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131 Central Avenue Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-9199

M c G o u g h & C o ... W h e r e M o n ta na G e t s E n g ag e d

406 contents Design 16. Trends Focusing on trends that tell a story


20. Tea Party 24. Bestow & Tablescaping

fitness 44. Pilates On Water

family 46. Dyslexia Overview

50. Kids and Sports The More You Know




Music~Arts 54. Peter Nero The Genius of Gershwin in the Hands of

30. Andre & Andrea

food & flavor 36. Recipe for Success Brookside Yard 38. In the Pantry Tomatoes 40. Wine Headaches Myths & Truths


Cover Girl


Cindy Gerrity

business manager Daley McDaniel

executive editor

Kristen Hamilton

director & design Heather

Sara Joy Pinnell

Heather Haegele was born and raised in the

Flathead Valley and truly Montana. She

represents everything that is good about living in

Flathead High School

graduated from

and was famous for her

fierce competitiveness on the softball field.

She received a softball Jamestown College and graduated with a double major. Heather moved back to Kalispell after graduation and currently works as the Recruitment Manager for Kalispell Public Schools. Heather loves sports and being active in the community. She is currently the girls’ softball coach for Glacier High School, where they won their school’s first State Championship this year. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and enjoying everything this amazing valley has to offer. scholarship from

Hair & Makeup by Christina Stevens at 33 Baker Salon Clothing by Sappari in Whitefish photo by:

Amanda Wilson Photography

www . a ma n d awi l s o n p h o t o s . c o m a f wp h o t o g r a p h y @ m e . c o m

Business Girl


Amanda Wilson Photography Daley McDaniel Photography Lindsay Jane Photography Alisia Dawn Photography Carrie Ann Photography Brenda Ahearn Photography Taylor Brooke Photography Lucy Williams Camp-n-Cottage Khorus Eye Imaging David Clumpner Melissa Coulier, Bring Media Sonja Burgard Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 Copyright©2015 Skirts Publishing

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m


Fleur Philips

award-winning author

Fleur Philips has released her Beautiful Girl (SparkPress), about the values of beauty in a teen girl’s life. A native of Flathead Valley now settled in Whitefish, Philips recently founded her own communications firm, Fleur Communications Group, and third novel,

is currently preparing to teach her first creative writing workshop class at in

Whitefish High School. Read her full story Business & Health section.

photo by:

Melissa Coulier Bring Media

Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at Woman 406 Woman is distributed in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Whitefish and every point in between. Check out for our full distribution list. Have a great story idea or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions. Interested in increasing your business and partnering with 406 Woman? Check out


w o m a n

Checking In

Women we meet every day inspire us. Our friend that has lost her husband but manages to get out of bed each day with a smile and is raising two terrific children in spite of her personal struggles. The woman we read about on Facebook recently that helped a veteran not only cross a parking lot to get into the store but took him shopping and spent time listening to him talk about his life. A colleague that left her job and the security that surrounded it to follow her dream and start her own business. She was never concerned about the paycheck, she wanted to feel good every day about what she was contributing professionally and it’s staring to pay off. A sister who fought a gallant effort against cancer with a positive attitude and her head held high ~ eventually loosing that battle but inspiring everyone she touched before, during and after the fight. And what about the US Women’s Soccer team that won the world cup recently. Their drive and passion inspired a nation. What these women and many others we are glad to have in our lives continually do is inspire us to be better both personally and professionally. It really takes so little effort to be the right person, do the right thing, and live a life you can be proud of (every day). As the summer closes out and we get ready for the changing seasons, we will take a lead from those that inspire us and find happiness and gratitude in even the smallest things. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Napoleon Hill

With Gratitude, What did we learn after reading this issue?



The Women’s Foundation of Montana’s new initiative “PowerHouse Montana” wants to connect Montana women with resources, mentors and opportunities to thrive in business. Read Jen Euell’s story in our Business and Health section on page 32. Kelly O’Brien outlines the advantages to incorporating your small business to protect your personal assets in her “Why Incorporate Your Small Business?” story in our Business Section on page 34.

Miriam Singer interviews the world-renowned pianist, Peter Nero, in her story “The Genius of Gershwin in the Hands of Peter Nero.” Be sure to check it out on page 54. Also, make plans to see the concert on September 12th – what a treat for the valley!




Our Talented

Contributor’s Corner


What is your favorite movie of all time and how many times have you seen it?

C. Claude Basler, D.C.

Family chiropractor, allowing you to express your true potential

Erin Blair

Licensed esthetician and owner of Skin Therapy Studio

Delia Buckmaster Brianne Burrowes

Founder of I Want Her Job and Senior Consumer Marketing Manager at NASCAR track Phoenix International Raceway

Kay Burt

Mother, Grandmother, native Montanan, legal assistant--a woman whose life is blessed beyond measure

Cris Marie Campbell

Master certified Martha Beck coach and consultant, co-owner of Thrive! Inc.

Kristan Clark

Co-owner of Bestow Heart and Home, designer and writer.

Susan B Clarke

Faculty at The Haven Institute for 20 years and co-owner of Thrive! Inc.

Brian D’Ambrosio

Er i n B l air

Certified in pilates and an active health coach, owner of Exhale Pilates Studio

It's hard to name one favorite, but if pressed, I'd have to say its 'When Harry Met Sally'. Ah, the irony and comedy of true love never gets old...I've seen it far too many times to count, and every time I smile like it was the first!

Accomplished writer and newly published author of “Reservation Champ’

Jen Euell

Kari Gabriel

Exec Dir or Flathead CARE plus wildlife rehabilitator and educator

Bob Hamilton

Music aficionado, former English teacher, and all around good guy

Kalispell OB/GYN Doctors & Practitioners

Board certified OB/GYN professional offering expert advice

Junkermier, Clark, Campanella, Stevens, P.C. Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors

Nancy Kimball

Marketing communications specialist at Kalispell Regional Healthcare, and career journalist

Marti Kurth

Public relations and marketing expert for organizations in the arts and music

Kristen Ledyard

Executive Chef and Owner of John’s Angels Catering

Jessica Manly

Montana FoodCorps leader connecting kids to real food to grow up healthy

Kr i sten Ledyard

Program Director for the Women’s Foundation of Montana

Stars Wars as we watched it with binoculars from my house in Columbus Falls. We lived above the drive-in on South Hilltop. I was born the year it came out, so "reruns" and no sound, but as kids who cares. I’ve seen it 23 times. Also, my Dad's nickname for me has always been his “little Jedi.”

John Miller, DDS

Specializing in general dentistry, Dr Miller provides expert advice

Naomi Morrison

Professional journalist, freelance writer and committed to the community

Kelly O’Brien, Esq. Kristen Pulsifer

Writer, editor and owner of Whitefish Study Center

Karen Sanderson

Wine expert and owner of Brix Bottleshop in Kalispell

Miriam Singer

Talented writer and songstress, promoting music as Singer & Simpson Productions

Lucy Smith

Executive Director of the Flathead Community Foundation, believes that everyday philanthropy is changing the world

Gwen Sutherland

Owner of Marketing Bits, writing and design business

Mary Wallace


Mother of three and grandmother to two, is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.

For full bios for our contributors, please visit

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Jen Eue l l

Business law specialist with Measure Law Office, P.C.

My very favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. It came out when I was in high school and I watched it first with one of my biggest crushes of all time. It holds its ridiculous humor and sweet innocence remarkably well through the years. It’s a great movie for any audience. And you have to admit, "As you wish", is the best line for a Prince ever written. I'm sure I've seen it at least 20 times.


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By Hunter Dominick, Hunter & Company


Focusing on trends that tell a story


To describe design trends this sea-

son we search for simple well designed spaces that reflect our lifestyles. Accessories and accent pieces can do a lot for your space. Focus on pieces that tell a story or have a history. Look for these types of pieces to incorporate into your space and the results can be beautiful. The following are the top trends from Hunter & Company.

1 Ombre

Ombre is HOT this season. The French word “ombrer”, which means to shade, is derived from the Italian word “ombrare”, to shade or shadow. You will see this gradual shading used on fabric which appears dip dyed. It is also found on tiles, clothing, and wall treatments. Go for ombre pillows, bedding or even a tile installation to incorporate a playful accent in your home.

2 Mixed Metals

Mixed metals is a trend that is here to stay. From jewelry to lighting and furniture, it is everywhere. How to incorporate it into your home? With the metal mix there are no rules, just go for it.

3 Living Walls

The concept dates back to the 1930's. A living wall incorporates panels of plants grown vertically using hydroponics. The most famous green wall was at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. Stanley Hart White sparked the revolution in sustainable architecture. An indoor or outdoor garden living wall can reduce noise and energy costs, benefit your health and looks amazing!



Books and Bookshelves

Books and bookshelves showcase people's interests and can be a challenge to arrange. Transform your shelves into a visual piece of ART. Incorporate photos or a sculpture; turn the spine around to view the texture of the paper. Create and re-create your bookshelves to tell your story.

5 Painted Furniture

Painted furniture is coming back in a new way. Paint an old chest and add some metal hardware. It is a sophisticated look to mix up a painted piece in your bedroom with this chest from Theodore Alexander at Hunter & Company.

6 Tapes

Add a tape to your existing window treatments or pillows for a crisp accent. Tapes are on the trend and growing up to 4" in width. The embellished accents had taken a back seat to contemporary fashions, but are now front and center. A tape can make a big statement on a modern chair or a traditional sofa.

7 Brasses

Brushed brass and un-lacquered antique brass are back. The material adds a classic look to your home. I add brass whenever possible in hardware, nail heads, light fixtures and faucets. Brass can be used in traditional and modern spaces.


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Tea Party Photographed by Amanda Wilson

When I hear the words “Tea Party “ they evoke images of dress up clothes, miniature tea sets with juice pouring out of the spout and snacks stacked on tiny little porcelain plates. The scene comes to life with the smiling faces of little girls spending the afternoon together making fond memories.

I was lucky enough to have two sweet girls that loved tea parties when they were younger and we had them often.

When thinking about celebrating my daughter’s eighteenth birthday I knew I wanted it to be special and symbolic. I came up with the idea of a tea party. Hoping my daughter would not think it was silly and childish; I asked if I could throw her a tea party. She loved the idea. I loved the symbolism behind it.

I couldn’t think of a better way to say good-bye to her childhood and bring her into womanhood than with an elegant sophisticated tea party. We added a special element by asking the invitees to bring along a special guest. It turned into a day that we celebrated with our closest friends and the people that are special in their lives.


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We needed a fabulous venue for the right atmosphere and we were happy to find Bestow’s event room located in downtown Kalispell. It could not of been more perfect. There was thought put into every detail by the ladies of Bestow. Flowers by Hansen added the final touch with gorgeous arrangements. They added elegance to the event. We were treated with delicious food from Johns Angels Catering and a beautiful cake made by Miss Patti Cakes. The day was perfect for dressing up, smiling faces and a “Tea Party.”


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Bestow & Tablescaping

Written by Kristan Clark of Bestow Heart and Home Photographed by Camp-n-Cottage

When approaching the Flathead Valley from the west, there’s a moment when you crest the hill and Flathead Lake comes into view. That moment will take your breath away. The unexpected, enormous expanse of water, dotted with sailboats and surrounded by mountains. Magnificent. It’s a watery welcome from a valley that is filled with lakes, rivers and streams. The Stillwater is one of the rivers that flows through the valley and feeds Flathead Lake. It’s the site of this issue’s Bestow and Tablescaping, or should we say Riverscaping? Eighty miles long, this lazy, winding river meanders through the landscape, in no hurry to get to its destination. Lazy like the waning days of summer. Yet, as it rolls along, there’s an expectancy that bubbles up as we anticipate what may be around the river’s bend.


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cups of hot coffee have

been poured from the iconic plaid thermos. There’s a nip in the early morning air that whispers cooler days are in the wings. We brush it aside as we fill the canoe, knowing the sun will soon be overhead to shout it down, “summer’s not over yet!”

We’re loading up the canoe to paddle down the Stillwater for a picture perfect picnic. Before shoving off, we’ve gathered around the boathouse at the water’s edge. Like most spontaneous excursions, we gather a little bit of this and that, before deciding what will fill the boat. There’s nothing pretentious about this spread, most everything is time worn from summer’s past; vintage coolers, berry baskets, plaid picnic blankets, vintage stadium seats that add comfort to the canoe and will later be placed on the shore while we cool our feet at the river’s edge. There’s a simple beauty in how

it all comes together. Happy memo- fill the sweetest little bowls. Nothing on the table is precious. Looks like ries clinging to each piece. someone plans to settle in for a quiet Steaming cups of hot coffee have been morning, after waving bon voyage to poured from the iconic plaid thermos. the canoeists. There’s a nip in the early morning air that whispers cooler days are in the At Bestow, we love tablescaping, but wings. We brush it aside as we fill the this riverscape was purposely set as canoe, knowing the sun will soon be overhead to shout it down, “summer’s a reminder that sometimes, the best not over yet!” times, are unscripted. Summertime.

Soak in the moments of this fleeting

An impromptu spread is being set on season, knowing the tempo will pick the boathouse deck. Wildflowers have been picked and quickly arranged in up soon and autumn is just around an earthen pitcher. Flathead cherries the bend.


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I think that is the best form of gratitude. We can laud long and loud over possessions or major events, and perhaps rightly so, but appreciation for the simple things, brings an awareness to life that is unmatched.

Be Inspired

Every day as I gaze out my window, I am grateful that this is my backyard. This view feeds my soul. And I often muse that the river is aptly named. Stillwater - it always causes me to pause and give thanks.

Gratitude seems to be in vogue these days. You can purchase books and journals on the subject. How wonderful is that? I confess I’ve started my own gratitude journal. A humble little book of handmade paper with no embellishment. Yet it brings such pleasure as I reach for it and feel the velvety soft handmade paper, before I open it to jot down my latest joy.

Simplicity. I think that is the best form of gratitude. We can laud long and loud over possessions or major events, and perhaps rightly so, but appreciation for the simple things, brings an awareness to life that is unmatched. We get a taste of it in the morning sunrise and evening sunset. There’s grandeur there, but what of the all the little amazing things in between? Gratitude helps us realize that those little things are just as grand as the golden bookends of each day.


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With gratitude, life begins to take on a dimension formerly unexperienced. Imagine thrilling at the opening of a flower bud, dandy lion puffs, the reflection of clouds in the water, morning mist, ripples, a child’s laughter, a steaming cup of coffee, a river view.

Gratitude opens our eyes and we clearly see, even in difficult times, a life brimming with wonder and blessing. New York Times bestseller, Ann Voskamp brings every day gratitude into sharp focus, like no other. Her book, One Thousand Gifts, is a “dare to live fully right where you are.” Gratitude. It can be a challenge. It can change your life.

Bestow Heart and Home 217 Main Street Kalispell, MT 406-890-2000

love} stories


Andre Andrea Photographed by David Clumpner

Who are you both? Andre: I am a software engineer who grew up in a small town in Southern Sweden. I am the middle brother of two sister and close to my family. Also, I’m the proud uncle of three young nieces and two soccer-loving nephews who I adore. I moved to California for a “one year” work assignment in 2009 and just wasn’t ready to leave when that year was up. I met Andie the next year and the rest is history. Andrea: I am a labor and delivery nurse and recently graduated nurse practitioner. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and am happy to still call this beautiful place home. While I’m somewhat of a “type A” planner, I do enjoy a slower paced life, spending time with friends and family hiking, cooking, and just relaxing. Since meeting Andre I’ve also developed a bit a travel bug and together we’ve made good use of our passports in the last few years.

How did you meet? Andre: We met through mutual friends. It took a couple of months from the first time we met before we started dating, and at that point, I feel we were very comfortable with each other. Going from being friends to dating was a very easy transition.

Andrea: In 2011 my best friend began dating this wonderful Swedish guy (whom she later married), who happened to be roommate, coworker, and old college friend of Andre. I spent a month hearing good things about Andre, and I have to say, the fist time we met, he took my breath away a little bit. Though I had a huge crush on him, it took us a few months of run-ins and group hang outs to finally begin dating. After our first date, we were inseparable, and three years later Andre proposed. The proposal We got engaged on the evening of Sunday December 8th, 2013 in Half Moon Bay, California. Andre planned a date to the Fitzgerald Marine reserve where we’d had our second date, and on a cliff overlooking the ocean, proposed down on one knee. I immediately (and not very elegantly) said yes and though it was pretty chilly, we walked along the cliff’s hiking trail elated, and cheerfully called our loved ones. We left for Sweden a few weeks later and continued the celebration over a wonderful family Christmas.


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August 16, 2014

love} stories

“Love is that condition where the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”


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love} stories


approach to life is to focus on what makes you happy,

knowing that everything else will work itself-self out if you let happiness be your goal. In this way, and countless others,

Andre makes me a better person


What is love?

Andre: There’s a great quote that goes something like “Love is that condition where the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” That connection, and how you keep it, is what I think it’s all about.

Andrea: Love is that feeling of joy and absolute contentment you feel while spending time with your partner. Those movements where even though you may be doing absolutely nothing, there is nowhere else and no one else you’d rather be with. Drinking wine while making pasta together is now the best date night I could have ever wanted. And don’t get me wrong, this is not how every movement is in a relationship, or even how it should be, but it is the overall feeling you have with your partner. I know that no matter what, all Andre wants is for me to be safe and happy, and that’s all I want for him as well. What do you love about each other Andre: I love the time we spend together, and how comfortable we are with each other. There’s no pressure to act a certain way, and there’s no awkward moments. I love how being with her makes me happier.


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Andrea: This is going to sound just ridiculously corny, but Andre really is the “yin to my yang.” For as uptight, stressed out, planned out and in control as I can ever be, Andre is that balance of relaxed, laid back, and easygoing that I need to calm down. His approach to life is to focus on what makes you happy, knowing that everything else will work itself-self out if you let happiness be your goal. In this way, and countless others, Andre makes me a better person. When did you know you were in love? Andre: I knew I was in trouble when I picked her up on our first date, so in a way, I think I always knew. The first time I told her was after a fight we had. I don't remember what it was about, but somehow it proved to me that what we had was special.

Andrea: I knew things were going to be special with Andre right from the beginning. Our relationship was so different than anything I’d ever had in the past; it was just so easy and effortless, or rather I should say, making the effort felt effortless. I was a little nervous to bring Andre to my big family reunion in Montana at our four month

mark , but he fit right in and was well-liked by everyone. When we had been dating for six months, he brought me to Sweden to meet his family and that is when I consciously recognized that I was in love. Seeing how much he loved his family and how much they loved him was just amazing. They were all so close, even his grandparents clearly cherished every moment with him. His nieces and nephews just adored him, and he so clearly loved every moment he could spend with them. Taking this all in, I just knew that Andre was the man I was meant to spend my life with. Fun facts

· We got married in my mother and stepfather’s backyard in Montana. I had always wanted a backyard wedding, and it turned out more amazing than I could have ever hoped. · Before changing my name, Andre and I had almost the same name: Andre Christian and Andrea Christine. · I love the way Andre pronounces my name: Andie with a soft “A”.


Recipe for Success

The times they are a changin’ Bob Dylan

Brookside Yard By Denise Lang Photos by Lucy Williams

My dear Recipe for Success readers…remember when we cooked Spanakopita with Anastasia Hoeft? Well, I am pleased to announce the next generation of food lovers who are bringing newness and excitement to Bigfork. Quindee Averill and Alexandra Hoeft have opened Brookside Yard in the Village next to Osborn Landing. Both bring a great deal of knowledge and expertise to this new venture. Quindee grew up working for her dad, Doug Averill, at the Flathead Lake Lodge. Alexandra, Anastasia and Bill Hoeft's daughter, comes from a background rich in culinary history. Her Greek grandmother came to America to run the family restaurant in Oak Park, Illinois. Alexandra’s work and travel experiences in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia influenced the new food introductions, which include Acai Bowls, and fresh squeezed juice combinations. Food and hospitality are in their blood as millennials, but they have added their youthful enthusiasm and the Bigfork reception has been fantastic. “Bigfork is a place where everyone feels welcome. It’s safe here and there is so much outdoor recreation,” comments Quindee.

“That is the heart of our Brookside Yard concept,” Alexandra continues, “it’s a family place where people can come and enjoy nature and the Swan River with their kids (and dogs, too). We want it to feel like their own backyard.”

This Bigfork location has always been a favorite place for locals and visitors for years and now it’s even better than ever. With the help of local contractors and craftspeople, the new vision of Brookside Yard has been transformed into a multi-generational, multi-use venue with tasty and nutritious food and drink.


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In the morning, starting at 7 a.m., delectable baked goods delight the senses. Plus it’s a great place to get all kinds of coffee drinks featuring Fieldheads Coffee, smoothies and of course, the very popular Acai Bowls. While Quindee and Alexandra and I were talking on the newly built deck, six Acai Bowls went by to happy customers who were enjoying the river and the Bigfork sunshine. Even my husband John, a notoriously unhealthy eater, loves them. It’s not all bakery, there are light meals such as salads and simple wraps all the way until 3 p.m.

“After 3:00,” comments Alexandra, “we want the Yard to be a public space, like a park, where people can do yoga, read or just enjoy the river.”

On Friday nights, Brookside Yard hosts the Crown of the Continent Concert Series featuring live music with new artists that are part of the Crown Guitar community. Part of the proceeds from the bar goes to support new artists. On Saturday, they host the Montana’s Wounded Warriors, donating part of the profits to this worthy cause. The weekend events are open to everyone. Last week, John and I brought Heidi (our Bernese Mountain Dog) and we had a wonderful time seeing friends and enjoying guitarist, Billy Peterson, who played with Steve Miller Band. If you have children who are in their 20s and 30s, you know that they are very aware of safety and drinking-related issues. To that end, the entire

staff of Brookside Yard has been trained in “Serve Safe Alcohol.”

Both young women give a nod to their encouraging parents. “My dad always pushed us kids to use our talents and bring new ideas to the table,” Quindee reflects, “that’s what we want to do here.” Alexandra agrees, “My parents always stressed to my brothers and me to use our God-given talents and think outside the box.” “People are passionate about Bigfork,” Alexandra comments, “our goal is to create a community space where people can enjoy each other, nature and the healthy food that we serve. Food and friendship are a great partnership.” As I watch Quindee and Alexandra talk about their business in the beautiful Bigfork summer sunshine, I can’t help but reflect on my son Drake who owns SakeToMe Sushi and all the young people I know who bring so much brightness, energy and knowledge to Bigfork. We all benefit by their courage to explore. Donna Lawson said it best in one of my past Recipe for Success articles. “My dad left me big shoes to fill and I have tried to do that. Now I am pleased to see enthusiastic young people making their homes and raising their families here. Someday, they will fill our shoes.”



Recipe for Success

Photo courtesy of the Brookside Yard

Aca i Bow l

½ cup Pure Acai Berries ¼ cup Strawberries ¼ cup Blueberries

¼ cup Homemade Granola

People are passionate about Bigfork. We want to create a space that’s happy and comfortable… like your own backyard.

Bigfork is welcoming the new and innovative, while honoring the traditions and success of the past. Brookside Yard offers philanthropic endeavors, multi-level customer experience and on-trend image. We’re looking forward to future events. And what’s not to enjoy about our beautiful Bigfork, the Swan River, tasty food and good music? The times they are changing and it’s all good!

Sliced Bananas Raw Coconut Flakes Raw Honey Blend the frozen berries until they reach a puree. Put in a 16 oz. bowl. Layer the granola over the fruit. Top with banana, coconut and honey. Options include nuts, seeds, nut butter or cocoa nibs. Acai is a super fruit. The Bowls are refreshing, low glycemic, low calorie, full of protein and they fill you up. Enjoy!

I’ll see you at Brookside Yard. Let’s grab an Acai Bowl, sit by the river and count our blessings. Visit Brookside Yard at: 191 Mill Street in downtown Bigfork. Call 420-2263 for information Visit Brookside Yard on Facebook

Photo on left page: Owners of Brookside Yard Quindee Averill on the left and Alexandra Hoeft on the right. Above photos from left to right: The front Brookside Yard in Bigfork. Employee, Kaitlyn Shults serving up some goodies. Enjoy the included recipe of a delicious Acai bowl, pictured far right.


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In the Pantry

Tomato The Mighty

is back and better than ever

By Kristen Ledyard Owner/Executive Chef of John’s Angels Catering LLC

Gardens everywhere are in full bloom! The mighty tomato is likely growing large and ripe. Tomatoes are one of my favorite fruits, yes fruit, but considering its start, its might come as a surprise that it survived at all. The tomato was given the Latin botanical name, Lycopersicon esculentum, by French botanist Tournefort. It translates to “wolfpeach”. Peach because it was round and luscious and wolf because it was erroneously considered poisonous. The English translation was given, as it was once believed that tomatoes were a deadly because of their similar appearance to the nightshades, of which they are descended. Thomas Jefferson is credited for helping to make them popular as not only did he grow them but tomatoes commonly appear in Jefferson family recipe collections. But it was Joseph Campbell’s condensed tomato soup that was introduced in 1897 that sealed the tomato in American Culinary history. Now, do not ask me to grow tomatoes as my husband and I have tried but have never had any luck. They apparently do not like being outside unprotected especially when an unexpected freeze hits. My greatest pleasure is cooking with them and showing them off as the main ingredient at the height of freshness. Let’s explore them while bringing your guests true delight to their taste buds.

Not Your Ordinary Caprese Salad Heirloom tomatoes of different colors (you can use romas but make sure they are firm) Buffalo or a very fresh mozzarella cheese in a ball or log form Fresh large basil leaves (garden fresh is the best) Sweet fresh cantaloupe Truffle balsamic syrup Sea salt


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This recipe is an amazing starter and can be made into skewer form for ease of carrying. Start with thin slices of the tomatoes, individual basil leaves, thinly sliced cantaloupe in the shape and size of the tomatoes, and the same with the mozzarella. My favorite assembly is on a platter in a circular formation. Tomato, cantaloupe basil and cheese followed with a drizzle of the syrup. Finally, top with a dash of sea salt. The cantaloupe is key to add sweetness and balance to the salad. If you cannot find the syrup then, drizzle with a high quality balsamic and a dash of truffle salt. Your guests may have had Caprese, but not with this flavor pop. No, I am not going to bore you with tomato soup, although it is a classic. It is time for some end of summer grilling. No matter what type of grill you have, the flavor just gets more concentrated. Surprise your family and friends with this new burger.

Green Tomato Mayonnaise & Cajun Burger Ground beef (or my favorite is a mixer of beef and buffalo) Your own favorite Cajun spice (for extra heat add Louisiana Hot Sauce) Regular and Green tomatoes Mayonnaise

Fresh basil leaves

Chives or scallions Dijon mustard

Your favorite condiments (for cheese, I suggest pepper jack)

Turn that grill up and start to form your patties. Do not over handle them, but mix spice in to your taste. Make sure to top with salt and pepper and set aside. Grill the green tomatoes until the marks appear and set aside. In a bowl mix mayonnaise, finely sliced basil and chives with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard (you can use regular if Dijon is overpowering). Slice your green tomatoes into small chunks and add to the mix. Make sure to set aside at room temperature. As a special touch, I like to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Grill those burgers up to your desired temperature. I, also, put a little heat on the buns (I prefer brioche). To assemble, top the burger with a regular tomato and your green tomato mayonnaise plus any other condiments. I like to put a skewer on the top with a Cajun onion ring or fried okra. This will be a new summer favorite that you have created. Remember to make the presentation fun as your guests will truly appreciate the effort. The end of summer may be here, but the fun and feast does not have to end. How about tomatoes as dessert? My personal favorite is to grill watermelon and tomatoes topped with feta cheese. A lime flavored sea salt is the perfect topper. Anyway you wish to show case the tomato; it is a superstar of fruits. Strong in antioxidants, vitamin C, biotin, folate, and vitamin E to name a few, the recipes are endless. Depending on the region and where they are grown, I like to add a bit of sugar to my sauces such as marinara to counteract any acidity. Growing them you is amazing, just do not leave them outside in the fall when an early freeze is possible.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer!



Myths & Truths of Wine Headaches Written by Karen Sanderson, Brix Bottleshop

We’ve all been there. Too much wine = a headache the next day. Sorry, there is no cure for the common hangover! That billion-dollar cure simply boils down to a little freebie called: moderation. However, if you suffer from the slightest ailment after consuming just a little bit of wine, then we have some helpful hints that just might help you narrow down the source of your issue. Many customers come to us with questions about wine headaches, so I thought it was time to offer a little guidance on this. Remember, we’re not doctors, we sell wine. Therefore, I researched this information thoroughly and found the best explanations from the world wide web of wine and medical experts. Below is a list of the myths and the mysteries of those dreaded “RWH” (red wine headaches.)

Sulfites: (Myth)

Most people think sulfites are the culprit. However, studies show this is the least likely cause of headaches. “Sulfites can cause allergy and asthma symptoms, but they don’t cause headaches,” says Frederick Freitag, associate director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. Sulfites are naturally occurring in wine and come mostly from the grape skin. Many winemakers often add a small amount of sulfites to their wines to help preserve them and to kill wild yeasts that can ruin the taste. “I grow a small number of grapes and make my own wine,” says Dr. Freitag, “and if you don’t do something to shut down the native yeasts and bacteria that come in with the grape skin, you’re going to get wine that is absolutely horrific. Sulfites are the most benign way of doing that, but they don’t cause headaches.” Some people think organic wines are sulfite free and will help their cause, but even organic wines will still contain their natural sulfites. Fact: White wines typically have more sulfites added than reds. How can you test yourself to see if you truly have a sulfite reaction? Try eating dried fruits, which have 4-10


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times more sulfites than wine. If those cause you trouble, then yes, you may be sensitive to sulfites.

Histamine: (Truth)

Dan L. Keiller, president of the Medical Wine Interest and Education Society in San Diego, says several studies from Europe show that “red wines, in general, contain more histamine than Champagnes or sparkling wines and those usually contain more histamine than white wines.” Dr. Keiller adds, “People who most often have trouble with histamine in wine are those who lack an enzyme in their intestines that can help them metabolize histamine. Tyramine can cause your blood pressure to rise, and that triggers headaches in some people. These same people might get headaches from aged cheeses, smoked or cured meats, and citrus fruits.” How can you test this? Try whites vs. reds, or take an (non-drowsy!) antihistamine before consuming wine.

Quality of the Wine: (Truth)

According to, one of my favorite resources for wine info, the quality of the wine makes a huge difference. “Poorly made wines tend to have more adulteration such as residual sugar, sulfur, fining agents or higher alcohol to make them taste better. If it comes from a box or has a critter on the label then its suspect for headache potential.”

Tannins: (on the fence)

Tannins are the textural elements in wine that make your mouth dry. The taste is the same as when you

bite into a grape skin or drink a long steeped tea. Tannins come from the skins, seeds, and wood of the barrel. If you can drink tea and eat chocolate, then chances are you have no issue with tannin. If you are allergic to oak, however, perhaps we’re on to something.

Sweet Wine: (Truth)

Alcohol and sugar can create a horrible headache when combined. When your body consumes alcohol or sugar, you need more hydration to help process the substances. If you are not well hydrated, your body starts to pull the necessary water it needs from other parts or your body, including your head. As the liquid in your head starts to deplete, a headache forms. To prevent this problem, simply avoid sweet wines and sweet foods.

Dehydration: (Truth)

This is probably the largest reason why alcohol (not just wine) causes headaches. The more dehydrated you are, the more any sort of alcohol will bring your system down. The solution to this is easy. Keep emptying that water glass, and you may see a huge difference! Through the process of elimination, you may finally discover why you or a friend might be getting those unfortunate wine headaches. If you try the remedies mentioned above and still have an issue, we suggest you seek the opinion of a doctor.




Pilates On Water By Delia Buckmaster - Photos by Sonja Burgard Photography

When you live in Montana you are shaped by its outdoors. This amazing terrain offers endless hiking trails, countless rivers, and pristine lakes, which make our backyard undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth. There so much opportunity to combine your love of the great outdoors with your exercise routine. I love Pilates and I love summer. An incredible way to challenge my Pilates practice while taking in

To balance on the board you constantly recruit deep stabilizing muscles. The board on water is unstable and will provide great feedback. The paddle itself is a useful prop that resembles smaller Pilates props you will find in a studio. Stabilizing muscles are the muscles of the body that act to stabilize one joint so a desired movement can perform in another. For example, if you were doing a chest press on an

exercise ball, the primary muscles working include the chest and arms, but the abs, back and legs work isometric to stabilize your body. If you are new to the sport, it’s best to learn a few basic techniques before adding Pilates. This includes going from kneeling to standing, paddle stance, and stroke. Let’s not forget the anticipation of falling off the board and getting back on. You don’t need to be a seasoned Pilates addict to enjoy the benefits of it. Pilates on the paddleboard can be made simple yet challenging enough to keep you coming back for more. Here are a few beginner Pilates exercises that can be done on the SUP. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

Plank to push up

Shoulder Bridge

Back extension

Side Bend


Back support


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breathtaking views and soaking in vitamin D is on the SUP. Stand up paddleboards (SUP) offer a fun, relaxing way to play on the water. It delivers a fullbody workout and is perfect for cross-training activity. Adding a core-delivering workout like Pilates or Yoga on this popular water toy will enhance the challenge and benefits of mind and body disciplines.



An Overview By Kristen Pulsifer

When is comes to academics and learning, people struggle with a variety of different things. Everyone learns differently. Some people are visual learners while some are more auditory. ‘Different strokes for different folks’, right? Then there are more difficult challenges that people face when learning. For example, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder), Dysgraphia and Dyslexia. These are just a few examples of some of the more common, yet challenging learning issues that many students face. Regardless of the issue, and these are real issues; each challenge makes learning basic reading, writing and comprehension skills quite difficult. One of the more misunderstood learning challenges, is Dyslexia. Some people believe that dyslexia is simply when a student either confuses letters, or takes longer to read or complete assignments. Many people believe that students will simply either grow out of it, or, if given extra time, they should be able to work through all of their school work just like any other student. This is truly not the case. Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that effects anywhere from 5% - 17% of the population in the United States. It takes truly special teaching strategies to help dyslexic students learn, and, more importantly, comprehend necessary, basic learning skills. Fluency, “the ability to translate print to speech with rapidity and automaticity (ability to respond with little conscious effort) that allows the reader to focus on meaning”, is one of the toughest challenges a dyslexic person faces. As defined in Judith R. Birsh’s book, Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.” Some consequences of Dyslexia may consist of difficulties with reading comprehension, and decreased reading experience that hinders growth of vocabulary and knowledge. When a person is dyslexic, information cannot be processed through the brain the way it should be. Information may enter into short term


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memory, but has difficulty passing beyond into working memory and then long term memory; therefore, children who struggle with Dyslexia cannot process the necessary skills to build off of in order to become strong, fluent readers - their comprehension and decoding skills are limited. “Individuals with dyslexia have difficulty gaining access to and manipulating the sound structure (phonemes) of spoken language. Such a deficit prevents easy and early access to letter – sound correspondences and decoding strategies that foster accurate and fluent word decoding and recognition” (Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, Judith R. Birsh). Learning letters, sound and words is daunting to a dyslexic student. They watch their peers surpass them and they begin to shut down with thoughts of failure consuming them. Thankfully there are definitely strategies to help individuals with even the most severe cases of dyslexia, to flourish into strong readers and learners. As mentioned before, everyone has a way that helps them to learn more effectively - some skills simply need to be more specific than others.

to help dyslexic students learn effectively. Dyslexia is not a one-way ticket down a dark and dreary alley of failure. There are wonderful teaching strategies and specialists out there waiting for the opportunity to create fluency in a struggling student’s world. Once a particular learning method is selected the most important part is consistency with the learning method selected. Students and families need to be on board and committed to the learning process prescribed to the student. It will take extra work for students and families; but sooner than later the reward of efficient learning will prove well worth the effort. Students suddenly realize they can learn, read, write and participate. They have a way that makes sense and helps them through all of the work that originally felt overly daunting and difficult. It is possible.

The first step to assisting a person struggling with dyslexia is to make sure they are appropriately diagnosed. Screening processes are available, and school counselors and psychologists should be able to appropriately guide students and families in this process. There are also learning therapists outside the school system that can help properly test and diagnose those concerned they may be struggling with dyslexia.

One of my students that I worked with throughout his high school years, now (in his late 20s) is thankful for all that his struggles with dyslexia taught him. He specifically appreciates all of his teachers, family and councilors pushing for him to learn self-advocacy. He reflects on how hard learning was, but realizes the tremendous work ethic it taught him. He learned to work hard for himself and he admits that he may not have had that same strong work ethic and motivation had he not struggled and been pushed to never use it as an excuse. So, those of you who either have dyslexia or know someone who does, always be supportive, but push those individuals, when ready, to be an advocate and work hard for themselves.

If dyslexia is correctly diagnosed, there are several teaching curricula and methods created specifically

Reference: Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills: 3rd Edition, Birsh, Judith R.


Kids and Sports – The More You Know By Louise Barker PNP, MSN, RN

Fall leaves and cold weather are coming soon that means soccer and football seasons are coming right with them! When parents sign their children up for sports they often have the option to sign their child up for extra clinics or camps specific to their activity of choice. Before forking out the extra cash and giving up valuable weekends there are important things to consider. The most important thing to remember is that children are not miniature adults and should not be trained as such (regardless of their shoe size or attitude). According to Grey Ruegamer CPT, PES, USAW-1, a former NFL Player and current athletic educator and coach, parents should seriously consider the following aspects of a program when choosing an athletic training camp or team for their child. 1. Movement Quality 2. Movement Quantity 3. Quality of Coaching Movement quality, especially at a young age, is crucial for coordination and athleticism. As we know babies will crawl before they walk and walk before they run. From the time they start wiggling their fingers to completing a 3-point


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shot their bodies are using specific movement patterns to perform the challenges ahead of them. This progression helps ensure that the right motor patterns develop alongside neural and muscular pathways. Kids will develop athleticism if they are allowed to move freely and are encouraged to move often. Movements like running, tumbling, jumping, climbing and crawling are great for developing fundamental movement skills and will translate to any sport at any age. It is important to teach kids proper movement at a young age and to choose quality of movement over quantity of movement. Ruegamer states that when training kids, a program should focus on solid fundamental movement patterns rather than just repetitive movements. The benefits will last a lifetime and can enhance the athletic experience.

One reason is the increased number of organized team activities available and the increased number of children participating in them. Another reason is the number of year round competitive team sports accessible to our youth athletes. Ruegamer uses baseball as a great example; between practice, club, travel team, all stars and specialty camps there are an astounding number of repetitive movements for a young boy or girl. The throwing movement has come under scrutiny, as many athletes have needed to have Tommy John or rotator cuff surgery to repair elbows and shoulders at increasingly younger ages. The number of throws in a given season can easily reach 10,000 if all practices and games were combined. If a child was throwing improperly and had a small

injury in the beginning of the season (after 1,000 throws) the efficiency of their shoulder movement would be altered. If the athlete was to continue with the inefficient motion for the rest of the season (9,000 more throws) without evaluation or correction the adapted movement pattern could lead to a more serious injury. Keeping an eye on quality and quantity of movement can go a long ways towards maintaining your child's health and enjoying their athletic experience.

The final consideration on your radar should be the quality of the coaching. Recreation leagues are more often than not coached by parents who may or may not have played sports in high school or college. It is a good idea to ask a coach about their past experiences and skill level. It is also important to find out how competitive the coach is and how important winning is to the team. Make sure there is a good fit between the team and your personal approach to sports. The coach's role is to safely train their athletes physically and mentally. Watch your child play and pay attention to any complaints of pain with certain movements. If you have questions about how to improve movement patterns or want learn more about them, Gray Cook and Functional Movement at is a great resource. Remember that as a parent the most important thing you can do is to get out there with your child and move. Throw the ball around, play tag, run drills and watch them grow. Nothing is better than seeing your child succeed at something you helped foster and enjoy it with them!


The Genius of Gershwin in the Hands of

Peter Nero By Miriam Singer

“I’m one of a dying breed,” Peter Nero told me over the phone this past week. I felt the truth of his statement and wanted music lovers to fill the house and enjoy a possibly once in a lifetime opportunity to hear the one and only Peter Nero on the beautiful Steinway concert grand at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center on Saturday, September 12th.

Fame came early for Nero. “I came along at the right time,” he told me. When Peter was 17, and a scholarship student at The Juilliard School of Music in New York City, he participated in a contest run by the classical New York radio station WQXR called “Musical Talent in our Schools.” Contest judges were top names in the music world including Arthur Rubinstein and Vladimir Horowitz who became an ardent Nero fan and Peter’s lifelong idol. Peter won that contest and several others and came to the attention of Paul Whiteman who snagged Peter to play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with his orchestra for a TV special. The music director of WQXR at the time was the excellent classical pianist Abram Chasins. Besides being impressed by Peter’s classical performance, Chasins was moved by the music that flowed out of Peter’s fingers as he warmed up at the piano. He wrote, "What I heard was an improvisation that disclosed a strong poetic musical individuality. “


Peter wanted to learn, and persuaded Chasins give him some tips and recommend a teacher. The best

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teacher he could think of was his wife Constance Keene. Not only did she give Peter five years of priceless musical and technical instruction, but she and Abram encouraged Peter to be himself, to honor his playful nature and allow his creativity to make the best of all the worlds of music he could hear. “I heard George Shearing at the age of 15, and was fascinated by his harmonics. I was playing in bands by the time I was thirteen, at weddings and bar mitzvahs in Brooklyn.” Peter told me. He explained that listening to a recording of George Shearing, he could pick out chord voicings and learn his arrangements. But later, when he discovered Art Tatum, “someone who was on a par with the best classical pianists, with a rhythmic sense and harmonic invention that were beyond belief,” it wasn’t so easy. Vladimir Horowitz also admired Art Tatum, and would pay to hear him in the clubs. Here was a jazz pianist on another level. Nero recorded his first album in 1961 and won a Grammy Award that year for “Best New Artist.” He’s received two Grammy Awards and ten nominations, as well as an Emmy award for starring

in the NBC Special, S’Wonderful, S’Marvelous, S’Gershwin. Nero has recorded seventy albums; some with funny names like Scratch My Bach and Hail the Conquering Nero. His career has been unique, not so much planned as intelligently negotiated to never have to sell out. “I won’t sell out!” he told me. Nero wrote the score for the 1963 Jane Fonda film Sunday in New York and appeared in the film playing himself. Nero’s theme song according to the New York Times was “more memorable than the script." He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show eleven times, was a favorite of Johnny Carson, Perry Como and Dinah Shore and the Oprah of early TV, Ohio talk-show host Ruth Lyons. Nero became a piano icon miraculously generating that fame and success by being himself. He was trained to be a classical concert pianist, but his concerts transcended musical genre into a masterful style all his own. When times and tastes changed, Nero adapted. He’s very proud of studying conducting with


Nero wrote the score for the 1963 Jane Fonda film "Sunday in New York" and appeared in the film playing himself. Nero’s theme song according to the New York Times was

“more memorable than the script."

the brilliant Swedish conductor Sixten Ehrling who said of Nero in Keyboard Classics “There are hundreds of pianists who have extraordinary technical abilities, but Peter has a rare combination: a fantastic technique, a unique touch, and a penetrating musical intelligence. You can hear his knowledge of orchestration when he plays,” Using that talent to orchestrate and entertain, Nero became the founding conductor and Artistic Director of the world renowned Philly Pops entertaining audiences for 34 years doing double duty as pianist and conductor until he retired from that position in 2013. Nero is included in two historic walks of fame, one in Philadelphia and one in Miami. In 1999, he received the Pennsylvania Distinguished Arts Award. He’s got six Honorary Doctorates, and the prestigious International Society of Performing Arts Presenters Award for “Excellence in the Arts.” In 2009, Nero was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Federation of Musicians. He’s performed in concert halls all over the world. I asked Peter if he considered himself a jazz pianist, and he replied that he would give me the same answer George Shearing used to give. He said, quoting Shearing, “Pardon me, but that’s not how I refer to myself. I am a pianist who plays jazz.” And he plays classical, movie themes, musical theater and more. It’s all music and all available for creative exploration. And under Nero’s fingers, it’s all amazing and inspiring. Bring all the young pianists you know to this concert. George Gershwin was also a pianist who could draw from different genres. He brought together the passion of jazz and the sophistication of classical music when he wrote Rhapsody in Blue, a masterpiece containing sweeping themes of American musical history, which was

commissioned by Paul Whiteman. Nero is the only living pianist who has performed Rhapsody in Blue with Whiteman and his Orchestra. One of the world’s top interpreters of Gershwin, Nero will perform an exciting all Gershwin program in Whitefish. Seattle bassist Michael Barnett who has been his bass player for 25 years will accompany him. As Peter said to me, “Mike and I are hand in glove.” After graduating from Yale University, Barnett lived and worked in Kansas City, Missouri and gained considerable experience from the classic era of Kansas City jazz. In Chicago, he worked with Eddie Higgins, Billy Wallace and the legendary Carmen McRae. He’s toured extensively with the late Pearl Bailey and Louie Bellson. He’s a great bass player, musically strong and always willing to support Peter’s musical inventiveness, and somehow able to keep up with him while throwing in inspiring ideas of his own. Katie Strohmaier will be providing selected vocals. “I like Katie very much” Peter told me. Strohmaier is a Seattlebased singer and actor. She’s appeared with pops orchestras throughout the United States including with the Seattle Symphony appearing in a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch conducted by Larry Blank in 2013. She is also a voice instructor, pianist and music director at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Mel Torme said of Nero, "Peter Nero's piano interpretations of Gershwin are unique and glorious. He is a one of a kind artist." One of a kind indeed. Nero is always aiming for excellence and always communicating a thrill the audience can feel. He’s a brilliantly creative improviser, a master of the classics who embraces the freedom of jazz improvisation with its marvelous harmonies and rhythms who takes his music where it wants to go, or he wants to take it. Lucky for us on September 12th, 2015, it’s Whitefish, Montana. Buy tickets at or call 406-730-2817.

Future Don “K” Subaru/Singer &

Simpson Production events include:

PETER NERO Saturday, SEPTEMBER 12th, 8 PM Whitefish Performing Arts Center Tickets $69, $72, $76, $79


Larry Fuller (piano), John Clayton (bass), Jeff Hamilton (drums) Friday, OCTOBER 9th 7:30 PM, Whitefish Performing Arts Center Saturday, October 10th, 7:30pm Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Tickets $29, $32, $36, $39

Judy Collins

Saturday, November 14th, 7:30pm & Sunday, November 15th, 7:00pm Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Tickets $29, $32, $36, $39

Purchase tickets at or For assistance call 406-730-2817 Sponsored by Don “K” Subaru and brought to you by Singer & Simpson Productions. Thank you to Don "K" and Subaru of America, The Daily Interlake, The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Joel Pemberton of Edward Jones in Whitefish and ticket buyers.


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Going to the Sun Gallery presenting

Gallery Nights

September 3, 2015

Randy Van Beek...

is the Featured artist for Gallery Nights for September. Randy is from Western Washington. His love for glacier Park and the surrounding areas are a focal point in his beautiful oil originals. He annually contributes to over thirty local and twenty national non-profit organizations which either preserve wild habitats or aid humanitarian efforts. His awards are numerous and he is nationally known for his spectacular landscapes!

Autumn at Hidden Lake

Gallatin Road Farm

Shoshone of the Sawtooth Basin

406 contents featured 8. Fleur Philips Writing and Living her Dream

12. Truby’s Kristin Voisin & David Leishman 14. Cece Harris Client Experience, Wisetail

406 Man 18. Robert Nystuen Glacier Bank

profile 22. Jamee Cole Cole Acoustics

24. Ted Willich Ted’s Beds 26. Somer Treat Old Montana Building Company


business 28. Money To-Go vs. Packed Lunch

30. 5 Lessons Riding The Waves of Business 32. PowerHouse Montana women entrepreneurs

Legal 34. Incorporate

Small Business

giving back 36. Your Legacy

Plan on It!

Wellness 54.Follow Your Flow Stop Paddling Up Stream


Health 40.GMO The dangerous truth about

42. Birthing Just Got a Whole Lot Easier 44. Ask the Skin Coach Pores 46. Heart Disease Facts for Women 48.The Immune system Myth Crackers 50. Dental Health Nothing Better than the Real Thing 52. Suicide Prevention Reaching Out and Saving Lives

Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 Copyright©2015 Skirts Publishing

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m


Fleur Philips

Fleur Philips Writing and Living her Dream

By Megan Connor, Sparkpoint Studio Photo by Melissa Coulier of Bring Media

Local award-winning author Fleur Philips has released her third novel, Beautiful Girl (SparkPress), about the values of beauty in a teen girl’s life. A native of Flathead Valley now settled in Whitefish, Philips recently founded her own communications firm, Fleur Communications Group, and is currently preparing to teach her first creative writing workshop class at Whitefish High School. Philips’s third novel, Beautiful Girl, released June 9 by SparkPress, follows seventeen-year-old actress and model Melanie Kennicut through a freak car accident that leaves her with severe facial lacerations. Shipped off to Montana by her overbearing stage mom until they can set a date for plastic surgery, Melanie finally gets to focus on being a normal teenager, and when she befriends a Native American boy named Sam, their lives will be changed forever. For Melanie, the beautiful Montana landscape is a welcome and healing change from the high-strung, vanity-obsessed culture of her Los Angeles life, where beauty is the quick to spoil currency of her trade.

“I would like to be known as a writer who produces powerful, real life stories for young adults,” says Philips. “I write about the harsh reality of being young today, and I want to be recognized for that.”

If Philips wants to be recognized as helping young people better understand some of life’s harder issues, then she’s doing something right—since 2011, Philips has won numerous awards for her three novels and been nominated for a number of others. She is the proud recipient of Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal in the Young Adult, Mature Issues category, and in 2013 secured a slot from USA Book News’ Best Book Awards for a YA Fiction Finalist award.


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“My books

primarily take place in Montana. I grew up here, and therefore have an incredibly strong tie to it… Montana is home to me, and unlike the perception tourists have of this state, I know it for its true beauty, and for its equal harshness.”


Fleur Philips

Philips’ goal is to represent the silenced and overlooked voices of today’s youth, as Beautiful Girl and similar popular young adult novels portray young people’s harsh realities in coming of age stories about trauma and abuse. These stories have made the genre become increasingly popular over the past decade.

I collaborate with an appropriate therapist to make sure I’m being the most accurate,” Philips says of her writing style. “What I’ve learned over the years… is that each person is so different in how they handle tough life issues that what might seem plausible to one person is completely implausible to another.”

As a YA author, Philips has also grown accustomed to receiving a wide range of reviews from vocal young readers, a group that is known for investing high emotional Philips moved from her home state stakes in the fictional characters of Montana to Los Angeles and back with whom they feel a connection: to Whitefish in search of a smaller community, hoping to raise her “There are readers of Beautiful Girl teenage son in a more tight knit who absolutely can’t understand how two young people can fall in community. love instantly. Where others be“My books primarily take place in lieve it and feel it and get it. Those Montana. I grew up here, and there- who don’t believe what happens in fore have an incredibly strong tie to the story tend to criticize the book. it… Montana is home to me, and un- Those who do believe what haplike the perception tourists have of pens love it.” this state, I know it for its true beauA young adult novel can be defined ty, and for its equal harshness.” as a book by or about a child or Popular YA authors such as John young adult, a category claiming Green and Laurie Halse Anderson some of the most well-known and are two notable examples of popu- beloved books of the century. To Kill lar YA authors in a large tier of tal- A Mockingbird and The Outsiders ented writers teens read for two are just two coming of age stories major reasons: they don’t dumb about the difficulties of grasping the down their material, and they ad- grim and unfair complexities of life, dress real and often times contro- as well as the indisputable beauty, kindness and hope in a seemingly versial topics. broken world. Philips isn’t one to skirt around hard difficult subjects in her work. Philips has been writing since childCovering issues ranging from abuse hood, and credits winning a schooland racism to finding freedom and wide writing competition as a third first love, all three of Philips’ novels grader as her first taste of being an aim to inform the reader that the author. While working on her next truth may be hard to accept, but project and rewriting breakout novel I Am Lucky Bird for republishing, should not be a taboo subject. Philips plans to continue inspiring “Whenever I write a new book that young people through literature in deals with strong emotional issues, her native Montana:

“More recently, I’ve had several local parents approach me about whether I might consider offering a creative writing workshop for kids. I’m now planning on doing just that this fall for high school students. But I think the neatest thing for me as a writer is seeing how my books impact individuals. There’s nothing like receiving an email from a reader, thanking me for writing one of my books.”

ing her black classmate. Over the next few months, Sarah and David look forward to graduating and not needing to keep their relationship a secret as their hopes and dreams for the future come under fire.

Philips’ second novel, Crumble, details the relationship between eighteen-year-old Sarah McKnight and David Brooks as they are forced to hide their relationship from Sarah’s racist father, who would not approve of his white daughter dat-

Philips holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Montana. She lives in Whitefish, Montana with her son.

While her next novel is in the works, Philips is preparing to excite students about honing their writing skills. “I’m putting a syllabus and itinerary together now. My hope is to offer three different workshops, I Am Lucky Bird was Philips’ May each six weeks in length—one in 2012 debut novel about the abrupt the fall, one in the winter, and one end of twelve-year-old Lucky Bird’s in the spring.” childhood and introduction to a harsh and dangerous adulthood. A successful writer and businessThe novel won a general fiction woman, Philips’ current, most im2011 ForeWord Reviews Book of portant goal is simply to become more involved her community. the Year Award Finalist.

Connect with Fleur:,,


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The Further Adventures of Truby’s Restaurant Krist in Voisin David Leishman


By Mary Wallace Photos by alisia dawn photography

Everything new is old again and, much to the delight of the locals, Truby’s Restaurant is back in its original location in Whitefish! The popular restaurant, which first opened in 1996 in Whitefish, moved to Columbia Falls in 2006, and recently enjoyed their first month in the new expanded space at 115 Central Avenue in Whitefish.

Truby’s owner, Kristin Voisin, said the third time was a charm when she finally made the decision to jump back into the Whitefish scene. She was approached three different times to fill the void that was left when the previous eatery closed, and the first two times, she just wasn’t feeling it. The third time, it was David & Janet Leishman, the building’s new owners, who worked with her to consider the move and collaborated with her to tailor the arrangement in a way that worked for both parties. Once the decision was made, Kristin’s loyal staff and a handful of friends (along with the Leishmans) wasted no time in getting the new/old location ready for their soft opening in mid-June.


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David & Janet purchased the building, which not only contains the restaurant but also five rental condos, last March. David fondly recalled having dinner at Truby’s nearly every night long long ago, when he first bought the Bar W Guest Ranch and was commuting between the east coast and Montana. They had gotten to know Kristin, and they knew the loyal following that Truby’s has enjoyed. It just seemed like a good fit if they could work with Kristin to bring Truby’s back home to their original space. Additionally, the Leishman’s wanted to step up the rental activity in their new building. They renamed the condos the Whitefish Downtown Suites and started promoting them, and their vacation rental calendar quickly filed up for the summer season. “Janet & I will also do whatever it takes to help out to make this a success for Kristin & her team,” says Leishman. On the other side of the coin, one of the new restaurant employees is David & Janet’s middle daughter, Emily.

Dave credits his wife Janet (whom he lovingly calls the Supreme Allied Commander) with much of the success they have had with this new venture. “You buy a building with an idea in mind, and when it all comes together, it is positively AMAZING!”

Kristin has also felt amazed by all the help & support from the Leishman’s, from her dedicated staff, from a handful of creative, paint-happy friends, and especially from the community since they reopened on June 19th. “We opened the doors and it hasn’t stopped,” says Voisin, “It is just so fun being back in Whitefish!” Have there been any challenges along the way? “Of course!” laughs Voisin. Kristin is lucky that her amazing & loyal staff from the Meadow Lake location were glad to follow her back to the Whitefish location. But still, getting enough employees for this busy summer season has proven to be a challenge. Nearly all of the food and hospitality




refers to all her employees by name and

not by the numbers, and it has been so busy that she has a hard time keeping track of the exact number of employees on staff –

sometimes as many as 30 people. “Truby’s does take good care

of their staff,” says Kristin, “and we strive to make sure there is fun & laughter in every situation – even through all the trial & errors of their first few days after opening.”

establishments in the valley are struggling with finding enough good help; ‘Help Wanted’ signs are plentiful in windows all along the streets in Whitefish. The original plan was for Truby’s to be open for dinner 7 days per week, but they have made the decision to close (temporarily) on Wednesday evenings, just so all the staff can have a much needed day off.

Truby’s dough mixer was undergoing repairs, so the fine folks at the Polebridge Mercantile Bakery in the Stumptown Marketplace offered them the use of their dough machine to make their pizza dough in the interim. While Truby’s is ‘so much more than pizza’ - it is, after all, one of their signature dishes, so Kristin herself went over daily for a few weeks to prepare trays and trays of pizza dough for each evening.

Voisin refers to all her employees by name and not by the numbers, and it has been so busy that she has a hard time keeping track of the exact number of employees on staff – sometimes as many as 30 people. “Truby’s does take good care of their staff,” says Kristin, “and we strive to make sure there is fun & laughter in every situation – even through all the trial & errors of their first few days after opening.”

Lisa Follett is the restaurant manager and Kristin’s right hand. Marketing has been handled by Fly Girls, who did their new website and manage their social media. Besides the pizza dough duty, Kristin throws her hands in wherever needed - in the kitchen, in the bar, or waiting tables. Did Voisin always want to be in the restaurant business? Not exactly. Kristin grew up in Whitefish, MT and her working career has been wide & varied. Her family owned a very tiny Rocky Mountain Lodge (where the much bigger Rocky Mountain Lodge is now) and she made beds and

cleaned rooms every day when she was quite young. She started working at the Orpheum Theatre in Whitefish when she was 10 years old – making popcorn and selling movie tickets. She worked at the Whitefish KFC, and even worked at the original Stumptown Station serving food (the original establishment at this current site of Truby’s). Kristin says she mostly worked to ski in those days. When she graduated from Whitefish High School, she went to airline school to be a flight attendant, but ended up being a reservations agent for TWA (alas - phone reservations in a tiny cubicle), not exactly what she had hoped to do. So naturally, she decided a stint in the Navy was in order. When the opportunity to open a pizza restaurant came along in 1996, Kristin had two young children and was pregnant with twins, so from the beginning, everyone in the family was involved. The kids have all grown up with Truby’s Restaurant. Krisitn’s children include daughter Kelsey, who is a pastry chef in Portland, Michael, who is studying at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and sixteen-year-old twins, Maggie & Tucker. (Yes – THAT Maggie Voisin). “My kids both inspire and ground me,” admits Kristin. “Your kids are amazing! They’ve got your back,” a friend recently remarked to Kristin. She wholeheartedly agrees. At one point during the transition, she was feeling a little overwhelmed, trying to accomplish a whole list of really cool things that she wanted to do with the new restaurant. She was clearly stressing herself out, but a simple text message from Michael to put things back into perspective (a quote he attributed to Carol Dweck). “Speaking of reigning from atop a pedestal and wanting to be seen as perfect, you won’t be surprised that this is often called ‘CEO disease’.” Michael’s text continued, “Do not worry about being perfect. Do not worry about winning the “Best Restaurant in

David & Janet Leishman Whitefish”. Challenge your chefs, your waiters, and yourself, and most of all HAVE FUN!” No surprise this has become Kristin’s mantra.

Things are so new and so exciting at the moment that long term plans seem like something in the far off future. However, July 20th has become a magical target date, in which everything will fall into place and Truby’s Restaurant will function as smooth as their delicious pizza dough. Somehow, when things settle down in a year or two or three, Kristin would like to travel again. She wants to visit orphanages in far away countries and hold and cuddle newborn babies, giving them the essential loving human touch that is so important during their first days of life. As for the restaurant, she has two important goals on her wish list – the first is to be featured in FOOD & WINE magazine. The second is have Johnny Depp drop by for dinner. Restaurant hours are 5 pm to closing (usually around 10 pm) every day except Wednesdays. Because they’ve been so busy, reservations can be made by calling 406-730-1575 - recommended but not required. So stop by. Bring a date or bring the kids. And like the sign says, NEVER WAIVER IN YOUR LOVE OR FAITH, AND IN ALL YOU DO, PLEASE ENJOY OUR FOOD!


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Cece Harris

Cece Harris I W a nt H e r J o b :

Client Experience, Wisetail By Brianne Burrowes This article originally appeared on

If you’ve ever worked with a business and thought, “I just wish they understood me,” then Cece Harris would be your dream collaborator. With a love for client experience that feels right out of the playbooks of Disney and Nordstrom, Cece takes her role as customer and client advocate very seriously. In fact, she takes it so seriously that it was her passion for “The Wisetail Way” that first sparked her interest in the Bozeman-based learning management systems company. After hearing Wisetail’s CEO, Justin Bigart, speak at an event, Cece went up to him, introducing herself and her effusive passion for putting the customer first – always and at all costs. It was this attitude that caught Justin’s eye and a handful of months later, Cece was proud to call the company her professional home. Wisetail, which considers itself a learning ecosystem, brings in the components of e-learning missing from many traditional learning management systems. “We focus on culture and connection,” Cece says, “Our platform does really, really well in the restaurant and hospitality industry for those companies looking to build a consistent brand experience across a large geographic region. We take those users from all over the country and put them into one system. So, with our software, restaurant locations, for example, can now share ideas, send one another birthday or recognition messages and comment on one another’s great numbers. We bridge that gap between very formal learning and company culture. It’s amazing.”

And Wisetail’s clients must agree. With a roster including Shake Shack, Einstein Bros Bagels and The Cheesecake Factory, innovative companies with culture at the core of their values are aligning with Wisetail’s product. And based on the enthusiasm in Cece’s interview we’d say she, too, agrees with this equation: Culture + People First = Success.

What was your first job out of college?

I worked throughout all of my undergraduate studies, so I never really had that big “first job” out of college. After leaving the University of Utah, I moved back to Bozeman, Montana. I had actually left my Master’s program after feeling a crisis of identity, which I feel most women have at some point in their life. I’m such a people person. I’m so passionate about providing great service. I had worked mostly in the hospitality industry in my previous jobs – at a hotel in Bozeman for about seven years, as well as in a catering sales manager role for the same hotel. In that job I handled event coordination and conference service manager logistics, which was right in my wheel house.


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There’s not a lot of micromanagement, but instead there is the kind of trust that you will get things done, and if you don’t, it’s your responsibility to fall on your own sword. We take ownership of that, and so there’s a tremendous amount of respect and admiration within the organization.

I was in that position for about a year and a half and then received an opportunity to change directions and work in human resources.

After working in the same industry for 8+ years, I wanted to diversify my experiences and try something new. Moving into HR at LC Staffing, also in Bozeman, was an interesting transition, and was the biggest education I ever received in people skills – even more so than the hospitality industry. I learned quickly that my reputation and my word was really only as good as that of the person on the other side of the table. Why? Because it was on them to show up and do what they said they were going to do. This was a challenge for me, because I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with letting someone else’s actions speak to my character.

Around the same time I got involved with TEDx Bozeman as a volunteer. After attending the event I fell madly in love with everything they were doing and went up to workers at the end of the event and asked how I could be involved. They brought me on as the sponsorship assistant to help secure funding for the event. I’m now the sponsorship coordinator for the whole event! While volunteering for TEDx Bozeman is something I do to give back, the opportunity also opened up a ton of doors in growing my personal and professional networks. Through my connections volunteering, an opportunity to work at Montana State University helping run an entrepreneurship program called the Blackstone LaunchPad developed. I consider this job my first “real” job out of college.

Working for a university versus a private entity is a completely different animal. The pace at which entrepreneurship moves is not often aligned with the same pace at which universities move. I had to learn to adapt and work through that.

The director of the Blackstone LaunchPad program at the time, Rob Irizarry, was absolutely an incredible mentor of mine. (And I’m lucky he still is to this day!) Rob gave me a ton of freedom in terms of how I wanted to structure the program and introduced me to a network of people that I never could have imagined. Between Rob and my mother I think they know everybody in the world – at least that's kind of how it feels.

What is the culture like at Wisetail?

It’s your atypical software company. Justin very much believes in an office where people are inspired to bring their best to work. If that means you need to take a couple of days to go recharge your mental batteries in the woods with no cell phone and no com-

puters, that’s okay. On paper we have an unlimited vacation policy, so if you need a mental break, you take a mental break.

The culture also is very service-oriented, which is why I was so drawn to working here. Justin really values the ideals of companies like Four Seasons and Nordstrom where the customer comes first – always – and going above and beyond is simply what you do. If you look at our service model and platform compared with a traditional software vendor like Oracle, although we are in a similar space, it’s kind of like we might as well be selling apples and oranges. Wisetail is a small company of about 15 very teamoriented people. Our office is in downtown Bozeman, so we often all go and get lunch together, or we’ll grill and barbeque during the week. It’s a great company to work for, because we know that we’re all adults here and we are responsible for ourselves. There’s not a lot of micromanagement, but instead there is the kind of trust that you will get things done, and if you don’t, it’s your responsibility to fall on your own sword. We take ownership of that, and so there’s a tremendous amount of respect and admiration within the organization. We work really hard and we play really hard.

How do you organize a typical day?

I try hard to avoid checking my email until I get into the office. I’ll check my email before I go to bed, but in the morning I like to have my personal time to drink my coffee, take my dog for a walk outside and get ready for the day.

Once I get into work, I make coffee for the office. We drink a lot of coffee. Once I get settled in I dive right into my email. As a software company, email is our primary mechanism of communication with our clients. Then I open our internal project management software, Asana, and help with outstanding tasks, including bugs, services and engineering development. At Wisetail we really believe in a service mentality. Once our clients are onboard that doesn’t mean we stop communication with them, so I have a ton of scheduled meetings that are recurring every other week, which is a large part of my day. They’re 30-minute meetings where the clients and I hop on a video call and discuss our work together. We talk about things like: What are they struggling with? What are they excited about? What are some questions they have? It helps me create a positive relationship with whoever I’m on the phone with, and it’s awesome. After my meetings I settle in with other projects I’m working on for the company. Every fall we host

a user conference for our clients. We invite them from all over the country to come to Bozeman for three days for a quintessential Montana experience. During the conference we talk about successes and failures, eat really well and drink a lot. Right now I’m planning that event from the ground up, which takes a lot of time.

Before I leave the office at the end of the day, I make a punch list of things that have to be done the next day. I try to keep this list to five things or less. A list would include things like sending a certain email, writing an implementation schedule, etc. Whatever it is, I write it on a piece of paper dated with the next day’s date, and when I get time the next day I start with the first item on the list first, and so on.

What are key responsibilities that fall underneath you?

Maintaining that service relationship between existing clients and Wisetail, as well as serving as the liaison between the development team and our client base is my responsibility. I also help with the implementation of new Wisetail systems, so I also would include onboarding clients to the Wisetail culture and guiding them through a very structured project management piece. I also help manage emergencies, provide service for bugs or anything else that comes to me first from clients. I’m that first line of contact. And, while I have a certain line of clients, because of our open structure I do help serve all of our clients. It’s like that whole “hit by a bus” analogy. If I ever get hit by a bus, there’s someone on the team who can pick up the project and tackle it exactly where I left off.

What part of your job makes you the most excited to walk into the office every day?

I love helping clients strategize ways to engage their users in our system.

Do you feel like you have more of a work/life balance or work/life integration?

It’s much more of an integration as my professional life feeds my social life. I mentioned my work with TEDx, and the founder of TEDx Bozeman has become one of my very best friends. Although we do a great deal of work together in the professional space, we also are close on a personal level. Montana is a small state. The group of movers, shakers and doers is very small, so we overlap. I’m single. I don’t have kids. I am very, very independent. My professional life is my foundation right now. That said, I have learned that it’s OK to say ‘no’ and


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the experience to do so came up for one of the first times a couple of weeks ago. I went to an event, and of course I introduced myself and said I’d love to help. I met with the event coordinator for coffee, and during that meeting she asked me to be on a committee to help plan next year’s event. I was more than happy to do that, but I had to say, “These are the things I’m okay doing. This is the amount of time I can give you.” For the first time I thought, “Wow, I had to say that, and I did it.” It was a liberating experience to know that I’m so aware of what my boundaries are, my skill set and what my priorities are now.

What is an accomplishment you're proud of?

I honestly don't spend a lot of time reflecting on that. I feel like I’ve been taught and brought up with the expectation that you just do what you feel needs to be done. I'm engaged in my community, and I do it not because I feel like I have to, but that's just who I am. That said, one story that comes to mind is how I got my job with Wisetail. Last year I was at the Montana Programmer’s Conference as a registration volunteer. I saw Justin, Wisetail’s CEO, during a session where he talked about “The Wisetail Way,” which was a presentation on the Wisetail culture. He didn’t mention the product at all – only the culture. I remember leaving his appearance with this feeling of, “Oh my gosh, this is a company I want to support with my time and energy. If I could get paid doing it that would be awesome.”

I went up to Justin at the end of his talk and said, “Hi, my name is Cece, and I am so in alignment with you in terms of what your hospitality and service values are. As you grow your company, I would love to be a part of it.” He said it was awesome I came up to him and that we should talk over the summer. We never did. Then, about four months later he called me and said, “Hey, we’re ready to interview. Would you like to come work or us?” It was proof that you don’t get what you don’t ask for. I have no problem being the person who puts herself out there for rejection. I enjoy saying, “Hey, I’m really interested in helping. Do you need anything? I’d love to work for you.” I’ll take a “yes” at any capacity, and if the answer is “no” then that’s okay, too.

Build a network around you so that even if a “no” comes along, you still have other contacts who can step in and give you diversification. Don’t put your eggs all in one basket, but also don’t have any problem putting yourself out there.


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What’s a project you're working on that you're really passionate about?

About 80 to 90 percent of my volunteer time goes toward helping organize TEDx events in Bozeman. I had an incredibly emotional response to the first TEDx Bozeman that I went to as an attendee. I literally was sitting in the audience in tears after. The quality of speakers we have around Bozeman and Montana is incredible.

TED is a huge organization that puts on something like 80,000 TEDx events around the world. Last year TEDx Bozeman was featured on as one of three feature events – in the world! It was this unbelievable moment because the world was standing up and taking notice of what our team in Bozeman was doing. And it is absolutely a team effort. There is no way an event of that caliber could ever be pulled off without a whole team coming together. On the day of the event we had more than 60 volunteers, from executive directors and videographers to marketers. That undertaking takes about 10 months of my year, and I love it.

What advice do you have for someone else who wants a job just like yours?

It goes back to what I said above: You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid of someone telling you ‘no.’ Something I still struggle with – and I think other women struggle with it, too – is that we have no idea how good we are. Whether we’re talking skiing, motherhood or work, it’s sometimes hard to believe how talented and capable we are. Finding an environment that nurtures that within ourselves is so huge.

Brianne Burrowes,

a born-and-raised Montanan, is the founder of I Want Her Job, an award-winning website empowering women in their career search. She also is senior consumer marketing manager at NASCAR track Phoenix International Raceway. You can follow her on Twitter @iwantherjob and read more interviews like this on

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Robert Nystuen’s Seat with a View By Naomi Morrison Photos by Camp-n-Cottage

From his vantage point as president of the incredibly successful Glacier Bank, Robert Nystuen has his finger on the Flathead Valley’s pulse and does his due diligence by inspiring a team of 330 employees throughout 16 bank branches to be active participants in the community. And he leads by example. Defining his 40 years in the banking industry, Nystuen believes his success, and that of his staff, are a product of dedicated community service and providing an effective environ-


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ment to stimulate a hard-working team. When Nystuen first joined Glacier Bank in 1996, the company had $600 million in assets. He became president 2004, and today, the company has $1.5 billion in assets. “The growth of the bank is beyond what I could have imagined,” Nystuen said. “Glacier Bancorp Inc. has grown organically to reach that level. We have 330 really talented staff who are good friends and valued employees.” It’s no wonder the rise of Glacier Bank has been so predominant when their leader has such a

vibrant, out-going personality infused with light humor capturing his audience at every turn. Nystuen has only worked for two banking organizations: First Bank System (now US Bank) for 21 years and Glacier Bank, both of which are community banks whose success relies on a reputation of giving back. He learned early on in his career that to be prosperous, a genuine commitment to the community was a must. “The life blood of our business is through the community,” he said. “Anything we can do for the betterment of our neighbors makes it more

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Robert Nystuen


life blood of our business is through the community,” he said. “Anything we can do for the betterment of our neighbors makes it more vibrant. And, being better connected helps us grow our business while we give back.”

vibrant. And, being better connected helps us grow our business while we give back.”

Nystuen was raised in North Dakota by a middle class Scandinavian family. He spoke of his upbringing as an all American family in the 50’s and 60’s. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture economics from North Dakota State University, Fargo in 1975, Nystuen immediately took employment in the banking industry. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison earning his degree in the Graduate School of Banking in 1982. During his career, he’s lived in North Dakota, Havre, Livingston, Bozeman, Miles City and 19 years in the Flathead Valley where his exceptional community spirit continues to thrive.

While he supports his staff to choose where their volunteer passion lies, he is committed to offering his knowledge mainly within organizations that focus on business development. Since 2002, he has served on the board of trustees for Flathead Valley Community College and lead as chair for the past eight years. “The pathway to community development is education,” he said. “I’ve worked hard for the college to grow enrollment and meaningful course selections for our area.”

Now it’s time for Nystuen to move onto a different way to serve with educational opportunities. He was just appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to sit on the seven-member Board of Regents, the governing board of the Montana University system. After serving the FVCC board for 13 years, he said it’s quite an opportunity to go state-wide.

“It’s all about higher education,” Nystuen said. “This is a really good thing and is going to be an interesting challenge. When the governor calls you to appoint you to the Board of Regents, it’s something you don’t pass up. It’s pretty cool.” He also currently serves on the board of directors of Glacier National Park Conservancy and the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce (chair in 2001). In 2005 he was the recipient of the Kalispell Chamber’s Business Man of the Year award. Recently Nystuen ended his board of director terms at the Montana Ambassadors, Montana West Economic Development and the Montana Commission on Community Service. He also volunteered at the Flathead Valley Food Bank for many years. “I look forward to coming to work every day,” he said. “Even if I won the lottery, I’d still want to come to work at Glacier Bank because of the impact we have on the community and businesses.”

Nystuen’s volunteering message doesn’t fall far from the tree. His wife of 35 years, Kim, serves on the Kalispell Regional Medical Center Foundation Board. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years until being invited to teach Spanish in school district 5 where she worked for 13 years until retirement last year. Their three sons, Andy, Steven and Carl, all have successful professions as a real estate executive, physical therapist and financial advisor. “They’re all really driven to develop a vibrant society,” said Nystuen. “We’re all so active in the community. There’s a lot of aspects of my job that Kim gets to participate with me. The opportunity to give back to the community in my career is great.” All three sons reside in Western Montana and look for every opportunity to get together to ski, golf and go to football games in Missoula and Bozeman. Humbly, Nystuen said, “they like to participate with their parents in these types of endeavors.”

The Flathead Valley receives great benefits by leaders like Nystuen who focus on exceptional community service. We have many more years to look forward to seeing the differences he makes.


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A Profession for Women that’s High Above it All

Jamee Cole By Naomi Morrison

Photos by Amanda Wilson

If one takes a moment to scope out a construction site, it wouldn’t take long to notice that it’s almost always 100-percent men on the job. For Jamee Cole, owner of Cole Acoustics, it never occurred to her to stay away from her profession installing suspended ceilings just because she was a woman.

“Being a woman in construction is unusual, but I’ve never really looked at it like that,” she said. “Anyone can do this trade if they wanted to do it. I just happened to be trained when I was young and stuck with it.” She won’t lie. It’s hard work standing on two-bysix rolling scaffolding while reaching over her head all day long installing the product in commercial buildings. Not to mention carrying the 60 to 70 pound boxes of material up to her station to work. To keep fit between jobs, she even works out so she doesn’t lose her strength. “I don’t want to down-play being a woman in the trade,” Jamee said. “But I don’t up-play it either.”

She is also a one-person company so she wears many hats. Not only does she install the product, but also does all her office work, invoicing, bidding jobs and more. Her day doesn’t end there either. She also cares for a couple rental properties that she owns.


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“Trade-wise, I’m pretty happy where I’m at,” she said. “I’m 53 now, and I’m still capable of doing this work. I plan to continue until I’m not.”

Jamee grew up in San Diego with three brothers who she always kept up with no matter what. She was never put off of doing something just because she was a girl. In fact, her family encouraged her capabilities of doing everything her brothers did. Her dad was a B17 pilot in WWII and was the one who inspired her to work in a man’s world. With a laugh, she said his only regret was that she didn’t become a plumber because they make more money. “He was the one who gave me the confidence to do this,” she said. “My dad said work hard, and you can do anything you want to do.”

Jamee is all about encouraging women to get into the trade. Not only does it pay well, she said, but there’s an artistic part of being able to build with your hands. The profession allows one to work for herself and the physical work keeps one in shape.

“If I had enough work, and someone was interested in learning the trade, I would hire them and train them,” she said. “However, I’m not interested in giving a position to someone who’s just looking for a job.”

When Jamee was 18, her roommate was a carpenter, and he informed her of free basic carpentry training through the carpenters union for women and minorities. The program was initiated to inspire a more diverse population employed in the trade. After the course, the first company to call her for employment installed suspended ceilings. She went through the apprenticeship program with them and has been doing it ever since. “The guys took me under their wing and taught me the trade,” she said. “In the 30 years of doing this, I have only encountered two men who made an issue out of my gender.”

She continued as a journeyman in California during her 20’s, then moved to the Flathead Valley in 1994 and started her own business. It all started



Jamee Cole

is all about encouraging women to

get into the trade. Not only does it pay well, she said, but there’s an artistic part of being able to build with your hands. The profession allows one to work for herself and the physical work keeps one in shape.

with handing out business cards and talking with general contractors about bidding upcoming projects. Meredith Construction was her first customer and she continues to do work for them even today. “I really have not done any advertising,” said Jamee. “It’s all been word of mouth between the contractors. In a small town, your business integrity is very important. I attribute my success from doing my job well and effectively.” “Working in Montana has been wonderful,” she continued. “I’ve had jobs on handshakes and never had trouble with getting paid. All the contractors are really great.”

Jamee recently completed the acoustic ceiling of the Hutton Ranch Plaza Verizon store. She said it was a system she hadn’t used before so she was nervous. In the end, it turned out very well and she was proud enough of her work to even take photos, which she doesn’t do too often. Before diving into this trade, she did have other jobs building valves at an engine shop, waitressing and construction clean up. She even tried an office job for eight months once, but went nuts and knew that wasn’t the kind of work she could do. “I like working with my hands and doing something you can see,” Jamee said.

“I also like working for myself. I don’t think I’ll ever give that up.” Jamee’s work can be seen all around town. Most of the tenant stores at Hutton Ranch Plaza, Lowe’s, many of the schools, Glacier National Park headquarter and the Kalispell Fire Station’s addition and remodel.

She credits the stimulus program for keeping her busy during the recession. She fared well as a lot of government money went into city and state buildings providing jobs that were few and far between for non-government businesses. She said when she started seeing non-government companies coming up to bid, she could tell the economy was coming back. In the Flathead Valley, there’s only one other company who installs suspended ceilings. With how easy it is to learn the trade, she’s surprised more people aren’t doing it. Most of the material is pretty basic unlike in big cities where companies are willing to pay a premium to have higher-end work done. Essentially, she cuts a metal grid system to fit the building, levels and squares the ceiling using a laser and completes the system by cutting and installing tiles. Jamee’s experience is an inspiration to women to test out non-traditional professions to see what fits. You never know what career may come your way if you don’t step out of the box.


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Ted’s Beds Small Business Success Story By Kay Burt

In today’s tangle of big box stores and massproduced merchandise, the challenges of a small business are evident: Empty storefronts line the way where mom-and-pops once stood, “for lease” signs tucked in the windows. Many small businesses simply don’t make it. Thankfully, for Kalispell and many other Montana towns, times are changing. Area chambers and businesses have banded together, sounding a steady “shop local!” drumbeat; main streets are coming alive again, and the economy is looking up. And in the midst of this late-blooming revival, Ted’s Willich’s success story stands tall. It serves as an inspiration and a beacon of hope for those who still dream of owning a business. Right out of college, Ted Willich chose the path of entrepreneurship. With a business management degree in hand he had other options, but he liked the idea of working for himself. “I don’t think I’ve worked for anyone as an employee since college days,” he reflects. Fourteen years ago, Ted moved his family to the Flathead—a place he’d loved as a visitor--and launched his initial venture, “Ted’s Beds.” As implied, the business carried a single item (beds), and those beds came with the promise of substantial savings. He smiles as he describes his beginnings. “I sold beds right out of a storage unit to begin with. We were persistent, though, and it paid off. In those first three months, using just classifieds, we grossed over $70,000.”

Over the next several years, the business grew and prospered, at one point having as many as five locations. Most recently, especially with his latest product lines, Ted has chosen to consolidate to one showroom, just south of Kalispell.


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showroom still offers quality bedding and fine furnishings,

the latest emphasis is on the Premium line of cabinetry. Premium, Ted explains, is a high-end line offering more than 50 styles. There are numerous options in

wood—real wood-- and Premium boasts a quality that rivals that of the custombuilt. A tour of Ted’s showroom reveals burnished rows of the cabinets, their soft patina suggesting plush boardrooms and gentrified living. In Montana, there are only two distributorships; Ted’s is one of them.

Then and now, Ted’s business strategy is straightforward. “I saw the need for a service,” he explains. “I wanted to offer a high-end product at 30% to 50% savings. Someone needed to offer a local product with prices as good or better than the big box stores.” Ted learned as he went, some by success and some by trial and error. He realized early on that if he purchased quality products in large volume, he could pass on substantial savings to the customer. Simultaneously, he kept costs and overhead low, working the business himself rather than relying on a commissioned sales staff. He utilized lowcost marketing. “I used mostly classifieds and word-of-mouth in the beginning,” He remembers. “Still do.” Ted later added a few radio spots, and he never stopped learning. He observed market trends with a shrewd eye, incorporating new product lines into his inventory. Initially, home furnishings were added and later, for a time, high-end pool tables and then hot tubs and other popular items. Then, as on-line resources became available, those too were added to the promotional arsenal. Ted’s Bed’s presently hosts a website (, a Facebook presence, and to a limited extent, uses craigslist. For Ted, those strategies have had the Midas touch. Today, though Ted’s showroom still offers quality bedding and fine furnishings, the latest emphasis is on the Premium line of cabinetry. Premium, Ted explains, is a high-end line offering more than 50 styles. There are numerous options in wood—real wood-- and Premium boasts a quality that rivals that of the custom-built. A tour of Ted’s showroom reveals burnished rows of the cabinets, their soft patina suggesting plush boardrooms and gentrified living. In

Montana, there are only two distributorships; Ted’s is one of them.

Ted elaborates on the Premium distinctions. “Each piece is solid wood. No particle board, no MDF.” (“MDF” meaning “medium density fiberboard,” for the unschooled among us). The drawers themselves are beautifully dovetailed with full extension glides. Ted demonstrates by drawing out a drawer, and it glides fluidly to full-out position, and then silently back into place.

As is Ted’s trademark, the cabinet line is offered at a significant savings. At a price point of 30 percent to 50 percent less than box stores, Ted’s is able to offer custom quality at half (or less than half) the price. “When you compare quality, price and ease of installation, we are absolutely on-par with the best out there,” Ted emphasizes. “Our plan is to offer the best deal in the state.” As part of that package, the business offers professional, dependable installation. But Ted offers yet another innovation, one he believes will revolutionize the building industry. Anyone who has ever struggled through a building project knows this as fact: Everything ceases—carpeting, painting, all the finish work--until THE CABINETS are installed. Including countertops. Entire building projects can go dormant while everyone waits. First the cabinets must be placed with space shuttle precision. Next come the countertops, and if they’re granite, they involve a template and more lag time. This process sometimes holds up a project for weeks. To address those challenges, Ted is bringing in a concept with a whole new twist, which he believes will speed installation exponentially: the concrete countertop. Concrete? Really? One conjures up the image of a dank and cracking sidewalk. But

this is no ordinary concrete, as Ted explains. It is flexible and resilient and there are no seams nor cracking nor chipping. In fact, in the testing process, the product has been shown to bend to nearly 90 degrees and features amazing durability: it can withstand up to 7500-8500 psi. In lay terms, this means that you cannot only chop veggies on your countertop; you can probably park your car there. The new line of concrete countertops comes in numerous colors and patterns. Though they can resemble granite in appearance, they are much easier on the budget and can be uniquely designed for each home. At 1-1/2 inches thick, they offer another major “plus”: Since they require no template, the countertops can be installed on site, making the turnaround time exceptional. Paired with Premium’s quality craftsmanship, Ted feels he has found a winning combination. As he considers his past successes and looks forward to coming innovations, Ted is modest. “What we do,” he says, “speaks for itself. Everyone deserves a chance to have quality at a reasonable price.” That is a concrete idea, one Ted has taken to the bank, and it offers hope to other small businesses: Careful planning, hard work and honesty still pay off. Which is the essence of the American dream. More information on Premium Cabinets and concrete countertops may be found at Premium’s website (, on the Ted’s Beds website at or n Facebook under “Ted’s Beds.” Cabinets and countertops can also be seen at the showroom located at 2250 Highway 93 South, Kalispell (next to Murdock’s).


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Old Montana Building Company

Somer Treat By Mary Wallace Photos by alisia dawn photography

Somer Joy Treat grew up in West Glacier, part of a huge close-knit family. Because her grandfather worked as the Road Superintendent in Glacier National Park for 48 years, it is no surprise that she returned to her roots to accept a position as the official Glacier Park photographer after receiving her Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana. No surprise that she loved working for the Park Service. Life was good! So how in the world did she come to make a rather abrupt switch in careers from photography to the construction business? Somer dove into construction by a rather unorthodox means. She was happily working her days away at the U.S. Park Service when Jon Krack invited her for coffee one day. She had been acquainted with Jon for about 10 years and knew that he had previously been a software consultant for Microsoft. She also knew that he had recently formed a construction company, Old Montana Building Company. He had started with a development project called the Timbers in Whitefish and was growing it into a company focused on building custom homes. Jon told Somer he wanted a woman on his team and asked her to consider joining him at Old Montana Building Company. He gave her a rather vague job description, promising that there would be few limits in her position and he wanted to see how they could work as a team. He also gave her some homework. “Go pick out


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some cabinets and get some quotes . . . see if this is something you’d like to do.” The long and the short of it is that Somer decided to jump in with both feet and they both liked it so much that she quickly became a partner in the business. The unique teamwork has evolved into an award-winning construction company. Running the company together as a tightly-focused team, they are currently juggling about a dozen projects scattered from West Glacier to Bigfork and points in between. While Jon was named the Flathead Building Association’s 2014 Builder of the Year and they won 9 awards in the 2014 Parade of Homes, Jon & Somer both are the quick to point out that it wasn’t just Old Montana Building Company, but also their team of local contractors and vendors who make the homes and building experience special. Somer’s official capacity is as the Project Manager/Designer for Old Montana - She guides the homeowner from start to finish on the home

building project. Due to their reputation and portfolio of homes, people come to Old Montana Building Company to help them design and build their new home. Somer starts working with them from the early planning stages all the way through the completed project to ensure their new home will truly meet their family’s needs. As the project moves along, she also gets to help design the cabinets, hardware, and paint – the part she calls ‘the frosting on the cake’.

Somer says that that both her favorite and least favorite part of her job is when each project is finally done and on the last day, the homeowner says “I love this house!” Each project, to her, is like bringing up a child – they are babies, they grow, they got through an awkward teenage phase, they go to college and have their fun phase, they graduate, and suddenly . . . a perfect kid (or house as the case may be) is suddenly standing there. “We really end up caring about our clients during the building process!” says Somer. “I love that we become part of our client’s lives and part of their



Somer Treat

Above photo of the Lookout courtesy of Somer Treat.

says that that both her favorite and least favorite part of her job is when each project is finally done

and on the last day, the homeowner says “I love this house!” Each project, to her, is like bringing up a child – they are babies, they grow, they got through an awkward teenage phase, they go to college and have their fun phase, they graduate, and suddenly . . . a perfect kid (or house as the case may be) is suddenly standing there. family, that we get invited to birthday parties, that we run into them in town and they are still talking about how much they love their house!”

As part of caring about their clients, they place a high priority on value engineering and their “motto” is to use their customer’s money as if it were their own. A couple of years ago, they made a commitment to ensure that every home they build is a “High Performance Home”: a home that is greener and more efficient, making it more affordable to operate and maintain. “There is no reason NOT to use safer, more environmentally friendly materials and building standards when you are starting a project from scratch” said Somer.

Why so successful? Somer speculates that since they both came in to the industry from other careers, they had no preconceived notions and no limitations. They have just forged ahead. Jon is the organized one, and he provides detail and focus. Somer is the creative and energetic one, who helps homeowners envision what they want, and she stays involved throughout the project. Any challenges to being a woman in a mostly male industry? While She agrees that it might seem that egos could get in the way, Somer feels like she has a total advantage as a woman. She

can certainly communicate and, because she is the voice of the homeowner on the projects she manages, she makes no bones about letting the contractors know how things should go. She also has gotten to really know and work with the key contractors and subcontractors that work on most of their projects. She knows their birthdays, she brings them treats, she always makes sure to introduce them to the homeowner when possible. The subcontractors, in turn, will take the time to share with her about their expertise and challenges of their particular trade. She is learning so much from them day after day!

Somer has recently had the unique opportunity to be her own customer at Old Montana Building Company. They have been working on Somer’s personal home, the Lookout. Inspired by her own heritage and experiences in Glacier National Park, this unique home is patterned after the historical fire lookouts in the area. 406 readers can follow the progress of this and several other projects at, and they will have an opportunity to see the Glacier Park inspired architecture in person during the 2015 Parade of Homes.

While the Lookout is under construction, Somer and her husband (and their VERY spoiled dog) are living in West Glacier in the same family home that her grandparents lived in. She drives 45 minutes each way to work. It makes for some long days, but she is loving every minute! One would think she’d have little spare time, but she makes the most of that, too. She is passionate about running, with 26 (ran one last weekend!) marathons under her belt, and she carves out time to run every single day. Somer loves spending time in Glacier Park (of course), and she loves to paint. She paints signs, murals, portraits, anything! She has even painted the alphabet on the wall of a child’s room for one of her clients. Somer’s parents, Todd & Karen Hileman, named her after the street her grandmother lived on when she was born. Her middle name is Joy, and perhaps that is why she finds joy in every minute of every day.

Somer has absolutely no regrets about her abrupt career change. “I honestly could not love my part of Old Montana and my job more, and I look forward to work every single day”


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Can I Get a Side of Ranch? Written by Michelle Schuman and Juliann Urban

Here you go again! It’s Sunday. You’re on Pinterest scrolling through the “Food & Drink” category trying to plan how to pack your healthy lunches for the week. Let’s see, salad on Monday, chicken and rice Tuesday, tuna sandwich Wednesday; but then your 6:50 alarm goes off and Monday is here. You’re tied up for lunch at the office and forgot your salad in the fridge at home. Temptation kicks in and tells you that you didn’t really want to start your week with a salad anyway. So now what? A walk down to your local cafe for a panini, or a


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quick drive thru for a burger and fries? Why not, it’s only $4 on the combo menu.

As much as drive thru dining is convenient, quick, and in some cases inexpensive, it can actually cost you more money in the long run. It’s not always the big purchases in life that devour your savings, but the consistent little spontaneous purchases that keep you from making headway on your financial goals. In this issue, we’ll talk about how to eat in or eat out without draining your wallet. For example, is that extra side of ranch for $.75 more really worth it?

To-Go vs. Packed Lunch

While packing your lunch ahead of time may seem time consuming, doing so can save you a lot of money. We averaged the cost of a lunch at several local restaurants versus franchise restaurants around the area. All of the costs are based on a turkey sandwich with a side and a drink. We then compared these averages to the cost of purchasing the groceries and making the same meal. Our results are summarized in the following table:

business} One Meal (includes a side and a drink)

Total for one week (dining out twice)

Total for one month (assuming twice a week, 4 weeks in a month)

Total 52 weeks

Local Restaurant





Franchise Restaurant





Packed Lunch





As you can see the cost of dining out can add up quickly. For a year’s worth of dining out versus purchasing groceries you could potentially save $900 or more. For those who eat out more often than what we have listed here, the food costs would go up accordingly. The potential savings by choosing other alternatives would also increase. Let’s be realistic though, the average individual will still order take out on a weekly basis. There are some occasions when it’s necessary to grab a bite to go. Living in this area, we are lucky to have a variety of amazing restaurant options. We may want to take full advantage of what is available; however we should keep in mind the cost associated with it. The point is, if you want to keep yourself financially savvy then view lunch on the town as a luxury to treat yourself to, not as a complete replacement of making your own meal. Many guidelines would recommend that you actually budget how much you will allow yourself for discretionary meals either by the week or by the month. If you decide getting a chicken wrap sounds more appetizing than your homemade cauliflower pizza from the night before, here are some tips to possibly reduce costs and maintain your budget.

Tips to Save When Eating Out - Take a friend and split a meal.

- Use coupons, or go at a time when the restaurant is having a promotion, i.e. “two for one” or “buy one get one free”.

a similar quantity to the medium fry, but is just presented in a larger container and you just paid extra! - Try drinking water because alcohol, soda, and other beverages typically have the industry's largest markup. Ask for lemon with your water or bring your own water enhancers if you are in need of something besides plain water with your meals. - Go out to lunch rather than dinner. Some local and franchise restaurants have lunch priced lower and raise prices for the evening menu. - Ask yourself if you really need two entrées and a side, or is one entrée good for now (the old saying, are your eyes bigger than your stomach?).


After making your menu, make a list of items you need to buy at the grocery store. Remember to check the store ads for items on sale that may be on your list. Groceries are expensive too and can easily go to waste if you don’t have a good plan for how to use them. It is important to treat yourself to things that make you happy. We enjoy eating meals out not only for the convenience, but also for the experience of eating tasty food. Be realistic as to what you can afford and how much you plan to allocate to meals out. The goal is to be aware of where you are spending your money so you can stay on track to meet your financial goals. Using the above tips may help to stretch your dollar by being aware of some of the options available to you while eating at your favorite restaurant. Bon Appétit’!

Our Recommendations

The best thing you can do to save money with your eating habits is to create a plan. This starts with establishing a monthly budget that includes categories for dining out and groceries. If you track your spending throughout the month you can make adjustments if you find your eating out more than normal. Additionally, take a few minutes before you go grocery shopping to decide what meals you are going to prepare at home and what you are going to buy out.

This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only; it is not intended to act as professional advice. If you have additional questions, contact JCCS, PC in Whitefish at (406) 862-2597 or Kalispell at (406) 755-3681.

- Check with the restaurant to see if a half order is an option for the meal you choose. If the half option is not available, ask for a box and save the leftovers for the next day. Score! - Order off of the budget friendly menu. - In some cases ordering small, medium or large does not actually increase the quantity of the item in proportion to the additional amount being charged. For example in some instances ordering a large fry has


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5 Lessons For Riding The Waves

as a Small Business Owner Written by Susan B. Clarke

hard to achieve “high self-esteem” actually wound creative, and transformative, if I am willing to be up hating themselves more for not maintaining that vulnerable and curious. high bar! Bottom-line: it wasn’t, and isn’t, about We work with leaders and their teams to help them high or low self-esteem. use the energy of conflict (rather than defuse it) to It’s about learning to handle fluctuating self-esteem. get to innovative, profitable business results. We have seen it happen hundreds of times. I have writIt’s the same with uncertainty. Uncertainty isn’t ten whole articles, and we just did a TEDxWhiteBut, it’s not like that. bad. Instead, it’s how you handle the fluctuations fish talk on just this topic. It’s all about how conflict is a valuable energy source and the two magic inEach year there are definite periods where fear and or waves of uncertainty. gredients that help you tap that source for creativity, doubt rock my inner, and even outer, world. Why is certainty easier? Frankly, because it’s what I transformation, and innovation, by using conflict – Still, I have been doing this for years, and though can ‘control’ – fluctuations happen – what IS certain not defusing it! You can watch it on youtube at: not a rock star, I have learned some things I do DOES become uncertain. Business is like riding think are worth sharing to help you to continue to waves on an ocean. When you are on a surfboard enjoy taking the entrepreneurial ride. I thought I (small business) versus a Tanker (big corporation), Find friends, even when you think would pull together five of my favorite nuggets that every wave is felt and could knock you down! help me stay a float when the water is rough. they’re your competitors! Personally, I prefer a surfboard and getting com- It’s easy in big companies to always be identifying the competition and work to beat them. fortable with the fluctuations! One of the biggest challenges for me as a small business owner is riding the waves of uncertainty. You would think after 15 years of doing business as thrive!, it would be easier for me - that maybe somewhere along the way I would have gotten comfortable or confident that we will survive and at times, well, thrive!


1. Uncertainty doesn’t ever go away!

Where there is conflict, For me, it’s like self-esteem. When I was a family therapist several years ago, the key to success, they there’s creativity! thought, was having “high self-esteem.” However, I don’t like conflict. But I would hate to be withthe downside soon became clear. Those working out it. Conflict is the gateway to something new,


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However, in a small business, it’s very different. That competition is often someone just like you. They are simply working to stay a float, and frankly, there is enough business out there for more than one (even several) of us to thrive!


I don’t like conflict.

But I would hate to be

without it. Conflict is the gateway to something new, creative, and transformative, if I am willing to be vulnerable and curious.

I usually learn, grow, and actually provide better service to my customers when my competitors become my friends. We can enjoy the competition and enjoy being successful together!

4. Sweat the small stuff!

consider failure. I was surprised by their responses. It wasn’t that they denied these events, they simply reported that these events as a natural part of getting on the field and doing business well. Sure, you win, you lose, but losing isn’t failure, it is simply an opportunity to learn or improve!

A little sweat is good for my business. I can’t say that I am totally there yet. It’s not sweating that’s the problem. But I get it, and am inspired by that notion that it’s all in my perspective. It’s worrying! Whatever life and business is preWhen I am sweating I am usually ac- senting, it’s how I choose to respond tively doing something, working to- that makes all the difference. ward my goal. That sweat feels good and usually is a sign that I’m engaged and committed. Worry, on the other hand, is simply thinking over and over about something that might happen, or lamenting about something that did happen in the past.

In Summary

These five nuggets often help me when I am in that place of fear and doubt. I use them to recalibrate.

I imagine you have your nuggets. I’d love to hear them. I strongly encourOften, the best way for me to stop age you to write, share them and add worrying is doing something that new nuggets along the way. works up a good sweat! Much like surfing, being a small owner involves getting comFailure is just a matter of business fortable riding all types of waves and perspective. sometimes just sitting out in the waI remember listening to a podcast ter waiting for the next set to come. where they were interviewing very successful entrepreneurs. Each in- Wherever you are in your journey terview had taken place separately. remember the best part of the ride One of the questions was: “Tell me is simply that you do get to live, feel about a time you failed and how you and respond to each wave as it comes! dealt with it.” Susan Clarke is a Coach, Consultant, Each one of these people answered and Speaker at thrive! inc. www. that question with a very similar re- They help business leadsponse. They couldn’t relate to failure. ers and their teams use the energy of They simply could not come up with conflict, rather than defuse it, to get to an example of failure. innovative, profitable business results. They recently released their TEDx talk: Now, each of them had lost lots of Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! on money, had businesses go broke, and You Tube. Search for it there. Feel free to various signs that most of us would contact them at



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Welcome to the

PowerHouse By Jen Ewell

Where can you find Sarah Calhoun of Red Ants Pants, Susan Carstensen of Right Now Technology fame, Elke Govertsen of Mamalode, Diane Smith of American Rural and dozens more successful Montana women entrepreneurs and leaders all in one place? PowerHouse Montana

PowerHouse Montana is a new initiative of the Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM) with two goals in mind: (1) connecting Montana women with the resources, mentors and opportunities they need to create thriving businesses and thriving lives, (2) increasing the number of Montana women in leadership by providing a go-to source for organizations and companies looking for their next CEO or board chair.

PowerHouse Launch

WFM was thrilled to announce our newest project, PowerHouse Montana,, at the Equal Pay Summit in April. PowerHouse Montana is an online platform for women across the state to find role models, mentors, and support. The website invites Montana women and men to register themselves and either volunteer their services as mentors, or connect with a mentor as a participant. In addition, the website will include an extensive resource list, providing women with information about economic development opportunities, employment opportunities, wage negotiation training, financial literacy training and more. Finally, the PowerHouse Montana Project


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will also absorb our current Startup Women Montana work and include webinars and in-person outreach and education to provide valuable new learning to our participants, especially those in rural areas who currently are underserved. Women served through PowerHouse will have new connections and knowledge that will increase their ability to find a job, negotiate for higher wages and benefits, and/or build their own business. PowerHouse Montana is a source for Montana to find our next women leaders. Several Montana women who shared their passion, knowledge and expertise in a TEDX style event headlined the PowerHouse Launch party in April. Diane Smith of American Rural spoke to the lack of women on corporate boards and how we can all work to reduce that deficit. June Noel, a programmer at Washington Corporation in Missoula and founder of Women for the Web, spoke of her experience as a young woman of color breaking into a primarily male field. Pam Haxby-Cote of Blackstone Launchpad shared her passion for service and community. And Sheena Rice and Kate Olp spoke to their experience making social change happen in Billings.

The Equal Pay Summit

The PowerHouse Launch was a part of the second annual Equal Pay Summit at Montana Tech in Butte held by Governor Bullock’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force The Equal Pay Summit was a success, with more than 200 Montanans in attendance. Meredith Walker of the national organization, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls initiative, keynoted the event, urging the crowd to “get their hair wet” and be their strongest, most authentic selves. article_9b3a5b9c-6f0b-5a9e-98c9-da1e778fb7c9.html One brave Montana woman, Micah Nielsen, stood up and asked Walker if she could send her an article for inclusion on the Smart Girls website. Well done Micah! You can read her article here: http:// The Summit discussions were passionate, attendees enthusiastic and the connections made will lead to more opportunities for girls and women. Panels and


presentations explored the facts behind the gender pay inequity, taught women how to negotiate for better wages and benefits, and shared stories and advice from successful women entrepreneurs. The Summit has already catalyzed new partnerships between groups working on equal pay in communities across the state, as well as organizations and colleges who want to sponsor wage negotiation workshops for women in multiple new locations, and STEM programs that can work together more closely and share resources to support innovative new programming for Montana girls.

The Facts

Did you ever wonder how Montana women compare to women across the nation on measures such as income, entrepreneurship, access to health care, and political participation? The Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM) is a proud sponsor of the newest Institute for Women’s Policy Research Report on the Status of Women in Montana. Montana earned a D- in the Employment and Earnings Category, placing 46th in the nation in women’s wages, 43rd in wage equity across genders, and 47th in the number of women in managerial positions. The one area in which we rated slightly higher? 26th in labor force participation. The new research reveals that Montana women work just as hard as other women, they just

don’t get paid as well for their work. Check out the new report to see how Montana women stack up on other measures: explore-the-data/state-data/montana/. The Women’s Foundation of Montana The Women’s Foundation of Montana advances the economic independence of women and creates a brighter future for girls. We are the leading funder of change for women and girls in our state. We raise money to build our endowment, which provides a permanent source of grants. We believe that when women and girls prosper, communities thrive. In service to our mission, the Foundation: ·Researches and educates on the economic barriers and opportunities for women & girls ·Convenes strategic partners to create solutions and advocate for social and systemic change ·Connects women and organizations with resources and information ·Fosters leadership among women and girls ·Raises funds and builds its endowment to increase financial support of programs and initiatives that perpetuate its mission.


Get Involved

You can work with us toward economic independence for Montana women by learning the facts, challenging discrimination in your own community, and supporting women’s efforts toward greater economic prosperity. Join us at our Second Annual Summer Roundup Fundraiser – the Sacajawea Soiree in Three Forks on August 21st to learn more and help raise funds to create a brighter future for Montana women and girls. Learn more and register at or The Women’s Foundation of Montana believes that women are one of our greatest untapped resources. PowerHouse Montana is tapping into that resource. If you’ve been wondering what will fuel the next phase of economic growth and social innovation in Montana, look no further.


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Why Incorporate Your Small Business? By Kelly O’Brien, Measure, Sampsel, Sullivan & O’Brien, P.C. Mary owned a small downtown retail business as a sole proprietor. Due to her initial success she decided to expand her business. She moved to a larger location, increased her staff, and expanded her product lines. The expansion resulted in significantly higher operating costs, so she decided to take out a loan to cover some of the costs.

Unfortunately, Mary got behind in paying her bills and was unable to make her loan payments. As a result of Mary’s default on the loan, the lender filed a collection action to recover the remaining debt. Because Mary was a sole proprietor the lender was able to file the action against her, personally, rather than just against the business itself. This meant that the lender could seek recovery from her personal assets as well as any business assets. Most of the assets and inventory of Mary’s were already purchased on credit. Consequently, Mary’s creditor was able to obtain a judgment which encumbered her own home. Ultimately it took several years for Mary to free her personal assets from the judgment and involved significant time and personal energy. If Mary had


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only established her business as a corporation, or other separate entity, she could have avoided entangling her personal home with her business debt. Consider Your Business Entity Structure If you own a small business and want to avoid some of these issues, consider structuring your business as a separate business entity such as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), limited liability partnership (LLP), or other legal entity. For purposes of this article I use “corporation” or “incorporation” to generally discuss how forming a separate entity can be advantageous to your business. However, the decision about the specific legal structure for your business will impact your tax liability, ownership rights, and business operations. Making the right decision about the legal and corporate structure of your business is critical to your long-term success, so discuss your options with your tax advisor and business attorney to determine what is right for your specific business.

Advantages of Incorporating Regardless of the specific entity type there are some very compelling advantages to incorporating, or otherwise creating a separate entity for your small business. Among the advantages these include: 1. Protection of Your Personal Assets Perhaps the most persuasive reason for incorporating your small business is protection of your personal assets. A corporation is a separate legal entity which means it can own, buy and sell property; enter into contracts; sue and be sued; and be separately taxed. Moreover, a corporation is responsible for it’s own debts and liabilities. This separate structure protects the owners, or shareholders, as well as directors and officers from personal liability for corporate debts and obligations so long as corporate formalities are properly followed (as discussed below). This means that creditors of a corporation may only seek payment from assets of the corporation and not the shareholders or direc-



Perhaps the most persuasive reason for incorporating your small business is protection of your personal assets. A corporation is a separate legal entity which means it can own, buy and sell property; enter into contracts; sue and be sued; and be separately taxed. Moreover, a corporation is responsible for it’s own debts and liabilities.

tors. Without a separate entity structure such as a corporation, business creditors may be able to pursue the owner’s personal home, car, or bank accounts as Mary’s creditors did. 2. Ease of Transfer Ownership interests in a corporation are held in corporate stock. Corporate stockholders can readily sell or transfer their stock. This also means that shareholders can transfer or even give shares of stock to their family members. The ease of transferability allows business owners to transfer a family business to the next generation in a more seamless fashion. It also increases the ability for the business to add new owners or investors. Alternatively, transferring ownership in a sole proprietorship or partnership can be an expensive and time consuming process that involves transferring title to property, assigning contracts and often setting up entirely new accounts. 3. Perpetual Existence A corporation is a separate legal entity so it is not dependent on the life of any one individual owner. This allows a business to continue indefinitely despite changes in ownership without disruption. This also provides additional stability for owners and investors and avoids the need for an extensive process to transfer or liquidate the business upon the death of an owner. 4. Attracting Investors & Raising Capital When you incorporate your business it is often taken more seriously by lenders or outside investors. If you have taken the step to incorporate it indicates that you may be more willing to invest time, energy and resources in the business to ensure the long-term success in the business. The willingness to invest in the long-term success of the business makes corporations more attractive to lenders and investors. In addition, corporations can easily raise capital and transfer ownership by selling shares of stock. This makes it easier for outside investors in invest in corporations, and provides the additional piece of mind associated with the limitation on personal liability. 5. Potential Tax Advantages Corporations may provide certain tax advantages over a sole proprietorship or partnership. It is

typically easier for corporations to write off expenses such as pension plans, health insurance premiums and other fringe benefits as taxdeductible expenses. Some corporations are also able to structure the business in a manner to save on self-employment taxes. There are numerous ways in which a corporation may reduce its overall tax liability. It is important that any business discuss these issues with its tax advisors prior to incorporating, or otherwise creating a separate entity for the business. Maintain Corporate Formalities The advantages of incorporating a small business are numerous. However to enjoy the benefits, especially the benefit of limited liability protection, the entity must act as a corporation. This means maintaining certain corporate formalities such as using the corporate name, holding annual and special meetings, maintaining meeting minutes and filing annual reports. Furthermore, it is essential not to mix corporate and personal assets or accounts or otherwise use corporate assets to pay for personal debts and obligations. If you incorporate your business, it is critical to know when to seek legal advice to assist you in maintaining a separate entity structure. Legal advice may be especially beneficial when taking actions such as issuing or purchasing stock, performing business in other states, amending corporate documents, or merging, dissolving or otherwise restructuring the business. A business attorney can advise you how to incorporate your business, as well as discuss the benefits and drawbacks of specific types of legal entities for your particular business. While incorporating your business will not ensure that your business will always be successful, it can enable you to protect your personal assets and to avoid Mary’s situation. For advice regarding incorporating, creating a separate legal entity or general business law contact Kelly O’Brien at Measure, Sampsel, Sullivan & O’Brien, P.C. at (406) 752-6373/ DisclaimerThis article is intended for educational and information purposes only, it is not intended to act as legal or tax advice.


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giving back}

Your Legacy? Plan on It! By Lucy Smith

Ah, summer time in Montana! Long days of sunshine, brilliant starlit nights, precious visits from old friends, family reunions that return us to our roots. Each summer seems to go by more quickly than the last, leaving us with rich memories and gratefulness for family, friends, our beautiful Montana environment and the community we call home. All part of our legacy – past, present and future – and raising the question, “What is my personal legacy?” Best-selling author Jon Gordon encourages us to think seriously about the kind of legacy we want to leave, because knowing how we want to be remembered later will inspire the way we live and work today. Gordon offers four ways to leave a legacy and coaches us to think of others for ourselves:

Your unique history within your greater family is a legacy no one else can provide.

Write a legacy letter If you knew you did not have long to live, what would you want to say to those you love and those who will come after you? Your legacy letter is a way to speak directly to your loved ones and say all that you wish you had told them earlier. Put these precious Legacy of Excellence Simply stated, thoughts into a letter now. to leave a legacy of excellence is to strive to be our best every day One person in pursuit of ex- Create an ethical will The origin of cellence raises the standards and behaviors of ev- ethical wills dates back centuries, to oral tradieryone around her. Says Gordon, “…life is your tions in which elders passed on their moral directions to the next generation. Your ethical will greatest legacy…give it all you can.” can take the form of a videotape, photo album Legacy of Encouragement Think or scrapbook, whatever best allows you to share back to those who encouraged and guided you your values, beliefs and life lessons with those along your path. What a difference they made in who will follow you. your life! Who will you encourage today? It’s all part of our legacy connection. There is also the Legacy of Charitable Giving Legacy of Purpose Using our strengths While more than 80% of Montanans give to

and talents for purposes beyond ourselves makes life something bigger than each of us alone. Our legacy now and forever is the positive impact we make in the world.

charities each year, fewer than 9% of us leave a bequest through our wills. Your local community foundation, financial planner, attorney, or a development professional at your favorite charity can answer your questions and assist you in carLegacy of Love Family, friends, the great- rying out your charitable intentions. er good of your community and those in need. Share a legacy of love and caring throughout In Montana, we have an immediate opportunity your life and it will embrace generations to come. to create a legacy that will transform our state and every community in it. All we have to do is Bart Astor (AARP Road Map for the Rest of make our hometown one of our heirs. Your Life) offers still other ways to leave a legacy: The United States is in the midst of the largest Provide a family history Researching intergenerational transfer of wealth in its history, genealogy together is a wonderful way for fami- and Montana is a prime illustration. After the lies to understand where each generation came Great War, Montanans worked long and hard from. Enrich the record with personal stories to provide for their families and save money for about your life and times, your feelings, descrip- the future. Most lived and worked their entire tions of your relationships with parents, grand- lives on farms, ranches and small businesses close parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters. to their birthplace, but many of their children


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moved away. Over the next 50 years, Montanans will transfer $123 billion to the next generation. (See inset: Montana Community Foundation Transfer of Wealth 2011 Study) The question is whether any of that wealth will stay behind in the Montana communities that helped build it. If even a small portion of that wealth is gifted to permanent charitable endowments, millions of dollars will be available each year to invest in Montana communities and the organizations devoted to keeping them healthy, safe and thriving. Imagine being part of that legacy! The Montana Community Foundation Transfer of Wealth Study (see inset) shows a 10-year transfer of more than a billion dollars from Flathead County alone 2010-2020 transfer: $1,123,838,859 If 5% endowed: $56,191, 943 If 5% granted (per year): $2,809,597 Communities across Montana have an extraordinary opportunity to join the everyday philanthropists and visionaries of the past – our grandparents’ generation. Their wisdom and hard-working generosity gave us the hometowns that provide our livelihoods and hold our lives and dreams. Our quality of life today is their priceless legacy, their gift to us. Now it is ours to honor, build upon, and pass to the next generation stronger than ever. Says Susan V. Bosak (The Legacy Project), “Legacy is about life and living. It's about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future…an interconnection across time, with a need for those who have come before us and a responsibility to those who come after us.” What will you create for your personal legacy? Wonderfully, it is really up to you!

giving back} The Montana Community Foundation 2011 Transfer of Wealth Study updates the original county-by-county analysis originally conducted in 2006. · The Transfer of Wealth analysis produces likely scenarios of the intergenerational household wealth as it transitions from the current generation to the next upon death. Household wealth includes assets such as real estate, stocks and other investments, and family-owned businesses.

· Corporate, non-resident and public wealth is not part of the Transfer of Wealth analysis. · Results of the 2011 Study indicate that over the next 50 years, $123 billion will transfer from one generation to the next in Montana. This represents a 95% increase over the amount estimated in the 2006 study. · If 5% of that $123 billion were captured in permanent endowments that benefited Montana nonprofits, schools and communities the state would have a collective endowment worth $6.1 billion. · That $6.1 billion endowment could generate $307 million per year to Montana’s charitable institutions using a standard 5% payout assumption. · Montana has a long history of exporting its wealth. Many of the children who will inherit that $123 billion over the next 50 years no longer live in our state. Montana’s rural counties are experiencing their peak years of wealth transfer over the next ten years due to outmigration. · Montana has a rapidly aging population. By 2030, 1525% of Montana’s population will be 65 or older, placing Montana among the top five states with the most elderly populations. The aging population is driving the transfer of wealth opportunity and the urgency to begin preserving wealth now. · There has never been a wealth transfer this large in all of human history. · Montana’s unique circumstances – children moving out of state and a rapidly aging population – makes capturing some of this wealth transfer absolutely critical if our communities are to remain places where people want to live, work and raise children. · The Transfer of Wealth analysis provides a picture of the incredible opportunity for Montana communities, but taking advantage of the opportunity is up to individuals. Here are five things you can do to get started:

1. Think about what makes Montana special to you, and commit to give to your passion. 2. Call your local community foundation or your favorite charity to learn about leaving a legacy for Montana’s future. 3. Create an estate plan, or adapt it to help a cause that is important to you. 4. Talk to others about the importance of remembering the community in their plans.


5. Give at least 5% to the causes that matter to you, now and for future generations.

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Part One

The dangerous truth about


By Todd Ulizio, Two Bear Farm


we talk about agriculture and our food system, we should use words such as health, nutrition, and stewardship, not words such as trade balance, subsidies, and shareholder earnings. But like it or not, American agriculture and the global processed food industry it supports is big business (somewhere north of $1.7 trillion a year). Unfortunately, it seems to pay no attention to the food part, and focuses only on the business side of things. There is a lot of money at stake, and the multi-national corporations that dominate this industry are constantly seeking new ways to gain control and consolidation to capture this treasure trove of potential revenue. The industry speaks of “feeding the world”, yet what is the point of feeding the world if all you have to offer is junk food? While consolidation and vertical integration may be great theories in the business world, they don’t exactly provide a safe, resilient, healthy, or equitable food system. And this is the struggle we face in today’s world. Like many issues in our partisan society, what we lack is balance. I’m not opposed to financial motives, but business needs to do more to improve our lives rather than make money at our expense.

Along these lines, there is no bigger issue than the introduction of Genetically Engineered (GE) ingredients, also known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) into our food system. The basic concept behind the technology is to splice a gene with a certain trait from one species into a different target species (something that does not happen in nature), in order to get the desired trait to


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be expressed by the target species. In essence, it is re-writing the genetic code of an organism in order to create a new “novel” organism. And by making it new and novel, it can be patented. Sounds lucrative, doesn't it? This is a hot topic, and one in which getting a straight answer is virtually impossible, because there is a lot at stake. Rather than get lost in the apparent propaganda campaign that seems to be unfolding, I want to point out a few key facts.

First, the development of GMO technology is about money, not about food. There was no need to introduce this technology into our food system. Sure you've heard arguments about increasing yield, making crops drought resistant, or improving nutrition. But no GMO has been introduced that has addressed these issues. The primary trait that has been introduced is herbicide resistance, which makes farming much easier for farmers, and makes the seed and chemical company (yes, they are both sold by the same company) a lot of money. Dating back to the Reagan Administration, the US government and the biotech industry have viewed genetic engineering as an important economic driver to help the U.S. compete in an increasingly competitive global economy. So if it seems like regulatory agencies have taken a rather lax approach to overseeing and regulating the release of GMO’s into our food, it is because they are working under the mandate to ensure GMO success as part of a national economic strategy. Ever wonder why the U.S. State Departments instructs embassy staff to promote GMO crops? Every ad-

ministration since Reagan, regardless of whether it’s Republican or Democrat, has embraced the idea of biotech being a field in which the US can compete, and outcompete, on a global scale. And what it does is allow these companies that control the seed patents to leverage farmers away from using non-GMO agriculture. Despite what biotech marketing might say, GMO’s were not developed to feed the world...they were invented to feed the bottom line.

The introduction of GMO’s into processed food has happened primarily through commodity crops. The vast majority of corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, and cotton (think oils) grown in this country are genetically modified, and any food containing products derived from these crops thereby contains GMO’s. They are everywhere. Over 80% of processed foods in the grocery store contain GMO ingredients, and processed foods now make up more than 70% of the average American diet. So right now, you are likely ingesting a lot of GMO products on a daily basis.

The presence of GMO’s in our food system is such an important and complex topic that I would like to dedicate two of my six columns to the issue, with this being the first. To help better understand the fundamental issue with GMO’s, let’s look to the story of trans fats. Similar to GMO’s, trans fats were approved by the FDA and are widespread in our food system. What’s interesting about trans fats is that they are

health} not common in nature, but rather are manufactured by changing the natural bonds in the fat molecules through industrial methods (hydrogenation). The food industry convinced the FDA that trans fats were not different from natural fats, even though they had been modified to form a novel type of fat, and should be considered equivalent from a regulatory standpoint. Rather than require robust testing to ensure human safety, the FDA concurred with this theory of equivalence, and the product was introduced into our food system with almost no testing. The loophole that allowed this product to undergo minimal testing before introduction is called the Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) designation. And trans fats, much like GMO’s, were given a GRAS designation. However, what we have come to find out is that trans fats are very different from naturally occurring fats. In fact, since the early 90‘s numerous

studies have directly linked trans fats to heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, and other diseases. The common consensus today is that they are dangerous to eat, and the FDA recently decided to phase out this product by 2016. What’s troubling about this case is that it shows that the FDA process for vetting new food ingredients and assigning GRAS designations is inadequate for detecting risks to humans, especially when a lot of pressure is applied by the industry. So using the defense that “the FDA says it is safe” rings rather hollow. It is only now, after decades of evidence revealing the health affects of these fats, that the FDA is finally acting to remove them from the food system. The reason this story is so poignant is because the FDA is, in effect, acknowledging that giving an untested, modified product the GRAS designation was not appropriate given the lack of research on human health, and that no matter how much the FDA and the processed food

What we have come to find out is that trans fats are very different from naturally occurring

fats. In fact, since the early 90‘s numerous studies have directly linked trans fats to heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, and other diseases. industry said trans fats were safe to consume, they were in fact not safe to consume. Trans fats should never have been allowed in the food supply. And I predict that down the road, history will show that the same holds true for GMO’s.

So, what’s the big deal with GMO’s? The fundamental issue with genetic modification is that we are creating new “novel” organisms that would have never occurred through natural processes. From a philosophical standpoint, we are basically saying that human beings are wise enough to “improve” the blueprints of living organisms. This is not simply bonding hydrogen onto a fat molecule. This is inserting DNA from one species into a different species, and forcing the new species to accept this change by overriding its defense

mechanisms. Now, whether you believe in God, Intelligent Design, Evolution, or some other concept of creation, the idea that humans have the hubris to believe they are capable of improving the DNA of living organisms I find to be troubling. And this process has not gone smoothly. No matter what the marketing might claim, getting plants to accept foreign DNA has not gone smoothly, and many unintended affects have arisen in the lab, even though these results are not made public. We are using technology to force organisms to behave differently than they do in nature, and this comes with huge risks. Using technology to gain a financial advantage is one thing, but testing it out on the global food supply seems reckless. But I'll expand on that next time.


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Just Got a Whole Lot Easier By Honey Newton, CNM


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What does the term ‘nitrous oxide’ bring to your mind? Fits of laughter from the dentist chair no doubt. Have you ever thought of nitrous oxide as part of your birth plan when you deliver your new baby? Well, now you can.

The Birth Center at North Valley Hospital has a history of offering a wide range of amenities and services to women which are most often unavailable at other places across Montana and the region. From acupuncture and acupressure, to massage and water births – nitrous oxide has been a great addition to the lineup of patient-centered services new families can experience during the delivery process. Widely used in Canada and Europe, nitrous oxide is becoming more mainstream here in the United States as patients become more aware of its benefits. Before North Valley Hospital introduced nitrous here in the Flathead Valley in March, 2015, there were only eight other big hospitals in the country who also offered nitrous. We’re following the

leads of those research centers and hospitals to pave the way for patients right here in small-town Montana. It’s amazing.

So what exactly is it?! To most, nitrous oxide is known as laughing gas. Unlike the continuous stream administered in most dentist offices, during labor, the mother doesn’t break into the giggles. The mixture of 50% nitrous gas and 50% oxygen is self-administered by the mother and ideally inhaled 30 seconds prior to a contraction. The timing of administering is important because its peak effect provides the greatest relief during the peak of the contraction. Some women describe the effects of nitrous oxide as a type of euphoria. Breathing the gas mixture gives patients additional oxygen and also releases endorphins, helping to reduce the sensation of pain. It is not an anesthetic. The gas does not affect the woman’s ability to push during labor, nor does it cause drowsiness. Extensive research shows that the nitrous oxide mixture is safe for both the mother and baby because it is eliminated from the body through the lungs, rather than through the liver.

health} nitrous oxide


most, nitrous oxide is known

as laughing gas. Unlike the continuous stream administered in most dentist

offices, during labor, the mother doesn’t break into the giggles.

The introduction of nitrous oxide is supported by labor and delivery professionals, doctors and the anesthesiologists. It’s a complete game changer. Just being able to offer nitrous oxide to patients as another tool to help cope with the enduring pain has made such a night and day difference. I am happy to have this in my supply of services and options to give to patients to help them reach their full potential and deliver in a way that works for them. Patients can use it before we administer an epidural, or during the entire labor process without epidural, or use post-partum. It’s fantastic to visibly see its effect calm a birthing mother to help enable her to do things she didn’t think possible.

For more information on the use of nitrous oxide in labor, visit the Birth Center page on the North Valley Hospital website at About the Author Honey Newton is a Certified Nurse Midwife with Heart and Hands Midwifery and Women’s Health, Kalispell. A graduate of Colorado Mesa University and the University of Utah, she has been on staff at North Valley Hospital since 2014.


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Ask the A: Skin Coach

By Erin Blair, Licensed Esthetician + Certified Health Coach


My pores are large and constantly clogged, and it really bothers me. A facial only seems to help for a few days. Is there anything I can do to make them smaller on a more long-term basis?


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Pore size is primarily inherited, but there are ways to manage the appearance. Here's the lowdown on pores, and what you can do about them.

Oily skin equals larger pores

The more oil (sebum) your pores produce, the larger they look. The amount of oil your skin produces is genetic. When oil passes through your pores, the opening that’s visible on the surface dilates to accommodate the volume. Imagine a collapsible hose that enlarges when water passes through it. If skin is dry, less oil is passing through the pores, and they are naturally less visible. This explains why oily skin and oilier areas (such as the T-zone) have larger pores, and dry skin has smaller pores. Although oil production is genetic, there are influencing factors that can exacerbate it. Hot, humid climates; stress; over-drying with alcohol based products; over-cleansing or stripping the skin with harsh cleansers can all make an oily skin even oilier. Avoiding these environmental influences can help reduce oil and therefore pore size.

Can pores shrink?

‘Shrinking pores’ is a gimmicky claim often used by skin care product companies. While it sounds great, the truth is pore size cannot be permanently reduced. The appearance of smaller, more refined pores can be achieved with astringent-type toners that temporarily tighten the skin’s surface.

More long-term benefit can be achieved by using a daily exfoliant such as a retinoid, or alpha hydroxy acid serum. By adding these to homecare, over a period of several months, pore dilation retracts and elasticity improves. Retinoids and AHAs also solve the second part of the problem posed in your question, clogging, by helping to remove dead skin cells that are trapped in your pores.


Ask the Skin Coach

Dead cells are filling 'em up Another genetically determined issue is retention hyperkeratosis, or dead cell buildup that lines the pores, causing the walls to thicken. Clogged pores are really impactions made up of these excess skin cells bathed in oil, which coats the buildup. The oil oxidizes when exposed to air, solidifies, and causes what we observe as a ‘blackhead’. These clogs take several months to develop, and contain quite a lot of dead skin cells mixed with oil. The clogs you are describing are more likely sebaceous filaments. It’s a common mistake to assume they’re blackheads. These are plugs made mostly of oil, with very few skin cells, and they’ll be right back a day or two after extraction. Again, an exfoliating product like the ones mentioned above will be your best bet in controlling both oil and cell buildup.

And’re using the wrong products!

If you’re using products that are inappropriate for your oily skin by way of being too heavy, or which have comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients, you’ll have an ongoing issue with excess oil and plugged pores. If what you’re using isn’t working, get help and advice from a professional. You can check your products for common clogging ingredients by signing up for a download of my ‘Naughty List’ at

Keeping it real

Meanwhile, try to keep your expectations realistic. Here's a fun challenge I pose to my clients: Stand in front of a non-magnifying mirror in normal lighting. Now notice how close you have to get before you can see the imperfections that are bothering you. REALLY CLOSE, right? Now ask yourself, do other people actually get that close to you? If they do, they probably aren't inspecting your pores. Chances are, their eyes are closed and they're puckered up for a kiss ;) Just remember that when you think everyone is scrutinizing your pores!

Erin Blair, LE CHC owns Skin Therapy Studio, where she embraces a creative method of treatments, products and coaching to get skin clear... and keep it that way. It's a 'whole person' approach to difficult skin concerns. Visit for more info, and to submit questions for Ask the Skin Coach.


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The Facts about Heart Disease in Women By Kimberley Forthofer, ARNP Kalispell OB/GYN

Coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death and disability for women in the United States. Coronary heart disease can lead to myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and sudden death. Approximately 1 in 3 women over the age of 65 will be affected by heart disease. Several risk factors for heart disease exist and include a family history of cardiovascular disease, being overweight or obese, smoking, uncontrolled high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels.

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity leads to elevations in blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels. To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease women should strive to incorporate a healthy diet, which is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and participate in regular exercise of at least 30-60 minutes most days of the week. It is recommended by the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) that women undergo cholesterol screening starting


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at age 45; though, often checking cholesterol levels far sooner is warranted if you have any risk factors. A reduction in as little as 5-10% of body weight can improve cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Talking with your medical provider can help you to identify realistic goals for healthy weight loss and provide guidance on starting an exercise and activity regimen. Even as little as 10 minutes a day of physical activity can improve cardiovascular health.


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20% of Montanans smoke cigarettes on a daily or near daily basis. Despite our increasing knowledge of the dangers of smoking, nearly half of Montanans who smoke are under the age of 45. Smoking introduces toxins to the bloodstream, which cause inflammation and damage to the inner walls of our arteries leading to artherosclerosis and weakening of the vessel walls. Quitting smoking can reduce the risks of heart disease in as little as 1-2 years. There are many resources available that are free of charge to help with quitting smoking. Medications are also available to help with quitting smoking, and meeting with your medical provider can assist you in the right approach for quitting smoking.

High Blood Pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is recognized as the “silent killer� as high blood pressure does not have any symptoms. Elevated blood pressure, which is similar to a hose on full blast, causes increased pressure within the arteries and heart. This can lead to damage and weakening of the muscular arterial vessels and walls of the heart. Overworking the arteries and cardiac muscle can lead to heart failure, MI, and stroke. It is important to see your provider every year for routine care and have your blood pressure evaluated. Simple lifestyle changes such as limiting salt intake, caffeine and alcohol reduction, increasing exercise, and weight loss can help to reduce blood pressure.

Diabetes and Elevated Cholesterol

Similar to high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood sugar (glucose) leading to the development of diabetes mellitus type 2 and high cholesterol do not necessarily make you feel unwell. Women during their childbearing years often have a lower risk of heart disease; however, following menopause the risk increases. The reduction in the risk of heart disease for younger women is obliterated, however, if she has a diagnosis of diabetes. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels and elevated cholesterol lead to

health} plaque build-up within the arteries, which is a major contributing factor in the development of heart disease. This slow process of plaque build-up can start in childhood and can rapidly progress in some in their 20s, while for others does not become a risk until they have reached their 50s or 60s. Risk factors for high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus type 2 include a family history of diabetes and high cholesterol, being overweight, those individuals of black, American Indian, Asian American, and Hispanic race, and those over the age of 45. Additionally, women with a history of gestational diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome are at increased risk for the development of diabetes and should have an annual fasting glucose and consider a hemoglobin A1C level, which is an estimate of fasting blood sugar over a 90 day period. Heart disease is attributable for a quarter of all deaths for women in the state of Montana. Reduction in heart disease can start with a

commitment to improving diet, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking. Make a plan for annual screening of your weight and blood pressure, as well as discussing with your practitioner your individual and family medical history, which may identify risk factors warranting evaluation of your cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Prevention and early treatment is the answer to reducing the complications and premature death caused by heart disease.

About the Author -

Kimberley Forthofer, ARNP joined Kalispell OB/GYN in July of 2013. She was raised in Whitefish and returned to the Flathead Valley after working for 4 years as a primary care provider in Idaho. She offers a wide range of experience in primary care as well as women’s health and her clinical experience includes both acute and chronic care. She and her husband, Joe, have two children and have enjoyed getting back to the outdoor recreational opportunities that Montana offers.

Simple lifestyle changes such as limiting salt intake, caffeine and alcohol reduction, increasing exercise, and weight loss can help to reduce blood pressure.


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-myth crackersThe Immune system:

Five-Second Rule Applied By Dr. C. Claude Basler, DC Carlson Chiropractic Office Photos by alisia dawn photography

The five-second rule can be defined as an unwritten law dictating that if a food or other consumable item is dropped onto the floor, it may be picked up and eaten within five seconds. The reasoning behind this is that dirt and germs take six seconds to transfer from one surface to another ( Before you choke at the thought of even entertaining this so called ‘rule’ picture yourself in this scenario: You and your baby are out shopping at a very busy local grocery store, it is close to nap time and the guy in front of you just took the last sample of cheese your baby was eyeing up. Your baby, at the sight of yummy cheese opened her mouth and plop, out her pacifier bounces off the floor. Immediately, she burst into tears. Not only is there now no more cheese but, her beloved “paci” is on the FLOOR! No bother counting the seconds that have passed, if you think like me you know that is the only thing that may save the situation from erupting into a full blown meltdown. As her cry turns into loud piercing shrieks you quickly scoop up the pacifier and push the cart away from glaring eyes. No wipes within reach, no faucet with some sort of antimicrobial soap in sight. Tell me, do you give the pacifier the once over by whipping it off on your nice clean shirt rub or endure the meltdown until you get home where the pacifier can be “properly sterilized”. The struggle is real!

of high school senior Jillian Clarke during a six-week internship in the food science and nutrition department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Meredith Agle, then a doctoral candidate, supervised the study.

The results concluded, “Until further studies are done, there's no consensus on how safe it is to eat dropped food. Foodborne illnesses are not serious for most of the 76 million Americans who contract them every year. But, according to the web site of the CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases, it's estimated that of those cases, 300,000 people are hospitalized, and 5,000 die. Most deaths occur among susceptible populations that include small children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.” (http://

I am sure that ‘The five second rule’ brings about A Smorgasbord of Opinions. If it was a newborn baby, I would not rub it off on my shirt. If it was my healthy Interestingly, someone really has conducted a scien- 15 month old who has been checked for nerve subtific study of the five-second rule. It was the project luxations and adjusted if needed since born making


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for a fully functioning nervous system and therefore a rockin’ immune system then, yes I would! To help you better understand the connection of regular chiropractic visits and your immune system functioning at optimum let’s start with a crash course in immunology. The immune system is the collection of cells, tissues and molecules that protects the body from numerous pathogenic microbes and toxins in our environment. This defense against microbes has been divided into two general types of reactions: reactions of innate immunity and reactions of adaptive immunity. The system is roughly fully developed when we reach our adolescent years. At the time of adolescence, our bodies have then developed a sufficient amount of adult-like antibody formations that are with us for life. Establishing a strong immune system begins early on in life when we are exposed to bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These very small and yet common exposures in the environment that allow our kids to wage defensive counters and to strengthen their overall ability to fight. A healthy functioning immune system is directly correlated with a healthy functioning nerve system. Chiropractic ensures that one’s nerve system is properly con-


Immune system

nected and sending and receiving communication to all systems of the body.

The bodies war against the germs that stuck to the ice cream that was just TOO GOOD to let go when it fell off the cone and onto the sidewalk within or not within the folk lore ‘5 second’ rule starts at the cellular level and contributes to the development of a healthy immune system. Cells in our body, kind of an important thing. Kids immune systems and their bodies overall are constantly being resurrected one cell at a time to grow stronger. The integrity of those cells depends upon the intelligence of the nerve system coordinating and feeding the body what it needs. Nerves control the entire growth and development of the immune system. The nerve system needs to stay connected to all components of our life. Chiropractic recognizes that dysfunction in our nerve system causes dysfunction elsewhere in our body. Do you want your children to have a healthy functioning immune system? Developing immunity cannot be duplicated with artificial stimulation or over protection. It comes with

a clear and connected nerve system. No gimmicks here. It's simple. Healthy nerve system = healthy kids. Don't complicate the integrity of how awesome our bodies truly are! Don’t just swallow the rule whole or choke at the thought but rather, have your child’s nerves checked for vertebral subluxations (pinched nerves) and let that nerve do its job! So, back to the Five Second Rule. When a baby puts things in their mouths it is a natural way of gradually exposing their immune system to tiny antigens. By releasing dysfunction off the nerve system, it permits the nerve to send the troops to attack the antigens. So, next time that new flavor at sweet peaks plops onto the cement seconds after walking out the door or forbid your babies beloved pacifier drops, instead of counting the seconds it took before you picked it up, look across the street to Carlson Chiropractic Office. I would love to further discuss the impact chiropractic care can make on the immune system and health of your entire family.


Please write me your questions so that I may crack the myths in future episodes,

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Nothing Better than the Real Thing...


By Dr. John F. Miller DDS

Sometime around 2006 the powers that be I walked into class to realize, much to the chagrin of at Arizona State University decided that in the three assigned co-professors, that there were only four other students who had also enrolled in this parorder to obtain any Bachelors of Science ticular class with me. Imagine The Breakfast Club, exdegree, a student must complete an upper cept instead of nerd, cheerleader, punk, eccentric, and jock; it was nerd, nerdy, nerdier, nerdiest, ubernerd. This level bridge course. A bridge course is one was ASU, which at 80,000 students had the 2nd largwhich combines two or more academic dis- est student body in the country. So at five students, we ciplines into one course. For example, the were introduced to a level of intimacy that, as nerds, we weren’t quite comfortable with. The Breakfast Club inbridge course I ultimately joined combined deed. Biochemistry, Political Science, and SociolNine years ago, Nanotechnology and the word “Nano” ogy. The official name of the course was were hot. There was nano everything. If you had a product that was small, put “nano” in front of it. Think iPod Nanotechnology and Society. Nano. The literal meaning of nano is one billionth. It I was more than a little annoyed about having to com- is most commonly used to measure both time and displete this course. Undergrad was in the bag and because tance. One billionth of a second or one billionth of a of ASU's +/system I was sitting comfortable with a meter respectively. For curiosity’s sake, fingernails grow GPA north of 4.0. All of my required courses for Den- one nanometer every second. tal School were long since completed and the remaining classes were a formality. I was also juggling my last It became apparent that the reference to Nanotech was year of school with being a stay at home dad. Then this also used to hype this particular course. It was actually bridge course requirement appeared. more focused on Technology and Society, which made


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it a much more interesting and purposeful course. The overall theme was how modern advancements in technology were being integrated into everyday life. More specifically how they were improving and going to improve the quality of life, how they were increasing and going to increase life expectancy, and how they would offer significant advantages to those who had access to them, etc. Now remember, there are three professors…a biochemist, a political scientist, and a sociologist. All of whom reminded us weekly how prestigious and influential they were in their respective fields and how ludicrous it was that we, a mere five students, had intimate access to their collective intellect and academic prowess. Every class and topic had this pattern: The Biochemist introduces emerging or theoretical new tech advancement. The Sociologist then weighs in on said tech’s social implications. Who will have access to it? For those who do have access, will it offer unfair advantages? Following the sociologist’s input, the Political Scientist discusses how the new tech might be regulated by the government. What if this new tech got into the wrong hands? How could it be used by the bad guys? Iron Man 2 anyone?




are always making improvements and approach-

ing the threshold where the prosthetic is superior, but we still have a ways to go. However, I want the reader to take comfort in knowing that in the event of a dental situation in which teeth are compromised or lost, they have some amazing prosthodontic solutions.

Our presence was graced with several guest lecturers throughout the semester. One gave the presentation that will hopefully tie this whole rant together. He was from the University of Calgary and gave a presentation on enabling tech with emphasis on prosthetics. To make it brief, he believed that eventually tech would advance to the point that the prosthetic would be better than the real thing. In other words, patients who required prosthetic limbs, or artificial organs, etc. would be better off than they were with their original arm or heart. He believed that eventually tech would be so advanced that people could prophylactically pay for these prosthetics even though their original parts were functional and fine. In the context of our class, would the government allow this and how would this affect society and social divides? This sounds crazy right? Believe it or not, this has been happening in the field of dentistry for...a long time. What the lay person refers to as crowns, bridges, veneers, implants, dentures, the dental professional knows as prosthodontics. “Prosth” meaning artificial or fake, and “dontics” referring to the teeth. The field of Prosthodontics is broken into two parts: fixed and removable. It’s simple; anything that can be taken in and out of the mouth is a removable prosthodontic appliance. All the rest are fixed prosthodontic appliances. Would anyone really prophylactically pay for these prosthetics even though their original parts were functional and fine? Yes, people have porcelain veneers placed everyday to improve the appearance of their teeth and smile. I also hear stories from WWII veterans that the military removed all of their teeth and put them in full dentures before sending them into the field. This prophylactically prevented any oral complications while the soldiers were in remote parts of the world.

Before I go any further, I 110% advocate that your God Given teeth are hands down the best option and all efforts should be made to keep and maintain them. We are always making improvements and approaching the threshold where the prosthetic is superior, but we still have a ways to go. However, I want the reader to take comfort in knowing that in the event of a dental situation in which teeth are compromised or lost, they have some amazing prosthodontic solutions. Crowns made right can look, feel, and function exactly like a real tooth. They now are made the same day that you need them. No more pesky temporary crowns and multiple visits. Implants placed with care can fully replace a missing tooth that would even fool your dentist, until he takes an x-ray of course. What is most exciting for me is the advancements in implant retained dentures for patients missing all their teeth. The divisions of fixed and removable prosthodontics combine with fixed implants and removable dentures. The result is a much, much, much more stable denture restoring the realistic function that the patient misses and longs for. The result can bring the longtime denture wearer to tears. Too many of you out there are living with missing and broken teeth. I’ll just chew on the other side you tell yourself. After a while the teeth on that side start breaking down and you develop jaw pain from imbalanced function. Technological advances in dental prosthetics have provided amazing solutions that are almost as good as the real thing. That was my favorite course that I took while at Arizona State, but it was the only course that I did not receive an A mark. It was explained to me that with only 5 students in this “difficult” higher level course the curve dictated one A, three B’s, and one C. In other words they told me, “John, you’re a nerd. But you weren’t the ‘ubernerd.’” I can live with that.


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Suicide Prevention

Reaching Out and Saving Lives By Flathead City-County Health Department

Suicide is a major public health problem in Montana. In fact, Montana has consistently had one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation for more than thirty years. There is no single cause of suicide; however, several factors can increase a person’s risk of attempting or dying by suicide. Alcohol and drug impairment, a sense of hopelessness, underlying mental or physical illness, a family history of suicide or violence, and a societal stigma against depression all contribute to the high rate of suicide in Montana. “Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives� is the theme of the 2015 World Suicide Prevention Day, a day to encourage everyone to consider the role that offering support may play in combating suicide. The act of showing care and concern to someone who may be vulnerable to suicide can be a game-changer. Asking whether they are OK, listening to they have to say, and letting them know you care, can all have a significant impact. Although support of friends and relatives is crucial for people who may be at risk of suicide, it is not always enough. Often more formal help is needed from support services, such as a mental health or primary care providers, support groups, and crisis lines.

- Talking about being a burden to others - Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs - Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly - Sleeping too little or too much - Withdrawing or feeling isolated - Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge - Displaying extreme mood swings The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide.

While there is still a lot to learn about suicide and how to prevent it, one strategy is to learn about If someone you know exhibits the warning signs of suicide and how to quickly connect a person to support services when they warning signs of suicide: are showing those warning signs. - Do not leave the person alone

Warning Signs of Suicide:

- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp object that could be used in a suicide attempt

- Looking for a way to kill oneself

- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)

- Talking about wanting to die

- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose


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- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional



Paddling Up Stream, Follow Your Flow By CrisMarie Campbell

I am paraphrasing Abraham from Ester and Jerry Hicks’ You Tube video called, The Stream. We are born into this Universe with its raw power and natural flow, like a giant river. Then we are told by well meaning people, “Put your canoe in the water and turn it up stream, and paddle like crazy.” Work hard towards lofty goals, family obligations, or esteemed accomplishments. (Like having the perfect family, a powerful and famous career, or being desirable and beautiful.) Yet, if you stop paddling so hard upstream, the canoe will naturally right itself, and you will effortlessly flow down river. Toward what you really love and are a natural at. (Like having a good enough family, a career that makes your heart open, and falling in love with yourself just as you are.)

I’m Paddling Upstream When I heard this it made me think about how hard I am working in so many areas of my life.

· Susan and I are trying to grow our business, thrive! - right here in Montana. In case you didn’t know, we work with business leaders and their teams to help them learn how to use the energy of conflict (rather than defuse it) for innovative, profitable results. In our efforts to grow our business, we take one step forward, and it seems like we stall. · Then, there is the book on our thrive! methodology and client success stories. Yes, the book - that we have been trying to write for the last, oh, I don’t know, three years! It has been a slough. · Of course, then there are my regular never ending quests like being thinner, having nicer skin and thick, long hair, and being fashionably dressed – all while I get older!


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These are the places that I feel like I am currently paddling upstream working really hard and on something that I think I must do to survive; need to do to make enough money so I can finally relax; or should do because otherwise I will become irrelevant.

Ugh! Notice the survival quality and the worry about fitting in with the rest of the world. There is a quality of obligation, resignation, or desperateness. Not any fun! Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe that we each have responsibilities and do have to work hard sometimes in our lives, but there is a difference between working hard on something you love, versus working hard, and spinning your wheels on what you think you have to do, or should do and don’t want to be doing.

Where Are You Paddling Upstream?

Think about your life. Make a list of the situations, places that you staunchly believe: · I have no choice, I have to do it. · People are expecting me to do this. · I won’t be able to pay my rent if I don’t! · The kids need me. They are not going to take care of themselves! · I can’t disappoint (Mom and Dad, my partner, the kids, ______)

Really? This is your life. Yes, I know you have responsibilities, but if you keep doing them from that energy of obligation, you are not going to enjoy this ride of life. Remember, this is a short trip here on earth. Why not try to enjoy it a bit more?!


Flow Your Flow: The 3 B’s

As many of you know, I am on the faculty at Martha Beck, Life Coaching Training. One of Martha’s basic tools is called the 3 B’s: Better it, Barter it, Bag it.

As for the book, well we BAGGED it! ·Well, at least writing it the way we were trying to, which was one long story about a team’s transformation. UGH, that was hard and no fun.

For those have to do’s you want to improve your experience of them.

· Instead, we decided to BETTER it, by utilizing our natural strength for writing short pieces, like this article, and our regular blog posts from our Healthy Conflict Blog (read them:

· BETTER it! Okay, maybe there is something you have to do, but why not make the experience more pleasant? So often when we don’t like doing something, we buckle down and muscle through to get it done. Stop that! Make it more interesting, fun, and easier to do! · BARTER it! Is there someone else who can do this task instead of you? Believe me, all the things you hate doing, there is someone out there who loves doing them. Really. We are each wired differently, so why not leverage someone else’s talents? If you have the money, pay them. If not, what can you do for them so that you can trade services? · BAG it! Yes, just take it off your list. Forget doing it. Never mind it is not for you. Let’s be honest how does it feel to have it on your list? Are you groaning? Then woman, let it go. Stop the quest!


I talked to Susan about us paddling upstream regarding our business, thrive! - and asked, “Where are working really hard and we could do something different?” As far as building our business here in Montana, we decided we did not have the skills necessary to do marketing effectively. No wonder it was no fun and not working! · We decided to BARTER it, and we hired Maria Phelps of Find It Marketing to get our social media marketing going, and our brochures up to professional quality. · We did not stop there. We also decided to BETTER our experience of marketing by learning more about it. So we hired a coach, Bill Barren.

Finally, the never-ending quest for physical perfection. · As for losing weight, I decided to BAG it for this summer, since I am in an on-going battle with allergies that completely zaps my energy. It would definitely be working upstream to try to lose weight when I can barely take a walk. · As for dressing well, I asked Melissa Richardson of Style Me Montana to come to my home and help me build some fabulous outfits from my very own clothing. She also suggested a couple of new affordable pieces from The Village Shop in Whitefish to fill out my collection.

No More Settling Ladies!

I invite you to stop trying to be something you are not in order to please someone else, or even match some old picture you have in your head about who you should be. Start with where you are, notice where you are paddling upstream. It doesn’t have to be that way. Start utilizing your own strengths and loves rather than working against them. Pause, get creative and look for places that you can BETTER it, BARTER it, or BAG it! CrisMarie Campbell is a Coach, Consultant and Speaker at thrive! inc. They help business leaders and their teams use the energy of conflict, rather than defuse it, to get to innovative, profitable business results. They recently released their TEDx talk Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! on You Tube. Search for it there. Feel free to contact them at


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