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Our Story

Building a guest ranch and an event venue wasn’t something that we’d planned on doing, but sometimes, life has other plans. When we originally purchased our beautiful piece of Montana farmland, we had something else in mind: we wanted to establish a small farm where we cultivated hops, wildflowers, and honeybees.

After spending more time on our new property, we realized a few things.

First, that 500 acres is a lot of land. And second, that this new place was a special place. With such beautiful views, a secluded, historical location, and so much of that famous big sky, it seemed like the perfect space to put a true Montana wedding venue.

After talking with our friends and family, we realized that we actually had all that we needed to bring together our vision of the perfect venue. Our daughter, Ashley, already worked in the wedding industry as the owner of her own catering business, and had many contacts and connections who were eager to help.

Having fun, working hard, and above all, loving one another…
the values that our family lives by.

Kris Nelson

Originally from Illinois, Kris taught art for 20 years in Chicago Public School System and spent four years as owner of a culinary and visual arts studio for kids called Constructive Chaos. In addition to her experience in the arts and education space, she has over 25 years experience putting together charitable fundraisers ranging from silent auctions to dinners and more. Kris applies her skills and passion for decoration as the creative force behind the wedding design offered in all our wedding experiences.

Kevin McCracken

A fine finishing carpenter who has run his own custom furniture business (Moonlight Furniture) for 16 years, Kevin is the Headwaters Ranch general contractor in name, but oh so much more than that in reality. Just as he crafts one-of-a-kind pieces of art for the homes and businesses of his custom furniture clients, he has taken every opportunity to lovingly and artistically hone each space within the Round Barn, Clubhouse, and all of the buildings on the ranch to woodworking perfection. Each of our buildings features Kevin’s attention to detail and love for his craft.

Ashley Gutmann

Director of Catering
Ashley holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Administration from Boston University as well as a Master’s in Fine Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. A former food product development consultant for PepsiCo and McDonald’s, she found her passion in bringing people together with unique food and innovative flavors.

SiLaine Closson

Event and Sales Manager
SiLaine has made a career out of organizing the perfect event for each individual who steps through her door. In addition to a long list of the kind of hospitality-related expertise you can only acquire through two decades in the industry, SiLaine’s very unique skill as a human is to listen with enthusiasm to each client’s wishes, architect a strategic action plan for her team, and then execute each detail in a way that people truly love.