Meet The Team

  • Michelle McKeown

    Café Manager

    Michelle McKeown

    Café Manager

    My role

    As Café Manager, I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the café. My job is fast-paced and no two days are ever the same which is one of the things I love most about my role.  I am continuously developing new ideas for The Café and ensuring an exceptionally high standard of customer service is in place for our customers to enjoy.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I love to see the familiar faces of our customers, especially our regulars who are members and also the new faces we see each and every day. I feel like I am a people person and I love to spend time engaging with everyone and discover why they have chosen to visit us. It helps me to plan what I can do so that they not only return time and time again but that they leave recommending us to family and friends.

    Away from work

    Hospitality is my passion therefore outside of work I enjoy discovering new places while catching up with friends. I enjoy music and love to attend live concerts as often as I possibly can. I enjoy travelling and look forward to ticking off more of the many cities that are still on my bucket list.

    Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing & Business Developement Manager
    Tracy O'Toole at Montalto Estate

    Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing & Business Developement Manager

    My role

    In my role, I’m responsible for managing the publicity of Montalto Estate; this includes the promotion of all events and private hire venues, branding, advertising, and raising the overall profile of the business.

    As well as managing current marketing activities, my role is strategic and due to the variety of services and attractions that we offer to the public, it involves creating a long-term marketing plan to ensure Montalto Estate continues to develop as a leading tourist attraction.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I love walking through the estate on my own, with just the sights and sounds of nature surrounding me. It’s a great way to feel rejuvenated and relaxed, which is exactly what opening up Montalto for people to enjoy is all about. I’ve recently been to The Lost Garden and I’m very excited about what this area will look like by the time it’s ready for the public to visit.

    Away from work

    I enjoy walking my dog, meeting up with friends, and I love to travel; my husband and I spend a lot of time planning where our next destination will be.

    David Wilson

    Managing Director

    David Wilson

    Managing Director

    My role

    As MD of Montalto, my role is a very strategic one, as we look to implement our ambitious plans which will see the estate enter the next stage of its life. However, as a chartered fellow accountant, the financial aspects of the business are at the core of my responsibilities. However, I do get out of the office now and then to give guided tours of the house.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    Having grown up here, this was a difficult one for me for the simple reason that I have inherited my parents’ passion for the estate. However, if I had to choose one, it would be The Boat House, one of our more recent additions: this serene setting offers incredible views of the house and mirror-like reflections on the lake. If you ever feel the need to take some time for quiet reflection, this is the perfect place to do it.

    Away from work

    I have two children under the age of eleven, so I like to devote all my free time to my family and days out with them.  Also, with such a close connection to Montalto, myself and my family love spending time on the estate grounds – an experience other families are able to enjoy now too.

    Lesley Heron

    Head Gardener

    Lesley Heron

    Head Gardener

    My role

    My role here at Montalto as head gardener covers a lot of ground – literally, as the estate is 400 acres! I manage the day to day running of the gardens and wider estate alongside a dedicated team of gardeners and volunteers. In addition to this, I plan and develop new areas of the garden that will in time be open to the public – we have some very exciting projects in the pipeline at the minute so watch this space….
    I also run events that are included within my job, these include garden tours, floristry classes and garden workshops.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    My favourite thing about Montalto is the plants. We have such an array of the most beautiful and unusual plants and specimen trees here on the estate. With each season there is a new pique of interest to grab your attention, and this interest is not only for your eyes – it captivates all the senses.

    Away from work

    As you can imagine I also love visiting other gardens and garden nurseries and can never come away without a new plant.

  • Kevin Keenan

    Venue Manager

    Kevin Keenan

    Venue Manager

    My role

    I recently joined the Montalto team as their Venue & Sales Manager. Within this role, this is a large scope for variety every day. I oversee the planning and organising of all of our stunning weddings along with corporate and public events throughout the year. I also work closely with the sales and marketing team to promote the estate to groups and tour operators as one of the top tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    As someone who loves the great outdoors, Montalto has something really different to offer. One of my favorite things about the estate is that every morning when I am driving through the gates, it feels like a mystery, due to the endless acres and stunning nature and wildlife Montalto has to offer. I also really enjoy spending time in the beautiful Walled Garden. It’s an area that can only be accessed when attending an event or wedding in The Carriage Rooms so it has a secret garden feel and is somewhere very special indeed.

    Away from work

    Having recently moved near the sea, I have developed a passion for sailing and fishing. Having previously lived away from Northern Ireland, I am a keen traveller and love to explore new countries around the world and take in the cultures I experience.

    Paul Ferguson

    Head Chef

    Paul Ferguson

    Head Chef

    My role

    As Head Chef of the estate, I always look to create menus that not only support local independent suppliers in the area, but also incorporate many ingredients grown by our gardeners on the estate. This not only helps to sustain the local economy, it is also better for our environment and ensures our customers always eat fresh ingredients of the highest quality.

    As well as the café, my kitchen team and I cater for many different events around the estate, from afternoon teas in Montalto House to evening tasting menus throughout the year.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I don’t often get to venture too far from the kitchens as Head Chef however I have always loved my morning drive through the estate. Early in the morning as the sun is coming up sometimes with rabbits running around. On a few occasions I’ve even spotted red squirrels climbing the trees. It’s a great way to start the day.

    Away from work

    I love to spend my time away from work with my wife, taking our dog for long walks, going out to local restaurants and catching up with friends and family with a few craft beers along the way.

    Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director
    Keith J Reilly at Montalto Estate

    Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director

    My role

    As Operations Director my daily duties are varied. I originally joined the company as Manager of The Carriage Rooms back in 2012. Since the decision was taken to open the estate, my role has changed to focus on preparing the business for this. Thus, my role includes overseeing events, HR, operations, marketing and a lot more besides. Working closely with David, my brother-in-law, is fundamental to ensuring the future success and smooth running of the estate.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I first came to know of the estate when I was 16 and I met my future wife Rachael, Gordon and June’s daughter. Because of my familiarity with the estate, I could pick many areas, but the one that most stands out for me is Shackleton’s Wood. This relatively small wooded area is visible from my house, and a short walk takes myself and my family right up on to it. I love the formation of the trees, and the elevation of the area gives stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

    Away from work

    With four children between the ages of 6 and 13, most of my spare time is spent with family. I love running and have completed a number of marathons and ultra-marathons. I am on the Board of Governors for Spa PS, and coach Mini Rugby on Saturday mornings for Ballynahinch RFC.

    Natalia Maxwell

    Assistant Venue Manager

    Natalia Maxwell

    Assistant Venue Manager

    My role

    As Assistant Venue Manager my role varies from day to day, from the very popular events run in Montalto House to a stunning wedding in The Carriage Rooms, no two days are the same. I work closely with the Venue Manager to oversee the events taking place in our two venues, Montalto Estate and The Carriage Rooms and throughout the estate overall.
    My role is fast-paced and very rewarding. From the moment we meet a client, to the end of the event, we will be on hand to ensure a smooth and successful event or a wedding.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The surroundings. Montalto Estate is simply stunning.
    I am an avid outdoors person, and this is what attracted me to Montalto in the first place. From the Formal Garden to the Boat House, there is such a beautiful range of nature at its finest, groomed to perfection by our gardeners. Whether it be an event in Montalto House or the exclusive grounds of The Carriage Rooms, the continuous change that comes with each season is simply stunning.

    Away from work

    You will find me either trying out a new restaurant, on a hike up the Mourne Mountains, or a dip in the sea!

  • Carol Jennings

    Secretary
    Carol Jennings at Montalto Estate

    Carol Jennings

    Secretary

    My role

    As secretary, I am responsible for all reception duties, which helps to keep the day-to-day business ticking over. However, because I have been working for Gordon and June for many years, in a number of roles, I’m often called upon to carry out lots of other tasks, such as assisting with events and afternoon teas.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The estate is a beautiful and incredibly picturesque place to work so even on the most stressful of days, just stepping out of the office and into the grounds can work wonders. I have had the pleasure of watching the estate change and develop over many years, and it’s a real honour to be able to work somewhere so beautiful and so full of history.

    Away from work

    As a mum to three teenagers, I don’t have a lot of free time for hobbies and interests. Aside from being a part-time chauffeur to my children, I do enjoy watching football, and I like to keep fit with the help of a personal trainer.

  • Michelle McKeown

    Café Manager

    Michelle McKeown

    Café Manager

    My role

    As Café Manager, I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the café. My job is fast-paced and no two days are ever the same which is one of the things I love most about my role.  I am continuously developing new ideas for The Café and ensuring an exceptionally high standard of customer service is in place for our customers to enjoy.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I love to see the familiar faces of our customers, especially our regulars who are members and also the new faces we see each and every day. I feel like I am a people person and I love to spend time engaging with everyone and discover why they have chosen to visit us. It helps me to plan what I can do so that they not only return time and time again but that they leave recommending us to family and friends.

    Away from work

    Hospitality is my passion therefore outside of work I enjoy discovering new places while catching up with friends. I enjoy music and love to attend live concerts as often as I possibly can. I enjoy travelling and look forward to ticking off more of the many cities that are still on my bucket list.

  • Paul Ferguson

    Head Chef

    Paul Ferguson

    Head Chef

    My role

    As Head Chef of the estate, I always look to create menus that not only support local independent suppliers in the area, but also incorporate many ingredients grown by our gardeners on the estate. This not only helps to sustain the local economy, it is also better for our environment and ensures our customers always eat fresh ingredients of the highest quality.

    As well as the café, my kitchen team and I cater for many different events around the estate, from afternoon teas in Montalto House to evening tasting menus throughout the year.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I don’t often get to venture too far from the kitchens as Head Chef however I have always loved my morning drive through the estate. Early in the morning as the sun is coming up sometimes with rabbits running around. On a few occasions I’ve even spotted red squirrels climbing the trees. It’s a great way to start the day.

    Away from work

    I love to spend my time away from work with my wife, taking our dog for long walks, going out to local restaurants and catching up with friends and family with a few craft beers along the way.

  • Natalia Maxwell

    Assistant Venue Manager

    Natalia Maxwell

    Assistant Venue Manager

    My role

    As Assistant Venue Manager my role varies from day to day, from the very popular events run in Montalto House to a stunning wedding in The Carriage Rooms, no two days are the same. I work closely with the Venue Manager to oversee the events taking place in our two venues, Montalto Estate and The Carriage Rooms and throughout the estate overall.
    My role is fast-paced and very rewarding. From the moment we meet a client, to the end of the event, we will be on hand to ensure a smooth and successful event or a wedding.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The surroundings. Montalto Estate is simply stunning.
    I am an avid outdoors person, and this is what attracted me to Montalto in the first place. From the Formal Garden to the Boat House, there is such a beautiful range of nature at its finest, groomed to perfection by our gardeners. Whether it be an event in Montalto House or the exclusive grounds of The Carriage Rooms, the continuous change that comes with each season is simply stunning.

    Away from work

    You will find me either trying out a new restaurant, on a hike up the Mourne Mountains, or a dip in the sea!

  • Lesley Heron

    Head Gardener

    Lesley Heron

    Head Gardener

    My role

    My role here at Montalto as head gardener covers a lot of ground – literally, as the estate is 400 acres! I manage the day to day running of the gardens and wider estate alongside a dedicated team of gardeners and volunteers. In addition to this, I plan and develop new areas of the garden that will in time be open to the public – we have some very exciting projects in the pipeline at the minute so watch this space….
    I also run events that are included within my job, these include garden tours, floristry classes and garden workshops.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    My favourite thing about Montalto is the plants. We have such an array of the most beautiful and unusual plants and specimen trees here on the estate. With each season there is a new pique of interest to grab your attention, and this interest is not only for your eyes – it captivates all the senses.

    Away from work

    As you can imagine I also love visiting other gardens and garden nurseries and can never come away without a new plant.

  • Kevin Keenan

    Venue Manager

    Kevin Keenan

    Venue Manager

    My role

    I recently joined the Montalto team as their Venue & Sales Manager. Within this role, this is a large scope for variety every day. I oversee the planning and organising of all of our stunning weddings along with corporate and public events throughout the year. I also work closely with the sales and marketing team to promote the estate to groups and tour operators as one of the top tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    As someone who loves the great outdoors, Montalto has something really different to offer. One of my favorite things about the estate is that every morning when I am driving through the gates, it feels like a mystery, due to the endless acres and stunning nature and wildlife Montalto has to offer. I also really enjoy spending time in the beautiful Walled Garden. It’s an area that can only be accessed when attending an event or wedding in The Carriage Rooms so it has a secret garden feel and is somewhere very special indeed.

    Away from work

    Having recently moved near the sea, I have developed a passion for sailing and fishing. Having previously lived away from Northern Ireland, I am a keen traveller and love to explore new countries around the world and take in the cultures I experience.

  • Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing & Business Developement Manager
    Tracy O'Toole at Montalto Estate

    Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing & Business Developement Manager

    My role

    In my role, I’m responsible for managing the publicity of Montalto Estate; this includes the promotion of all events and private hire venues, branding, advertising, and raising the overall profile of the business.

    As well as managing current marketing activities, my role is strategic and due to the variety of services and attractions that we offer to the public, it involves creating a long-term marketing plan to ensure Montalto Estate continues to develop as a leading tourist attraction.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I love walking through the estate on my own, with just the sights and sounds of nature surrounding me. It’s a great way to feel rejuvenated and relaxed, which is exactly what opening up Montalto for people to enjoy is all about. I’ve recently been to The Lost Garden and I’m very excited about what this area will look like by the time it’s ready for the public to visit.

    Away from work

    I enjoy walking my dog, meeting up with friends, and I love to travel; my husband and I spend a lot of time planning where our next destination will be.

  • Carol Jennings

    Secretary
    Carol Jennings at Montalto Estate

    Carol Jennings

    Secretary

    My role

    As secretary, I am responsible for all reception duties, which helps to keep the day-to-day business ticking over. However, because I have been working for Gordon and June for many years, in a number of roles, I’m often called upon to carry out lots of other tasks, such as assisting with events and afternoon teas.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The estate is a beautiful and incredibly picturesque place to work so even on the most stressful of days, just stepping out of the office and into the grounds can work wonders. I have had the pleasure of watching the estate change and develop over many years, and it’s a real honour to be able to work somewhere so beautiful and so full of history.

    Away from work

    As a mum to three teenagers, I don’t have a lot of free time for hobbies and interests. Aside from being a part-time chauffeur to my children, I do enjoy watching football, and I like to keep fit with the help of a personal trainer.

  • Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director
    Keith J Reilly at Montalto Estate

    Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director

    My role

    As Operations Director my daily duties are varied. I originally joined the company as Manager of The Carriage Rooms back in 2012. Since the decision was taken to open the estate, my role has changed to focus on preparing the business for this. Thus, my role includes overseeing events, HR, operations, marketing and a lot more besides. Working closely with David, my brother-in-law, is fundamental to ensuring the future success and smooth running of the estate.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I first came to know of the estate when I was 16 and I met my future wife Rachael, Gordon and June’s daughter. Because of my familiarity with the estate, I could pick many areas, but the one that most stands out for me is Shackleton’s Wood. This relatively small wooded area is visible from my house, and a short walk takes myself and my family right up on to it. I love the formation of the trees, and the elevation of the area gives stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

    Away from work

    With four children between the ages of 6 and 13, most of my spare time is spent with family. I love running and have completed a number of marathons and ultra-marathons. I am on the Board of Governors for Spa PS, and coach Mini Rugby on Saturday mornings for Ballynahinch RFC.

  • David Wilson

    Managing Director

    David Wilson

    Managing Director

    My role

    As MD of Montalto, my role is a very strategic one, as we look to implement our ambitious plans which will see the estate enter the next stage of its life. However, as a chartered fellow accountant, the financial aspects of the business are at the core of my responsibilities. However, I do get out of the office now and then to give guided tours of the house.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    Having grown up here, this was a difficult one for me for the simple reason that I have inherited my parents’ passion for the estate. However, if I had to choose one, it would be The Boat House, one of our more recent additions: this serene setting offers incredible views of the house and mirror-like reflections on the lake. If you ever feel the need to take some time for quiet reflection, this is the perfect place to do it.

    Away from work

    I have two children under the age of eleven, so I like to devote all my free time to my family and days out with them.  Also, with such a close connection to Montalto, myself and my family love spending time on the estate grounds – an experience other families are able to enjoy now too.

Vacancies & Volunteering

As an estate that consists of many beautiful trails and gardens, set amongst hundreds of acres of wonderful natural beauty, volunteering at Montalto Estate is a great experience for anyone with an interest in nature, gardening, horticulture, wildlife, heritage, or culture.

So, if you’re looking for a new experience helping us improve Montalto for the benefit of everyone, we would love to hear from you.

Find out more