VOL.15 No.4 Business

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Featured 10. Cari Klepper Profile 14. Yoga Hive 22. Mountain West p lasti C s urger Y 26. tH e Coop at Mountainside 30. Brittan Y Co B urn, np -C Finance 18. Mann Mortgage 8 406 w oman.com 14... woman 4 06 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2022 Skirts Publishing Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year view current and past issues of 406 Woman at www.406 w oman.com History 44. a tale of tW o f lig H ts Health 32. Hope tH roug H t H e Mi C ros C ope 36. a Holisti C a pproa CH to Healt H 46. g rin & sH are i t Nonprofit 40. tH e H eart p rogra M

MEETING the needs of Microsoft & so much more

Getting to know Cari Klepper

Amidst this huge world, the Flathead Valley is a very small place. A dozen or so small towns nestled within Montana’s snowy mountains and crystal lakes, it’s easy to think not much happens here. Stand still for even a moment, however, and suddenly the deceptively easygoing atmosphere is alive. Marathons, festivals, concerts, there’s always something going on for those seeking a good time.

To have these events work successfully, to flow or explode into something memorable, one needs to prepare - Venues, food & beverage, talent & entertainment, sponsors & fundraising - all need to be planned. Where will it take place, and what time? How will we get the word out? How many will attend? Most importantly, how will these questions be answered in an efficient and timely manner?

For someone like me who can barely keep her head on straight for more than a day, these thoughts are nauseating. For Cari Klepper, on the other hand, these are things she thinks about every day. She founded her events company, The Chinook Group, LLC in 1993. For 25 years, Klepper has been an event planning supplier for Microsoft. For the past 16 years, she’s been a Whitefish local and recently has been offering her services to businesses in Montana and for the past three years, she’s been the executive producer and one of the founding voices for the Whitefish Songwriter Festival.

A fourth generation Montanan growing up on a cattle ranch north of Shelby, Klepper dreamed about places beyond the Big Sky. After graduat-

ing from University of Montana, she moved off to Washington DC and began to work for what she wanted. She worked for the Reagan Administration at the Small Business Administration and later in the White House. She was the executive director of the United Shareholder Association, a Washington DC special interest group founded by finance titan T. Boone Pickens. Afterwards she helped build the music jingle business Big Sky Music, where you can still hear its influence with companies like Town Pump, Sportsman Ski Haus, and Oh’s Body Shop ads running on radio and TV to this day.

Around this same time, an opportunity was brought to Klepper via a friend. “I just kind of fell into it, like with everything else I’ve done,” Klepper said over the phone on a very snowy afternoon, “Opportunities just kind of come to me and I go for it.” This time, the opportunity brought her to Microsoft, when her company became a lead organizer for Microsoft events around the world.

Klepper, who prides herself more on her street smarts and work ethic than traditional schooling, joked about how her father said the best thing she learned while in college was how to throw a good party and she’s made a career out of it. Working for Microsoft proved to be the perfect career; every occasion challenging Klepper into taking Microsoft’s vision and turning it into a reality. She loves creating an environment that gives people the opportunity to network, learn or just have a meaningful experience.

About two decades into her career, Klepper and her husband, Kevin decided to spend a stint in Montana. They traveled from the East Coast to Whitefish with the full intention of returning to New York City, but soon fell under Whitefish’s spell. Klepper’s family has had a home on Whitefish Lake since 1970 so she knew the area well. “We moved here when I was pregnant with our second child. Six months later when it was time to head back to NYC my husband said ‘Let’s stay in Whitefish. We’re closer to Microsoft here, and we can’t leave during ski season!’ So, I said ‘Oh, ok, fine.’” Klepper laughs fondly at the memory.

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Photo by Amanda Wilson Photography - Styled by SM Bradford

Klepper is still running events for Microsoft and consulting for a local business, Glacier Hops Ranch, along with helping other organizations in the valley. One in particular, is the Whitefish Songwriter Festival.

Her involvement started a few years ago and was simple enough. Her friend, Mike Booth, approached her with an idea: A three-day festival designed for the original artists of music - songwriters.

Booth wanted to bring songwriters in from all over the country and give them an opportunity to perform their songs and shine a welldeserved light on themselves and others. And he wanted Klepper for her help. While he used his ties to bring in the talent, she was the one to tie everything together and get the word out. “Our mission is to promote the art of songwriting, encourage tourism in Whitefish and support music education. We need to create awareness and teach those who love music about the original artists - the songwriters. The hard part isn’t getting the songwriter to participate in the festival, it’s educating people and getting them to buy tickets and attend, because this is not a traditional music festival.”

Over the course of the three day festival, hit and rising star songwriters converge on Whitefish to play their original music and tell the stories behind their songs. This year, the Whitefish Songwriter Festival is slated for September 1416 and will take place at bars, restaurants and theaters around town.

The Kleppers have two children, Kellie born in Montana and their eldest Christian who

was born in New York City. As a family they still reside in Whitefish and when they aren’t working (Kevin has his own business) they are out enjoying Montana like the rest of us. “In the summer, I’m constantly on the lake try ing to take advantage of everything Montana, particularly Whitefish, has to offer.”

With the Whitefish Songwriter Festival about to enter its third year, Klepper also considers what else could be in store for her future. “My husband and I are reaching the age where we’re thinking about retiring or slowing down, but both of us will probably always work.” She likes the idea of offering her services to other non-profit organizations; her most recent one being the Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation to support her daughter who is a ski racer. The challenges of corporate events are exciting, but to coordinate a non-profit event where you come to support a good cause, have some fun, or to learn something has be come increasingly meaningful for Klepper.

When I asked if there was a process to help her push through too much pressure, or whenever she’s faced with a difficult chal lenge, she stated it’s best to take a step back and gain some perspective. As important as it is to make sure your attendees are getting what they expect and need, it’s healthy to re member that you can plan for everything, but sometimes the unexpected happens; that the world won’t end if things aren’t perfect. “After all,” she declared firmly, “It’s just an event.”

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featured} Cari Klepper
It’s healthy to remember that you can plan for everything, but sometimes the unexpected happens; that the world won’t end if things aren’t perfect.
Top left to bottom: Mike Booth, Kalyn Beasley, and Cari Klepper – Whitefish Songwriter Festival – 2021. Then VP George Bush and Cari - 1981 at an event at the VP home. Michael Visconti, my Big Sky Music business partner and friend, Marla Maples– New York City 1994. Cari Branding at the Ranch – Flying F Ranch –Sweet Grass Hills, MT – 1980. Cari and festival founder Mike Booth - 2021. Cari and husband Kevin – Ranch 1999

Yoga for all… For healthyourand wellbeing

Yoga Hive

There’s been a lot of buzz in the last decade about yoga. While it’s not quite like seeing a Starbucks on every corner, yoga studios are popping up all over the U.S. at an exponential rate. And there’s a reason that this multibillion dollar a year industry is booming - yoga is genuinely helping people to live happier and healthier lives.

Yoga is a holistic health practice with roots in ancient India but is now taught worldwide. The purpose of yoga is to enliven the body, mind and spirit in order to reach your highest human potential. Yoga is not religious, but welcomes people of all religions, ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds. In the west, many place heavy emphasis on yoga postures and flexibility, but traditional yoga actually goes much deeper than just the physical component. It includes meditation and breathing techniques for relaxing or energizing your nervous system.

“Sometimes I hear people say: ‘Oh I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible,’ or ‘I can’t meditate because my mind is so busy,’” says Shelle Kuntz, Owner of Yoga Hive Montana. “But the whole point of practicing yoga is to work on these things. That’s why they call it a practice. Just like with any life goal,

you have to begin where you’re at. If we were already flexible and always in perfect harmony, then there would be no point in doing yoga!”

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you see images in advertisements of ultra thin models contorting themselves into extreme yoga postures. You might think: “that’s impossible, I can’t do yoga.” In reality, being hyper flexible like this is neither necessary nor possible for most people. You don’t even need to be able to touch your toes to practice yoga! What’s really important in yoga is connecting deeply with yourself. To cultivate a sense of inner peace and contentment in the journey of slowly increasing your own strength and flexibility. The human body is designed to move daily. When you move, breathe, stretch, balance, and strengthen, you feel much more at ease in your body. You’ll reduce pains and tightness in the back and hips, and prevent future injuries from occurring.

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So what is yoga and why does it work so well?
What’s really important in yoga is connecting deeply with yourself. To cultivate a sense of inner peace and contentment in the journey of slowly increasing your own strength and flexibility.

“At Yoga Hive Montana, we really wanted to create an inclusive atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone,” said Shelle. “We’re not a cliquey Instagram yoga studio. You don’t need to be in shape, young, flexible, or experienced. You don’t need to be enlightened. You can come in as an absolute beginner with zero experience. We just want to share all the amazing health benefits of yoga with our community. We want anyone in the Flathead Valley to be able to walk in exactly as they are and feel welcome.”

Stress management is arguably one of the most profound benefits to regular yoga practice. We live in a fast paced technological world, with high demands placed on us at work, school, and in family life. We need to open our eyes to a staggering truth: Stress is the #1 cause of major health problems: Hypertension, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Depression, Gastrointestinal Problems, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more.

Some stress can help propel us forward to meet our goals, but if left unchecked, stress can cause serious issues.

Fortunately, with simple yoga breathing techniques and meditation practices, we can directly regulate our nervous system and lower

our stress response. We can take our health into our own hands through regular yoga and meditation practice. We all deserve to enjoy a higher quality of life with our loved ones.

“Lots of people that are new to the studio say that their doctor, therapist, or counselor advised them to get into yoga,” Shelle noted. “Or they say they’ve been thinking about it for a long time and are finally diving in. I think it’s great that yoga has become mainstream now. It's just not worth it to wait for problems to arise so that a doctor has to tell you to start going to yoga. Living a healthy lifestyle can begin today.”

When you walk into the doors of Yoga Hive Montana, you find yourself in a lovely zen environment that feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s cozy and artistic, yet spacious and expansive. The design inspires a sense of clarity and well-being. There’s complimentary hot coffee and tea at the entrance, places to sit and relax, and yoga equipment like mats and blocks are provided. “Lots of people walk into the studio and say it feels like home,” says Shelle. “Lasting friendships are built here. It’s a strong community.”

Yoga Hive Montana has two locations in the North Valley - in Whitefish and Columbia Falls.

“We’re really excited to be remodeling the Columbia Falls location to have that cozy at

home feeling that our students love,” Shelle said. “Aerial yoga classes and trainings are expected to be on the Whitefish schedule in the next couple of months once the steel supports are in place. Also in Whitefish, we opened a lululemon boutique featuring an amazing collection of women’s and men’s styles. So lots of exciting things are on the horizon!”

Shelle, a student of yoga for over 20 years, recently traveled to Rishikesh, India for advanced training from the source. She personally teaches classes plus has a strong staff of world class teachers who teach a variety of styles and levels of yoga. With everything from Yoga 101 classes for absolute beginners, challenging vinyasa flow classes, meditation classes, and Energy Medicine Yoga, there’s something for everyone at the studio. A full class schedule is available on the website. You can sign up online or just walk in. Wear some loose, comfortable clothes and just bring yourself. Free tours of the studio space are offered on request by calling 406.862.1571.

“We’re really honored to teach yoga in its traditional form. We do our best to stay true to the essence of these ancient yoga teachings and serve the community from a heartfelt place.”

www.yogahivemontana.com

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“Lots of people walk into the studio and say it feels like home,” says Shelle. “Lasting friendships are built here. It’s a strong community.”
Photo by Green Kat Photography Photo Amanda Wilson Photography

SolutionS to A Challenging Market

There is no question we are in a challenging real estate market (I have been in real estate lending for 25 years, and the current market is as difficult as I’ve seen), says Steve Paulson. It is also apparent that the Flathead Valley market has and continues to shift. The Flathead went from being “known” to the fastest growing micropolitan area in the United States in 2022 as we experienced a massive influx of out of state buyers (many of them cash buyers) looking to re-locate to an area with fewer COVID restrictions and a better quality of life.

With current inflation peaking at 8.5 percent, it seems logical that homeowners and borrowers would reflect back to the housing crash of 2008 and be spooked. Historically, two current, consecutive, quarters of negative GDP (Gross Domestic Product) indicate a recession is on the way and that’s exactly where we sit

today. So, what are the concerns and what is the status of today’s real estate market?

Let’s d I scuss these conce R ns: 1. Interest rates are too high: The current 30 year fixed rate for a Conventional home loan is 6.25%, compared to interest rates in December of 2020 of 2.71% - a historic low. It is important to note that the Federal

Reserve was engaged in substantial quantitative easing from the Great Recession of 2006 through the second half of 2022. Quantitative easing (QE) refers to the Federal Reserve's purchases of large quantities of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises and federal agencies to achieve its monetary policy objectives. In a nutshell, mortgage rates were artificially manipulated lower in order to keep the economy strong. A total of approximately 8.58 trillion dollars was added to the Fed’s balance sheet.

As QE comes to an end and the Fed unloads its balance sheet, interest rates will have to find their footing and adjust to a new “normal.” As inflation moderates, we have already seen rates begin to move lower and we expect to see continued improvement through 2023.

We have seen a shift in the real estate market from a “Seller’s Market” (multiple offers, many of which are above listing price) to a “Buyer’s

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Interest rates are too high
Inventory is low (can’t find anything to buy – especially first-time homebuyers and borrowers looking to purchase at lower price points)
Recession fears/housing bubble on the horizon and home prices are going to crash
It is best to wait until we get through this challenging time to buy a home

Market” (price reductions and interested party contributions, or IPCs). IPC’s are provided by Sellers, Realtors, and Builders to cover closing costs, temporary interest rate buy-downs, and permanent interest rate buy-downs. These are especially attractive to prospective buyers as it allows a mechanism to get initial interest rates and monthly payments substantially lower. For example, a 2-1 Buydown would have an initial rate of 4.25% for the first year, and 5.25% in year two, before adjusting to the full rate of 6.25% in year three. This represents monthly payment savings of nearly $620, and $320 respectively. Since these costs can be paid by the Seller, it is a tremendous incentive to allow buyers to purchase a home now rather than waiting for rates to come back down on their own. Currently, Sellers are motivated, and buyers have an opportunity to take advantage.

2. Inventory is low: There is no question that inventory levels are low, increasing exponentially as the price point is reduced. Flathead County is no exception to the rest of the country when it comes to navigating through an undersupply of homes. With new household formations far exceeding current inventory levels, there simply aren’t enough homes for sale to meet the current demand. It is difficult to tell when this might change, but experts agree it will be many years down the road at the earliest.

3. Recession fears / there is a housing bubble on the horizon and home prices are going to crash: This simply is not expected to be the case. The 2008 housing bubble was the result of several factors. Oversupply of available housing (more homes to buy than customers to buy them – supply and demand 101). Soft lending standards such as stated income and no income verification loans, negative amortization loans, and loans with unrealistic “teaser rates.”) Fast forward to today and reverse that 180 degrees. Lending standards are tight, loan programs, for the most part are straightforward and require qualification of the borrower, and there is a massive undersupply of inventory.

The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, recently issued a warning that one-third of the global economy will be in a recession this year. While the U.S. may or may not be in a recession as of now, we have seen sev-

eral recessionary indicators, including a deeply inverted yield curve, declining lead ing economic indicators, and two consecu tive negative quarters of GDP. When people hear the word recession, they may think that home prices are likely to decline, but history shows us that home values have done very well during and after eight of the past nine recessions. In fact, recessions have often proven to be some of the best buying opportunities.

Most experts agree that home values will continue to increase on a year over year basis, albeit the gains will be nowhere near the double digit increases of the past several years (the expectation is for mod est annual increases of 2-5% depending on location). The fact is, today’s market is the friendliest buyer’s market in years, and buyers that are waiting on the sideline for interest rates to come back down or inven tory levels to pick up before buying a home are going to be hurdled by those that recognize the current opportunities that exist. The reality is that as interest rates continue to come back down, all of the prospective buyers currently sitting on the sideline are going to re-enter the market. This will undoubtedly increase competition for the current undersupply of inventory and drive home prices higher. This could potentially revert the current market back to favoring Sellers and negate today’s current opportunities of motivated sellers and interested party contributions. In addition, any monthly payment gains obtained by lower rates could be offset by higher prices spurred by increased competition for available inventory and less motivated Sellers.

Bottom line, the borrowers that take advantage of purchasing today will come out ahead. They will capitalize on motivated Sellers, interested party contribution opportunities that allow for immediate monthly payment savings, and build wealth through home appreciation. These individuals will also benefit from re-financing as rates drop in the months to come, potentially taking advantage of unused, temporary buydown funds to help pay for it.

While most lending institutions offer permanent and temporary buy-downs options and interested party contributions, Mann Mortgage specializes in maximizing their use in the very best interest of our customers. We are unmatched in our ability to understand these programs and offer a means of utilizing these incentives in a way that is beneficial to all parties. The end goal is to show buyers “how” to structure a loan in a manner that gives them a monthly payment they can afford in a high interest rate market. www.mannmortgage.com

“It’s been a whirlwind market for the last number of years and continues to be a wild ride as things have shifted in the most unbelievably rapid way. With a rise in rates, we are seeing many sellers open and motivated to negotiate in order to entice a sale. Rather than reducing an amount to make a better-looking price tag, we’ve found that educating sellers that a concession in the same amount to pay closing fees and/or temporarily buy down the interest rate (1 to 2%) creates a much more attractive loan scenario for the buyer. Mann Mortgage professionals are experts in constructing the best use of these seller concessions to each buyer’s unique optimum benefit. It’s a WIN-WIN…Seller sells more quickly… Buyer takes advantage of most beneficial options. I’ve worked very closely with Shane McChesney and the team at Mann Mortgage for many years. They brilliantly guide the process and find the absolute best solutions. Their office also handles all loan processing locally which brings an exceptional power punch to an offer!“

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Leah

Mountain West Plastic Surgery Welcome

Dr. Michael Hromadka & Dr. Michelle Spring’s New Practice

the beginning of every year brings with it a feeling of a fresh start; a time to come up with new goals or even revisit old ones. It’s a time of rejuvenation and renewal. this is the same feeling you get when walking into Mountain West Plastic surgery’s new office and meeting anyone on their dedicated team. the practice is owned and managed by dr. Michael hromadka and dr. Michelle spring, Board certified Plastic & Reconstructive surgeons who specialize in all types of breast surgery, cosmetic facial and body surgery, and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. they have cultivated a skilled and dedicated team that have worked together for many years. dr. hromadka, dr. spring, and Kristy ehrmantraut PA-c have nearly four decades combined of plastic surgery experience.

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Mountain West Plastic Surgery is experiencing its own feeling of the new year and rejuvenation through its own process of rebranding. Spring lightheartedly said that they were getting a “facelift” as their practice is maturing. You will notice changes in the next year, including a new website design early 2023, a (mostly) paperless office, non-invasive technology that is new to the Flathead Valley, satellite offices, and surgery options in the Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint area in addition to Flathead Valley. The team has transitioned into a physician-owned full service plastic surgery practice. This change allows them to pursue cutting edge technology, increase investment in the staff, and enhance their service options. Hromadka, Spring, and Ehrmantraut continue to be on the medical staff at Logan Health and will continue to do insurance-based reconstructive sur gery at Logan facilities.

This change in the practice is much like what they do for patients every day. They take something great and with a few changes here and a lift there, they are able to enhance and rejuvenate what was already in place. Plastic Surgery is a relatively modern name for an ancient practice that can be traced back to ancient Egypt. The term Plastic is derived from the Greek word plastike (teckhne) or the art of model ing or sculpting. The Mountain West Plastic Surgery team are experts in this art of body sculpting using aesthetic lasers, peels, injectables, and surgical tech niques to achieve facial rejuvenation, body contour ing, and breast surgery such as augmentation, lift, reduction and breast reconstruction after cancer.

Pursuing these types of physical changes can seem daunting to people. Taking time to meet with Hro

madka and Spring will allow them and their team the opportunity to present options to help you achieve your goals and provide a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience. In the spirit of the new year and working towards new goals, Mountain West Plastic Surgery is waiving their non-refundable consultation fee (normally $150) for the months of February and March 2023.

This is a dedicated 30-minute time for you to meet with either Hromadka or Spring to discuss goals and opportunities. Education, answering questions, and being honest about expectations and goals is the focus of this consultation. The doctors are advocates for their patients, and they will formulate a specific plan for each individual that enters the practice. This can mean that all treatments are not for every

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Dr. Michelle Spring
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The practice emphasizes transparency and communication along with treating everyone with respect and integrity. They look forward to the opportunity to go on a journey with their patients.
Dr. Michael Hromadka

Magical getaway

Lux lodging with your favorite amenities just minutes from Whitefish

Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine that you are going on a weekend getaway- when you arrive at the property it is so quiet you start to register your own breathing for the first time in awhile. As you grab your bags from the car, you are struck by how clean the air is, the scent of pine and earth engulfing your senses. You walk through lush gardens to your room, where it is cozy, warm, and bright. There is a hand written note greeting you, inviting you to enjoy a custom charcuterie board prepared for you in your mini fridge. You make a cup of tea in your room, and kick back in a cozy chair to review your weekend options. Yoga by the pond? Fly fishing lesson? Kayak? Or finally read a book in a hammock from cover to cover? Well, maybe you’ll try it all.

After your tea, you set out to explore the property. On your walk, you can hear the birds chirping and there is a soft quiet breeze so you pull your jacket a little tighter. You wind up a path that leads you to a beautiful cabin that you read about-quaintly named “The Roost.” You pop inside and warm up by the fire. Taking in the high ceilings and the cute décor, you walk down the hall to a little library to borrow that book for your hammock. You set back outside to wander over to the pond, make a mental note of which firepit view is the best for stargazing later, and grab a yoga mat for tomorrow morning. As you get back to your room, you see your three best friends have finally arrived. Time to pop some champagne and catch up on the inviting porch just outside your rooms…

Now, imagine that this fantasy getaway is a reality! After hosting dozens of weddings over the last few years with families and their guests gushing over the property here at Mountainside, we knew that we had to expand to allow more people to have a magical experiencemore than just a few weekends a year. We purchased a building that was initially built for the

“man camps” in the Midwest oil fields, loving the idea of upcycling something that already existed. After much earth clearing, landscaping, dreaming, designing, and hard work we launched our beautiful lodging, The Coop at Mountainside, in December 2022.

Featuring six lux queen suites encased in a large wraparound porch with two gathering areas, the main building of The Coop is cozy yet modern- weaving charm with the creature comforts we would yearn for in a place to stay. While designing, we realized that expanding the guest use to other areas on the property was just as crucial to us as the rooms to sleep in.

We took our favorite building- The Bridal House- and transformed it into The Roost: your living room while you’re on property. With a main floor that has a large Great Room flush with cozy seating and a gas fireplace, a dining room with a long rustic harvest table, a large kitchen with a coffee station and mini gift shop, an office, a library, and a game room- there is space aplenty to relax, reconnect, or meet new people.

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Revamping the romantic upstairs loft has created a suite of dreams- including a King bed with an in-room fireplace, views that feel like it is located in a treehouse, and a large clawfoot bathtub in the en suite bathroom. This special room is still perfect for our wedding couples or a special occasion getaway.

We have spent countless hours fine tuning our hospitality and experience on property to be beyond the norm that you would expect. We strive to be thoughtful in the smallest of ways to create an unforgettable experience from the moment you arrive. Your room is pre-stocked with a custom charcuterie board, chilled orange juice and mountain spring water, a selection of your favorite coffees and teas, and beautiful touches everywhere you look.

Operating Guest Ranch style- we will have a custom complimentary breakfast each morning, as well as on site activities offered daily for our guests to experience. We invite you to stay and play or relax and disconnect. We also offer a chance to upgrade to our concierge serviceyou can have a thoughtfully planned vacation that includes everything important to youincluding the best tours, activities, and dinner reservations (or private catered dinner!) all without lifting a finger.

The sky is the limit for how this property can be enjoyed- from corporate retreats, to yoga gatherings, skiing enthusiasts to quilting clubs, a single traveler to a beloved special occasion getaway, we offer something for everyone.

Looking for a getaway in the off season? Don’t look any further! We are open year round and the winter season is truly magical. Imagine enjoying the firepit with friends as you plan the next adventure. Whether you snowshoe, x-country ski, dog sled, or ski/board our location is just minutes from your snowbound fun.

We invite you to come and check out the Coop at Mountainside! Our Grand Opening ribbon cutting ceremony, in conjunction with the Kalispell and Whitefish Chambers of Commerce, is on January 19th at 2 pm, with an open house to follow that will include tours of the property and refreshments.

You can check out The Coop at www.experiencemountainside.com, or our social media: Instagram- @expmountainside, Facebook- Experience Mountainside. You can also call us to book direct at 406-530-8514.

We can’t wait to connect with you, help you plan your dream vacation, and share the experience with you!

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The sky is the limit for how this property can be enjoyed- from corporate retreats, to yoga gatherings, skiing enthusiasts to quilting clubs, a single traveler to a beloved special occasion getaway, we offer something for everyone.
lux
suites encased in a large wraparound
with two gathering areas, the
Featuring six
queen
porch
main building of The Coop is cozy yet modern.

Q&A wITh Brittany Coburn, NP-C

Where are you from?

I’ve lived in the Flathead Valley for the past 16 years but was born in Wy oming. I spent my childhood split between Idaho and Wyoming and love visiting family when the opportunity arises. I completed my undergraduate degree at Idaho State University and completed my graduate education at Montana State University where I graduated with a Master of Nursing and a teaching certificate of nursing education. In addition to practicing as a Fam ily Nurse Practitioner, I have spent the past 12 years as an Assistant Profes sor at Montana State University in the Nursing program.

What is your specialty of practice?

My specialty is family medicine which is perfect as I am currently practic ing in many of our local schools! I enjoy caring for the entire family and can focus on school-aged children, their families and the faculty and staff at many of our local schools. I love caring for the entire person and addressing mental as well as physical health.

What is your role in the schools?

I am currently providing full spectrum family practice in our School Based Health Centers around Flathead Valley. I can treat acute and chronic care, mental health, preventative healthcare, illness, and injury. Sports medicine has also always been an interest and I strive to keep our athletes in top shape and in the game. It is a gift to work with kids and teachers to keep them healthy and happy!

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is getting to know my patients and having a true understanding of what is important and meaningful to them. We can then work together to prioritize each problem area and jump into healing. I truly love working with patients to achieve their best state of health.

What are your professional interests?

Professionally, I am very interested in finding the root cause of illness and taking time to care for the whole person, which includes both physical and mental health. I am also looking forward to starting a new Genomics Fellow ship through Logan Health in January which will bring more awareness and understanding to the genetic component of many diseases I treat.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I love spending my free time with my family and friends and we are often doing something in the wonderful outdoors! We love to hike, ski, camp, and spend time on the lakes around the Flathead Valley. We also love to travel and learn about other cultures and communities around the world.

to you by

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Brought

HoPe Through the Microscope

The scariest day of Alicia Sletvold’s life was the day her daughter was born. At 28 weeks pregnant, Alicia was used to feeling a little off due to the normal pains and discomfort of pregnancy. But after five days of consistent neck and chest pain and a throbbing headache, her doctor ordered a CT scan to investigate. The scan showed that Alicia had suffered an aortic dissection—a fatal occurrence when the inner layer of a weakened area of the aorta tears—and the possibility to save her and her unborn daughter’s life was uncertain.

“The doctors in the emergency room told me I was going to die,” explains Alicia. “Honestly, they couldn’t figure out how I was still alive.”

A skilled OB and NICU team delivered Alicia’s daughter via C-section, and then she went immediately into open heart surgery with a specialized cardiac team. After two days in the ICU, Alicia was transferred to an inpatient unit and was finally able to meet her two-pound baby girl, Avaya.

“The nurses on the floor called us the miracle family,” Alicia recalls. “It was a miracle we were alive. My doctor referred us to a genetic specialist because they wanted to further understand what caused my aortic dissection and why it happened.”

After genetic testing and an extensive recounting of family health history, they found Alicia had a very rare condition called Loeys–Dietz Syndrome. Loeys–Dietz Syndrome is a disorder that affects the connective tissue in many parts of the body. With the advancement of genetic research, there have been five types of Loeys–Dietz syndrome identified. Alicia has type 2 (TGFBR2), giving her daughter a 50% chance of having this condition as well.

“Thankfully my daughter doesn’t carry this genetic condition, but many of my siblings do,” Alicia explains. “My one sister didn’t get tested. She became pregnant and experienced the same traumatic dissection, and, sadly, didn’t survive—but her son, who my husband and I have adopted as our own, did survive and he carries the TGFBR2 marker.”

This diagnosis not only provided Alicia with better clarity on her condition, but it’s also helping to save the lives of her family members. Genetic testing allows a healthcare provider to design a more accurate, proactive, and impactful care plan for patients. Through precision medicine and evidencebased treatments, people diagnosed with genetic conditions will live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

“I know it can save people’s lives,” she says. “I’m proof of that. The specialized care my son is receiving at Logan Health Children’s is helping him live a better life. With the knowledge of our diagnosis, we have the resources we need for our family to thrive and stay healthy.”

In September 2022, Logan Health began enrollment for its inaugural Genomics Continuing Education Program, which includes a Genetics Fundamentals of Genomics Course and Genomics Fellowship Program. The curriculum aims to provide professional development and advanced education on prenatal, preconception, and pediatric genetic

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conditions, as well as adult genetic conditions and drug metabolism problems.

“Loeys–Dietz Syndrome is one of the disorders we’re currently studying in our curriculum, working closely with Alicia to ensure she and her family receive appropriate care to live full, healthy lives,” says Carrie Ann Thompson, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, OCN, ACGN, Director of Logan Health’s Genomics Fellowship Program and Logan Health Genetics services. “This program not only provides education about various genetic disorders, it helps train providers on how to diagnosis certain disorders and how to make appropriate referrals to advance the care of the patient.”

Genetic counseling consults at Logan Health are currently a complimentary service, funded by nonprofit organizations and philanthropic support.

Give Today. Grow Healthier Tomorrows.

Extraordinary health care is not delivered alone, and it is not possible without philanthropic support. The lifesaving, continual care experienced by Logan Health patients is made possible through our medical expertise and the generosity of donors.

Your gift to the Logan Health Foundation directly supports our work to ensure continued excellence and innovation in health care for the communities we serve. Through your tax-deductible donation, you are helping build healthier futures, aiding access to care, and strengthening our communities.

Change a life today at logan.org/donate.

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Alicia Sletvold along with her two children. (Photo provided by Logan Health)

Not just another New Year’s Resolution: A holistic approach to health and wellness by maintaining a balanced lifestyle for years to come

As a new year is upon us, many recognize the need to reflect on the past year and plan for a better, lessstressed, more joyful, and healthier year ahead. Often, great intentions lead to New Year's resolutions in hopes of achieving a specific goal, and we fully intend to keep this new-made commitment to ourselves. However, this rarely actually comes to fruition. Have you kept your past resolutions the entire year? How about six months? Three months? Me neither.

So, what are we to do? Human nature inspires us to grow, learn, change, develop, and adapt to our environment or circumstances; if we do not grow, we become stagnant. If New Year’s resolutions fail, we need a new plan. If we’re serious about improving our health and wellness, we need to commit ourselves to the plan we created. Taking a different approach, consider what would happen if we focused our intentions on a more realistic, obtainable goal. This approach includes examining current feelings and behaviors, then requires altering these behaviors to align with our deeper core beliefs. This enables us to improve our overall well-being by creating balance between four areas of “fitness” which include physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness isn’t just about diet and exercise but also includes preventative screening tests and management of acute or chronic medical conditions. This includes establishing care with a primary care provider (PCP) at a family practice clinic. Women should establish an early caring relationship with their PCP through regular visits, ensure a “good fit” based on personality or practice style, and feel comfortable confiding in their chosen provider. Regular visits ensure proper screening, assess risk for current and future medical conditions, encourage a healthy lifestyle, update vaccinations, and treat acute issues. The provider should explain things in detail, invite questions to ensure understanding, present treatment options, then help you make an informed decision. Recommended healthy life choices include the following:

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Eat a well-balanced diet

• Exercise regularly

• Avoid smoking

• Drink alcohol in moderation

emotional Fitness

Another area of consideration is emotional fitness, which refers to the ability of controlling or expressing emotions and behaviors. Emotional fitness involves personal feelings and attitudes about current life circumstances as well as our ability to self-reflect, empathize, communicate effectively, maintain positive relationships, and cope with adversity. Women frequently find their emotional fitness hijacked by unrealistic expectations imposed on themselves by “societal standards” or “political correctness.” They feel pressured to measure-up to others and often allow comparison to steal their joy.

The first step to improving emotional fitness is to deeply examine ourselves and begin to decipher who we want to be and what we want to accomplish. Set a maintainable and measurable goal, keeping in mind that larger changes may require a stepwise approach by using smaller “baby steps” over a longer period.

Yes, working on yourself is a difficult process, but it is something that leads to true change and improved emotional fitness. If you are struggling to find your way out of the dark, it is important to know that depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions are real. Please confide in a

loved one and seek counseling; sometimes medication may be necessary.

Mental Fitness

Mental fitness covers a wide scope of cognitive processes and involves the focus of our mental energy, fundamental thoughts, and beliefs. This refers to the way we process, store, and understand information and includes our ethics (principles that govern behavior), morals (sense of right and wrong), and values (judgment of what is important). Mental fitness is often demonstrated by our need to be mentally challenged which includes demonstrations of artistic ability, performance at work or school, and the way we manage our household and finances.

Because these activities affect our attitudes, behaviors, and relationships, mental fitness is closely intertwined with emotional fitness.

As nurturers, women often find it easier to take care of others while neglecting their own physical, emotional, or spiritual needs. According to a 2018 U.S. Census Bureau survey about women working year-round, about 70% of all modern mothers work outside the home full-time. How they manage this is a mystery. Ever wonder why you might feel fatigued, unmotivated, or stressed-out with no end in sight? Perhaps all this busy-ness and mental focus has left you feeling depleted and unbalanced. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how and with whom you spend your time. Then, prioritize what’s most important and cut out anything that competes for your attention or doesn’t align with your core beliefs.

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Are the kids old enough to wash their own laundry or make their own lunches? Could they carpool to activities? Can you afford a housekeeper? Have you considered cutting-back hours at work? Perhaps cooking dinner with your husband or child will provide time to unwind and reconnect. Learning to give up some of that control and “sharing the load” will free you up to be more intentional about the quality of time you spend with others as well as by yourself.

Spiritual Fitness

Spiritual fitness is critical to developing overall wellness and is often very personal. Google defines spiritual fitness as “the beliefs and practices that strengthen your connectedness with sources of hope, meaning and purpose.” Spiritual beliefs refer to relationships beyond the “self” and include the “core beliefs” of mental fitness as well as the self-reflection and introspection necessary for emotional fitness.

Like an illness, we experience the brokenness of the world through broken lives, broken relationships, and broken systems. However, even among the brokenness, we find beauty in the display of a sunset or the grandeur of a mountain, and this evidence causes us to yearn for something more meaningful, something greater than ourselves, something deeper than our own limited understanding. As women are drawn to explore possibilities and find strategies for building spiritual

fitness, we are reminded that this journey is unique to each individual and should be respected as such. Some strategies for growing spiritual fitness include:

• Practicing gratitude and reflecting on life’s blessings

• Serving others

• Practice forgiveness

• Reading the bible

• Attending a bible study or church service

• Prayer and meditation

We have a limited amount of energy to refine and strengthen our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual fitness. These four “fitness areas'' are closely interrelated, and when equally balanced, energy reserves are restored and increased wellness is achieved. If we allow one area to occupy a large, disproportionate amount of time or become more important than another area, energy stores are quickly depleted which often leads to illness, fatigue, unhealthy relationships, changes in mood, poor performance at work or home, and spiritual weariness.

Just like intentionally engaging in regular physical fitness, these other kinds of “fitnesses” require constant evaluation of our “life balances” by examining current tendencies, feelings, and behaviors. This is not an easy process, but it is certainly one which is worth your effort.

Physician Assistant, Marci Mangold has over 20 years' experience and joined Kalispell OBGYN in October 2022. Marci was a Wyoming native until she moved to Montana in 1995 to attend the University of Montana and she hasn't left since! She graduated with honors receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. She received her Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant studies at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

After gaining valuable experience in Missoula and the Mission Valley, she moved to the Flathead Valley in 2011 and worked for Logan Health.

She was drawn to Kalispell OBGYN by her desire to provide comprehensive care to women while focusing on the unique gynecologic and reproductive care women require. Having battled with infertility herself, Marci hopes to support patients through this process. She also enjoys providing a wider range of care including contraception, STD screening and treatment, menopause management, cancer screening and wellness exams including management of chronic medical conditions.

Marci enjoys spending time with her four kids and all that mothering requires. She is active in her local church and the Tres Dias community. Marci is also a Certified Christian Mental Health Coach and enjoys counseling others through difficult seasons of life. She loves to travel and hopes to do more missionary work. Marci feels renewed after spending time outdoors and enjoys numerous recreational activities.

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the

Is homelessness really a problem in the Flathead Valley?

“Yes, and it is greater than you think,” says Casey Driscoll, HEART Program Director.

take to couch surfing, and try to get by without being seen,” Driscoll said.

Let’s look at the three segments that make up the Heart Program that serves Pre-K through High School:

ART Locker

heARt Locker is a facility that acts as a “store” at no cost for students to receive clothing, school, and hygiene supplies.

This is where the program started, and it continues to grow. Kids can shop and find stylish age-appropriate clothes along with clean hygiene items to help them fit in and build their confidence. Come Prom time an area of the store is converted to the “Prom Salon” and the kids can dress the part for one of school’s biggest events. The HEART Locker is open to all students with the only rule being to “take what you need and use what you take.”

ART Market

heARt Markets are located on the high school grounds to give supplemental nutrition to students in need of food.

The markets were added approximately four years ago with generous donations from the food bank and have expanded with additional donations from the public and assistance from the kitchens at each of the high schools. The markets are available at Flathead High School, Glacier High School, Linderman Education Center, and have now expanded to include Kalispell Middle School.

Learning Center

the heARt Locker Learning center is a location that allows students a quiet and safe space for schoolwork.

This space is not only important for students to complete schoolwork, but it offers a positive, comfy place to just be and relax.

Volunteers serve as the staff and tutors. Currently the Learning Center is open after school Monday-Wednesday.

How did Casey Driscoll get involved? “Happenstance,” she says. She had worked in higher education and completed her master’s degree in Psychology. She had planned to go into the Peace Corps when Covid-19 hit and opted for AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) project to help expand the HEART Program. As the VISTA project was wrapping up, the HEART Program started looking for a director and she “fell into it.”

I asked driscoll what inspires her and she replied, “I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the students. I have met people and learn about their traumatic experiences and they are still here showing up and trying.”

She follows with a story about a student from last year who enrolled herself and wanted to graduate. This student was driving daily from the Canyon and her car broke down. Luckily the HEART Program was able to assist with matching funds to get her vehicle repaired. “She was the first in her family to graduate and is now at FVCC (Flathead Valley Community College),” she added.

nonprofit}
What started as a grassroots mission by teachers to serve underprivileged youth in Kalispell has blossomed into something the entire community can be proud of.
heARt Program is a nonprofit organization that encourages growth and graduation by helping meet the basic needs of Kalispell and evergreen students struggling with homelessness.
Program Director, Casey Driscoll

Driscoll is from upstate New York but loves it here in Montana. “It’s been great,” she said. “I ski, hike, and love outdoor activities.”

Besides Driscoll, there is one other paid staff position at The Heart Locker. That is the Case Manager position filled by Bigfork native, Elizabeth Langley.

I asked Langley what a case manager does. she replied, “It’s really hands on. I meet weekly with students at three different high schools.” she went on to explain that there are about 75 students she works with regularly in helping navigate the system. she looks for and connects students with resources that can help them in school and beyond. she wants to “teach them how to advocate” for themselves.

The basic goal is to get the students housed … off the couch or out of the car but it goes beyond that according to Langley. They don’t have the support that many of us may take for granted. She’s helped locate birth certificate copies, applying for a first job, finding mental health resources, and so much more.

“The face of homelessness in the valley is not what they (residents) assume it is,” said Langley. Students are homeless due to “no fault or choice of their own.” She found her way to the job following her work as an intern in the program while working on her master’s in Social Work. Her compassion is inspiring as is her determination to help the students.

Langley shared a success story about helping a student who rarely smiled and was doing the best she could to get by despite her circumstances which included living in a small camper. She needed to insulate her camper with foam board before it started to get too cold this winter. Langley was able to help get the camper insulated, and the grateful student texted her in thanks. “I could feel the smile via the text.” She continued, “the small wins are so important.”

Another success in the HEART Program is the Drop in Center for the older kids between 16 and 24 years old. The center came to fruition due to a team effort in which both Langley and Driscoll took key roles. It is funded by a HUD grant with the purpose of serving this at risk group of people and helping keep them off the streets.

With a job like this I asked Langley how she decompresses. “By holding onto meaningful stories even if they are sad…and the small wins.” She added that having students reach out to her shows that she is reaching them. That gives her hope and energy to keep going.

What an inspiration to meet both Driscoll and Langley and learn about The HEART Program. I know that we’re lucky to have these two dedicated ladies (and all the wonderful volunteers) committed to helping our youth in the valley succeed.

Learn more by visiting www.kalispellheartprogram.org.

How can Y o U help? You can give…

• Money (100% goes to the kids). The HEART Program overhead and staff is paid by the school district and Title 1 & 9 so any cash donations directly help the kids.

• Gift Cards. Langley added “These are really appreciated from places like Subway, McDonalds, and grocery stores.”

• Food. Please only NON-expired canned goods and snack items. Favorites include granola and snack bars, easy mac, etc.

• Clothing. Clean, lightly used, in good condition. They can ONLY take items the kids will wear. Do NOT send used socks or underwear. Stylish Prom attire that is clean and in good condition is also welcome for the annual Prom Salon. Clothing donations are accepted on Monday & Tuesday mornings from 8am-10am and Wednesday from 3-6pm (also family fun night).

• Your Time. Please keep in mind that the HEART Program compassionately serves all youth regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.

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Students are homeless due to “no fault or choice of their own.”

A Tale of Two Flights Introduction of Aircraft in e xhibition in Kalispell

On a chilly December 17 in 1903, a pair of brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina made history with their first flight of a powered aircraft. Outside of the small town, though, the news didn’t spread very far or wide as much more than a random curiosity, worthy of no ink spilled on the event. Neither of the Kalispell papers at the time (the Inter Lake and the Kalispell Bee) published anything on the subject. When the first exhibition flyer came to the area, however, both papers eagerly spent the page space on the aeronautic demonstration.

Eight years after the Wright Brothers’ flight, Kalispell citizens saw in person for the first time, an airplane fly through the air. Undertaken by Eugene Ely, a pair of demonstrative flights set off from the Fairgrounds in Kalispell on June 21, 1911. The first flight headed North, over the buffalo pasture of what is now Buffalo Hill. The second began with a demonstration of speed compared to ground-bound machines and concluded with a flight toward the northwest, over the Smith Valley area. While the bystanders on the ground were in awe of witnessing the flying machine first hand, the pilot himself was awe-inspired by the landscape. Commenting on his second flight to the northwest, the Daily Inter Lake mentions that “Mr. Ely said he had seen a magnificent panorama spread out before him whichever way he turned, and he was especially delighted with the beautiful country over which he flew to the northwest on his second trip.”

One commentator lamented that the presence of moving pictures and photographs detracted from the thrill of the experience of seeing an airplane in person for the first time. Contrarily, the surrounding country looked forward to the flight eagerly. Special accommodations were made so that everyone who wanted to could attend the unique and history-making event. The rail line that ran from Somers to Kalispell added a special train to their schedule that allowed for more people to attend from the lake region (including those who came from Polson across Flathead Lake to depart to Kalispell from Somers). Kalispell businesses and banks closed for the time of the demonstration, allowing workers to be able to watch the flights. Baseball games were scheduled such that the games would not overlap with the event. These measures for allowance weren’t unfounded, either. Hundreds of people turned out to witness the event, and onlookers were

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Listed in the archive as “the First Airplane in Kalispell”, the given date of June 21, 1911 indicates that this photograph is from the fairgrounds on the day of Eugene Ely’s demonstration flights over Kalispell. (From the Northwest Montana History Museum collections)
history}
This photo of Eugene Ely and a pair of his mechanics was published in the Kalispell Bee on June 20, 1911 in advance of the aviator’s exhibition flight out of the Kalispell fairgrounds. (From the Northwest Montana History Museum collections)

reported to have taken position in the buffalo pasture and on nearby house roofs.

After that first local exhibition flight in Kalispell, an increase in fascination for news on aviation appears to have taken off. In 1913, by the time Montana aviator T. T. Maroney made an exhibition at Kalispell, the Daily Inter Lake had begun featuring national and global news on aviation events on their front page, a clear indication of interest in the young industry. News of accidents and races between the airplanes and various vehicles made headlines in the Daily Inter Lake in the days before the August 15 event. Unlike two years before, the flight wasn’t intended to be a stand-alone event, but rather was the headlining performance for the extracurricular events surrounding the Montana State Press Convention. While the conference involved a tour of Flathead Lake and Glacier Park as well, the headlines in both the Kalispell Bee and Daily Inter Lake make reference to the aviation performance instead of these tours.

While Maroney made his flights over Kalispell, he contrasted the turbulence over the city with that over the lake. While flying over Kalispell, he experienced both mechanical issues needing repairs and difficulty in piloting due to the air currents. Still, Maroney made a good show of things, and as Ely had, made at least a partial

race at the fairgrounds against an automobile and then took a flight off to the distance before returning. Like Ely, Maroney was impressed with the country—although in Maroney’s case, he was more inspired by the lake region. Maroney had an inclination to return to Flathead Lake in the future. Like the former pilot, Maroney used a Curtiss bi-plane in his exhibition performance. A team of mechanics assembled and tuned the airplane before and after each flight. While by 1913 airplanes were less of a fascination, they still inspired enough attraction that they were considered to be an event worth turning out for.

The most fascinating thing about these early airplane shows was that the machines themselves would arrive in parts, shipped by train, and the team of mechanics that assisted the pilot would assemble them wherever the pilot was to make a showing. While they may have appeared flimsy—built from bamboo wood frames, waterproofed canvas, and piano wire—these planes were robust enough that they could be disassembled and reassembled many times during their life of show business. The Curtiss biplane was a popular and simple machine that may give many today reason to question the sanity of those who went up in those first flights—with little in way of safety features or covering for the main body of the contraption. Still, these first pilots in the skies over Kalispell gave the frontier town a glimpse of the technological evolution of the world beyond itself. 18 years after its first sight of an airplane and an increasing popularization of the craft, Kalispell opened its own airport in 1929.

These first pilots in the skies over Kalispell gave the frontier town a glimpse of the technological evolution of the world beyond itself.
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Photo taken of T. T. Maroney’s flight over Kalispell on August 15, 1913. (From the Northwest Montana History Museum collections)
history}
A black and white photo showing one of two planes performing for the crowds at the dedication of the Kalispell Airport on July 3, 1929. (From the Northwest Montana History Museum collections)

Grin & Share It

Happy New Year Y’all! I hope this past holiday season found you all well and in the company of your neighbors and friends. Isn’t that really what it’s all about? I love it.

I recently found myself in a familiar situation in a familiar location. The location being on my back at the Flathead Valley Orthopedic Center. The situation involved taking X-Rays of my left knee. “I can only imagine how much that thing costs,” I mention to the X-Ray technician positioning the sensor underneath my left knee. His sensor was about one square foot while the sensors I use in my patient’s mouths are about one square inch.

You see, I’ve been here before. Some time ago I had the displeasure of destroying my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in the final moments

of an intense Rec-League basketball game. No worries however, my kind Doctor in San Francisco gave me another guy’s ACL and drilled it through my Tibia and into the head of my Femur. After rehab everything felt fantastic. Until I destroyed that one, and the one after that...which happened to be an Achilles Tendon functioning as my new ACL.

Now was I frustrated? Absolutely. Was I surprised? No. Was I upset with the doctors that repaired my knee the first two times? No way. Was I upset with myself? Definitely. My second knee injury came at the bottom of a cliff-drop on Big Mountain, and my third knee injury came during a wakeboarding backflip attempt on Echo Lake. I was participating in high-risk activities all the while being in denial that I was indeed…gulp…getting old.

As I relayed this wakeboarding story to my Knee Doctor he showed no signs of sympathy. “You’re not 20 years old anymore” he exclaimed.

He then informed me that I’m at risk of “hollowing” out my femur from all of my prior knee surgeries. Each one requiring a hole to be drilled through the femoral head. I sheepishly accept responsibility and we exchange the look that lets the other know that we each already know the end of this story. This story ends with me having a full knee replacement at some point in the future.

A great comedian started a bit once by saying, “my cholesterol is high...because it was high a year ago when I had it checked and...well...I haven’t done anything different.” Famed German Physicist Albert Einstein has been quoted as defining insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This is quite dramatic, my doctor probably doesn’t consider me insane but rather a little stupid at times. If I keep pursuing high risk activities I cannot expect anything different than frequent musculoskeletal injuries.

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by Dr. John F. miller DDs - SMILE MONTANA

I walk a mile in my Doctor’s shoes daily. I stand on the receiving end of watered down dietary habits. I scrape the plaque off gumlines. I inform my patients that their current habits along with multiple sites of tooth decay place them at high risk for caries, the disease that causes tooth decay. My team and I educate them with exasperation the techniques and habits required to tip the scales back towards health. We love our patients, but sometimes we exchange that glance that says we know the end of this story. We can only bail water out of a sinking ship for so long until the patient needs to pick up their bucket and join in on the fun. Otherwise it’s going to go down...slowly.

I’m going to let you all in on a little insider dental secret. We do not want our patients to have poor oral health in order to have some level of job security. Unfortunately, there is more than enough tooth decay to go around. It’s an exhausting, overwhelming, and sad epidemic.

My favorite exam ends with me saying, “Teeth look great, gums are nice and healthy. Keep doing what you’re doing.” I love seeing a really amazing smile. I tell those patients that I wish I had their smiles. That their smiles are beautiful and they should share them. I’ve put my spin on the popular saying “grin and bear it” by encouraging the friendly folks of the Flathead to GRIN AND SHARE IT.

We’re starting a new year and I invite everyone to do something different, something new. We all have those activities that we wish we could do more of or even less of. Those behaviors that we wish would become a habit. Ultimately we wish to be healthier. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually healthier. Which can’t help but make us happier and SMILE more. The world needs more smiles…share yours and let’s tip the scales towards happiness.

Happy New Year everyone.

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My favorite exam ends with me saying, “Teeth look great, gums are nice and healthy. Keep doing what you’re doing.” I love seeing a really amazing smile.
I tell those patients that I wish I had their smiles. That their smiles are beautiful and they should share them.

Cover Girls...

Janie Frazer

Janie is the manager of S.M. Bradford Company in beautiful downtown Whitefish. She has been in the valley since 1994. She is passionate about cooking and entertaining. She enjoys all outdoor activities including golfing, hiking and skiing. She loves to travel and pamper her four-legged fur babies.

Cari KlePPer

She may plan meetings for Microsoft, but this native Montana girl calls Whitefish home. Read Rachael Seymour's business feature on page 10 and learn about Cari Klepper's past, present and what the future may hold.

Food & Flavor 14. i n t H e Kit CH en W it H l ane 21. a s K t H e But CH er 22. s panis H Wines 26. Ba C on Wrapped Mus H roo M s Profile 30. Mann Mortgage Design 34. Wrig H t’s f urniture 38. i nterior d esign d ile MM as Music 40. s pe C ta C ular s eason Continues Love Stories 44. Hit CH ed part Y 48. Minde & Jessi 44... 58 406 w oman.com woman 4 06
photo by amanda Wilson PhotograPhy

Publisher's

Happy New Year!

We are moving into 2023 with gusto, plans, and hope!

The beginning of a “new” year comes with a feeling of anticipation for what’s ahead. We are excited to see who and what comes our way this year.

We are grateful to be a part of a community with so many fantastic 406 Women. We can’t wait to meet, learn, and be inspired by a whole new group of you!

OurMindfulLife.com

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I hope this New Year brings you… Courage to try again Passion for doing what you love Ambition to aim higher Resilience in overcoming obstacles Humility to learn from others Kindness for yourself and others
Note

woman

publisher Cindy gerrity cindy@montanasky.net

business manager

daley Mcdaniel daley@montanasky.net

managing editor Kristen Hamilton montanakristen@gmail.com

design sara Joy pinnell sara@mrsandmrpublishing.com

photographers

daley Mcdaniel photography amanda Wilson photography Kelly Kirksey photography aCe photography

Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year

704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com

Copyright©2023 Skirts Publishing

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w oman.com view current and past issues of 406 Woman at

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creative & social media director amanda Wilson afwphotography@me.com www.406

The above quote really got me thinking about my life and what I have (and have not) accomplished to date and what I should focus on going forward. Therefore…my new year’s resolutions are a little different this year.

In 2023 I intend to:

1. Focus on and embrace my own growth.

I am committing myself to my own personal development.

2. offer More Value. There is no way people can know me as a person of value if I do not offer them more value.

3. Value My time.

If I expect people to value my time, then I must value it and be clear about what is important.

4. Be original and unique. I can only be me.

5. encourage and inspire others. With my voice, words, and actions.

My job as a grandma became more rewarding in 2022 by two when Lucia and Beckham joined Mia. I plan to remember the importance of my intentions above daily when I think about my family and these precious three grandchildren.

It goes so quickly, don’t waste a moment.

Happy New Year,

what did I learn this issue?

That Spanish wines can be delicious and affordable. Check out Sunshine Deveny’s story on page 22 to learn more about these wines and the best meals to pair with them.

That Mann Mortgage was started locally by using insurance money following a boat accident on Flathead Lake and has grown into a powerhouse in the mortgage industry with 500 employees at 55 branch locations across the U.S. Read Mary Wallace’s story on page 30 about two of the terrific women that work at the local Kalispell branch.

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“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
– Albert Einstein
The entire family at Thanksgiving…so grateful! Kristen & Bob with their three grandchildren

From Pasture to Plate IN ThE KITchEN wITh LANE

Standing on a milk crate at 6 years old I never thought about where the eggs I was cooking came from. I do remember asking my mom if I was cooking them correctly--a lot. She would hustle by me with a brief “close” or “close enough” on her way with a plate for another hungry logger, all the while ruing the day my father had granted her wish to move us back to Montana from the continuously dark land of fortune known as Alaska in the early 1970’s.

The year was 1978. Two years living my father’s dream of owning his own business. Little did he know, you never owned a bar, the bar owned you. The Family Tree, as we called it, lived on the stubbornness of my father, the free labor of my brothers, and the love of my mother. As the timber industry faced decline, so did my father’s ability to keep “The Lodge” afloat. But ever the dreamer, my father had found a

passion for serving people. A passion that, for the next two decades, my mother, my brothers and I would follow my father from owning or running one bar to the next. I remember sitting with Mom and Dad doing orders for eggs, bread and meat. All of which was delivered, magically, by a box truck and a handcart driven by a guy that would ask for one of my parents’ signatures and leave. I was oblivious as to what happened before the foodstuffs were boxed and delivered by a wholesaler. It was not until the other man you see in these pages arrived in my life that I would fully understand that there was a hardfought livelihood that provided me the ingredients that would be my passion decades AFTER I stood on a milk crate.

Standing on the floor of a now defunct retailer, I had been told that I was about to get another manager. Taking a job as retail manager in the early 2000’s was akin to selling used cars on a buy-here pay-here lot. As honorable as it was to pay your bills, it was not typically on anyone’s “career path.” Doug Standley

showed up having been told that I was unmanageable, uncoachable and a bit of a know it all. All of which was true at the time. Doug had briefly worked for the same retailer in Butte before returning to his family business of....ranching. Even before the TV shows glamorizing cowboys, the thought of leaving the life of a cowboy to become of retail manager of an appliance store was absurd to me. I mean really. Who does that? I was a cowboy. I had wranglers, boots and big buckle! I would learn two things from Doug that day: One-I was NOT a cowboy and Two—he was a man that had decided to the leave the pasture, to step up to the plate as a father and provide a stable living for his growing family. Little did I know that in the process, I would find my own way and learn that life is not on an order sheet or bought at grocery store. Literally and metaphorically, everything that we consume is the product of dreams, dirt and generations of families that keep us fed.

In these pages you see tomahawk steaks, lobster tails and butter potatoes. How many times have you ever

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Photos by ACE Photography & Design - Location Direct Source Cabinets, 160 Kelly Road, Kalispell Left to right: Doug Standley, Racheal Gaston, Lane Smith

thought about what happens before we cook something? We look at quality, freshness and often now, how much something costs. But it wasn’t until I met Doug Standley and his family did I put 2 and 2 together and understand that everything I cooked had a story. A recipe if you will. Long before I ever purchased it, unwrapped it and in the early years of attempting to cook...burned it on a cheap gas grill—my ingredients had a story. That was until Doug told me the tales of droughts, broken equipment, tractor math, AI journals and a thousand other details that I began to understand that the things I was learning to cook were the culmination of generational knowledge, unwavering commitment and more love than I have ever put into anything I have cooked since finding the joy in it. I honestly believe that now, by understanding where my ingredients come from, I am a better cook. I am not creating something, I am merely mixing a thousand stories, passions, and hours to put on a plate. The ranchers, the farmers and the fishermen are the foundations that make a meal great. But there is a step in between the pasture and that which I plate that is just as important.

I am so very blessed by those that support this column. Genesis Kitchen, the Chopp Shoppe, Flathead Fish & Seafood, and World Spice Merchants all have made my “assembly” of the dishes I have done quite easy. I have discovered that getting something from the pasture (field, ocean, etc.) to my plate takes as much passion as those that deal in “Raw Materials.” Protip: When doing one of these articles I lean on the aforementioned people greatly to make what you see in these pages. They might not pull a plow, throw a rope or haul in a net, but without them—and their knowledge—I am quite sure that I would still be making mac and cheese with hotdogs chunks. (Truth be told...I still do. Don’t judge.) It’s these folks that will refine your cooking skills and greatly enhance the dining experience.

I had asked Doug if he wanted to cook with me without letting him know that he had been the inspiration for this article. The journey from pasture to plate was not just about how a tomahawk steak had found its way onto a plate for a photoshoot. It was as much about the events that led two men, their roots, their experiences and their choices to the pages of a woman’s magazine. To be clear, neither of us are chefs—nor do we claim to be. Our lack of knife skills (did you SEE the potatoes?) and our shared ability to stick most anything to the bottom of any pan (again the potatoes) scream camp cook more than chef. Doug and I‘s approach to cooking can be summarized by a story from his ranching days. In the immortal words of his father “We aren’t building a piano!” Our cooking, while lacking a bit of pomp and circumstance and attention to detail, does what we intend it to do—feed people well. Where a chef would build a piano, we build a fence. It’s an approach that has had its successes and failures for both of us in the kitchen. And yet we revel in both. That is the joy in cooking.

So the next time you find yourself at the butcher’s counter, fish market or farmers market pondering what you are going to make for dinner ask what they would recommend and WHY. Understanding where your ingredients come from will not only make you a better cook, it will make you examine your own plate—something Doug and I do regularly. A ritual that makes us a little better every day…and on days like today…a lot better.

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“Along the path from pasture to plate, there’s not much anyone can do to improve food.
If it wasn’t raised, handled, processed, stored, prepared and seasoned correctly it’ll be mediocre. At best they can keep it from turning out worse. A good chef selects carefully from KN o WN suppliers for a reason.” Doug Standley

Tomahawk Steak

Ingredients

• 2.8 pounds Tomahawk Steak with bone attached.

• 2 Tbsp Kosher salt

Rub Ingredients:

• 2 Tbsp Genesis Kitchen

Garlic Olive Oil

• 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

• 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

• 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

Directions

1. Liberally salt the steak all over with kosher salt.

2. Place steak on a baking sheet (on a rack if you have one) for 12-24 hours uncovered in the refrigerator.

3. Remove steak from refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. (The internal temperature of the steak should be around 70˚F before cooking.)

This is an important step so don't skip it!

4. Preheat the oven to 200°F.

5. Prepare the rub mixture which is a thick paste of olive oil, paprika, black pepper, and crushed garlic.

6. Coat the steak liberally with the spice rub and let sit for about 15 minutes on the rack.

7. Cook steak, on the rack and baking sheet, until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness. Use an instant-read thermometer for best results. (The cooking time can be anywhere from 35-50 minutes.)

- Medium Rare = 125°F (warm red center)

8. While steak is cooking in the oven start the grill and heat to medium-high.

9. Remove steak from the oven and transfer it to the preheated grill. Sear evenly on each side for about 3 minutes to obtain grill marks.

10. Remove from the grill and let the steak rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

11. Cut steak away from the bone, and slice against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces.

Pan Seared Lobster Tails

Ingredients

• 4, 6oz lobster tails

• 1 tsp salt or to taste

• Cracked pepper to taste

• 2 Tbsp Genesis Kitchen Lemon Olive Oil

• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided

• 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, (adjust to your taste)

• 4 large cloves garlic crushed

• Lemon slices to serve

• 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley to garnish

Directions

1. Thaw out lobster tails, if frozen, in a pot of cold water for 30 minutes or more, until fully thawed. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut the top shell down the center of the back to the end of the tail, leaving tail fan intact. Remove vein or shell shards, if any. Run your finger between the meat and the shell to loosen it. Spread the meat slightly open. Pull and lift the lobster meat off of the bottom of the shell, being careful not to pull the tail out completely.

3. Season lobster tails generously with salt and pepper.

4. Heat 2 Tbsp butter and lemon oil in a pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and sear lobster, flesh side down on the pan, for 2 minutes until edges are crisp and golden.

5. Flip all tails, cover pan and let cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until shells are pink and meat has just cooked through (opaque) -- be careful not to overcook!

TIP: If shells have not completely changed color, simply use tongs to rotate the lobster in the hot pan juices until shells have changed color.

6. Melt the remaining butter in the center of the pan; sauté the garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute). Squeeze in remaining lemon juice and spoon pan juices over the lobster meat.

7. Take off heat immediately and garnish with parsley.

Rec IP e sP onso R ed By

Butter Potatoes

Ingredients

• 8-10 Yukon gold potatoes cut into barrel shapes (Flat Ends)

• 1 lb thin cut bacon

• 4 cups clarified butter (melted)

• 2 cups of beef broth

• 12-14 whole sprigs of rosemary

• 3-4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

• 2 Tbsp of Genesis Kitchen

Garlic Olive Oil

Directions

1. After cutting the potatoes into barrel shapes, wrap with a slice of bacon and secure with the Rosemary Sprigs.

2. Heat Olive Oil over medium high heat and place potatoes in the pan – don’t crowd.

3. Brown the bottoms (about 3-5 minutes) and flip using tongs.

4. Pour clarified butter over the potatoes leaving roughly ½ inch of the potato above the surface.

5. Finish covering the potatoes entirely with beef broth.

6. Add crushed garlic around the potatoes and cover with parchment paper.

7. Cook on medium high heat until the potatoes are tender all the way through (using a toothpick) and most of the butter and broth are gone.

8. Serve with the remaining butter broth drizzled over the top.

Tasting Notes

Genes I s K I tchen

organic Garlic olive oil - Our organic garlic olive oil is a necessity for any kitchen. The garlic olive oil actually gives off the flavor of pungent, fresh garlic. We consider this a perfect kitchen ‘shortcut’ as the garlic is already chopped and infused into the olive oil. Excellent in marinades and mashed potatoes or on roasted and grilled meats. Made from premium, ultra-fresh, extra virgin olive oil from our collection of small, artisan batches with 100% natural flavor.

Genesis Kitchen

270 Nucleus Columbia Falls, MT

Mon-Sat 10am - 6pm 406-897-2667 - Info@genesis-kitchen.com

F h F I sh & s eAFood co MPA ny Lobster Tails are wild caught, from the cold water of the North Atlantic.

FH Fish & Seafood Company Wild caught seafood 3820 MT Hwy 40 W in Columbia Falls www.flatheadfishandseafood.com

Chopp Shoppe No hormones or antibiotics

Choice to Wagyu Grade Hours 9am-7pm…all week long 721 Wisconsin Ave in Whitefish

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falls, Mt 59912 - Monday through saturday 10am to 6pm 406-897-2667 Save in the New Year! try our pairing special of Cara-Cara orange Vanilla white balsamic and Blood orange olive oil. When bought as a pair in any size, save 20% on the pair.. www.genesis-kitchen.com

Ask the Butcher

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Vino Español

Greetings and salutations, wine lovers! We're thrilled to present this article, all about the wines of Spain. In this issue, we'll be taking a closer look at The Gil Family Estates and four wines of the most well-known grape varietals grown in Spain: Verdejo, Monastrell, Grenacha, and a Cabernet dominant red blend. From the fresh fruitiness of Grenacha to the refreshing citrus notes of Verdejo to the bold, fullbodied flavors of Monastrell, these grapes produce some truly exceptional wines.

Gil Family Estates owns or takes care of 11 vineyards all in different D.O’s, Designated Viticultural Areas, throughout Spain. Their primary focus is on indigenous terroir-driven wines of outstanding value. The wineries use traditional winemaking techniques, combined with modern technology, to produce high quality wines that reflect the unique character of each region.

2019 Shaya Verdejo is from the D.O. Rueda located on the Duero River in central Spain. The vines are planted in sand-rich, alluvial pebble soil, therefore many of the vines are ungrafted. Ideally suited for the poor soil and dry climate, verdejo is the dominant grape variety and is used to make a range of white wines that are highly regarded for their quality and character. Shaya Verdejo is medium body white wine with aromas pear, green

apple and citrus flowers. The palate has a full, fresh vibrant character. I love this winter white because of its body and pleasing complexity.

One of the key characteristics of Verdejo is its crisp refreshing acidity, which makes it a good match for dishes with a similar level of acidity. This includes dishes with citrus flavors, such as lemon chicken or ceviche, as well as dishes with a tangy sauce, such as a tomato-based pasta. Verdejo's tropical fruit aromas also make it a good match for dishes

with a similar flavor profile, such as grilled pineap ple or coconut shrimp. In addition to these dishes, Verdejo also pairs well with cheese, particularly soft, creamy varieties such as goat cheese or brie.

2018 Alebacea Monastrell is from the D.O. Jumilla an area of wide valleys and plains, a hot, dry, and harsh small region on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern Spain. Jumilla specializes in wines based on the Monastrell variety since Roman times. It has quite a reputation for producing full-bodied reds and the feature wine is no different. Alebacea Monastrell has a complex nose of attractive raspberry and blackberry aromas and hints of new wood. The palate has flavors of dark fruits, such as plums and black cherry with notes of spice. This wine has great balance and an extremely long finish.

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Shaya Verdejo Alebacea Monastrell

Monastrell pairs well with dishes that have big pronounced, savory flavors, such as grilled or roasted meats, hearty stews, and game. Its high tannin levels and dark fruit flavors make it a good match for dishes with a similar level of richness and complexity, such as garlic braised short ribs with a red wine sauce. It is also a good choice for dishes with earthy flavors, such as mushrooms or truffles.

2019 Atteca Grenacha is from the D.O. Calatayud, an arid area of rolling hills almost entirely surrounded by mountains in northeast Spain. The vineyard is 3,000 feet above sea level. The vines are planted on gravely, clay loam soils allowing the vines to obtain moisture in this extremely dry region. Atteca Grenacha is a full bodied red wine with aromas of blackberries and earthy components of forest floor and mushrooms. On the palate fresh and fruity flavors of blueberries, plums, cocoa, and vanilla. This is a beautiful expression of Calatayud Grenacha.

Grenacha pairs well with a variety of dishes, from light salads and grilled vegetables to hearty stews and roasted meats. Its fruity flavors and soft tannins make it a good match for dishes with bold, savory flavors, such as barbecued ribs or lamb shanks. It is also a good choice for dishes with a sweet component, such as duck with a fruit sauce or grilled pork with a honey glaze.

2018 Jaun Gil Red Blend is also from the D.O. Jumilla. The extremely old vineyard sits at 2,100 feet above sea level, dry farmed, and requires no herbicides or pesticides. The red blend is comprised of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Monastrell, and 10% Syrah. This wine is luscious and full of ripe aromas of red fruit and rose petals. Great structure with chocolate notes, spices and herbal undertones. Offering great depth and a 91 point score from Wine Advocate! What’s not to love?

This Spanish wine is unapologetically big and rich, so it would also match very well with rich foods, so next time you’re having thick cut cheddar burgers, BBQ skewers, or wild game you know what to reach for. Another perfect pairing would be Manchego cheese, Spain’s most famous cheese and aged serrano pork shoulder thinly sliced for your charcuterie board.

Whether you're a wine connoisseur or just looking to try something new, a bottle of Spanish wine is sure to be a delightful addition to any occasion. These are all big wines with bold flavors, perfect for our overcast cold weather, and of course available at Bigfork Liquor Barn.

Find these delicious unique Spanish foods to pair with your wines at the Bigfork Liquor Barn.

Matiz Piparra Peppers

Produced in the region of Basque, located along the northern coast of Spain, and bordering southwest France. This area is known for its unique and eclectic products and cuisine and has one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita in the world.

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Atteca Grenacha Jaun Gil

Marquez de Valdueza Heather Honey

Sourced from the Perales de Valdueza Estate in Extremadura, and run by the Alvarez de Toledo family, who have been known and awarded for their production of wine, olive oil, and vinegar for generations.

Matiz Gallego Sardines

Sourced from the coast of Galicia, an area north of Portugal and bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is world renowned for its top-quality seafood and centuries-old fishing traditions. Mussels, sardines, octopus, lobster, sea bass, tuna, are just some of the many seafoods that this area is famous for.

Fermin Serrano Pork Shoulder

Cured for 10 months near La Alberca, a historic city in Salamanca, an area of Castilla y Leon that is globally recognized for its high-quality ham. Iberico pigs, which come from the Iberian Peninsula in Spain and Portugal, are unique breeds that date back over 10,000 years. Because of their specific diet (primarily native acorns) and geographic conditions, these pigs produce meat of premium quality with a unique flavor that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Delicias Caperberries

Grown along the Mediterranean coast, caper berries are harvested from the native Capparis Spinosa bush. While capers are the unflowered bud from the plant, the caper berries are the fruit, with its own unique and distinctive flavor profile. Savory and briny with a salty and citrus tang, they are a great garnish in seafood dishes, pastas, and cocktails, but also do well with char cuterie, tapenades, and dressings.

Manchego 6-month aged cheese

A staple among Spanish cheeses, Manchego comes from the La Mancha region located in the heart of the country. La Mancha is the largest plain in Spain and is known for being an important agricultural area. For the cheese to be called Manchego, it must meet certain criteria set by the D.O. For example, it must be produced from a registered farm with whole milk from the native Manchega sheep. It has a buttery, zesty, and nutty flavor that makes for a versatile pairing with wine.

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Bacon Wrapped Mushroo M s

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Lovely mushrooms, how I adore you! I adore you for your aromatic flavor and unmatchable texture. When I add the knowledge that mushrooms have medicinal properties—a substantial dose of protein, potassium and polysaccharides (which support a healthy immune function) what is there not to love?

Thank the heavens above for the French who introduced mushrooms into their haute cuisine; because by the 19th century Americans started cooking mushrooms in their own kitchens. So, here we are… going crazy with “Bacon

Ingredients

1½ lbs. large cremini mushrooms cleaned (remove stems)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp. thyme

2 tbsp. garlic (minced)

1/4 cup green onion

2 tbsp. fresh parsley (chopped)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

(optional)

2 tbsp. olive oil

12 slices bacon (uncooked)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

1. In a medium bowl mix in parmesan cheese, thyme, garlic, green onion, parsley, and red pepper. Stir everything together and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat it over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook on both sides for about 2 or 3 minutes per side, just until the mushrooms start to brown a bit.

3. Add approximately 1 tbsp. of the cheese mixture to each mushroom.

4. Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each mushroom (wrap the bacon so that the ends are underneath the mushroom).

5. Place the mushrooms in the oven and bake for approximately 5 minutes.

6. When the cheese has melted, salt and pepper the top of the mushrooms.

As they say in French… prendre plaisir (enjoy)!

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Making Dreams Come True!

Maddi Paulson and Ashley Abraham of MANN

MoRTGAGe

Maddi Paulson and Ashley Abraham must be two of the luckiest loan advisors in Montana. They love their clients, they love their coworkers, and they love their jobs. But we can’t share their story without first sharing the origin story of Mann Mortgage.

It all started when Don Mann wrecked his boat on Flathead Lake. While some might have seen it as a disaster, Mann decided to turn it into an opportunity.

With a plan to build a mortgage company modeled after the 1950’s era farming co-op, he used the insurance money from the boat to get started. He knew that by pooling resources, local lending could be kept personal and local. The most important company principle is a commitment to helping qualified borrowers in their communities fulfill the dream of home ownership.

While the company may have been formed on the basis of hometown values, solid partnerships, streamlined processes, and cutting-edge technologies, it was also liberally sprinkled with a dose of good humor from the very beginning - Don Mann used to laugh that he considered naming it Shipwreck Mortgage, but decided that might not be

good for business. And so, Mann Mortgage was born. Don Mann now serves as President and Director of Golf.

From a one-man show in Kalispell in the late 1980s, Mann Mortgage has grown to 55 branch locations and 500 employees across the U.S. There are nine Mann Mortgage branches in Montana, alone. All of the Mann Mortgage co-op branches enjoy a strong reputation built on their depth and breadth of expertise, and enduring industry partnerships. They are approaching just north of a yearly average of $2.5 Billion with over 9000 mortgages closed per year (nationwide).

On a recent visit to their offices in Kalispell, I totally got a feel for their hometown/home team outlook and incredibly fun workplace culture. The staff I met there were excited about the recent Festival of Trees they had held to raise money for charity, and their camaraderie was infectious. It was clear they all love working together as a team to get their clients to home ownership, but they also have a heart for service in their community!

As a matter of fact, Mann Mortgage earned a place on Outside magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work in 2021, for the second year in a row, the only mortgage company or home loan provider to be included. They were recognized for their benefits, work-life balance, job satisfaction, and trust in their leadership. This honor was announced on the

heels of being named a Top Mortgage Workplace by MPA (Mortgage Professional America) just weeks prior.

I met with two of Mann Mortgages' loan advisors - Maddi Paulson and Ashley Abraham, along with Steve Paulson, the Kalispell branch manager. The first question I asked was how in the world are people even FINDING loans in today’s housing market. Ashley responded that this is actually one of their specialties. Because their loans are managed in-house, and they are exception-based lenders, they have lots of resources that make loans affordable.

Honestly, with today’s housing prices, I seriously figured the news about borrowing to buy a home to be pretty hopeless with today’s real estate prices, but Ashley and Maddi assured me it is totally achievable. Which brought me to my next question - how can one even get started?

There are numerous bank mortgage rules of thumb concerning down payments and monthly payments for a real estate purchase and most seem entirely too daunting for most first-time homebuyers in this current climate. At Mann Mortgage, they work backward from where the buyer is at present to get them where they want to be. I also asked how getting a loan from Mann Mortgage differs

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from getting a loan from a bank. Steve said that in a recession, banks are somewhat conservative, but Mann Mortgage charges in. Also, in my experience, one doesn’t find the kind of upbeat atmosphere and positive energy in a bank that I experienced in the Mann Mortgage office.

Maddi said the most key thing a buyer can do is start the roadmap. By going to Mannmortgage. com and spending ten minutes filling out a form, borrowers get the collective expertise of the Mann Mortgage team to put together a road map to home ownership. They will walk them through the process to come up with a buyer-ready preapproval loan amount, which also means the buyer has already completed all the documents needed upfront and has been through underwriting. It makes for an incredibly fast closing.

Yes, interest rates are up. But one of Maddi’s theories is “Marry the house . . . date the rate.” Believe it or not, now IS a good time to find the house you want. After the crazy roller coaster of 2020 and 2021, today’s real estate market has more inventory. Buyers can take advantage of Mann Mortgages' many programs to get into the house they want and refinance later when interest rates go down.

Loan Advisor Ashley Abraham is a Montana girl that grew up with her two sisters in Butte, Montana and her parents still live there. She lives in Kalispell with her boyfriend, Owen, and their cat, Izzy, and dog, Nash. She had a background in marketing when she was hired at Mann Mortgage. She was happy in marketing, but the Branch Manager, Steve Paulson, saw some spark in her and encouraged her to take steps, such as training and certifications to become a loan advisor. He said he likes to “hire for fit and coach for talent” and that seems to be a good philosophy at their office. It is clear that everyone in the office loves being there! “We are all family here!” said Ashley.

Ashley’s favorite part of working at Mann Mortgage is the people that come in. She loves connecting with her clients and finding ways to help them - and she won’t let buyers put themselves in a position that would cause financial stress later on. Occasionally, there are those who might not fit the parameters for their financing needs when they first apply. Ashley doesn’t just say ‘come back later’ - she helps create an achievable strategy. She is invested in their success and will be their personal resource and coach for their home ownership journey until they get the house they want. In these times, having an advocate like that is priceless indeed.

When asked about her superpower, Ashley said her ability to connect with people and get their loans closed. She says her heart sings when she volunteers around the community, and she loves to go on road trips. Ashley’s bucket list includes being a top lender at Mann (making the Champions Club List) and traveling anywhere and everywhere.

Outside of work, Ashley can be found chasing the sunshine. She enjoys life on the lake, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Loan Advisor Maddi Paulson received a degree in business administration from Concordia College New York and spent six years in marketing there. She found that she really wanted to do something where every day led to something more meaningful, and working together with her clients to lead them to homeownership definitely checks that box. Maddi has compassion for everyone’s situation, and she loves being the person that can advocate for them.

Her education and experience allow her to close her clients’ loans quickly and accurately, ensuring a seamless home loan experience. Whether firsttime home buyers, those new to the Flathead Valley, homeowners looking to refinance, or anything in between, Maddi can help borrowers get a clear picture of the home loan that would work best for their needs.

Maddi grew up in Kalispell with her parents and her sister Gabby, Steve is her dad. Maddi’s mom, Tonia, also works at Mann Mortgage, so for her, it truly IS a family affair. In her eyes, her parents are rock stars! Maddi loves living back in her hometown with her puppy named Bauer.

Her favorite thing about working at Mann Mortgage is when she gets to help people get into a home and sees that they have become encouraged to do more. She loves her co-workers and feels pretty bummed when she takes vacation days and doesn’t get to see them for a week or so. She just loves coming to work and getting to be with her whole work family!

Outside of work, her happy place is any time spent with Bauer, and she looks forward to traveling all over both stateside and around the world. She is a bit fascinated by how mortgages work in other countries. She was justifiably shocked to discover that, in Italy, anyone over 60 is considered too old to get a loan.

Mann Mortgage has a huge heart for each local community it serves. Their employees are encouraged to volunteer for local efforts that stir their passion. It is just part of their company culture. In a recent interview, Jason Mann, CEO said, "We are responsible to be stewards of our community. Whether we're donating or helping out, we give back to this community. That's a very, very important part of what Mann Mortgage offers."

Mann Mortgage was awarded the 2022 Kalispell Chamber Large Business of the Year, because of their workplace culture and spirit of giving to their local communities, especially their outstanding community support of so many local efforts in the Kalispell community.

Mann Mortgage’s 2022 Festival of Trees event raised over $33,000 for this year’s chosen charity, DeliverFund, which is a nonprofit intelligence organization that leverages cutting-edge technology against human trafficking. Some of their local efforts have supported Wings, the Nate Chute Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the ImagineIF Library, Flathead County Park & Rec, the Columbia Falls Community Market, Montana Children’s at Logan Health, and the Flathead Warming Shelter. Their employees serve on the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, the Kalispell Downtown Association, and the Flathead Exchange Club.

Want to find a great place to work? Mann Mortgage is hiring! They are always on the lookout for talented and fun-loving people to join their corporate and branch teams.

Want to buy a home? Plan to start your quest with Maddi and Ashley at Mann Mortgage’s Kalispell branch on Whitefish Stage Road.

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profile} Mann Mortgage
It was clear they all love working together as a team to get their clients to home ownership, but they also have a heart for service in their community!

Customize Your Look

People love customization when it comes to their food, clothing, and especially design. Customizing allows us to create a look all our own, one that is tailored to our home, our needs, and our likes. We often think of specialty wall paint or wallpaper, but have you thought of the hundreds of options and combinations you have to customize a room with your furniture and accent pieces?

Wright’s Furniture has furniture customization down to a science! Even in their very own showroom, they handpick the floor stock with the goal of matching color and design trends suitable for our specific region. They have customized the pieces that they feature and they offer the same option to you. In the showroom, they feature galleries of their favorite manufacturers who are trusted for quality, value, style, and more. Featured galleries include fabrics, leathers, and finish samples. These galleries have been pre-designed to allow each customer to get a sense of comfort and feel possibilities for their own spaces. Items can be purchased straight from the showroom floor or you can create a custom order highlighting your style and your own design.

design}
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Within the showroom, Wright’s Furniture has a Design Center that contains thousands of fabrics, leathers, finish and nail trim samples as well as catalogs, space planning materials, and more. You can even design a unique product of your very own by choosing your style, materials, function, and size to best fit your needs, preferences, and space. Mattresses can be ordered custom as well if you are looking for unique sizes to fit campers and custom beds. They even have locally handmade live edge resin accented tables that have custom options available. Wright’s furniture has created the perfect place to create your custom pieces.

Now, there may be some people out there that are overwhelmed and intimidated by all the choices and selections out there. This is why Wright’s Furniture goes the extra mile for their customers, they offer design help to all. You don’t have to do this alone; all these options are included in their free design services.

Take some time this new year and visit the beautiful and newly renovated showroom. Experience the difference with Wright’s Furniture, where your customization options are endless!

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6325 HWY 93 SouTH, WHITEFISH, MonTana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | oPEn
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Wright’s Furniture is open 7 days a week, offering complimentary design services with free local delivery and install. visit the Wright’s Furniture showroom in Whitefish or learn more at wrightsfurniturestore.net
Wright’s Furniture goes the extra mile for their customers, they offer design help to all. You don’t have to do this alone; all these options are included in their free design services.

interior Design Dilemmas Recession-Proof Design Tips

We’re in the depths of winter and there’s talk about a possible recession. Whether an economic downturn is in our future or not, getting the best value from your interior design project is always smart. This month, Adriena answers your questions about ways to maximize your design investment.

I want to remodel, where should I focus my spend?

Most people know that kitchen and bathroom remodels provide the best return-on-investment for the value of their home – often around a 90% return on the cost of construction. But kitchens and bathrooms are also the most expensive ar-

eas to remodel, so in terms of ROI they can be high-cost and high-reward.

As always, a design investment starts with your goals. Are you planning to stay in the home for many years? Then don’t focus so much on increasing your home value but keep function and aesthetics for your family as your top priority. If you might be selling in the next five years but still want to enjoy the remodel, make sure you’re designing not just for your family but for potential buyers. It can be hard to keep a vague future buyer’s needs in mind when you’re finally getting started on your dream renovation, but in most homes there is a middle ground between a design that you’ll love and a design that appeals to a broad group of homeowners.

The best areas to focus your remodel will be different for every home, but there are a lot of small

things you can do to maximize ROI while making your space more enjoyable and comfortable at the same time. Consider updates like replacing your front door, adding outdoor living spaces like decks and patios, replacing your garage door, or switching out kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

If your home really needs a major remodel, be realistic about what it will cost and think about how the whole house flows together. If you rip out your kitchen but keep those vinyl floors in the mudroom next to it, they’re going to look especially dingy next to the new kitchen. Educate yourself on the order in which construction usually takes place – for example if you want to replace a kitchen backsplash, you’ll want to consider doing your countertops at the same time - otherwise you’ll end up having to rip out your new backsplash tile to get the countertop out if

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you decide to replace later. Likewise, if updating hardwood flooring, in most homes you’ll want to replace your baseboards at the same time.

Finally, keep in mind that during economic downturns, new construction tends to slow down while demand for remodels can increase. We all know that contractors are very booked up here in the valley, so don’t expect that to change for remodels and have a realistic timeframe of 6-12 months to start construction.

I’m committed to a new build, but I’m worried about rising costs. how do I keep my project on budget?

Home builders are dealing with rising costs on materials, labor, shipping and just about everything else associated with building a home. Hopefully you had a detailed budget from your builder when you committed to your new construction, and that is the time to go through line items with a fine-tooth comb and make sure they are realistic. Every construction budget should have a contingency built in, which will help account for inflation. But depending on when you committed to your build, the reality is that costs have increased significantly and in many cases, something’s got to give.

The key here is communication. If you haven’t already, talk to your builder now about rising costs and how they see your budget being affected. You may need to reconsider the size of your home, number of bathrooms, finishes and materials if your budget is not flexible.

If you’re just starting on your home build journey, working with a designer can help you save money through efficient space planning (since new con-

ing every finish detail. While higher-end custom builders may help with the selection process, often choosing all the tile, cabinetry, paint colors, plumbing and lighting is the responsibility of the homeowner and it can take a significant amount of time.

I’m planning to sell my home, but it needs work. What should I do? We’ve all followed the crazy rollercoaster that was housing prices in the valley over the past couple of years. While most realtors are still seeing some movement, things have definitely slowed down

tial buyers get any nasty surprises. Then once you know what those repairs will cost, you can dedicate the rest of your budget to your remodel.

When selling, the high-cost high-reward equation of kitchen and bathroom remodels is usually worthwhile. But a lot of people have negative perceptions of home flipping, so make sure to use quality materials. It’s very obvious when walking through an open home if sellers have gone for the cheapest materials possible. For most buyers these days, items like stone countertops are expected, and you might be surprised at the vast range of pricing for these materials. For example, a basic granite costs less than most quartz and can achieve the look that buyers want.

If you’re organized or working with a designer, you can keep a binder of all the materials and fixtures used in the remodel to pass onto the buyer. Knowing they have all the details can be a huge help in setting buyers’ minds at ease.

Your realtor and your designer can help advise you on what areas make the most sense to upgrade in your home – keeping local market differentiators and your home’s price point in mind to make sure the time and cost of remodeling is worth it for your individual situation.

struction is priced by the square foot) and expert selection of the best quality materials within your budget. Designers will typically specify all materials, fixtures and finishes for the home before breaking ground – which enables the builder to order early and lock in pricing.

Also consider what your time is valued at – it can take upwards of 250 hours to design an entire home from drafting the floor plan to select-

for sellers. So it’s a good idea to make your home the most desirable among competitor listings. A smart remodel will help you sell faster, for a better price and less stress.

Before you decide on cosmetic upgrades that will make your listing the most desirable, it’s a good idea to get a home inspection before listing. That will identify any unknown issues or needed repairs that you can fix before you and your poten-

Daunt Designs offers interior design services to the Flathead Valley, including new construction, remodeling, furnishing and decorating.

Learn more on dauntdesigns.com.

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Looking back on 2022, Glacier Symphony is blown away by the Flathead Valley’s response to its first half of the Symphonic Spectacular season concerts. The first three concert weekends of the season filled McClaren Hall with audiences eager to experience an array of live symphonic music. Just one illustration of the community response to the new offerings in McClaren Hall was selling out all three show times for Glacier Symphony’s Nutcracker performance. Volunteer ushers repeatedly shared the joyful sentiments of audience members following each show, which has reinforced the momentum of this exciting Symphonic Spectacular season. Glacier Symphony has recap coverage of each of the three concerts from the first half of the season featured on its social media platforms.

Entering 2023, Glacier Symphony looks forward to finishing out its 40th season strong with its lineup of spring concerts for audience members who are coming back for more entertainment as well as those who have yet to experience the new performance home. The remaining three concerts of Glacier Symphony’s current season include the Ultimate Symphonic Rock Show with Jeans ‘N Classics, Midori: World Virtuoso, and Carmen: Opera in Concert. Tickets for the remaining three shows of this truly spectacular season are already selling fast.

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Season Continues

The first show of 2023, The Ultimate Symphonic Rock Show will be performed by Glacier Symphony and featured guest artist, Jeans ‘N Classics. At the concert on February 18th, you’ll listen to the classic 70's rock hits of David Bowie, Electric Light Orchestra, Peter Gabriel, Procol Harum and the Moody

Blues. These symphonic rock hits will be brought to life like never before, with a live orchestra and rock band in the acoustically spectacular McClaren Hall at Wachholz College Center. Those in the community are familiar with Glacier Symphony but will be newly introduced to Jeans ‘N Classics, the performing group collaborating with the symphony orchestra for this rock performance. Jeans ‘N Classics is a Canadian-based original rock band that performs interpretations of legendary rock and pop albums and artists. With every performance, the band promises their signature flair that they have perfected and performed for over 20 years across North America. Glacier Symphony is incredibly excited to work with the talent at Jeans ‘N Classics to demonstrate the versatility of orchestra music and create an electric atmosphere in the state-of-the-art hall for around 1,000 friends of the symphony.

In the new spectacular venue, Glacier Symphony is able to offer a layer of experiences to concert goers and has set out to do so during its milestone 40th season. For the rock show, they encourage audience members to show up in their best 70’s attire for the night of the concert. Can you say groovy?

And, for the first time at an actual concert and ahead of the show, Glacier Symphony will also feature its silent auction. A lucky selection of audience members who bid on the auction prizes can walk away with amazing activity and getaway packages of Flathead Valley experiences. Prizes include weekend passes to Under the Big Sky Festival, guided snowmobile and horseback riding trips by Swan Mountain Outfitters, a Glacier Nordic Club family pass, a dinner and stay at Meadow Lake, Whitefish Theater Company tickets, and many more.

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Glacier symphony orchestra and chorale’s new era of heightened performance in its 40th season at the new Mcclaren hall at Wachholz college center is halfway complete and a roaring success already.
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Written by Paulina Crum, markeTing anD PubliC relaTions assoCiaTe Photos provided by glaCier symPhony orChesTra & Chorale Lead singer, Jean Meilleur, and Jeans ‘N Classics band performing. Opening weekend performance in the new McClaren Hall.

Concertgoers will also get the chance to participate in the symphony’s now beloved complimentary photobooth experience, which will be decorated for this themed night of 70’s rock. These experiences and The Ultimate Rock Show itself is a one night only event that will be perfect for a Valentine’s Day date night outing.

Next up for the Symphonic Spectacular season lineup will be Midori: World Virtuoso on April 8th, which will be a magnificent show and amazing achievement to bring in a classical artist of her caliber. For those unfamiliar with her story, Midori Goto is a legendary violinist who started performing with New York Philharmonic as a child prodigy at age 11 and continued in an unparalleled music career since. Serendipitously, Midori’s career started in 1982, which is the same year Glacier Symphony was founded, making this performance the 40th year milestone for both performers. Midori will be performing the mystifying Violin Concerto in d minor by Robert Schumann. Following her solo, Glacier Symphony will be performing two of Respighi's evocative orchestral portraits, the Fountains and Pines of Rome, which will instantly transport you to Italy's capital in the romantic era.

As our season finale weekend on May 13th and 14th, Glacier Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will be performing an opera in concert performance of Carmen, Bizet’s passionately tragic masterpiece. This opera is now very popular, but was not always received that way due to the immense scandal and tragedy present in the storyline’s romance. Pre-concert programming will dive into the interesting details of the opera’s history. The concert will be performed by a full cast of acclaimed opera singers, including Pascale Spinney, Andrew Surrena, Hanna Brammer, Alex Boyd, and Benjamin Sieverding, alongside Glacier Symphony and Chorale to deliver a high drama opera in concert performance to the Flathead Valley. The opera will be sung in English, rather than the traditional French version, so many can enjoy this iconic operatic story.

Of course, 2023 will not yet be over by the conclusion of Glacier Symphony’s 40th concert season in May. Glacier Symphony is already preparing exciting summer events to lead up to its 41st season that will be performed in 2023-

2024 again at McClaren Hall at Wachholz College Center. Visit www.glaciersymphony.org

Glacier Symphony promises the conclusion of this 40th Symphonic Spectacular season to be a truly unforgettable one for all who perform and view the concerts at the new hall. This is a continual promise in future years, as Glacier Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will continue raise the bar for sensational performances in the Flathead Valley for the enjoyment of all.

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At the concert on February 18th, you’ll listen to the classic 70's rock hits of David Bowie, e lectric Light o rchestra, Peter Gabriel, Procol Harum and the Moody Blues.
Female vocalist, Stephanie Martin, who will be performing at The Ultimate Symphonic Rock Show as part of the Jeans ‘N Classics ensemble. Glacier Symphony trumpet section members, Martin Weimer and Michael Boreson, performing during Handel’s Messiah, a show from the first half of the season. Conductor and Artistic Director, John Zoltek, leading the orchestra and chorale during one of the Symphonic Spectacular concerts. for more information.

Hitched!

So tell us about Hitched Party, it seems like a fun and innovative concept. The mission behind Hitched Party is simple -- providing unique and affordable wedding experiences in whatever beautiful Montana setting your heart desires. Finding the right venue can be difficult, exhausting, disappointing and expensive. So many of the locals have been priced out of the wedding industry here, yet they have beautiful properties available to them. Hitched Party is for those couples who don’t want to be restrained by wedding venue availability, or the tremendous costs. We offer freedom - by bringing the option of a dynamic venue to them. We're here to help make your big day easy, portable and most importantly… beautiful!

How did Hitched Party come about?

When my husband and I were planning our wedding in the spring of 2022, most of the rental companies were booked until 2023 and we didn't want to wait that long to get married. We decided to just buy everything and rent it back out for couples that were in similar situations as we were. During our planning, I fell in love with the process. Many of our guests told us we had the best wedding they had ever been to and I realized I had a real knack for throwing a good wedding that didn't cost me what the average wedding costs.

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What’s the perfect location for a wedding or event on a budget?

It might be lakeside, small field, big pasture, your own backyard, or a mountain side. You name it. We can make it your perfect wedding venue.

What do you get when you book with Hitched Party?

Whatever you end up renting from us all comes in a trailer that can be used as a bar, a get ready room or whatever you need it to be really. We bring the tables, chairs, tents, sound system with microphones, table setting décor, arch, speakers, lights, sitting area, generator, signs, and so much more. Or pick only what you need! Customizing your day is exactly what we love. If we don't have what you need, don’t hesitate to ask us if we can source it for you.

What other services do you offer?

Affordable wedding coordination, event planning, and design services.

For those planning a wedding or event, how can they reach you?

Call us at 406-249-7152 or contact us online at hitchedparty.com. We are really looking forward to helping you plan your perfect event!

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Hitched Party is for those couples who don’t want to be restrained by wedding venue availability, or the tremendous costs. We offer freedom.

Minde Jessi

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January 8, 2022 The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
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Photos by Kelly Kirksey Photography

Mindaugas

(In Lithuania, it is typical for the female to take the married feminine version of the male’s last name, which is why they are slightly different.)

I am originally from Euless, Texas and Minde is from Birzai, Lithuania.

Minde is a prior supply troop and a combat medic in the Lithuanian Army and I am a hospital administrator in the United States Air Force. I am currently stationed in Great Falls, MT and have been in the military for almost 11 years. We were both at Fort Sam Houston, Texas for our medical training and became great friends. After a short while of losing touch, I reached out to Minde to catch up and the rest is history. Communicating on a 9 hour time difference was challenging, but we made it work and it has made us a stronger couple.

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Who are you and how did you meet?
(Minde) Pacesiunas and Jessica (Jessi) Pacesiuniene
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We both had always dreamed of taking our wedding pictures in the snow with black attire and gorgeous scenery, and t he lodge was truly the best place for that!

t he thing i enjoyed most about our wedding day was how intimate and peaceful it was. We chose to elope, so it was just us. We were both calm, relaxed, and were able to spend our wedding day focusing on each other.

Jessi: What is the trait that you most admire in Minde? He always has the ability to make me laugh and smile, regardless of the situation. He is truly so much fun to be around and my best friend.

Minde: When did you realize you wanted to get married to Jessi? There is not a single moment I can think of, but I wanted to marry her because of her sense of humor and how she makes me laugh. Also, I have never been able to talk to anyone the way I can with her. Her goofy personality and approachability made marrying her one of the easiest decisions I have ever made.

Why did you choose the venue you did to getting married? We both had always dreamed of taking our wedding pictures in the snow with black attire and gorgeous scenery, and The Lodge was truly the best place for

that! They also took care of everything! From getting our cake and flowers, to dinner reservations, they did it all.

Jessi: What did you enjoy most during your wedding day?

The thing I enjoyed most about our wedding day was how intimate and peaceful it was. We chose to elope, so it was just us. We were both calm, relaxed, and were able to spend our wedding day focusing on each other. Everything about that day was perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Minde: What is your favorite activity to do as a couple?

We both enjoy being outdoors. Whether it is hiking, camping, walking, or running, being outside is what we love. On the other hand, we enjoy CrossFit, as well as a good Game of Thrones bingewatching day in bed.

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Winter Trek at Glacier, Matthew Grant

Montana Winter Wonderland

Christmas on Main, Wanda Mumm Chair 5 at Big Mountain, Lonnie Collinsworth Evening Road to Big Mountain, Wanda Mumm Majestic Bighorn, lonnie Collinsworth