By Joseph T. O’Connor ExploreBigSky.com Editor

BIG SKY – Big Sky Resort had a void to fill last month, when its sales and marketing department learned their leader, Meg O’Leary, was moving on to become director of Montana’s Department of Commerce.

Consider the void filled.

Brandon Bang was named Big Sky’s new director of sales and marketing on Tuesday morning, Dec. 18, 20 years to the day since the resort first hired Bang as a front desk clerk.

“I missed my college graduation ceremony [in 1992] to come out and interview,” said Bang, who eventually received his degree that year from the University of North Dakota. “That’s one of the cool things about this town and Big Sky Resort. If you come here and work hard, you can succeed.”

Bang held a number of positions at Big Sky before his latest appointment. He worked as an accountant, managed the reservations department, was a sales manager for 11 years and held the director of sales job for four and half.

Big Sky’s General Manager Taylor Middleton, who coincidentally first hired Bang on Dec. 18, 1992, personally delivered the message to the sales and marketing department.

Middleton praised Bang’s experience and personality, saying it was a good decision to appoint him to one of the most important jobs at the resort, and calling him a “rainmaker” for Big Sky.

“We hired him because of his qualifications and his incredible history on the sales side of the business,” Middleton said, adding that Bang is “always enthusiastic and optimistic. He has a radiant personality.”

Middleton, who was director of sales and marketing in ‘92, announced the decision just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, said Chad Jones, Big Sky’s public relations manager.

“Meg is going to be sorely missed,” Jones said. “She is a leader in the department and in Big Sky, in general. But Brandon has a lot of expertise. We’re all excited to move on and be a part of the next evolutionary step in Big Sky.”

O’Leary, appointed as Bullock’s director of the Commerce Department on Nov. 30, held Bang’s position for the past 12 years and has been with the resort for 23.

“Meg has been such a great leader and a permanent fixture here,” Bang said. “I have some really big ski boots to fill.”