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Kristann Silkwood Mattes
President and 
Director of the Board

Kristann Mattes is the great-granddaughter of Founder Harmon Bigelow and Leota Bigelow, and daughter of Luanne Silkwood. She resides in O'Neals with her husband, Jim, and two children. Mattes assumed the role as President in 2014, succeeding the leadership of her mother. As President of Ponderosa, Mattes works with the Executive Management team and the Board of Directors to guide her family company through the complex issues of the telecommunications business.

Mattes attended Fresno State University, where she completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics in 1976 and embarked upon a distinguished career in education. Her ultimate goal after graduation was to learn how to be a leader in preparation for her return to run the family business.

Having grown up on the family ranch in O’Neals, she grew to love the rural lifestyle. After entering the field of education she was strongly drawn to create an educational environment for students and teachers in the field of agriculture. She earned the American Farmer Degree in 1973 and the Honorary American FFA Degree in 1996. Today Mattes is a respected leader in her field as Chair of the Minarets High Agricultural Dept., distinguished as the fastest growing FFA chapter in California, Chairman of the California FFA Adult Board of Directors, and Past Chairman of the California FFA Foundation. Of the numerous accolades she has received she most prizes the “Star State Advisor” in 1990.

Mattes, her husband and children continue to work as a family on her family’s ranch in O’Neals raising approximately 100 head of registered Angus and Shorthorn cattle, 10 head of market swine, 30 head of Suffolk and Hampshire sheep, 30 head of goats, as well as, rabbits and chickens; many, of which, are shown by her children at state and local livestock shows.


Kristann Mattes


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