LWR's Owners & Staff

We are so very proud of the staff here at the ranch. From the moment you step into the dining room you’ll be greeted with tantalizing aromas and friendly smiles. Everyone here at the ranch is excited to share in your Montana ranch experience and will bend over backwards to make your stay “the best vacation ever”.

Ted Mikita, Jr.: Second Generation Owner

Ted is a second generation owner and original organizer of Laughing Water Ranch. Born in Oak Park, IL, schooled in Montana and Annapolis, Ted joined the Navy out of high school and became a P-3C antisubmarine patrol pilot. His parents purchased the Ranch in 1972 and lived there with Ted and his 7 brothers and sisters. Ted left the Navy in 1987 and became a pilot with Northwest, now Delta Airlines. He proposed that the family turn the homestead into a guest ranch, which came into existence in 1988. He splits his time between his flight schedule and the Ranch where he lives with his wife Lacretia and daughters Tallulah & Waverly.

Lacretia Mikita: Owner

Hails from Waverly, Iowa. She came to Montana by way of a professional life as a budding actress and dancer in San Francisco, New York and Florida. Before visiting Montana as a guest at Laughing Water Ranch she changed careers and became a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines. Read Lacretia's story of how she met Ted by clicking here - Ranch Romance

Tallulah Mikita: "The Boss", Third Generation Owner

Tallulah is 7 years old and lovin' the ranch life. Following her folks during the off season she has traveled already to Hawaii, Disneyland and on a cruise in the Carribean. She just received her passport, so the sky's the limit now. Currently taking Violin, Piano, Dance and Karate lessons.


Stacy Brann : Assistant Ops Manager

Growing up in California, Stacy had been wanting to live in Montana since she was a little girl. She has a love for horses and the old ways of life. She has worked in a variety of fields and brings all that experience here to our ranch. She is the all around ranch cowgirl, helping wherever it may be needed. She enjoys riding, cooking, gardening and woking on her country home in the high mountains. Teaching her big family the old ways and values to become better people, is important to her.

Jane Woods: Head Chef

Born and raised in a Polish neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois Jane learned to speak English when she started school. She has a Bachelors Degree in Business and an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. She put her talent and skill to good use as a caterer and personal chef in the Chicago area before moving to Montana in 1999. Jane has been spoiling us with her delicious cooking for the past eight years and we’ve put on the pounds to prove it. During the off-season she works on her cookbook, continues her catering and tries out new recipes on unsuspecting friends.

Gary Crandall: Wrangler




Jim Kendig: Wrangler

A native of Kentucky, Jim is a shipmate of Ted's from the U.S. Navy. He and the owner were on the same P-3 anti-submarine plane as fellow pilots with VP-60, NAS Glenview, IL. He just retired as a pilot with American Airlines. An excellent horseman, he has volunteered to help out the corral, first because he loves it, and second because he loves the Laughing Water staff. We're delighted to have him get us through the demanding Cattle Drive season and hope he'll keep coming back.

Katie McAfee: Wrangler

A native of Indiana, Katie moved to Montana in 2005. She immediately took to trail riding in the mountains and has a natural feel for guiding through the Laughing Water trail system and sharing her knowledge of the flora and fauna of the forest. In her spare time she chases after he 3-year old little girl and spends time in the garden. She is a welcome addition to our staff.

Sierra Hubble: Wrangler

Sierra was born and raised in the Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.  She grew up riding horses, taking lesson, training horses, giving lessons and is currently competing in barrel racing and endurance riding.  She loves travel, having been to ten different countries so far.  In the off season she attends the local community college and studies Business Administration.  She loves hikiing, meeting new people, trying new things, reading and running.  Laughing Water is lucky to have her on our staff this year. 


Dave Rockow: Wrangler/Fort Laramie Sgt Major

David is a Montana native, having grown up in the Bitteroots. His passion is hunting and fishing, but he is a great hand with the horse too. He loves kids and looks forward to teaching the cavalry recruits all about Montana and how to scout it on horseback. He brings a depth of horse and gun safety experience - Laughing Water is happy to have him on the crew!

Vickie Marks: Kamp Kootenai Counselor

Vickie is our Michigan Cowgirl! She is on light duty this year and is perfectly filling the role of White Dove, our resident Indian Princess overseeing our Kamp Kootenai program for the younger kids.

Judy : Morning Chef

 Judy loves people. She is naturally talented in the kitchen, but also loves to be out with the guests making them feel comfortable and doing her best to make them feel at home. Judy is a talented Montana gal.  She is a cattle rancher, who farms remodels, loves quilting, leather work, cooking and learning new things.  When not in the kitchen you can find her helping in housekeeping and around the ranch.  She loves meeting the guests and working with the Laughing Water staff who have become her friends.


Cassandra Cumbie: Waitress/Housekeeper

This is Cassandra's second year at Laughing Water where she brings a depth of experience in housekeeping uncommon in such a young woman. She was easy to hire. In addition to being pleasant and polite she is admired for her attention to detail. She has lived in the east and southwest, but went to high school here in Eureka, Montana.


Cheryl Mote: Waitress/Housekeeper

A native of Colorado, Cheryl moved here 1993 and heard about Laughing Water Ranch from our old manager Joe Bowland.  It was our fortune that she decided to hire on to lend her cheerful manner and womanly touch to our operation.  She likes quilting, gardening, hunting with her husband.  She loves being her own woman out here in Montana, by growing her own fruits & vegetables, harvesting wild game, and interacting with people on a more relaxed and personal basis.  She loves to meet and get to know the guests and to see Montana anew through their eyes.

Sarah Wimbley: Waitress/Housekeeper

Sarah was born in Houston, TX but moved to Montana when she was a child.  She enjoys quilting, scrapbooking, reading biographies and meeting new people.  She is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and will be working in India at the end of the year where her fiance Albert lives.  Her favorite part about working at Laughing Water is meeting people from all over, hearing about their backgrounds & dreams and helping to give them the best possible ranch experience. 

Amanda Donnell: Waitress/Housekeeper

This is Amanda's 3rd year with Laughing Water and we were excited when she offered to come back. She has a very efficient way of getting the job done, while maintaining a smiling and pleasant demeanor. She lives up Pinkham near our Cattle Drive camp, so you'll probably see her helping Shane with the cooking and cleaning.