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The Buck’s T-4 Team

Chuck Schommer, Co-Owner/Director of F&B

Chuck’s career at Buck’s began in 1984. Mike Scholz from Buck’s T-4 Lodge recruited Chuck from Big Sky’s Lone Mountain Ranch to help him bring that Big Sky institution to the next level. So began a success story that has spanned decades.

Chuck’s culinary career has included a guest dinner at the prestigious James Beard Foundation in New York City, as well as national recognition in publications like The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Cooking Light. He is often called upon to represent Montana and Big Sky by such organizations as No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength and ProStart. 

He has served on the Ophir School Board and as chair of Big Sky Ducks Unlimited. He is currently serving on the board of directors of the Montana Restaurant Association. Chuck has long been known throughout the Montana culinary community as a gifted chef, wise mentor and advocate for the industry.

In 2009, Chuck returned to Buck’s with Mike Scholz and David O’Connor to rekindle a successful partnership. In 2013, Chuck and David took the reins at Buck’s fully, allowing Mike a well-deserved retirement in Big Sky.

Chuck lives in Big Sky with his wife Kris and daughters Lindsay and Kaela.

Contact Chuck: Email, 406-993-5200

 David O’Connor, Co-Owner/General Manager

David came to Big Sky right out of college in 1990, starting as a bartender at Buck’s. He quickly moved through the ranks, serving as front desk manager, restaurant manager and eventually general manager.

David’s career has included the creation of an award-winning wine program, the establishment of Buck’s as a leader in tourism technology and helping steward the growth of the hotel at Buck’s from a small roadside motel to a large full-service resort hotel. He is the “voice of Buck’s T-4”, handling marketing, social media and Buck’s digital presence.

David has served with many organizations in the Big Sky community. He is currently the president of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and a Rotarian, as well as a board member for Yellowstone Country of Montana. He has also served as a founding board member and president of the Big Sky Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. He is active in many issues that affect the Big Sky community, including tourism promotion, workforce housing and economic development. In 2006, David was named Big Sky’s Person of the Year by the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce.

In 2009, David returned to Buck’s with Mike Scholz and Chuck Schommer to rekindle a successful partnership. In 2013, David and Chuck took the reins at Buck’s fully, allowing Mike a well-deserved retirement in Big Sky.

David lives in Big Sky with his wife Jennifer and children Tracen, Lucas and Katherine.

Contact David: Email, 406-993-5325

Valerie Edwards, Director of Sales

View More: learned early in life that growing up the oldest child in a single-parent home was the best “reality-based” leadership training. This led her to a career and interests where she could grab the bull by the horns and take charge in ways that matter.

Valerie earned a degree in Park & Recreation Management at East Tennessee State University, making the Dean’s List three times and earning a citywide scholarship. In college, she was assistant director at Buffalo Mountain Camp in Tennessee, and later on special programs director at Camp Thunderbird in Minnesota, training and supervising a staff of 100+, and leading the planning and implementation of all youth events.

After college Valerie headed to Big Sky, Montana, accepting a position as activities director for Big Sky Resort.

Valerie brought her talents to Buck’s as events coordinator in 2004, and worked her way up to director of sales. Val’s commitment to excellence and service to her clients was recently recognized by the Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association, which awarded her the “Montana Hospitality Sales Professional of the Year” for 2015. In addition, she was recognized by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle as one of their “20 under 40” notable young professionals in the Gallatin Valley in 2016.

Valerie’s volunteer interests include the Bozeman Cancer Support Community, and chair for the Meadowlark elementary teacher appreciation committee. She is the president of the Sales & Marketing Council of the Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association. She is a graduate of the Leadership Bozeman training program as of May 2015.

Valerie lives in Bozeman with her children Madison and Emory. They love hiking at Hyalite Canyon, camping, cooling down on the Madison River, among other outdoor activities.

Contact Valerie: Email, 406-581-3337

Scott Mechura, Executive Chef

Headshot_Scott_MechuraScott is a well-traveled chef, though he did not choose the road traveled by so many — the one that starts with an expensive culinary degree. Mechura learned his art and craft in a traditional, well-respected way — finding his gurus in the kitchens of elegant restaurants, exclusive resorts and clubs.

Mechura took something of an artist’s sabbatical in the late 1990s by detouring into a different but related world: that of beer brewing. In 1997, he became the youngest certified beer judge in the nation at that time and went to work at St. Paul’s Great Waters Brewpub.

It was Marcus Samuelsson’s famous Aquavit Minneapolis that pulled Mechura back into the kitchen not long after.

Shortly after, it was the lure of the mountains that next brought Mechura to Big Sky where he spent eight years as Executive Chef at The Timbers, located in the majestic Moonlight Lodge. In what was his first experience working with Chuck, Scott spent 3 years at the Yellowstone Club as Executive Sous Chef.

After a life in the cold, Mechura decided the warmth of Austin TX was next on the horizon. He spent three years as Executive Chef experiencing the many facets the Hill Country has to offer: another private club in Horseshoe Bay, opening Austin’s only prime steak house, and the re-branding of a boutique hotel. As many would agree, the Northern Rockies are too majestic to stay away for long. In 2014, Mechura returned to Big Sky as Executive Chef of Buck’s T-4, where he was reunited with co-owner Chuck Schommer.

Scott lives in Big Sky with his wife Carrie.

Contact Scott: Email, 406-993-5235

Haley Rowland, Events Coordinator

Haley Rowland grew up in Southern California. She attended Montana State University Bozeman and earned a degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. During her college years, Haley worked at Buck’s serving tables.

Upon graduation, Haley took a position at AWARE as a Child and Family Specialist. She provided Therapeutic Family Care to persons with challenging mental, emotional, and in some cases, physical needs who would otherwise be served in a more restrictive setting.

Over the three years with AWARE, Haley went back to school working towards her completion of her Business Management degree and worked diligently as a member of AWARE’s Corporate Congress & Leadership Committee. During this time Haley still called Buck’s home; managing events, serving & bartending whenever she was able.

In June 2015, Haley came back to Buck’s T-4 full-time as an Events Coordinator. Haley lives in Bozeman and enjoys skiing, hiking, being on the water and spending time with her friends and family.

Contact Haley: Email, 406-993-5324