DUCHESS OF LARK LXI
Straka is a Whitefish native, born in 1985 to Joe and Cindy Straka, who relocated to Montana from the midwest in the early 80’s. She was raised in Whitefish with her younger brother Sam, attended Whitefish schools and graduated at the top of her class in 2003. She attended college at the University of Notre Dame and graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Longing for the mountains and the familiarity of her hometown, she moved back to Whitefish shortly after finishing college.
Planning to take a “year off” before pursuing a career or graduate studies, Straka worked in local restaurants and spent her time enjoying being home in Montana. One year quickly turned into a decade, and she found she loved the hospitality industry, interacting with people from all walks of life, locals and tourists alike. She currently is the Front of House Manager at Last Chair Kitchen and Bar, and can still be found some evenings in the restaurant, although she now primarily works full-time as a Branch Office Administrator at Edward Jones Investments.
She enjoys spending her free time with her partner of nine years, Jason Callihan, and their two dogs, Ruckus and Cannon. They are usually rafting the North Fork, camping or exploring Northwest Montana in the summer, and skiing the Mountain in the winter. Straka is actively involved in the community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Nate Chute Foundation for suicide prevention, a cause she is deeply passionate about. She has previously participated in Whitefish Winter Carnival as a Viking Diva, following in the footsteps of Jason’s mother Teresa Kelly, who was one of the original Divas.