By Matt Hudson Explorebigsky.com Editorial Assistant

BIG SKY – Co-founder and treasurer of Friends of Big Sky Education, Mark Goode, is stepping down after nearly eight years with the local nonprofit.

Goode, 53, said his business ventures keep him away from Big Sky for weeks at a time, and he simply doesn’t have enough time to handle the daily operations at FOBSE.

A native of Tennessee, Goode arrived in Big Sky in 2001. He came for the winters initially, but it wasn’t long before he switched his driver’s license over to Montana and became a permanent resident.

Thousands of donations totaling more than $1.5 million have traveled through FOBSE, according to the organization’s president, Loren Bough. He commended Goode on his attention to detail and professionalism while handling the funds.

“He was a great partner for the entire ride, and we’re sorry to see him go,” Bough said.

For Goode, fulfilling the organization’s original goal of bringing a high school to Big Sky was the highlight of his time with FOBSE. The group was part of the process, gauging public sentiment, garnering support and raising funds.

Goode said that it has been exciting to see the Big Sky community grow since Lone Peak High School opened its doors in 2009. As the high school rounded out the K-12 district, Big Sky became a place for people to stay and raise families.

“The high school changed the way the community looked and feels as far as the demographic,” Goode said.

Goode oversaw the donations that led to the creation of the LPHS football team and the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, which opened in March inside the old gymnasium at the Big Sky School District campus. FOBSE raised approximately 75 percent of the funds for the center, according to Bough.

“It’s been a good run, and we’ve seen a lot of progress,” Goode said.

That progress includes becoming involved in the WMPAC’s day-to-day operations. It now helps to bring events to the center, occasionally handling ticket sales and contracting artists to bring their talents to Big Sky.

The treasurer position will grow along with the operations of FOBSE, Bough said. No successor has been named yet, but Goode said his exit will be a smooth one.

“I leave it in good hands,” Goode said, “and I know they’ll continue to do good work.”

Goode has worked with start-up companies for 23 years, currently serving as CFO of a semiconductor company based in North Carolina and running a real estate agency with a partner in Big Sky. He plays piano for the Big Sky Christian Fellowship, and serves as its treasurer.