Kevin Barton – Owner
Kevin Barton and his late wife, Tina, purchased Big Sky’s local hardware store in 1993. Over the course of 30+ years, Kevin grew the small operation into a staple business for the Big Sky community. Kevin was born and raised in Illinois, but frequently visited southwest Montana with his family beginning in 1974 and moved to Big Sky full-time in the late 1980s. In the early days of the store, which was then a True Value franchise, Kevin and Tina made up the entire staff, doing everything from ordering and invoicing to stocking the shelves and manning the register. Now Kevin and his wife, Rhonda, primarily work behind the scenes to keep Ace Hardware – Big Sky running smoothly. “Our role in the store has evolved from being customer-focused to being employee-focused,” Kevin said. “We work to provide the best environment for our employees to be exceptional at providing award-winning customer service. We’re so proud of what our staff accomplishes year after year.”
Dan Schlapkohl – General Manager
Dan Schlapkohl was the store’s first employee in 1993 and has been with Ace Hardware – Big Sky ever since. The Minnesotan moved to southwest Montana in 1986 and as general manager, Dan handles hiring, scheduling, record-keeping and inventory management, along with various other tasks. Dan says that his favorite part about working at Ace is meeting new customers and sharing Big Sky’s history with them. Outside of Ace, Dan enjoys boating, biking and supporting Montana State University Bobcats athletics. He is also an avid singer and dancer. “I never thought I’d be working here for 30+ years, but when you enjoy your job, you come to work spreading that enjoyment with others!”
Craig Jarvis – Store Manager
Craig Jarvis, a Michigan native, moved to southwest Montana in 2000 and has been with Ace Hardware – Big Sky since 2006. As store manager, you can often find Craig providing top-notch customer service, placing special orders for customers and grilling up weekend lunches for the staff. Craig’s favorite part of Ace Hardware – Big Sky is the people he works with. “From ownership to my coworkers, we’ve made it a good, fun place to work,” he said. “People enjoy coming to work here and we’ve worked hard for that.” When he’s not at Ace, Craig enjoys spending time outside fishing, skiing and hiking.
Dean Nally – Paint Manager
Dean Nally moved to Big Sky in the early 2000s and has been with Ace Hardware — Big Sky since 2014. Although his official role as the manager of the paint department frequently sees him mixing the perfect wall color, Dean says his day-to-day includes a little bit of everything from helping customers find the right product to training new employees. As such, Dean reports learning something new every day he works at Ace. The Kentucky native was drawn to Big Sky for its abundance of outdoor activities and Dean often enjoys hiking, biking and cross-country skiing on his days off. “Big Sky is the best community I’ve ever lived in,” he said.
Kelli Delzer – Merchandising Manager
Kelli Delzer handles buying for Sweet T’s, Ace Hardware – Big Sky’s popular housewares section, and her artful hand is behind many of the seasonal and kitchenware displays in the store. The long-time local, who previously did logistics and administrative work with the U.S. Military, moved to Big Sky in 1999 and began working at AHBS in 2015. “I love the people,” Kelli said about her coworkers. When she’s not in store, you can often find Kelli crocheting, hiking or spending time with her family. Conveniently for her, Kelli’s husband and son have also been employed at Ace.
Clint Dunn – Receiving Manager
Clint Dunn joined the Ace Hardware — Big Sky family in 2020. At Ace, Clint manages the receiving and sorting of inventory deliveries and frequently delivers grills and other merchandise to customers. Originally from the American Southeast, Clint first visited Big Sky in 2003 and realized that a few ski days a year in Big Sky wouldn’t cut it. He moved fulltime to the area in 2007. Clint said that although handling large quantities of product can be challenging, his daily interactions with customers and coworkers make him excited to come into work. Clint enjoys snowboarding, fly fishing, hiking, camping and visiting Yellowstone National Park.
Paul Mann – STIHL/OPE Manager
Paul Mann is the branch manager for STIHL, a featured product line that includes everything from chainsaws to lawn care machinery. On top of managing Ace Hardware — Big Sky’s STIHL merchandise, Paul also assists with inventory, pricing, keeping items in-stock and helping customers find what they need in the store. Paul said that his coworkers at Ace are akin to “a giant family.” Paul started at Ace in 2019 after moving to Big Sky from Ohio the previous year, and credits his ability to quickly adapt and learn for his growth at the store. “I can’t believe how far I’ve come here,” he said. Some of Paul’s hobbies include building Legos, skiing and trying out new outdoor activities such as mountain biking.
Vickey Bryant – Head Cashier
As head cashier, Vickey Bryant sees the faces of nearly every customer that makes a purchase at Ace Hardware — Big Sky. Vickey has been in and out of the Big Sky area since the late 1990s and with Ace since 2019. She rings customers out at the register, helps with questions and returns, and trains new staff members at point-of-sale. “I love the customers that come through here,” Vickey said. “Most of them I’ve known for 20 years or more.” Vickey is an avid reader, enjoying fiction and history novels—as well as crossword puzzles—in her free time. Vickey is also a proud mom to her son who is a submarine captain in the U.S. Navy.