The 2016 Staff
Arthur Blank (Owner) – On behalf of the entire Blank family, Angie and I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Mountain Sky. This year marks the 18th consecutive summer that our family has spent at the ranch, and we look forward to getting to know you and making your time here a special experience. Throughout the summer, you will see various Blank family members around the ranch. We feel strongly there is no better place to reconnect with nature and with the most important people in our lives. It’s also a place where new friendships with our guests begin each and every year. We hope you will enjoy your time at Mountain Sky as much as we do.
Yancey Arterburn (General Manager) – I was raised in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where my parents were co-owners and operators of several restaurants. I graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Finance. After graduation I decided to spend a summer in Big Sky, MT. I met my wife Kelly at a ranch and soon figured out that guest ranching was a perfect career fit for me. Our son Baylor is eleven years old and he looks forward to dodgeball and Splashball all year long. We also have a daughter, Molly, who is nine. Molly is a horse lover so you may see her at the barn. As an outdoor enthusiast, I love all the recreational opportunities that Montana has to offer. I am so lucky to be able to share this enthusiasm with the folks who come here to experience the outdoors. I look forward to spending time with each one of you.
Adam Crum (Head Wrangler) – This is my 18th season at the ranch. My wife Jolene and I reside at the lower ranch with our five children, Makaila, Caleb, Natalia, Josiah and Ethan. I look forward to meeting all of you, as it will be my task to find you the perfect four-legged friend for the week!
Adam Kaplan (Guest Services) – Hi folks! This is my inaugural summer at Mountain Sky, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m originally from the suburbs of St. Louis, MO and I graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA. I lived in Steamboat Springs, CO over the winter, where I would frequently ski, snowshoe, and visit the region’s numerous hot springs. My other interests and hobbies include collecting old records, writing short stories (I’m working on publishing a couple of them right now— wish me luck!), baseball, backpacking/outdoor adventure, and playing guitar. I feel so honored to be a part of the Mountain Sky experience!
Adam Stefanik (Guest Services/Teen Counselor) – As many of you guests know, the ranch seemingly has a gravitational pull that brings you back year after year. The pull is as strong as ever for me, and I couldn't be more excited to return to the place I have learned to call home for the third consecutive year. Growing up in Woodstock, CT and attending Arcadia University in Philly, I never dreamed I would ever step foot in Montana, never mind have it steal my heart and become where I plant my roots. You would think by now my two-step skills would be stronger, having attended so many dance nights, but I encourage you to give me any and all pointers this season. Perhaps year three it will finally click for me! I will be working primarily with the teen program again with my partner in crime Maggie, and we are sure to have an epic week planned out for you guys. To those I already know: I cannot wait to continue to build upon the friendships we have created. To those I have not had the opportunity to meet: If ever you want some conversation over coffee, shared wisdom over a Moose Drool, or exploration on a hike, please don't be shy!
Alex Bath (Wrangler) – Hi all! This will be my first season at the ranch and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of your Mountain Sky experience. I am a native New Yorker, but don't let that fool you, I love the outdoors! I am currently a student at the University of Montana Western, where I study natural horsemanship and business. I can’t wait to make this summer one of the best yet! See you soon!
Alex Parker (Head Housekeeper) – Hey there folks! I’m back at it again, taking care of the facilities. I’m looking forward to catching up with those of you I know and meeting new guests. I've worked in the area for a decade, so if you have any questions on the Park and the surrounding area, I'm your guy! I am a political junkie so this election season has my full attention. Nothing gets me going more than a good foreign policy debate... maybe in the saloon? I hope my assistant (and home-girl) Brittney Deale and I make your stay here as lovely as possible.
Anna Carr (Wrangler) – I am overjoyed to be spending my first summer in the wilds of western Montana with all of you at Mountain Sky. I grew up in a small farming community in central Washington where I spent my days roping cattle and riding horses as well as connecting with the land in any way possible. Most recently, I have been living in Portland, OR where I rode my bicycle through city streets instead of a horse in the mountains. After too many years of sitting in a cubicle I felt a magnetic energy pulling me back into the saddle. I am overjoyed to return to the things I hold so dear; however, if you ever want to talk about the joys of composting, a fine craft beer or what truly makes Portland weird I am your girl. I look forward to meeting many new people this summer. Let’s go on an adventure and create memories together.
Becky Saunders (Reservations) – After talking with many of you this past winter and spring, I look forward to meeting all of you! This will be my first full season at the ranch. Originally from western Pennsylvania, my husband and I have called Montana home for the past eleven years. We have a nine year old son who keeps us busy. We enjoy short hikes and picnics in the park. I hope you enjoy your vacation here as much as we enjoy living here.
Bennett Harrell (Guest Services) – Hey everybody! I'm extremely excited to be spending my first season with the Mountain Sky team. I grew up in Tallahassee, FL, and am currently attending college at the College of Charleston pursuing a degree in international studies. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, biking, rock climbing, and just being outside in general. I've been lucky enough to come out to Montana many times throughout my childhood, and I can't wait to share with all of you some of the enthusiasm that comes with being in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I can't wait to get to know you this summer!
Blake Bentley (Guest Services) – Howdy! Since I left the ranch last year, I have been counting down the days until I could return for my second season! It’s been a great year in my home state of Texas finishing up my junior year at Texas A&M University as a management major. While in Texas, I enjoy watching the Aggies play football, listening to some good Texas country music, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. As an avid outdoorsman, I can’t wait to be back in Montana fly fishing, hiking, and golfing in my off time. Last summer I had great time meeting all the guests and can’t wait to see them again as well as some new faces!
Brittney Deale (Assistant Head Housekeeper) – I am very grateful that I get to call Mountain Sky my home for the fourth time. I was born and raised in Virginia. After graduating college in 2011, I decided to venture out West and give seasonal work a try, and I've been enjoying every minute ever since. I spent this winter back home spending time with family, but I couldn't be happier to return to Emigrant. When at the ranch you can find me having fun in the housekeeping department, floating the Yellowstone every chance I get, or enjoying a lively night in the saloon. Cheers!
Cameron Middleton (Assistant Kids Program Manager) – Proudly hailing from the small town of Stanthorpe in Queensland, Australia, I discovered Mountain Sky during my time as an exchange student at the University of Texas in 2013. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with both the ranch and the incredible people I’ve met throughout my time here, compelling me to come back year after year. While I do miss my footy, the endless beaches, good coffee and the metric system, I am proud to say that I have found my home here in Montana. When I’m not causing a ruckus with the kid’s program, you can typically find me socializing in the saloon, enjoying a good soak, sinking birdies on the Rising Sun Golf Course and making the most of Montana’s breathtaking scenery. I live and breathe Texas football (the Longhorns, of course), I have a strange obsession with US State Capital buildings and love a good road trip. I’m incredibly excited to be on board this season and look forward to getting to know each and every one of you. Welcome to Mountain Sky, let’s make some memories.
Christina Waalkes (Guest Services) – As a first-timer at Mountain Sky, I couldn't imagine spending my first Montana summer anywhere else! Originally from a small town outside of Portland, OR, I boast a love for all things outdoors. I'm working toward a degree in outdoor education to turn my passion for teaching and wilderness into a career that will provide adventures for a lifetime. This season at Mountain Sky I am looking forward to creating meaningful and memorable experiences for all of our wonderful guests, hiking the beautiful Paradise Valley, and learning how to ride a horse! I cannot wait to meet you all and experience all that Big Sky country has to offer.
Christy Blohm (Massage) – Welcome! I am pleased to be returning for my third season leading yoga sessions, providing relaxing and therapeutic massages and exploring the abundance of hiking trails the ranch has to offer! I grew up in Montana and have also traveled to various places around the world, and I am thrilled to, once again, call Montana home. My personal practice of yoga has spanned 25 years, and I feel fortunate to have studied the art of teaching yoga in Baja, Mexico, as well as yoga therapy at the root of it all, in Nashik, India. My belief in the healing effects of holistic body work led me to the modal of massage therapy. My massage style utilizes the basics of Swedish massage, tailored to the needs of the individual, incorporating deep tissue, isolated stretching, and essential oils. I look forward to another great season in Big Sky Country! Namaste!
Coleman Replogle (Wrangler) – This will be my first season at Mountain Sky, and I am looking forward to all the experiences it has to offer. I am originally from Vero Beach, FL where I grew up in the restaurant business. As a kid, my family and I would take trips to Wyoming, which is where my love for the mountains and the West began. Growing up in Florida, I learned to ride horses and play polo at a young age. This sparked my interest in working with animals, which lead me to Clemson University’s animal science program and TCU ranch management. After graduating from school, I knew I had to get back to the West; I began working on ranches in both Wyoming and Colorado, and quickly realized I had found my calling. I am looking forward to my first summer in Montana, and can’t wait to see you all out on the trail.
Connor Erickson (Guest Services) – Hello! I grew up in various places all over the country, finally settling in Seattle the past several years. I am currently attending Montana State University in pursuit of a fish and wildlife degree. I'm an obsessed fly fisherman but enjoy most activities that take me outside such as hiking, camping, golf, hunting ,and shooting. I am looking forward to my first summer here and experiencing all the great things about Mountain Sky.
Connor Rose (Lower Ranch) – I began working on the ranch at a young age by helping my father spray weeds for his brother (my uncle), Mark Rose. My responsibilities began to expand until I was working full time during the summer months between school. I have been lucky enough to spend every summer since my eighth grade year living and working at the ranch. During my free time I enjoy hunting, fishing, and all of the other outdoor opportunities that living in Montana affords me. I am happy to be back at Mountain Sky for another summer, and I look forward to meeting you anytime there is a hay ride, or during the working ranch experience on Thursdays.
Cory Cantu (Wrangler) – Hi there, this is my first season and I am looking forward to meeting y'all. I was born and raised in east Texas and have been up in the high country for around three years now. I am a rodeo cowboy and a saddle maker / leather smith. I am very interested in the cowboy culture and love learning about the rich history of this way of life. If you want to learn about your tack and how it works or more about the culture come find me – I’ll probably be making something if I'm not already on a good saddle horse!
Dan DeFilippo (Guest Services) – Hello! I am excited to call Mountain Sky my home for the first time this summer. As a kid who grew up in Chicago and ventured to the University of Iowa for my degree I have forever been envious of the natural beauty of the West. I couldn’t be more eager to wake up every day to the rich scenery of Big Sky country. In my free time I like to bike the back roads, hike some 14ers, travel abroad, and especially snowboard the Rockies any chance I get. I love to enjoy nature, and after spending a summer at a ranch in Colorado a few years ago, I cannot wait to get back out and explore all Montana has to offer with you all this summer!
Danielle Nordaas (AM Sous Chef) – I grew up on a dairy farm just outside Houston, MN. My family would often vacation out West, which is where my love of Montana first began. This season will be my ninth at Mountain Sky, and I am still just as excited as I was for my first season! My husband Jared Nordaas works grounds and maintenance on the ranch and together we enjoy hiking, canoeing, fishing and camping in beautiful Paradise Valley. I am excited as always to be back "home," and I hope you all enjoy Mountain Sky as much as I do!
Danny Branch (Wrangler) – Hey there everyone! This is my second season at Mountain Sky and I greatly look forward to exploring another beautiful piece of the Rockies with you. I am a native born Wyomingite. After five years in the United States Navy, I returned to Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming in the pursuit of a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics. I have been riding for as long as I can remember and have been lucky enough to be able to turn one of my greatest joys into my profession. When I’m not on horseback, you will find me wetting flies and chasing trout throughout the Paradise Valley and surrounding areas.
Don Rose (Lower Ranch) – I am pleased once again to be joining my son Mark Rose (Ranch Foreman) and his beautiful family here at Mountain Sky. As a native Montanan, I enjoy sharing stories with guests – if you have a moment, grab a cup of coffee and I will teach you a bit about the rich history of the area! Be sure to join us for the meal rides, where I’ll show you around the historic sites after you enjoy a fine meal cooked over the fire.
Eric Alimanestianu (Guest Services) – Hello everyone! This is my first season here at Mountain Sky. I am currently a freshman at Colby College, in Waterville, ME, double majoring in economics and history. I was born and raised in Larchmont, NY, right on the Long Island Sound. I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, big mountain skiing, fishing, and am a member of the Colby College rugby team. I can’t wait to meet you all!
Garret Jones (Guest Services) – I have been a guest at the ranch on and off for the past nine years and am looking forward to returning on staff at Mountain Sky for my third season, to help out during July! I am from the small town of Newnan, GA and just finished my junior year at Auburn University. I love everything outdoors and meeting new people. I am also a sports fanatic, so find me if you want to play something… and don’t worry, my height makes me very easy to find! Can’t wait to meet y’all!
George Coogan (Guest Services) – As I sit here, finishing up school at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, I can't help but count down the days until I get to come back for my third summer at the ranch. Being a Tennessee native, in temporary educational exile up north, I can't wait to enjoy all the natural beauty Montana has to offer this summer. From hiking around Paradise Valley to having Mike Petersen attempt to save my highly questionable golf swing, I'm looking forward to everything about being back at Mountain Sky. Looking forward to sharing some memories with y'all!
Grace McEachern (Guest Services) – Hey there! This will be my first season at Mountain Sky and I'm so excited to spend the summer experiencing Montana and serving you. I was born and raised on the beaches of San Diego, CA. I am currently a junior who's playing golf for Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. I am a double major in business administration with a concentration in marketing and art education. I love the outdoors, meeting new people, and instigating fun. I can't wait to meet you!
Grady Boyle (Cook) – This will be my second year at Mountain Sky after a brief return to school in North Carolina I chose to return to the west permanently and pursue cooking full time in Park City, UT. Now that ski season has ended I am excited to return to Montana and get back to hiking and camping and enjoying all the good times to be had on the ranch.
Greg Pappert (Golf Crew) – I am a long time resident of Livingston, MT who came to Mountain Sky to work on the golf course last season. I spend my winters working a Bridger Bowl Ski Resort and enjoy hunting and fly fishing. I look forward to seeing you all down at the golf course this season. Welcome to Montana!
Halley McVeigh (Guest Services) – After some time away, my hiatus from the ranch is resolved by my return for my fourth year. Since my last stint out west I graduated from Warren Wilson College in the glorious "mountains" of Asheville, NC with a degree in biology, I researched lobsters in Maine, and traveled for a bit in New Zealand. I'll be headed out to Montana starting in August after finishing up some conservation work in the South, saving one hellbender, hemlock, and red wolf at a time. I love all things outdoors and I'm always up for an adventure followed by some stories and laughter shared over a good beer. See you in the saloon!
Hannah Carlson (Guest Services) – Greetings! I grew up in beloved Minnesota, where I will be graduating this year from the College of Saint Benedict with a psychology degree. The north woods are a treasured getaway in Minnesota, where I enjoy spending time on the lake, sitting around a campfire, and building extravagant tree forts. I spent last spring studying in Ireland and backpacking mainland Europe, where I was always finding the next trail off the beaten path. I have a passion for change and getting to know new people, so I am over the moon to begin my first season at Mountain Sky! Also, my jokes are so bad that they're actually hilarious, and I consider my hammock to be my seasonal best friend.
Harry Roxburgh (Guest Services) – Hello everyone! This will be my first season working at Mountain Sky and I am thrilled to be joining the team and spending my summer with all of you at the ranch! I live in a small village in the Chilterns complete with a village pond and an old church. I went to school in Oxford and since we are only short “Tube” ride into London I spent a lot of time there. I am currently enrolled at Durham University in the northeast of England studying politics. Durham is very, very old and just as cold. Therefore, I am really looking forward to spending summer in Big Sky Country and I will be on the plane as soon as my exams are finished! I can’t wait to show you all around this wonderful place I’m so lucky to call home for the summer and help you make the most of the horseback riding, hiking and running in this spectacular part of the world. I am really looking forward to meeting you all and I hope you can understand my British accent!
Helena Franchino (Guest Services) – Hello! I am incredibly excited for my first summer at Mountain Sky and all of the adventures it will hold. I am originally from Madison, WI and have a strong love for the Great Lakes, Green Bay Packers, and, of course, cheese. I moved to Seattle in 2013 to start college at the University of Washington. I will be graduating next year with a degree in social welfare and a deep appreciation for the Pacific Northwest. As much as I enjoy Seattle, I am excited to escape the city and enjoy life in the mountains of Montana. I look forward to meeting you and having a fantastic summer!
Irene Barrera (Cook) – I’m excited for my seventh season in the kitchen! This summer, you’ll find me fishing (Texas-style) on nearby Big Creek, barbecuing with friends, trying to make friends with Bill (Ranch Cat Manager), and whistling Christmas tunes whenever I can. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones this season – the people are what make this place so special!
Jared Nordaas (Grounds & Maintenance) – This will be my seventh year working at Mountain Sky in the maintenance department. You will see me working on the sprinklers, testing the pool, restocking your firewood and mowing grass. I am originally from Minnesota and grew up on a farm with my family. I am married to Danielle Nordaas (AM Sous Chef), who you will find hard at work in the Mountain Sky kitchen. On my off time I like to hike, camp, float the Yellowstone River and run up and down Big Creek Road.
Jessica Nelson (Assistant Pastry Chef) – Hello everyone. This will be my first season at Mountain Sky and I am so excited to start another great adventure. I grew up in central New York. I graduated from Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks, with a degree in pastry arts and a minor in business. I have been working seasonal jobs since and traveling the country in the process. Some of the things I love to do are going on road trips, adventures, reading, listening to music, supporting local and upcoming bands in the area, and spending time with family and friends.
Jodi Petersen (Retail & Accounting) – After two seasons spent helping my husband Mike Petersen (Golf Superintendent) and son Taylor Petersen (Golf Crew) at Rising Sun Golf Course, and a third season working with the office team, I’m excited to return for my second season - and fifth overall - of running the Diamond City Gift Shop! I found some unique western clothing gems and many items crafted by talented local artists to fill the shelves, so if you have some down time, be sure to swing by!
Joe Coon (Grounds & Maintenance) – This will be my first summer working at Mountain Sky and I couldn’t be more excited! Hailing from Colorado, I can’t wait to be out exploring the remote and beautiful mountains of Montana. I enjoy fly-fishing, hiking, backcountry camping and anything else the outdoors has to offer. A geologist at heart, feel free to bring me any questions you may have about the unique geology of the region. I look forward to meeting all of you and having a summer full of fun.
Jonathan Herrman (Cook) – Instead of donning black and white to serve your meals this year, I chose to wear all white and learn how to cook them. After a return home to Michigan this winter, I realized I'd left my heart in Montana-sounds like the title to a country song-and made the decision to move back. An unexpected opportunity to work with our kitchen crew popped up, and as many of you know, it's hard to stay away from this place. Season six here we go-egg wrangling and hot cake flippin'!
Jonathan Romans (Executive Chef) – I’m a Livingston, MT Native who has spent over two thirds of my life in restaurant kitchens. I completed my Le Cordon Blue externship here at the ranch back in 2000 and “just knew” then that my dream would be to be the Chef at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch someday. I’ve spent the last 15 years in some of the top kitchens in Nashville and New York City, as well as traveling the globe to study food cultures. I like to spend my off time traveling and donating my time and expertise to helping local youth broaden their horizons in the hospitality industry.
Josh Barnette (Wrangler) – I can’t wait to experience my first summer at Mountain Sky. I’m a graduate of the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!), and have previous experience working at guest ranches. I’m a big fan of the outdoors, and can’t wait to explore the trails with you this summer.
Josh Ziolkowski (Wrangler) – Hi everyone! I am in my fourth season as a wrangler here at the ranch and loving every day. Although I have now worked at three different guest ranches for a total of seven summers home is still Rhinelander, WI. I travel there every year to enjoy that tropical six months of the year known as winter. As of May 22nd I completed my course requirements for a BA in hospitality management from American Public University with the degree to be conferred in August. For as long as can remember the West has been a passion of mine – not just the mountains and rivers, but the history of the land. Now that I am blessed to spend time out in this wide open country my days off are spent visiting museums and historical sites within driving distance of the ranch. As you may have guessed, I am an avid student of Western history and can often be found with my nose stuck in a book or planning my next adventure; be sure stop by the barn for my recommended reading list and a story or two. As far as wrangling goes, I can guarantee that I have a great time on all my trail rides so if you want to come along the more the merrier. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Julian Rambo (Guest Services) – What's good, Montana? Ever since I left my home in Oregon two years ago, business has been seasonal work. And cousin, business is a-boomin'. This marks my third season at Mountain Sky and I couldn't be more excited to get things going. I fell in love with Paradise Valley, and after another winter of shreddin' pow and doing 80's for the ladies in the frigid ice lands of eastern Idaho, it's time for me to get back. If you need a hiking buddy around the ranch, or someone to show you the spots in Yellowstone they don't tell you about, then I'm your guy. It's summer 2016 folks, so let's have fun and make this season legend!
Julie Tate (Assistant Head Wrangler) – Welcome or welcome back! I grew up on a little island in northwest Washington State, but now Bozeman is my home base. Before Mountain Sky, I graduated from Pomona College in Southern California and after a brief stint of sitting at a desk in San Francisco, I hopped on the wrangling train. Come join me on the trail and see why I have yet to look back (this is year number five out here for me). I’m also a proud member of the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund -- did you know that this ranch has given more than $3 million to non-profits that support local kids? I mean, just when you thought this place couldn't get any better, right?
Justin Malecha (Guest Services) – Hey everyone! This will be my first season at Mountain Sky as well as my first time setting foot in Montana. I'm from Minnesota, born and raised, and am currently studying marketing and psychology at Hamline University in St. Paul. Although I'm a city slicker, I yearn to be in the outdoors whenever possible and make frequent trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in the Northwoods. I currently work at a small coffeehouse and tutor kindergarteners part time at a local elementary school. I look forward to spending time you all!
Kallie Hainline (Wrangler) – Hi everyone! I was born and raised in northeast Iowa. I began riding at the age of six and haven't stopped since. I've done everything from mounted shooting to foxhunting to polocrosse. This will be my first season at the ranch, and words cannot express how excited I am to meet all of you during this amazing adventure. Cheers!
Kate Weyenberg (Guest Services) – With an eager heart and an open mind, I am unbelievably excited to share my second summer at Mountain Sky with you. I am a born and raised Wisconsinite (Go Pack!) and just graduated from the University of St. Thomas (MN) with a bachelors degree in political science. I have a passion for running and dancing, and you will most likely find me laughing. I cannot wait to experience the adventures of Montana, hear your stories, and make new memories with each of you.
Katie Stegora (Guest Services) – Hi friends! I grew up in Red Wing, MN and graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with a degree in global business leadership this past May. I can't wait to experience my first Montana summer out at the ranch with all of you and become the most improved two-stepper you've ever met. Fun fact alert: My twin brother, Mike, is also working at the ranch and I'm looking to steal his two step title. I Look forward to making memories with all of you this summer!
Kelly Arterburn (Landscape/Interiors) – I grew up on a ranch outside of Absarokee, MT. I spent my summers in the saddle working on the ranch and O-mok-seeing. During college I got a summer job at a guest ranch in Big Sky and ended up liking it so much that I stayed on working & commuting to finish my degree. I graduated with a degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design from Montana State University in Bozeman. I met my husband Yancey on my first day of work at the ranch and we got married six years later at my parent’s ranch in Reedpoint. We have two kids, Baylor (11) and Molly (9), a Golden Retriever named Riley, and two roaming cats, Smokey and Grey Pony. We have been at Mountain Sky since 2007 and are blessed to be a part of the Mountain Sky family. Mountain Sky has a special place in our hearts as we continue to see how much it impacts people’s lives.
Kelsey Tucker (Guest Services) – Hello All! The beautiful West has drawn me in once again for my second summer at Mountain Sky. Thinking about sunsets on Emigrant peak, horseback rides to the most incredible views, and the awesome people I've met and will meet throughout the summer have kept me going through the long Michigan winter. I just graduated with a degree in elementary education and Spanish, and am looking forward to teaching fourth grade in Grand Rapids, MI in the fall. I am so excited to be heading back out to Big Sky Country before making the transition from student to teacher. Can't wait for all of the memories to be made this summer with all of you!
Lauren Chaisson (Reservations) – Hello, all! I fell in love with Mountain Sky and Montana within days of arriving and I cannot wait to spend my fourth season in this magical place. I was born and raised on the seacoast of New Hampshire and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2012. This winter, I escaped the Livingston wind for a backpacking trip to Thailand; in three weeks I never met an elephant or curry I didn't like. I am happiest when outdoors and can often be found floating the Yellowstone or frolicking through the stunning Montana wildflowers. I love live music, traveling, and playing with my scruffy dog Bill. Dark chocolate and coffee are the surest ways to my heart. I look forward to all of the adventures that are sure to come this season.
Lydia Boutot (Wrangler) – Hey Everyone, I will be returning for my second year at Mountain Sky this season. I am finishing my school year at the University of Montana Western where I am working on my bachelors in natural horsemanship. This season cannot come soon enough, as I have been looking forward to a great year of riding in the gorgeous mountains with my mare, Annie, and the ranch horses. I am looking forward to meeting you all, and catching up with you returning guests. Get ready for some great adventures!
Maggie Hart (Guest Services/Teen Counselor) – I've been craving Rolo cookies and working out in preparation for this summers' Splashball games, so I'm very excited to be heading back to the ranch for my second season. I came to Mountain Sky last year after graduating from University of Michigan and Montana stole my heart. For an avid hiker and lover of mountains, Paradise Valley was truly paradise. After bopping around my home state of Connecticut and traveling to Nepal and Thailand this past winter, I'm ready to say hey to old friends and meet some new ones. Looking forward to seeing you this summer at Mountain Sky!
Mark Rose (Ranch Foreman) – My wife Maria and I met each other at Mountain Sky 25 years ago and never left. We raise our boys Cayden (16) and Taylor (13) at the lower ranch. I look forward to visiting with you Sunday evening and hosting you for dinner at the lower ranch on Wednesday night.
Matthew Sandoval (Bar Manager) – Hello ya’ll! I’m originally from the small town of Anson, TX. A good portion of my childhood was spent around cotton farmers, horses, and stock shows. If I could spend every day on top of a horse or behind a bar, I would. As I’ve grown up, I’ve acquired a passion for whiskey and wine. I believe that food and wine are two things that bring strangers together and create long-lasting friendships. This will be my first year at Mountain Sky, and my first time ever in Montana. I am excited not only for the chance to be a part of a great team, but to also meet all of the amazing guests I’ve heard so much about. If you love a great whiskey cocktail or a good glass of cab, we are going to be great friends!! Can’t wait to meet ya’ll!!
Mike Petersen (Golf Superintendent) – I came to the ranch to direct the construction of Rising Sun Golf Course. I have 20-plus years of experience in the golf business as a superintendent including the construction and maintenance of four Johnny Miller Design courses. My wife Jodi Petersen (Retail & Accounting) and son Taylor Petersen (Golf Crew) have also joined me here, and we all look forward to giving you a truly memorable golf experience during your visit to the ranch.
Mike Stegora (Guest Services) – Greetings fellow humans! I am excited to be spending my second summer here at the ranch with you all. I was born and raised in the bluffs of Red Wing, MN and I recently graduated from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN where I majored in global business leadership. During my time there, I worked as a firefighter/EMT, played baseball for the Johnnies, and also had the opportunity to work in the Saint John’s Abbey Wood Shop with the monks of Saint John’s. During my free time, you’ll find me strictly working on my two stepping moves for dance night. Words cannot express how excited I am to get back out to Mountain Sky to spend another spectacular summer with you folks. See you out there!
Molly Amey (AM Dining Supervisor) – Hey everyone! I’m Molly and I’m from Kansas City – Go Royals! I’m the youngest of five and grew up in the middle seat on most/all road trips. I have spent the last four years living in Stillwater, OK attending Oklahoma State University where I learned how to wear and dance in cowboy boots. I recently graduated in May with a bachelors’ degree in hotel and restaurant administration. I’m so excited to spend my summer in the mountains of Montana, a change from the Flint Hills I’m used to. This will be my first summer working at the ranch and I can’t wait to meet all of you!
Molly Spencer (Wrangler) – Hello! I am a Montana native and get to call the Gallatin Valley my home. Growing up on a cattle operation, I was readily smitten with the outdoors, ranching, and horses. In the past years, I went away from those activities while pursuing a biomedical graduate degree in Colorado, but I am now taking a hiatus from school to work with horses and enjoy the mountains of Montana once again. I feel very lucky to do so here at Mountain Sky as a wrangler. See you at the barn!
Monica Kirchner (Dining Room Manager) – Established in 1987, and coming to you all the way from Priest Lake, ID and Spokane, WA! This is my first season at Mountain Sky, and I couldn't be more excited to spend some quality time in Big Sky Country. I always find time for adventures, and you will never catch me without my camera. I absolutely love traveling, hiking for views, kayaking, beach volleyball, dancing, cooking, dirtbike rides, and, most importantly, my cats Mayla and Leo. I have a bachelors in biology from Eastern Washington University, and have a few hidden talents that you'll just have to wait to find out about! Can't wait to tear it up on the dance floor with you!
Monique Bechard (Guest Services) – One summer in Montana just wasn't enough, so I am excited to be returning to Mountain Sky for round two. If I'm not hiking in the Park on my days off you can find me going with the flow down the Yellowstone. I'm eager to meet new people and reconnect with familiar faces to make this the best summer yet.
Monson Wadsworth (Wrangler) – Howdy folks, Welcome to Mountain Sky! It’s a pleasure to be spending the summer with you here in paradise. I come from a little mountain town called Island Park, just south of West Yellowstone in Montana. Horses are my passion, and I grew up teaching my siblings and the little neighbor kids how to ride. I’m pretty laid back and like to have a good time. In the evenings you’ll find me playing cowboy songs on my guitar, or down at the arena practicing my roping. Come on over and say hello!
Morgan Pearson (Cook / Landscaping / Photographer) – My fifth season at Mountain Sky! How did that happen? Too much beauty: sights and people; I am eager for more! I love having my hands all over the ranch; I'll be cooking for you at the "breakfast ride," maintaining our beautiful landscape, and covertly snapping your picture whenever I see that inevitable smile. I grew up in Stockton, Illinois, a tiny town in the northwestern part of the state. I went to school at NIU for a photography and ceramics degree, and during the summers I headed West and worked in Yellowstone National Park for a number of years. Needless to say, I did not (or could not) stray too far. In my free time, I look forward to some hiking, climbing, and sleeping somewhere under the stars. Can't wait to see you!
Nancy Norlander (Accounting) – I am really looking forward to my ninth summer at Mountain Sky. I spend much of my time here making sense out of numbers and helping a bit with computers. I feel truly blessed to be able to work and live in such a beautiful place! My home is in Livingston, and I absolutely love it there. When I am not working, I enjoy singing, gardening, biking, hiking, cross country skiing, and spending time with family.
Nicole Hayes (Guest Services) – Hey y’all! I am extremely excited to be back at Mountain Sky for another adventure filled summer! I’m a cheesehead from the good ol’ state of Wisconsin where I recently completed my college career, majoring in elementary education. While at the ranch, you’re most likely to find me pulling you out onto the dance floor at dance night, beating your team at Splashball on Saturday, or in the saloon having a nice sit-down conversation. If you can’t find me on the ranch I’m most likely enjoying my day off hiking somewhere in the surrounding area. I’m so excited to get to know all of you and help you enjoy your time at Mountain Sky!
Noah Kaiser (Golf Crew) – Hello western travelers, and welcome to beautiful paradise valley! After a year away from Montana, I have returned for a second season here at mountain Sky. I am an accounting grad from St. Paul, MN, but have fallen in love with the mountains, people, and western living of majestic Montana. You will find me down at the golf course working alongside the Petersen family. I hope you enjoy your stay!
Osbaldo Torres (Cook) – I’m excited for my first season at Mountain Sky! This is the first time I’ve left New York City, and I’m already enjoying the beauty of Montana, and the relaxed way of life here. I hope you enjoy the creations coming out of the kitchen this season!
Pam Comstock (Pastry Chef) – This is my 25th season at Mountain Sky, and I still love it. I am partly responsible for all the sweets, granola, breads and other treats you eat here. My assistant is Jessica Nelson, and we are excited to have her here. In the summer when I am not working, I love to hike, bike and garden. My husband Turk and I grow most of our own food. Join me on the “All Day Hike” on Thursday.
Patrick Trembley (Activities Coordinator) – I’m looking forward to my fifth season here at the ranch. This off season I spent a month in Spain taking in the sites and catching as many soccer games as possible. I’ll be spending my weekends hiking and camping in the area and floating the Yellowstone. Let me know if you need someone to play tennis, golf, or billiards with, or to enjoy whatever is on tap in the saloon!
Randy Venteicher (Facilities Manager) – This will be my eleventh summer as facilities manager on the ranch. It has been fun and rewarding to make lasting improvements that are appreciated. I’m looking forward to seeing some new country this summer. You can, too.
RC Townsend (Assistant General Manager) – This is my 15th season, and still going strong! What started as a summer job turned into a true passion, and I look forward to showing you why we’re all so madly in love with Yellowstone Country! Join me for a hike if you are looking to enjoy the trails at a different pace, or track me down to share a story or two over a cold beer in the saloon. On my days off, you’ll find me sitting on the porch of my fixer-upper in nearby Bozeman, enjoying the company and conversation of my lovely wife Stacy, and our frumpy cat Mrs. Sandwiches.
Rob Meadows (PM Sous Chef) – Originally from Arizona, I have been living in Montana for over 20 years. Recently married, my wife and I continue to enjoy everything that this great state has to offer. In my free time I'm always on the move! I enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, golfing… and of course cooking. I can't wait to meet all of you!
Rob Strauch (Cook) – This will be my second summer at Mountain Sky, and I am nothing short of ecstatic to return. A history major from the East Coast, I've found myself cooking out West. I love to hike, fish, and go birding. When indoors, I enjoy good food and beer. I look forward to seeing you there!
Ryan McInerney (Grounds & Maintenance) – Hello all! Born and raised in this beautiful state, I grew up in Great Falls but call Bozeman home now. Montana is in my blood and the mountains and rivers here are my playground. I am an avid hunter and fisherman, and I enjoy camping, backpacking, and riding horses. This will be my second summer at Mountain Sky, and I am very excited for this adventure and to meet all of you!
Sally Ehrlich (Guest Services) – I'm so excited for my first summer at Mountain Sky! I grew up in Pennsylvania, but have called Boston my home for the past several years. After graduating from Tufts University, I began working at a public health organization where I've remained ever since. In my free time, I love running, travelling, hiking around New England, seeing live music, and taking road trips filled with lots of snacks and 90’s pop music. I can't wait to meet all of you and experience a Montana summer!
Sophie Teague (Kids Program Manager) – I'm so happy to be back for my third season at the kids program! I'm a California native with a deep love of water balloons and dress-up. After an entire winter away from the ranch, I'm more than ready to get back to Montana to make some more fantastic memories! If you need to find me, I'll be putting on crazy costumes in Bear Town, hollering at you during the talent show, providing an embarrassingly easy target during dodgeball, or encouraging the consumption of marshmallows early in the morning during breakfast ride. Let's make this a summer to remember!
Tawnya Rupe (Fund Director) – This is my 18th season at Mountain Sky! My husband and I operate a working ranch in Wilsall, northeast of Livingston in the Crazy Mountains. I coordinate the community giving for the ranch and enjoy working with our non-profit partners when I’m not at the ranch. You can learn more about our good work in the community in your in-room packet.
Taylor Petersen (Golf Crew) – I work down at the golf course, spending quality time with my Dad Mike Petersen (Golf Superintendent). This is my sixth season at Mountain Sky, and it has been such a wonderful experience. I hope you will come down and visit us!
Tayler Tankersley (Guest Services / Bartender) – Hey guys! Simply put, I’m a Michigander. I was born below the bridge but have been enjoying the Yooper lifestyle for the past five years. I graduated from Northern Michigan University last spring with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a minor in marketing. I spent the last year working for an awesome agency in Marquette, but I’m ready to embark on a new adventure in the mountains. I love horses (my horse especially), snowmobiling, snowboarding, surfing on Lake Superior --the greatest of the Great Lakes, and pretty much anything else that’s an outdoor adventure. I can’t wait to experience Montana with you all. See you soon!
Taylor Schmidt (Guest Services) – Hello friends! This will be my first summer, and I couldn’t be any more excited. I was raised in the beautiful city of Duluth, MN, where I spend a lot of my time exploring and paddle-boarding with my bulldog Rosie on the biggest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Superior. Because of my love for its natural beauty, I decided to stay in state for college which led me to St. John’s University. I will be moving into my senior year with a bachelors in global business and marketing. Last summer, I studied sustainability in Japan and it was such an amazing experience I decided to study the language. When I am not hitting the books I enjoy playing rugby, hiking, playing my guitar poorly, reading, fishing, and spending as much time outside as I can. The opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful areas in the world is a dream of mine. I am so excited to meet all of you amazing people.
Theresa Duffy (Wrangler) – Welcome to Mountain Sky! Hopefully it feels like "home away from home" for you, like it does for me. I live in Livingston with my husband Mike and our Golden Dell. If you don't see me on the back of a horse, you'll find me casting a line to some unsuspecting fish, or possibly sneaking out of the kitchen with yet another of Pam's amazing desserts. Seriously, I eat a lot of them...
Whitney Tilt (Lands & Wildlife) – I am excited to be joining the crew at Mountain Sky in 2015. I work with all aspects of the ranch to make our operations “best in class” – for the land, wildlife, and the people. I also work in the larger community with ranchers and other residents tackling some of the region’s larger issues like water, access to public lands, and wolf and bear management. I have a keen interest in the land, wildlife, and plants. If you have any questions about natural history, land management, or fly fishing, I’m here to help.