Board of Directors
The Big Sky Community Organization is lead by an 11 person Board of Directors that represent the diversity of the community we serve with various backgrounds and experiences. Our current Board of Directors are:
Al Malinowski, Chairman, Board Member since 2012
Al came out to Big Sky from Michigan for one winter season to learn to ski and to try living in a place where he didn’t know anyone. At the time he thought he would enjoy a winter season, then go back “to the real world.” Even though he left the area twice, Big Sky has become home.
After two years in public accounting with Arthur Andersen, Al enjoyed five years working for Big Sky Resort, eventually becoming the Controller. For the past 18 years Al has served as Vice President of Gallatin Partners, Inc., a company involved in local real estate development projects.
Favorite BSCO Amenity:
Al’s favorite BSCO amenity is the Big Sky Community Park. While it took a lot of money to build, it also involved countless volunteer hours from many community members with various interests and diverse backgrounds. To him, it is a proud example of what can be accomplished when people work together.
During his down time, down time??? When he does find time, Al likes to get into the back country and enjoys playing and coaching team sports. Most importantly, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Why BSCO is Important to Him:
The work of the BSCO is important to Al because of the opportunity to help shape how our community grows. He feels fortunate to work with so many talented volunteers who can put the community’s best interests first. It has been exciting to be a small part of such a significant collaborative effort that will preserve the assets and values that make Big Sky unique.
Tom Owen, Vice Chairman, Board Member since 2012
Tom Owen opened Gallatin Alpine Sports in Big Sky in 1995. Tom enjoys biking, hiking, hunting, fishing and all types of skiing in our Big Sky/Yellowstone backyard.
Tom enjoys all of the trails offered in Big Sky but especially Ralph’s Pass. It’s new; his business helps sponsor it through our Adopt A Trail program, and it’s a great example of connectivity.
Why BSCO is important:
Tom finds his work with the BSCO rewarding because it helps make sure with all the growth and construction going on in Big Sky, that we as a community are setting aside public access and have paths among where we live that are a connection to the greater public lands around us.
Michelle Horning, Treasurer, Board Member since 2014
Michelle visited Big Sky for the first time on a ski trip in 1994. She had planned to go to other ski areas in the region, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, etc., but ended up getting a job offer and a place to live within a few days of arriving and that was it, she never left. She was in awe when turning off the highway and had her first view of Lone Peak…it seemed to be calling her to stay.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and a Masters in Physical Education, Michelle has a diverse background. She taught wilderness survival and backpacking classes in college, was a whitewater rafting guide, owned several daycares and preschools throughout Big Sky, and was an office manager for a construction company. Currently, Michelle has been working as a Realtor in Big Sky since 2003.
Favorite Trail and Interests:
Her favorite trail is just steps away from her home. The Gallatin River Trail that leads to the Porcupine trail head is a gem. There is so much wildlife and big mountain views to see the entire time and all with the peaceful sound of the Gallatin River in the background.
Like many locals, Michelle enjoys running, hiking and vacations to warm places…all with her family. She also loves watching her daughter and teammates play for the Lone Peak Big Horns in all of their sporting events!
Why BSCO is important:
Her work with the BSCO is rewarding because the outdoors and staying active have been lifelong passions. The BSCO embodies all of those things and she gets to leave a legacy by being a part of what BSCO does for our community and its future. She says, “It’s the most rewarding volunteer Board I’ve been lucky to be involved with and contribute my time to.”
Mark Cone, Secretary, Board Member since 2016
Mark and his wife found Big Sky relatively early on. They have owned property since the 1990’s and were originally attracted to the areas’ raw beauty and boundless outdoor activities. They moved here full time in 2014 to allow their older son to continue his passion of competitive big mountain freeride skiing and to also spend four full years in the high school.
Mark has been involved in various forms of asset managment since 1994, notibly as the founder of a large hedge fund and asset managment firm in Los Angeles called Causeway Capital Managment. His expertise was raising money from some of the largest investors in the world.
Favorite Place in Big Sky:
When asked what was his favorite park or trail in the area, his response was the less commonly known Cinnamon Mountain Trail, which as he describes, lets you experience various terrain and exposures in a quiet managable hike. He also enjoys skiing, golf, travel and anything on the water!
Why BSCO is important:
He get’s satisfaction from serveing on the BSCO board beacuse quite simply, the town is in a stage of development where it needs direction to morph into what we all hope it will be.
Warren Cook, Director, Board Member since 2017
Warren’s vast experience running some of the most well-known ski resorts in the country and a former senior manager of international manufacturing companies has given him valuable insight on what a ski town could be. He moved to Big Sky for its great snow and that it was non Disneyland. Of course, like many people, he came for the winter, but stayed for the summer. Warren also has considerable experience with non-profit organizations and served on the boards of the Maine Community Foundation and the Maine Association of Non-Profits. Throughout his career he has been involved in philanthropy and rural community development. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he also served as a Captain in the US Marine Corps Reserve.
Hobbies and Interests:
When not serving the BSCO, Warren enjoys hiking the Beehive Basin and Uplands Trails which he says are some of his favorites. Motorcycle riding, reading and staying fit are also some of the activities he enjoys. He cares about Big Sky and helping see its growth in a positive way are important goals he strives for.
Herb Davis, Director, Board member since 2013
Jim Jones, Director, Board Member since 2010
A native Montanan and true local, Jim and his wife visited Big Sky in 1974, a few months after it opened and loved it. They then started bringing their family and friends to here to ski shortly thereafter. In the early 90’s they also started bringing their horses to the area to ride in the summer. Loving it so much, they purchased land, built a home and have spent summers and winters here ever since.
For the past forty-five years Jim has been an attorney in private practice in Billings starting with a local firm, then an international firm based in Minneapolis and finally with a regional firm based in Denver. Now retired, Jim enjoys golf, riding horses, biking, downhill and backcountry skiing. He also enjoys the Ousel Falls Trail in the summer and the Lone Mountain Ranch’s cross-country ski trails in the winter. He spends a lot of time on the trails in the mountains around Big Sky, including Porcupine, First Yellow Mule, Taylor Fork and Yellowstone National Park.
Why BSCO is important:
It is a great way to be involved in the community and serve the community as it continues to grow. In the absence of a local government, the BSCO is critical to finding, creating, preserving and protecting valuable public properties, access and resources.
Kate Ketschek, Director, Board Member since 2017
During college, in the summer of 1994, Kate was looking to move to the mountains. Someplace uncrowded, offering beautiful mountain landscapes and access to outdoor activities. She found Big Sky. After that summer, Kate returned to college but Big Sky’s pull never left her. In 1999, she returned, working at Big Sky Resort, joining the fire department, serving on the board of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce, and as fate would have it, meeting her husband. They moved away again for a few years but returned (for good) in late 2015.
With a background in marketing and public relations, and a love of the outdoors, Kate focused her career working with great brands like Big Sky Resort, NEMO Equipment and Ruffwear. She currently owns a public relations firm and enjoys the challenge of building recognition and increasing market share for young, innovative brands. Taking community involvement as seriously, she has been lucky enough to have served as a volunteer firefighter/EMT, president of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and as a board member for the Conservation Alliance.
Big Sky is home to most of her favorite trails for running. The North Fork, Porcupine, and Beehive Basin are just gorgeous. And hitting the Hummocks/Uplands trails for lunchtime jaunts is also on the top of her list.
Why BSCO is important:
The outdoors is a stress reliever for Kate and helps keep everything in perspective. Ensuring access to trails, open spaces and waterways is important to most of us who choose to make Big Sky our home and is one reason she enjoys serving on the BSCO board. It’s an economic driver, drawing employees and visitors. Kate wants to make sure there are plenty of places for her daughter and her friends to find solace, exercise and beauty in the future.
Tallie Lancey, Director, Board Member since 2017
After graduating with a degree in Philosophy and subsequently interning at the Nature Conservancy in Island Park, ID Tallie was ready for some wide open spaces and hungry for new experiences. Big Sky was nearby and it was just “big” enough. After starting out as a concierge at Moonlight Basin and the Yellowstone Club, she soon realized how important tourism was to the area. Her move into sales at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty was a natural fit and she was able to learn the business during Big Sky’s recession. She is also the past chairwoman of the Arts Council of Big Sky.
Tallie’s favorite trail is Porcupine because it seems new every time she wanders into its vast network of trails. Her husband helped to create a lollipop trail called the Grizzly loop which gives her a sense of pride, too.
When not hiking Tallie enjoys downhill and cross-country skiing, bike riding and hosting dinner parties, along with pursuing creative endeavors like painting, singing, reading poetry and strangely, concocting ideas for community engagement.
Why BSCO is important to her:
Her work with the BSCO is important because she is convinced that spaces where the public convenes are vital to our survival as a species.
Barb Rooney, Director, Board Member since 1998.
Initially, Barb found her way to Big Sky through a friend that was working here when she was in college in Minnesota. He told her she should come to Big Sky and work during her Term. So, she did starting as a server at Chet’s Bar. She then returned the following summer and worked at the golf course, also in accounting and again at Chet’s for three years. After graduating, she thought she would come to Big Sky and give it one year, then move back to MN. The rest is history! By the time she was 24 she was running all of Big Sky Resort’s hotels and condominiums.
Barb grew up in the retail business, so she has many years of retail and accounting experience. She eventually gained her property management and real estate license in the state of MT. Serving on the BSOA Board of Directors for 16 years, the first WMPAC Board of Directors, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Lone Peak Booster Club, has given her a sense of community. She currently sits on the Advisory Board for the new Hospitality School at Montana State University. Barb also has 28 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is Senior Vice President for Boyne Resorts.
When it comes to her favorite BSCO location, she states, “Who does not love Ousel Falls Park?” Barb’s favorite trail has to be either Hummocks or Black Diamond. Both are quick and easy runs where she can feel comfortable going alone if in need of some quick outdoor air!
Why BSCO is important:
Most importantly, Barb gets great joy and satisfaction from results orientated organizations and the BSCO is one of them. Real action takes place and the outcomes are some of the most transformational things she has seen in this community.
Steve Taylor, Director, Board Member since 2018
Past Board Members 2007-2017