accounting in college. She has managed both accounting and operations for several businesses.
Josh Goodwin, one of the clubs gunsmiths, is a graduate of the gunsmithing program of the Colorado School of Trades in Lakewood. His experience includes refinishing, repair, and customizing rifles, shotguns, and pistols. He has earned armorer certifications from Beretta, Glock, Mossberg, Remington, and Sig Arms.
Tony Brunetto is the senior instructor and training coordinator at the club and has been part of the staff at Whistling Pines from our first day Tony is an NRA Certified Pistol Coach, Pistol Instructor, and Range Safety Officer. He has coached youth shooters at the Olympic Training Center and was the coach of the Air Force Wounded Warrior Games Pistol Team. As the only certified pistol coach on the staff, Tony is always willing to provide pointers to the members and work with shooters to help them improve their skills. He is an accomplished competitor as well as an expert coach. Tony competed at the 2008 Olympic Trials and has won gold, silver, and bronze medals at national level competitions in the men’s air and rapid fire pistol events. His 35 years of experience in a wide range of military and civilian operations worldwide adds a unique aspect to the experience of the club’s staff. Tony enjoys weight training, skiing, and is a black belt martial artist.
Nikki Carroll is a NRA Certified Firearms Instructor and Range Safety Officer; she has been with Whistling Pines going on two years. In addition to teaching other classes at Whistling Pines, Nikki teaches our First Steps for Women class: “As a female concealed carry permit holder and gun owner, my goal is not only help women become proficient in the use of firearms, but to help women become comfortable with the thought of gun ownership.” Nikki is passion driven to help all gun owners build their proficiencies. She enjoys training students at all skill levels. “Every great teacher is ALWAYS a student!”
Nikki shoots IPSC and ICOR competitively and is in training for 3 gun competition. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her two beautiful children, playing with her dog, hiking, biking and any form of tactical defense. “The first person we should look to for personal protection is ourselves! If you are considering gun ownership, feel free to call the Club and ask for me, I would love to talk to you.” – Nikki
Jack Vier – Jack is a recent addition to the team. He is a retired deputy sheriff and a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant. Jack has much experience in many aspects of shooting and is an NRA pistol instructor and an NRA Range Safety Officer. For fun, Jack enjoys woodworking, hunting and fishing.
Tom “Hoser” Freeman started shooting competitively when he was 12 years old with a Winchester model 52 in Rim fire Silhouette. He’s currently is a member of the Air Force Action Pistol Shooting Team specializing in IDPA Stock Service Pistol and IPSC Production divisions.
Tom has been in the Air Force since 1988 as a C-130 crew member and parachute rigger. He regularly vacations in such scenic locations as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Kosovo, Haiti, Columbia, Korea, and Utah. Tom is an Instructor in the C-130 firefighting mission, and heads the squadron’s Night Vision Training programs.
Tom is currently the statistics geek for the Pueblo IDPA and 3-Gun Matches, as well as Safety Director for Pueblo IPSC Matches. He manages to shoot Silhouette throughout the state and small-bore prone at the Olympic Training Center. He regularly competes in four to seven matches a month, and participates in a weekly Skeet and Sporting Clays league.
Greg Yowell Although he was been shooting with us since we opened, Greg Yowell didn’t join our team until the spring of 2012. He was born and raised here in Colorado Springs where he started shooting as soon as he could hold a rifle. Coming from a family of former military, hunters and law enforcement officers, Greg developed an early and lasting passion for firearms and shooting sports. Greg is a graduate of The Colorado College with a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in European and Eastern Medieval history. As an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and a Life Member of the NRA, Greg continues his education as an amateur firearms and military historian, earning several NRA certifications including Range Safety Officer and Pistol Instructor. He has over a decade of experience as a Colorado Springs Concealed Carry permit holder as well. His hobbies include welding, reloading, camping, mixed martial arts, white water rafting, rappelling, and teaching as a substitute teacher for Falcon School District 49.
Larry Green moved to Colorado Springs from Houston in 1983. Worked here and Houston for the same company for 22 years. Retired for one month at the age of 51 and then rejoined the labor force due mostly to boredom. Joined WPGC in February of 2011 and am enjoying the work completely. Since coming here I have been recertified as an NRA instructor and primarily instruct the First Steps Basic Handgun Course. I enjoy working with and teaching newcomers to the sport of shooting. I also work the front desk most of the time during the week. Other duties around WPGC include daily maintenance of the club to insure the place is clean and functioning properly.
Bradshaw Smith As the son of a West Point Graduate and the grandson of a Retired Lieutenant Colonel, Brad was no stranger to guns and the military way of life growing up. He learned how to shoot on his family’s property near Creede Colorado at a very young age with both pistols and long guns. Being a life long “outdoorsman” and an avid rock climber for more then a decade, safety tends to seamlessly integrate it’s way into much of his life. Brad recieved his NRA Instructor Certification in May of ’12 and enjoys sharing his knowledge with both members and customers.
Other then shooting, his other interests include playing the cello and guitar, and enjoying the many thousands of hiking trails and camping spots here in Colorado.”
Kevin M. Thomas is an NRA Certified Instructor and NRA Life Member as well as a U.S. Army veteran. Kevin is currently an Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic student at Pikes Peak Community College . As an avid Glock shooter and a member of the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation, he enjoys passing along America ’s shooting sports legacy to young shooters, and he also enjoys metallic cartridge reloading.