406 contents featured 8. Her Second Act Amanda Wilson
profiles 12. The Nest
16. Whistling Andy Distilling 20. Cora Finlay
business 22. I Want Her Job Laura Rutledge
26. Branding Your Business 32. Email Isn’t Dead
non-profit 36. Changed Lives Christiansen Family
28. Selling Your Business
34. Understanding Your Breast Cancer Risk 38. Compassionate Care North Valley Hospital and Clinics 42. Kalispell OBGYN Offers V-Backs 44. SMILE MONTANA Dr. John F. Miller
Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 email@example.com Copyright©2019 Skirts Publishing
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Her Second Act
Amanda Wilson By Jill Jones
I come across women all the time who break down their lives into two parts; The period of time before having children and the period after becoming a mother. And for those of us who chose to spend a good stretch of time home raising our children, it is sometimes hard to see yourself transitioning back into the “real world.” To be honest... it can be downright daunting. While we were changing diapers, divvying out goldfish, and doing our best to raise good and kind humans to be contributing members of society, the rest of the world continued to move forward. Those corporate jobs we left were filled, technology entered an entirely new realm, and for a lot of us that self-doubt, that our skills and knowledge are somehow less because of our ‘time away’, can almost feel crippling.
So, this week when I visited with Amanda Wilson the designer and co-founder of Nyack Exchange and heard her story, I found it to be inspiring and believe it will be encouraging for others as well.
She is the mother of 3 and was a stay-at-homemom for over 15 years. She began taking pictures of her own children when they were little which quickly turned into photographing friends and family. Amanda is now an incredibly talented professional photographer here in the Flathead Valley, and for the last 7 years has been an integral part of 406 Woman magazine. Amanda has photographed 90% of the magazine’s covers and has recently taken on the position of Creative Director.
She spends a lot of the summer months outdoors photographing weddings, hiking, and exploring, all with her camera in tow. So, it comes as no surprise that after toting around a professional camera with a huge lens for 8-12 hours a day, she began to struggle with neck and back issues in addition to chronic migraines. She eventually sought help from local Physical Therapist, Scott Ruta, owner of Whitefish Therapy and Sport Center. Scott, a Physical Therapist of 25 years, has specialized training in treating migraines that stem from the neck. He identi-
fied the causal factors underlying her condition, developing specific exercises and strategies to improve her headaches. In addition to the exercises, he took a holistic approach and looked at all areas of her life where there could be improvement. “I thought about how could we do something different during her day that would change her posture while she was working.” -Scott
That is when they decided to develop a specialized camera strap just for her, to take the weight off her neck and relieve her symptoms. Amanda and Scott worked together to create a strap that was conducive to the physiological standards of a therapist and the functional and creative needs of a photographer.
“It is totally different from the typical around-the-neck strap. It is all based on posture bringing you to a more upright position.” -Scott
As a photographer, I was excited to learn more about the ergonomic camera strap. I love the features, the range of motion, the quality of the materials, the fact that it is sourced locally and “Made in Montana” certified.
My favorite part of this story, however, came when Amanda told me that she never expected to do anything like this. They developed the camera strap with no intention to sell and that creating a product and starting a company was not even on her radar. But necessity is the mother of invention, and she believes so strongly in this product and its ability to help others, that she feels it is her responsibility to share it. The two partnered and founded Nyack Exchange. With mutual excitement for the project, they each share fifty percent of the business. What followed was an almost year-long collaboration between Amanda and Scott to build a business focused on products that help people stay active and healthy. Amanda spent eight months creating a brand for the new venture from logo design to packaging, capturing images, developing a website and marketing strategy, sourcing supplies, and working with Scott on product development and testing. “This project has always felt right, but it has been a lot of hard work. Many times, I asked myself, ‘What was I thinking?’, because both Scott and I have full-time jobs and families. But looking back I can honestly say that this process has helped me grow as a person. I have learned so much and I know I can do anything now. I’ll figure it out.” -Amanda
The courage it takes to be vulnerable and put yourself out there, at the risk of falling short and being judged by others, is what makes our “Second Act” so beautiful. She referred to this venture as her “Second Act”, and I absolutely love it! When you meet Amanda, you can tell she is more comfortable being behind the camera and does not seek the spotlight. And that is what I find so encouraging about her journey. Her willingness to step out of her comfort zone, to present to the world a piece of her story in order to help others.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” -Brene Brown
The courage it takes to be vulnerable and put yourself out there, at the risk of falling short and being judged by others, is what makes our “Second Act” so beautiful. Amanda mentioned that while the development of “The Stance” camera strap went relatively smoothly, they had some challenges when deciding on a name for the company. They wanted it to represent Montana and the active and adventurous nature of the people here. While scouring a map of our area, she came across the name Nyack; she looked it up and discovered that Nyack means “won’t give up.” When she pitched the name to Scott, he knew precisely where the Nyack Flats were, having hunted and fished in the area. And when she told him what the name meant, he said, “Well, there you go.” They officially launched their business in September, featuring “THE STANCE” camera strap. The business partners are excited to introduce the next two products which are already in production. With Scott’s expertise and years of experience, he has several product ideas the two are currently exploring. Not only are they creating and introducing innovative products, but they are also sharing knowledge though videos and blog posts to help keep you active and healthy. They are optimistic and excited to see where this journey leads.
When I asked Amanda what she hoped others would gain from our visit and her story, she stated simply that she wanted others to be encouraged to try something new, perhaps out of their comfort zone. And to be inspired by the Nyack mindset of “Won’t give up.”
Something for Everyone at
The Nest By Callie Reagan Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography
There are two things Brittany Brennan the owner of Whitefish’s new little boutique wants you to count on when you enter The Nest. One, you will find something unique, that something different just for you. Second, your classic and basics will always be there. Brittany is not new to the boutique clothing business. She started The Closet in Hamilton Montana with the idea to create the kind of store she was looking for to dress her and her two daughters. With unique and affordable styles it quickly grew. About a year ago, Brittany and her family decided to move and make Whitefish their home. Together as a family, they opened their 1st Street location calling it The Nest.
Brittany loves owning and operating her own business. She says, “It’s important to love your job. Everything about this job has been fun.” That includes the family atmosphere.
Why The Nest you ask? Brittany says, “we have everything needed to fill your nest.” Not only do they sell unique and trendsetting clothing for girls to adults, but they also have other items you can’t live without. From earrings to bracelets and bags, there are also accessories for the home, like the perfect mini planter, coffee mug or candles. There is literally something in this little dream nest for everyone of every age. Want to check out and shop for some of these items, visit in the store or shop on Instagram @thenestwhitefish.
The Nest is a family business. Often you will see husband Shawn, adding merchandise to the store or dressing mannequins. Daughters, Leia and Maci are seen modeling clothes, helping in the store or giving Mom their input on items to be purchased for the middle school age. Friend, and fellow beautician Emily is also a staple to the store and key to its success. Keeping this store small is one of Brittany’s goals, “My inten-
Every item in the store is hand-selected with Whitefish- their friends, family and neighbors in mind.
tion is to keep things manageable, nothing to be super overwhelming so I can always be a Mom to my kids.” Brittany loves owning and operating her own business. She says, “It’s important to love your job. Everything about this job has been fun.” That includes the family atmosphere.
Brittany and her family have found a home here. They love the feeling of the town and the neighborhood. Everyone that walks in is another friend and neighbor to meet. They love seeing the regulars and to catch up with them while they are shopping. It’s another advantage of keeping it small.
Every item in the store is hand-selected with Whitefish- their friends, family and neighbors in mind. Brittany travels the US to find the perfect pieces. The store has a new configuration every 3 weeks and during mid-summer and winter, new items come in every week. Making this a new place to visit and explore almost constantly. Another of Brittany’s goals is, “always keeping things fresh, I can’t ever order the same things twice.” She is always on the lookout for the next trend coming, which she says can
make selecting challenging but her focus on bringing you something unique is something she will always stick to. When asked what to look for this season, she says, “This time of year, it’s all about texture for me. It’s the textures, the fuzzy stuff, the popcorn sweaters, and fur jackets and all these textures have been what has been catching my eye this year.”
Another goal for The Nest is affordability. “About 99% of the items in the store are under $50,” Brittany said when asked about pricing. This includes jeans, sweaters, accessories and everything in between. They often have people walk in with an outfit they are not loving and walking out with something entirely different. These types of makeovers is another reason The Nest is becoming a shoppers favorite. If you love the idea of a makeover, Brittany has a treat coming for you this next year! Brittany is a professional wedding stylist and is combining her two loves with friend Emily to create a boutique salon. The salon will be opening in the back and will be inclusive of hair, makeup, lashes and more.
This year’s Ladies Night on November 15th is going to be the One Year Anniversary for The Nest and what a night it will be! Already preparing, Brittany is planning for drinks, goodies, free gifts with purchase and raffles. This is going to be a birthday to remember. The Nest 550 e. 1st st. #104 Whitefish, Montana (406) 578-4343 www.thenestwhitefish.com
The Spirit of Sperry
Montana’s oldest distillery helps to rebuild Glacier Park’s historic Sperry Chalet. Written & photographed by Jill Jones
Founded and built by native Montanans, WHISTLING ANDY DISTILLING is Montana’s oldest operational distillery. Brian Anderson and Lisa Cloutier combine passion and service to fulfill a dream 7 years in the making. Named for Brian’s father, who was nicknamed “Whistling Andy” during his time in the military, the distillery prides itself not only in producing award-winning spirits, but in giving back to the community and the people of Montana. I had the privilege of photographing and visiting with Kristen Hook, who oversees sales and marketing for the Distillery. It is obvious that the zeal for this company and the products extends to its employees.
“ Whistling Andy Distilling has been meticulously crafting award winning spirits since 2010. Our philosophy is to extend a grain to glass mentality by sourcing as much of our raw materials as possible, locally. Our spirits are derived from hand selected unmilled grains from local farmers of whom we've had long lasting relationships with. When enjoying Whistling Andy’s craft spirits, you’ll taste distinct flavor from the natural resources of NW Montana’s unique terroir and we hope that you will feel a connection to those beautiful surroundings.” - Kristen Hook; Whistling Andy Distilling
Nothing exemplifies the surroundings of Northwest Montana better than Glacier National Park. The Crown of The Continent holds a special place in the hearts for Montanans and many people from around world. So in 2017 when dry lighting struck, sparking the Sprague Creek fire that ravaged the banks of Lake McDonald, we were all deeply saddened to learn that Glacier Park’s beautiful Sperry Chalet did not escape the wrath of the wildfire.
Built in 1913 by father and son James and Louis Hill, who were employed with the Great Northern Railway, Sperry Cha-
Whistling Andy Distilling
let stood for more than a century, remaining relatively unchanged throughout the years. Constructed with stones from the Park itself, Sperry Chalet survived some of the harshest weather conditions in some of the most rugged terrain, that some would argue was due to the use the native stones themselves. For decades Sperry provided a haven for travelers, families, adventurers and more. So when it burned on Aug 31, 2017 it was not only the loss of a Historical Landmark and one of the last 2 backcountry Chalets in Glacier; it was a personal loss for many of us who have made memories at the Chalet and treasured its history as part of our heritage.
Representing Whistling Andy Distilling, Kristen had the opportunity to present a letter she composed to Congress in Washington DC regarding the Federal Excise Tax. In it she writes:
“If you’ve ever visited Montana, you’ve see first hand how much pride each and everyone takes in the great Treasure state and this (the loss of Sperry Chalet) was heartbreaking to our community. Alas, Whistling Andy Distilling was challenged to find a way to give back and help repair what
had been taken away from our community and in the best way that we knew how - with distilled spirits. Fast forward a year after the Sprague Creek fire, our owner (Brian) with the help of his head distiller created the ‘Spirit of Sperry Huckleberry Vodka.’ For the last year of sales of this product, 100% of the profits have been donated to the Glacier Park Conservancy to help benefit the Sperry Chalet rebuild. In one year, our company has raised over $45,000 with bottle sales alone. This is something that I am beyond proud to share; it has been a campaign that exceeded our expectations and has gotten locals and visitors alike involved. What was once a tragedy turned into an amazing triumph.” -Kristen Hook; Whistling Andy Distilling The community support and involvement that is so prevalent among many of our local small businesses is one of the countless reasons Montana is so very special. While the wildlife, clear water, and breathtaking views captivate many; what truly makes Montana stand apart, are the people and their endless pursuit to safeguard the culture and community of “The Last Best Place.”
Kristen shares a couple “Spirit of Sperry Huckleberry Vodka” Best Seller recipes along with 2 Fall Favorites: Spirit of Sperry Best Sellers:
2oz Spirit of Sperry Huckleberry Vodka .5oz Lime Juice Fill with ginger beer Huckleberry Garnish
2oz Spirit of Sperry Huckleberry Vodka .5oz Huckleberry Puree .25oz Lime Juice Fill with Club Soda Lime Garnish Whistling Andy Fall Favorites:
2oz Straight Bourbon .5oz Simple Syrup Fill with Hot Coffee Chantilly Cream on Top
2oz Harvest Select Whiskey .5oz Honey .25oz Lemon Juice Lemon Twist Garnish
Cora Finlay By Mary Wallace Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography
In the northwest corner of Southside Consignment, customers often stop and smile at a whimsical display of paintings, all done on ‘found’ objects. Local artist Cora Finlay, who is often working at the store, takes more than a little pleasure in their smiles when she happens to catch them. More commonly known as ‘primitive’ or ‘naïve’ style art, Finlay’s collection of delightful Santas, snowmen, chickens, cats, churches, and signboards all seemingly take on a life of their own under her paintbrush, and that is what has kept her going for so many years. Cora Finlay was 25 years old when she bought her first band saw and got her start at the prompting of her sister-in-law, back when folk/country style was still cool. Self-taught, she is now 60 years old and still finding the same joy in her hobby that eventually became her career.
Cora has always loved antiques and she thoroughly enjoys working a few days each week at Southside Consignment. It is fun and exciting to work there, and she loves Donna and all her coworkers. Working there somehow also feeds her artistic process.
In her weekly travels, she happens upon a piece (vintage cabinet door, old suitcase, tobacco tins, vintage jewelry) and she brings it to her workshop and waits for it to speak to her before she decides what it should be turned into. She likes to walk the shores of Flathead Lake in search of driftwood, old car parts, or other random items. Her brother-inlaw, who has a mill, saves sections of crooked trees and cuts them into slabs that a perfect for her whimsical signs. Regardless of how each piece came to her it eventually takes on a life of its own to become the finished project it was destined for. A multitasker, she usually has about six projects in various stages of completion.
Each item is unique and individual, which is why she rarely takes orders or consignments. She has had requests for up to a hundred of the same item, but mass production is not what Cora does. She has also been asked to teach her painting techniques, and while she is not interested in teaching, she will be glad to give advice and encouragement to any who wish to embark on an art journey of their own.
More commonly known as ‘primitive’ or ‘naïve’ style art, Finlay’s collection of delightful Santas, snowmen, chickens, cats, churches, and signboards all seemingly take on a life of their own under her paintbrush. Cora was born in eastern Montana. Her parents owned a resort in Swan Lake, the Deer Lick Resort, so she grew up mainly in the Swan & Flathead valley. For years she worked at a day job and spent her evenings and weekends pursuing her art hobby. During a ‘now or never’ moment in her mid-thirties, she left her long-time job with the credit bureau and took the leap to self-employment - following her bliss to indulge her own creativity. She has never looked back. She is happily married and lives with her husband, Myles in the Somers area. They built a brand new house in which Cora worked tirelessly to make ‘feel ‘old’ – her favorite item is an 1800’s cabinet that she incorporated into her kitchen that still has its original finish painted with actual oxblood for its red color. In building their new place, Myles made sure that she had a workshop (her native habitat, as she likes to call it) and he helps her prepare the base pieces prior to working her magic. He is often away working in
North Dakota for stretches at a time, but he is totally supportive of her artistic endeavors. In her younger days, Cora’s hobbies included downhill skiing, ice skating, waterskiing, and surfing behind their boat but she is older and busier now, so those activities are a little rarer these days. She likes to go fishing now & then. She loves spending time with wonderful friends and coworkers and what really makes her heart sing are her husband, their dogs, and the fall & winter holidays. She feels truly blessed.
When it comes to bucket lists, Cora proclaims that she is already living it! Since she already lives in the most beautiful place in the whole wide world, the only things left to wish for are to continue to have the love & energy to keep pursuing her creative endeavors, and maybe someday raise chickens.
Cora Finlay’s work can be found at Southside Consignment in Kalispell and at scheduled open house events at My Viola in Great Falls.
I Want Her Job
Laura Rutledge By Brianne Perleberg This article originally appeared on IWantHerJob.com. Photos courtesy of ESPN
Ever since she was younger, Laura Rutledge has been the living embodiment of, “Can’t stop, won’t stop.” Growing up, she was a serious ballet dancer and focused on music. And, in a way, she says ballet and music were almost like her first job, because through them she was always working so hard to get to that next opportunity – whether it was a scholarship or a professional job as a ballet dancer. It was her goals, so working toward them became her job.
women in sports organizes her day, fights off sick days, prepares for a handful of shows, and manages to look incredibly chic and classy in the process.
Ballet requires a level of perfection. It required her to stay focused on one goal. And, she credits it for benefitting her career today as ESPN’s co-anchor of morning show Get Up!, one of the lead reporters for the network’s college sports coverage, and the host of SEC Nation every fall on SEC Network. And, in August she debuted The Moment with Laura Rutledge, a new show on SEC Network about making sports fans’ dreams come true.
I’m also working on another project right now, and it’s a show I’m producing and hosting. A lot of last week was spent on that, and preparing for that. On Saturday, I had the Alabama spring game. During the weekdays, I have my work for Get Up!, which isn’t really college football based, but is more focused on NBA, Major League Baseball, and of course the NFL. I’m focused on that during the show. Then outside of the show, for example, I’m taking production calls and coach’s calls, and talking to Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throughout the day.
Laura also is one of ESPN’s College Football Playoff reporters, and was assigned to the CFP semi-finals the past two seasons. She also is a reporter for the network’s marquee Super Tuesday college basketball games and serves as the network’s lead reporter for the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Elsewhere in the world of college spots, Laura has also covered the SEC Softball Tournament and NCAA Women’s College World Series. In addition, she’s ESPN’s lead reporter for the SEC Baseball Tournament and NCAA College World Series. Laura has anchored many episodes of SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight, and worked as a red carpet host at the ESPYS last year and this year. Plus, last fall she made her NFL reporting debut on Monday Night Football. In early October Laura received a new title – Mom – giving birth to her first baby, a daughter named Reese Katherine Rutledge. It was the perfect birthday gift for a mom, who will now forever share the same birthday with her daughter.
Read on to learn how one of the hardest working
What is your schedule like?
Over last week, and heading into this week, I am pretty heavily on Get Up! at this point in New York. Last week I started off the week on Get Up! and did that for a few days, which basically requires a 5 a.m. wake-up call, filming the show, and then meetings after the show. A lot of times there’s other obligations, like interviews for other shows.
Then, Friday was an accurate depiction of the “lack of glamour” – which I would never complain about, because I love my job – but I think sometimes people think that a job on TV is really glamorous. Here’s a real picture of what Friday looked like. I woke up at 5 a.m. I did Get Up! We had a post-show meeting. Then I raced to the airport while on the phone with Nick Saban on the coach’s call on the cab going from my studio to La Guardia. When I got to the airport I was going through security while trying to be on the conference call. Then, when I got to my gate my flight was delayed. I was trying to get to a shoot for a show I’m doing in Tuscaloosa. My flight got delayed about an hour and a half, so I grabbed a rental car as fast as possible and drove the hour to Tuscaloosa. The shoot that evening went to about 8 or 9 p.m., and then I drove back to Birmingham, which is where I live, just so I could get a night at home. (And honestly, because I’d been on the road for a month, I had no clothes for the game the next day. I had to come back and get some clothes!)
Then 6 a.m. the next day on Saturday, which was the Alabama spring game, I got up to go back to Tuscaloosa, which is another hour drive back. We did shoots all morning to get prepared for this new show, while also getting prepared for the game. There are these funny moments where I’d be outside the stadium doing a shoot for this other show, and then running inside the stadium just to get mic’d up for the actual game broadcast and go live on ESPN 2. After the game I was able to have a night at home on Saturday. On Sunday I was scheduled to go to Kentucky for their athletic awards. My flights got delayed, so I had to drive to Kentucky from Alabama, which is a 6-hour drive. No big deal. I did the awards on Monday and then drove back to Alabama to then host Alabama’s athletic awards on Tuesday. Now, I head to New York today, and I’ll be there for the rest of the week for Get Up! and then will head back home for the weekend. During football season, it’s a little more of a regular schedule, and I work every day of the week including Sunday.
It almost sounds like you’re running for office! With all of these flights, stops and early wake-up times. How do you keep track of your schedule?
Being out-of-pocket so often I’m constantly writing reminders in my phone calendar. I know that will keep me updated on what’s going on, and my constant to-do list. I’ve also realized that a to-do list or schedule for me can get so overwhelming that I almost have to take my schedule day-by-day. It sounds like ‘coach speak’ but it’s the only way I’ve found to get through it. I say, “These are the things that are prioritized for today. These are the things that I have to get done today.” I have to push some things off. Unfortunately, things that I do want to get done get pushed off more often than I like. I am also big on writing things down. I have a planner that I take with me everywhere. It’s sort of oldfashioned. People ask, “Why don’t you go digital?” But, I find that if I write things down I remember them, and I’m almost able to digitize my entire schedule in my head a bit better.
business} Of course, there are times where I forget stuff, and I’m so embarrassed by it. I just have to be honest about the fact that I’ve forgotten, and we’ll have to find a way to make it work. For the most part, I try very hard to not forget things and be on time, because I value other people’s time.
The sports you cover have a clear beginning and end to their seasons, but your schedule is year-round. Where do you find time to rest and recharge?
It’s something I’m trying to get better at. [She laughs.] I’m really bad at that. The other day someone asked me, “When is the last time that you took a vacation or time off?” It was in August of last year, so that’s not great. [She laughs.] I need to be better.
was nonchalant about it for a while and thought, “I’ll be fine.” But when you’re on planes, and you’re traveling, there are so many germs. Now I’m the person who I never thought I would be. I have a togo pack of Clorox wipes with me at all times. The second I sit down on a plane I Clorox everything. I sanitize my hands. I actually travel with disposable masks in case I’m sitting next to somebody who is sick, and I have no shame. I’ll put those things on! I’ve found that it’s too much to try and deal with a sickness on top of a crazy schedule. I don’t care if people judge me, but I’m going to do it. Second, I do a lot of natural things. I have immune drops that are echinacea and elderberry. I would recommend those to anybody who’s trying to stay healthy and boost their immune system. I’m also big on taking immunity juice shots. You can find a juice shop in a lot of places that you go. I’m not someone to drink a whole green juice. I wish I was better at that. But, I’ve found that drinking just a ginger, lem-
I’ve found that I love my job so much – and I’m not just saying that. For me, being able to do this coverage of events, or these shows, I don’t want to miss out on those things. That is part of what drives me. It’s also part of the reality of what’s important to me at this point in time. My family has been so wonderful about supporting that.
Tonight I will fly to New York, and if everything is on time I will get there around 8 p.m. Then I’ll take a cab and get to my hotel around 9 or 9:30. I will make sure that at that point I’ve done all my preparation for tomorrow’s show, so that I’m not scrambling and I can relax and focus on getting to bed early. That is something that I wasn’t good at for a while. I would think, “Well, maybe there’s that one more thing that I need to look at or I need to be prepared for.” But now I try to always have that trust, and tell myself that it’s going to be okay, and I will figure it out tomorrow. It’s all going to work out. Positive self-talk is a big part of my downtime and making sure that I am fulfilled in the best way possible. I’m bad at guilting myself when I’m not working, and I think I should be working. Instead I’m learning it’s okay to say, “You know what? You deserve this. You should go take a walk and get a coffee.” [She laughs.]
I mentioned before our interview that I’m sick and losing my voice today. It made me wonder: How do you manage when you are sick and need to be on-air? First, I am incredibly bullish about my preventative measures for getting sick. I would seriously recommend this for anybody who travels a lot. I
As a woman on TV, you must constantly be aware of how you present yourself. I look at a lot of men on TV, and I think they could probably get away with wearing the same suit day after day, but as a woman you can’t do that. What are your tricks for keeping your wardrobe fresh on air, while also remaining on-budget – and amidst such a crazy schedule?
It’s always a challenge. A lot of people think I have all my clothes provided for me, and I go to a beautiful rack and pick them out when I get to work. That’s not the case. It’s kind of great in a way, because it does give me freedom to create my own style and decide, “Hey, this is what I’m going to wear.”
But on the other side of that, it creates challenges because I’m thinking, “Okay, I’ve got to come up with something to wear today.” One thing about my job in particular is that much of my time is spent preparing for the show, or preparing for the game, and whatever my next story is. I’m not spending a lot of time thinking about what I look like, or what I’m going to wear. It becomes, for me at least, second fiddle to everything else. The way I’ve made this a little more foolproof is that I only wear solid colors. If you look at my collection of clothes, you’ll rarely see a pattern. I stick with a lot of black. I will wear the same pants a few times a week, which might be gross, but that’s what I have to do. A lot of the times I travel with a carry-on bag, and I just don’t have enough space. I’ve found, too, that it’s okay, because no one really sees my pants and no one notices.
What I find is that a lot of times my family – my husband, my parents, my brother, or whoever else – will come to some of my events so we can spend time there. I’m fortunate that sometimes my job is cool so they want to come to shows. That’s really special.
Personal downtime is something that I’ve learned I need. I’ve learned that sometimes I have to turn everything off, think, take some deep breaths, and focus on just myself for a little bit. It’s important to recharge.
on, cayenne type of shot that’s all packaged together – even though it’s a bit tough to get through – will really be beneficial.
I remember a time when I had a bad case of strep throat during football season. I didn’t stop. I kept going, and I hosted a show with a 102-to-103-degree fever. I don’t even remember what I said. It was probably a dangerous thing to do on many levels, especially because you don’t know what you’re talking about when you’re that feverish. I just took as much medicine as was safe to take and tried to get through it. I also made everyone around me aware that I was not doing well.
Looking back, I think it was bad. When you’re watching from home, it’s not like you expect the people you watch on TV to never get sick. If you see someone on-air who’s sick, you’re likely thinking, “I don’t want to watch somebody who’s sick. They need to go home.” One of the biggest things now for me is removing myself. If I’ve gotten sick, I try to call my bosses up and say, “I can’t do it today.” I’ve tried to power through some things that I probably shouldn’t have, and it’s become a combination of knowing when to quit, knowing when I can keep going, and on the front end, making sure I do everything I can to not get sick.
There was definitely a time where I thought, “Oooh, I need to be sort of hot and glamorous on camera, and I need to find these really stylish outfits and things that are going to be a little on the sexy side.” Now I’ve found that’s just not the image I want to portray. I think I’ve always erred toward the side of being more conservative, but definitely now, and definitely over the past couple of years. It’s important to me that I can still look the way I want to look, and look stylish and trendy in certain areas, but also very classic. I never want my wardrobe to distract from what I’m saying. So, anything I’m wearing is always just sort of there to be classy, crisp and professional. Shaping outfits this way has made it easier. I know I’ll be wearing pants, a black staple and a blazer. And I do love a good statement earring.
Let’s talk about all of the work that goes into your work. What are some of the ways you prepare for a show?
The bulk of my day is spent in preparation mode. In today’s day and age there is so much information available – even on your phone. Everything is right there. I’m always that annoying person who is always checking my phone, staying up to date, and creating a working knowledge of everything that is going on in the day. I do this specifically for co-
business} hosting Get Up!, because we do cover such a wide variety of topics. This is the skimming level of prep that happens throughout the day. The next level is dialing in on what might be a different angle for a story, or a good question from a studio standpoint.
I don’t think everyone realizes how it works for us. There’s nobody at ESPN telling me how to prepare. They allow me, and trust me, to prepare however I want. I appreciate that so much, because it gives me the flexibility and freedom to cater that to myself. Then, when I’m preparing for an event or a game, that preparation looks a little different. Most of the time, those two are happening simultaneously, which does create some challenges. But I’ve found that if I compartmentalize my time, it helps. I might spend an hour on NBA preparation for tomorrow’s show, but then I’m going to spend 30 minutes on preparation for the Georgia spring game. And 30 minutes is probably enough for that particular date, because I’ve covered a ton of Georgia football, so I’ve already got a working knowledge.
How does the process work between you and your team behind the camera?
There’s a misconception, especially for sideline reporters or reporters in general, that we’re being fed questions. That’s just not the case. Yes, if we are in a football game and doing a halftime interview I will often alert my producer and say, “I’m going to ask him about that interception and the fact that the quarterback stared down a receiver and it led to this mistake.” Or, “We’ve got compelling video on this and I know it’s going to be good to show again, so I’m going to ask specifically about this play in the game.” I give them a heads up so they are ready to roll that video, and it’s not catching them by surprise. Then, in the moment a lot of times something happens. Right before the interview I’ll see that the coach is having a heated argument with an official. That changes my whole line of questioning, and I know that we caught it on camera, so I’m going to say, “You were just speaking to that official, what was that about?” Then that changes everything we have planned, and they trust me enough to roll with whatever I’m going to do there. Often times, in live sporting events, it truly is so unscripted that your planning is constantly changing and moving around. As the game goes along it’s a living, breathing organism. From that standpoint, that is very much on me, and if I ask a question people don’t like, it was me who asked it. It’s really never fed to me or discussed. And in those positions, they do give you the flexibility to rely on your own instincts, and they trust you there.
It’s a little different in studio, because we will have a more specific plan for how we’re interviewing somebody, but we always knowing that we have the authority to go off script whenever we want. If you’re the one on TV, then you, to a certain extent, are driving the content, and the production follows you. That’s a beautiful thing about the trust between everybody who is “behind the scenes” and all of us who aren’t behind the scenes. It is a trust thing. Those people are never really seen in front of the camera, but they do so much. The production staffs on all of the shows and games don’t get enough credit. It’s so hard to do their jobs, and they are relying on us in front of the camera to lead the ship a certain way. Sometimes we go off script, and they have to follow along. They’re incredibly quick on their feet, clever and very talented.
What can you tell us about your new show, The Moment With Laura Rutledge? I love this job, because a lot of times in having the great honor of telling people’s stories they trust me with those stories. I’m always thinking of ways to tell more stories, and especially more stories that are untold. So much of the time we know a story and we’re trying to find a different angle, but what about telling a story that’s never been told before? That was the inception behind the idea that created this project. It was what was important to me with uniting fans with the schools, players and coaches they love the most – and finding ways to give them a small token of appreciation for what they do. This project will be the culmination of that on TV.
Brianne B. Perleberg
Brianne Perleberg, a born-and-raised Montanan, is the founder of I Want Her Job, an award-winning website featuring curated career conversations with women changing the future of business. She also is the cofounder of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, a Top 100 Careers podcast on iTunes. You can follow @iwantherjob on Instagram.
Your Business By Callie Reagan
Branding is more than just a logo or color selections on your website. If we look back at cattle and other livestock brands it told us not only who the owner was, but often it told us the quality and philosophies or practices of the owner. It was an image or a symbol that meant something more. When you are branding your business, you need to think about it in the same way. We can all think of brands, they change the way we use words like asking for a Kleenex rather than a tissue. They inspire us to purchase because their products are popular or last a long time. The point is, we know a brand when we see one, but how do we go about creating one. This starts at the beginning, it starts with the business plan. Even if you are rebranding it starts with the business plan because the business plan is who you are, who you plan to be and what you stand for. If you donâ€™t have this step figured out, you make all the other ones harder and the opportunity for consistency goes down.
Consistency is your key to success when it comes to branding your business. Building a brand is also building your reliability and what you are known for. Do you want to be known as the company that consistently never calls someone back or do you want to be the one that always answers before the third ring with a very polished greeting? Brands can be positive and negative. Always strive to be consistent with the positive.
There are specific things that you need to do consistently to build your brand. Here are a few that top the list.
In your business and marketing plan, you should have identified your target audience. You should know their gender, age, where they live, what they like to buy, how many kids they have, and so on. This is important because if you are sending out a message you want the right people to be hearing you. Focus on who you want to be in front of, and be there. Where are they looking, reading and watching? Make sure that you know yourself and you know them.
Communication is important for any business. Itâ€™s the first and last impression and everything in between. Know what you are going to say and when you are going to say it. Have a plan on what to say when you are meeting people, do you have a cohesive and concise message that you are sharing? The other big thing is to decide on a schedule and stick to it. If you plan on a monthly email blast to all your clients, make sure that it's calendared and you are on time. Donâ€™t oscillate between having one every week then once a month to every other week. Be someone that they can count on. Schedule your social media, make sure that they can count on you being there.
Find your voice. Some companies thrive off the casual tone in their communications, others need authority, technical or friendly tones. It needs to fit your target audience. Knowing them will allow you to tailor your communication style to what they hear from you, where they hear it, and how it comes across.
Consistency is your key to success when it comes to branding your business. COHESIVE LOOK
Have a look that people can spot. This starts with using a brand style guide that outlines the fonts, pictures, taglines, images, and color palette to be used. This is essential when you are starting out with your new brand. Pay attention to this when you are posting on social media, sending emails, and advertisements. Do your e-blasts have a similar look to your website and other ads? Use your logo whenever you can. Get it to be recognizable to your audience.
It’s always important to evaluate your competition. Know who they are and what they are doing. Focus on what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong, then compare to what you are doing. Remember to look for the positive, consistent traits that you want to have. What sets you apart from them and make you unique? Make sure your brand messaging shows how you are different and what makes you special.
Be authentic. This is the easiest way for you to be consistent is to be authentic. If you are who you are, your message will come through. Don’t try and pretend to be someone else because it will be hard and exhausting. People want to buy from real people. This is why social media has become so important in business. People want to know you through these channels, they want access to you, they want to see what you are doing. Having a brand doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over a period of time with a consistent and reliable message. Keep your social media and advertising calendars up to date, your messages on point and have a consistent look. Over time you will see this pay off with a brand and reputation you have built from scratch.
Top 7 Considerations for
Selling Your Business By Kelly R. O’Brien, Attorney at Law Measure Law, P.C.
Have you built a successful business and are ready to reap the benefits of it through a successful sale? Are you planning to retire or build a new business? Are you overwhelmed by what selling your business would even look like? Each week I work with clients ready to do just this – sell the businesses they have built to chase new dreams. Take this client story for example: Amy was proud of the business she had built up over the last 25 years. Her small corporation was successful enough to provide her with a rather substantial income and provided jobs for many people in her local community. Amy had also built substantial brand recognition, a strong customer base for her business, several large ongoing customer contracts, and key management in place that would ensure her business would likely carry on without her involvement. While building her business had been fulfilling, Amy was ready to move on to the next phase of her life, so she decided to start looking into options for selling her business. Amy thought one of her key employees might potentially be interested in taking over the business, and was also aware of several outside buyers with a purchasing interest. Amy wanted to ensure that she got the best price for her business but was also mindful about making sure the potential buyer could ensure its continued success.
However, Amy was unsure where to start and how the process of selling a business worked. Amy’s business involved a significant amount of intellectual property, including the business name, social media accounts,
and existing client agreements which made it difficult for her to understand the value. After talking to her friend, a former business owner who had recently been through the process and was now successfully retired, Amy decided to contact her accountant and business attorney to assist her with the process. Her accountant assisted her in organizing the business financials for the sale, which helped her to set the price she wanted to obtain for her business. Amy’s business attorney helped her organize the corporate records so the process for a sale of her company would be without too many initial complications. Once she had her financial and corporate documents in order the sale process became much less stressful for her as she understood what she was selling and the price she wanted. Ultimately, Amy sold her corporation to a third party for a price that allowed her to retire with the peace of mind that she had sufficient funds for the next phase of her life. She also felt good that the company she sold would be successful without her and continue to provide income for the buyer as well as employment of her key employees. Because she was organized, she was able to reduce the time involved in the negotiation and drafting of the legal documents necessary to accomplish the sale.
Here are my 7 Considerations for Selling a Business. 1. Build Your Team
The sale or purchase of a small business process does not have to be complicated, but it is important all aspects of the sale and ongoing agreements are carefully considered. It is important for a seller to
first organize business and financial documents prior to engaging in negotiations with a potential buyer. Involve your team of business, tax, management and legal advisors from the beginning to ensure the best result.
2. Get Organized
One of the perks of operating a small business are the deducible business-related expenses. Accordingly, at the end of the year, the bottom line for tax purposes may not always reflect the actual income potential of a business. However, if you are considering the potential sale of your business in the future it is important the financial records accurately reflect the actual annual take home income. Also, like Amy in the example above, give yourself time prior to the sale of the business to organize all of the business records. This means updating corporate records with the Secretary of State, as well as organizing internal records to ensure meeting minutes are up to date and ownership documents, such as stock certificates, are in order. Any buyer will want to review the financial information and corporate records in the initial due diligence period, so the more you can organize your financial and corporate records ahead of time the better. This will help justify the business value and obtain the best price for the business sale.
3. Know Your Value
Unless you already have a potential purchaser with a best price in mind for your business, the valuation of your business is critical. Typically, the “book value,” which is simply total assets minus total liabilities as reported on your financial statements, may not accurately reflect the total valuation of your company. For a business that does not have significant tangible assets, such as real estate or equipment, the value may
Typically, the forties and fifties are a time where life becomes more established. Your family may have grown, you may be more focused on retirement planning and you will likely have more assets that you want to protect for the future. legal} come from intangible aspects, such as brand name or ability to earn an income. For those business with significant intangible or goodwill value, it is beneficial to seek the assistance of a business appraisal professional or business accountant who can assist in the valuation process. Ultimately, the value of a business is the price a purchaser is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept.
4. Pick Your Sale Structure
Once you have a purchaser in place who is willing to pay your acceptable business price, you will need to agree on the overall sale structure. The specific structure of the sale is likely to have a tax impact so discuss it with your accountant, attorney, and tax advisors prior to agreeing to the structure. Generally, a buyer will either purchase the assets of the business, “Asset Sale” or purchase ownership of the stock a “Stock Sale” (sale of stock for a corporation, sale of membership interests for a limited liability company, or sale of partnership interest for partnership). In the case of Amy’s business, it is a stock sale. In an asset sale the buyer purchases all or some of the specific assets of the business, such as the equipment, inventory and intellectual property. In an asset sale the buyer is purchasing only the assets of the business and not ownership in the entity. The seller retains the specific business entity that owned the assets. Usually the buyer will form a new business for the operation of the assets and business. A buyer may favor an asset sale because the buyer can depreciate assets that may have already been fully depreciated by the seller. This benefit may be especially true for a business with a lot of equipment. In an asset sale both parties must agree on the tax allocation and will have to decide which portion of the overall sale price to allocate to certain assets such as inventory, fixtures, personal property or goodwill. The tax allocation may have a significant impact for the parties, so it is essential to review and discuss with an accountant or a tax attorney. However, for business sales with a significant number of client or vendor contracts, a buyer may prefer a stock sale over an asset sale so the parties do not have to re-negotiate the agreements. Having to renegotiate all the existing contracts can be cumbersome and time consuming and a buyer may not get the same terms as seller. In a stock sale the buyer purchases all the shares of stock from the existing owner (shareholder) and takes over the entity. This includes taking over all the equity in the company as well as assuming all assets and liabilities. A stock sale may provide for ease of transfer and also
provide advantages from a tax perspective. Again, it is important both parties discuss the tax implications with their tax advisors.
5. Don’t Forget the Licenses
If you have special business license or concession agreements that require special approval from a state or federal agency, make sure you plan plenty of time for the approval process. For example, a business that sells or manufactures alcoholic beverages must first obtain approval of the sale of their business, including all of the sale and financing agreements, from the necessary state regulatory agencies before the documents can be signed and finalized by the parties. This process usually involves the disclosure of financial information and background checks for the buyer so it is important to consider these issues in the timing of the sale.
6. Make an Agreement
Often the buyer and seller of a small business will exchange in significant discussions prior to the execution of any legal documents. If sharing any financial information, corporate documents it is important that the parties sign a Nondisclosure Agreement. The nondisclosure agreement will protect the confidential information and prevent a buyer from sharing the information with other parties without permission or otherwise retaining the information if the sale is not completed. Once the parties have a general idea of the sale price and some basic terms they may enter into a written Letter of Intent. A Letter of Intent is generally a nonbinding agreement which sets out the basic terms of the agreement for sale and purchase of the business, with the understanding that the parties will need to enter into a more formal agreement in the near future. While not always required, a Letter of Intent can be helpful in ensuring that the parties generally agree to the price and are serious about the sale. The Buy-sell Agreement is the key document that sets out the overall terms for the sale. The buy-sell must contain the price and payment terms as well as the timeline for closing, contingencies for the final sale. The buy-sell agreement should specifically state which assets are included and which are excluded from the sale. As mentioned above if the sale structure will be an asset sale then the parties should agree and set out the specific tax allocations for the sale. It is important the buy-sell agreement also reference other documents required for closing and continued agreement between the parties. Some of these additional agreements may include: bills of
sale, assignment agreements, promissory notes and security agreements, deeds or leases. Once the buy-sell agreement is signed, the parties they can complete the final the due diligence and steps necessary for closing, and if everything goes as planned, can successfully complete the sale.
7. Get Paid
Sometimes the buyer may come ready to purchase a business with cash in hand, but this is not always the case. If the buyer is going to obtain a loan from a traditional bank the bank may also require a review of financial and entity information. The bank may have contingencies for financing or requirements for a purchase at a certain price. The bank may also request a review of financial information or other business documents. It is important to ensure a potential buyer has been preapproved for bank financing at the onset of negotiations. A seller does not want to spend time and money negotiating terms of a sale only to find out that the buyer cannot get the necessary financing to pay. A seller may decide to finance the sale of a business. While bank financing is preferable, in a sellerfinanced sale it is critical the seller obtains a significant down payment, verifies the sources of funding or assets of the buyer, and obtains a security interest in the buyer’s assets. This will ensure that in the event of a default in payment by the buyer, the seller has some ability to collect payment from other sources.
Selling the business you created should be one of the most rewarding moments in your life. With a commitment to organization and understanding your business value, it will be. This article is intended for educational and information purposes only, it is not intended to act as legal advice.
Kelly O’Brien specializes in business law and is passionate about partnering with business owners for their entire journey. If you have questions about the sale or purchase of a business, business contracts, agreements, structure or business entity formation issues, contact Kelly at Measure Law, 406.752.6373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Isn’t Dead What You Need To Know To Make Email Marketing Work For Your Business By Amanda Holliday
Are you struggling to cut through the digital marketing noise and get in front of your customers? Email marketing may be the solution you are looking for. Did you know that 58% of people check their email first thing in the morning? Why does that matter to your business? Here’s the deal… email marketing is the most effective online marketing tactic. The other powerful thing to note—with email, you OWN your contacts. Guess who owns your Facebook and Instagram followers. Mark Zuckerberg! I’m not saying you should ignore the other channels—social media is the second most effective online marketing tactic, with content marketing coming in third. But in the alwaysconnected, social-media centered world we
live in, we tend to concentrate much more on social, and have pushed email marketing to the wayside.
In this article I want to inspire you to show some love to your email strategy and give you step-bystep tips on how to do it. Ready? Let’s go!
CHOOSE AN EMAIL PROVIDER
First, do you have an email service provider? If not, that’s your first step. There are many different tools to choose from, so do some research and choose one that will work for you, your business and your budget. Once you choose one, stick with it. Personally, I love Mailchimp, but there are a lot of other services out there depending on your preference. The best part is Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers. So, if you are just starting out building your list, it’s always nice to start for free.
BUILD YOUR LIST
Next, you have to get people to opt-in to your emails and sign up for your list. This will be a constant goal and benchmark for the success of your email campaigns. You want to always be adding new subscribers to your list to grow your audience. There are a lot of ways to go about this. Here are some ideas to start: •
Offer something of value in exchange for a person’s email address. You need to give people a reason to hand over their email address. This can be a simple free download with tips for your industry. Maybe you own a housecleaning business. Can you provide a list of your favorite non-toxic cleaning products that actually work? Your customer gives you their email address, you give them your list.
Add a sign up form to your website (p.s. you can create this form and grab the code from your email provider Just copy and paste.)
Post about your offer (the free download) on social media with a link to your sign up form.
If you have an existing or past customer list, send them a personal email saying you want to continue to keep in touch with them, and include a link to sign up in that email.
Add the sign up link/form to your email signature, Instagram profile, etc.
Remember that people need to opt-in to your list. You can’t just add them yourself. Why do you need permission? Long story short, it’s the law! But it also means your audience is more likely to stick around because they chose to be part of it.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
How many email lists are you signed up for? Which ones do you actually open? Take a look at what other companies are doing that is working. How can you apply that to your strategy?
DECIDE HOW YOU WILL USE EMAIL MARKETING
This step will look different depending on your business model and what you sell or provide, but there are a few basic options to start with: •
Email newsletter: often a monthly email where you share information/resources with your audience. Do you have a blog? Share your latest articles in this newsletter.
Transactional emails: Launching a new product or service? Highlight it in an email that you know will get delivered to your audience.
Automation series: automation allows you to send a series of emails to your audience either when they join your list or based on behaviors they perform on your website or in emails. It can be as simple as resending an email to people who didn’t open your first email. Or as complicated as a 7-part drip campaign.
Choose one of the models above to get started, or build a strategy that combines all of these types of emails.
DESIGN YOUR TEMPLATES
Email marketing tools like Mailchimp have predesigned templates to get you started, or you can hire someone to design professional, branded templates that you can use for your email marketing needs. Either way, stick with a consistent look and feel that is simple, easy to read, and on-brand.
CALLS TO ACTION
Ultimately you want people to do something with your emails and take some sort of action. As you think through your strategy and goals, don’t forget about what action you want your audience to take. Here are some examples: • • • • • • • • •
Buy Now Contact Read More Download Watch Now (video) Book Your Tickets Save My Seat Register Now Connect With Us On _______ (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Things to keep in mind with calls to action: • Keep it simple • Make it clear • Deliver on the promise (don’t mislead people) • Don’t overload your email with too many calls to action • Use a button Also remember not to overdo it and sound to pushy or sales-y. You want your audience to feel like they are getting something out of your email rather than just being sold to. Your focus should first be on being a valuable resource and providing something your audience wants/needs, and then serve up a relevant offer/call to action.
It doesn’t matter how great your call to action is or how beautiful your template is if no one opens your email, right? A strong subject line is what is going to cut through inbox clutter and get people to open your email. The best subject lines spark interest and excitement and also make readers curious about what’s inside. You can add personalization, ask a question, or share a headline. As with calls to action, you need to deliver on what you say in the subject line. Don’t just create a catchy subject line for open rates (you’re not the National Enquirer).
As with all marketing efforts, consistency is key. If you plan to send 1 email a month, send 1 email a month. Don’t get overly excited and decide you are going to send weekly emails if it isn’t realistic. You’ll start out great and then get overwhelmed and quit all together. Be realistic about what you can do and then stick with it!
Breast Cancer Risk From the collective heritage shared by family members to the narratives woven within our genes, our bodies are a storybook of information. “Communication is an important preventive step,” explains Erica Case, nurse practitioner at Bass Breast Center, a department of Kalispell Regional Medical Center. “Having a conversation with relatives about the history of cancers in your family or talking with your primary care provider about that history and any health concerns can often be a lifesaving action.” According to the American Cancer Society, in 2019, Montana had nearly 6,000 new cases of cancer with the leading majority of 890 cases being breast cancer in women. About 5 to 10 percent of cancers are considered to be hereditary and can be passed from parent to child, whether they are male or female. Hereditary breast cancer is most commonly associated with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, which not only causes an increased risk for breast cancer but other cancers as well, such as ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal, and smaller risks of prostate and pancreatic cancer. “We
Bass Breast Center is located between Kalispell Regional Medical Center and The HealthCenter. Made possible by a $1 million gift from Harold and Annette Simmons in honor of their friend, Paul Bass.
By Dena Tomlinson
want to promote education about these life-saving medical services Kalispell Regional Healthcare has to offer, as well as increase access to these services for individuals all across Northwestern Montana, which is a sparsely populated region,” says Tiana Pallister, genetic counselor at Bass Breast Center. “If you have an extensive history of cancer in your family or family members who had cancer at a young age or any rare cancers, such as ovarian or pancreatic cancer, those are clues that are not only worth a discussion, but further investigation.”
In 2018, with the addition of Pallister to the team, Bass Breast Center began offering in-house genetic counseling and testing for patients who were considered high-risk. Genetic testing can offer invaluable health information to help identify health conditions and focus medical decisions. Results may affect cancer treatment methods, as well as encourage other relatives to look further into their own screenings and prevention. To increase action and awareness, initial genetic counseling consultations with Pallister are currently offered free of charge. “Genetics can give us significant insight to your personal risk of cancer and therefore appropriate health care plan,”
Pallister explains. “If we know someone has a genetic predisposition to certain types of cancer, we can do something about it—such as perform more frequent screenings or provide more targeted treatments—and we can save lives.” The most common type of breast cancer is one that develops after menopause and is driven by female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. It is slow growing and very treatable when caught at an early stage. The average women can have a 12-percent chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime, while women with a hereditary gene mutation can have a heightened probability of up to 80 percent. A woman may be considered at a high-risk for breast cancer if she has an inherited disposition or one or more of the environmental risk factors. Sometimes, even without having a genetic mutation, some people may qualify for enhanced breast cancer surveillance based on their own family history and/or personal risk factors. “With the high-risk population, most of the time it’s something you can distill for people,” says Case. “All of those questions you have to fill out for yearly exams with your primary care physician or gynecologist about
There are many factors that can affect a woman’s risk of breast cancer and/or other cancers. Understanding which factors affect your risk can help you develop a breast cancer screening plan. Here are some hereditary and environmental risk factors: Blood relatives (maternal and/ or paternal) with a breast cancer diagnosis before age 50
A blood relative with ovarian or pancreatic cancer
Blood relative(s) with triple-negative breast cancer
Multiple relatives with other various forms of cancer, especially occurring at younger ages (<50 years old) such as prostate, breast, stomach, uterine, and colon cancers
Female relatives with cancer in both breasts
The Bass Breast Center team works closely with other departments, holding weekly care conferences among all members of the cancer team to evaluate patient treatment plans.
your personal health history are significant indicators of a person’s risk as well. Once we are referred or identify a high-risk individual, we can give them a number for where they are in terms of their current cancer risk. That is comforting for most patients because it’s something they can hold on to and understand where their risk falls. It helps them, and us, understand how we should move forward and what proactive steps can be taken.” Case and Pallister believe it’s never too early to take preventive steps toward your breast health. Even everyday choices can help women avoid an increased risk of breast cancer and other types of cancers. Shifting to a healthier lifestyle—including limiting alcohol intake, eating little to no animal fats, and maintaining a healthy body weight—can decrease risk by up to 30 percent. Today, with early diagnosis and new treatments, breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. “Over the years we’ve become so good at treating it that even women with metastatic breast cancer are living with the disease for years,” Case says. Access to care can also be a consideration for a woman’s risk. In 2008, Kalispell Regional Healthcare introduced the Winkley Women’s Center, a mobile mammography unit, with the goal of providing mammograms to those in rural communities. The mobile coach was named for local resident, philanthropist, and breast cancer survivor Jane Winkley, whose generosity made the coach possible. During its eleven year tenure, the Winkley Women’s Center racked up 2,800 miles a month serving women from Eureka down to Polson, and multiple other communities along the Hi-Line as far as Malta. Countless women received regular checkups thanks to the Winkley coach and, as a result, many cases of breast cancer were detected early enough
to treat quickly. In just over a decade, more than 21,000 screenings were performed aboard the coach and 160 cancers were detected. Every women screened with mammography on the Winkley coach is also asked a detailed history to screen her for her risk of a genetic mutation as well—those found to have a potentially higher than average risk, are referred to Case and Pallister. This program is made possible through the Save a Sister initiative and a grant from Halt Cancer at X. The Kalispell Regional Healthcare Foundation is currently working on raising funds to purchase a new coach and outfit it with updated imaging technology to maintain this community service. “We want to be a resource for the community and help Montana’s women stay informed so they can make the best decisions about their personal health,” says Pallister. The Bass Breast Center honed their services and treatment programs to provide the women of Montana comprehensive care for malignant and premalignant conditions of the breast. With a dedicated breast surgeon, nurse practitioner, genetic counselor, and nurse navigators, the team works very closely with the imaging department, oncologists, and radiologists to offer patients a collaborative, streamlined treatment process. “We know there are a lot of moving parts,” Case adds, “but part of our goal is to keep everyone on the same page to make this experience as smooth and positive for our patients as possible.” To learn more about breast health services at Kalispell Regional Healthcare visit www.KRH.org/BreastHealth.
Being of Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European) heritage
Extensive history of benign breast conditions
Breast cancer diagnosis at age 45 or younger
Male blood relative with breast cancer
A known breast cancer gene mutation (such as BRCA1/BRCA2) in your family
Age at first period: women who began their periods before age 12 can have up to a 20-percent higher breast cancer risk
Age of menopause: women who go through menopause after age 55 have about a 30 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women who do so before age 45
Radiation exposure in youth
Photo by Kelly Kirksey Photography
Changed lives Christiansen Family By Mary Wallace
“We HAD to do Something.”
“I will never forget the first placement call we got in the middle of the night. We were sound asleep, the phone rang and it was the social worker calling for an emergency placement of a 1 ½ year old who was found walking along the highway.”
“I started to second guess if this was the avenue for us,” said Emily. “I just didn’t know. I asked Phil if foster care was something we could really do?”
“Can you get here?” the Social Worker urgently asked.
Phil shares that this moment was a really pivotal part of their story. Hearing of the overwhelming need and the depth of the hurt these children have experienced really convicted Phil and Emily that they had to be a part of children’s foster care journeys.
I didn’t think twice. “Yes. I’ll be right there,” I replied. “I drove to the Department of Child and Family Services and all of the lights were off in the whole building except for the hall light and the room that they were in. I began walking down the hallway and then they appeared in front of me. My heart was racing. All I could see was the silhouette of a darling little girl clutching the hand of the social worker and I couldn’t believe that we would get to care for her.” Phil and Emily Christiansen had been watching foster families from a distance, but it wasn’t until Child Bridge gave a presentation at their church that they decided to pursue it. Soon after, they had a conversation with a Child Bridge Regional Director and heard about the reality of what the foster care journey was going to look like.
“I knew there was no way we could NOT do something,” said Phil. “If it was going to be that hard and there are so many wounded kids, we HAD to be a part of it.”
“We are called to run to these kids because they didn’t sign up for this life,” said Emily. “We have the ability to provide them with a family with stable, loving adults. We needed to run towards them and not away from them. Foster care has been the hardest, but the most beautiful thing for us.” “Child Bridge is an amazing bridge for us,” declared Phil and Emily. “Between proactively educating us about foster care, navigating the details of what the state needed for schedules and our home studies and our training, they helped us put all the pieces together, so it didn’t feel overwhelming or confusing. Then, they offered the inspirational support along the way.
Hearing of the overwhelming need and the depth of the hurt these children have experienced really convicted Phil and Emily that they had to be a part of children’s foster care journeys. We always had a person saying, ‘You’ve got this…or here is a great equipping resource for you, or we’re praying for you.’ We wouldn’t have wanted to do any of this without them.” From that first foster care placement, the Christiansen’s had a number of other short-term placements and they also provide respite care for other foster families. While reunification of children with their biological families is always the goal of foster care, sometimes it’s just not possible. Phil and Emily were open to God’s leading…whether a child needed care for short term, or forever, they were determined to be faithful to whatever was asked of them. “One day I got the call that there was a baby that needed placement. Phil was hiking, and I was at a doctor’s appointment with one of our other children,” recalled Emily. “But, I had a team in place ready to help for when these calls came and I dropped off my children with a friend, went to the store to get supplies and then picked up our daughter - even though we didn’t know she was going to be our daughter at the time.” Abigail was just 3 days old. The Christiansen’s attached to her immediately and began the process of attending all the court dates and necessary appointments associated with foster care. Nine months after Abigail arrived, her biological parental rights were terminated, and Phil and Emily began moving towards adoption. “It was very hard and very emotional. We knew in our hearts that sometime a child was going to be added to our family of five forever. But we are very pro-reunification if it is safe for the child in their
biological home, and it’s not lost on us for a moment that for us to adopt a child from foster care means another family is grieving the loss of theirs. When children came into our care, we didn’t know if they would be the child to join us forever, and the waiting was very difficult.” said Emily. The Christiansen’s describe this season as one of the most challenging things they have ever done. “We were really stretched. Emily was 30 weeks pregnant when we got the call about Abigail. Soon, we had babies that are two months apart. Double the feedings, double the diapers and double the lack of sleep,” said Phil.
They are God’s and He has asked us to trust them all to Him.” “We have no control over anything other than our Yes” declared Emily. “And, God’s story is always more beautiful than what we could come up with anyway.” If you would like more information on becoming a foster parent or foster/adoptive care in Montana, please visit www.childbridgemontana.org for more information.
“For me,” said Emily, “The hardest part was the unknown. Not knowing if this girl would be our forever daughter. Also, the challenge of taking children in from places of trauma is sacrificial. I would look at my friends who were not on this road and think that it would be simpler if we had chosen to just raise our family. Yet God did not call us to simple, he called us to wade into the deep waters with Him and it is challenging. We chose to sacrifice “normal” to be a part of children’s redemption stories and we wouldn’t have it any other way.” “On January 30th of 2019 we had our adoption court hearing and Abigail was forever our girl!” exclaimed Phil. “The name Abigail means: a father’s joy and she has brought me so much joy as her dad. To see the joy in her eyes and the joy that she brings to our whole family and to me is pretty profound. Also, we are people of faith and this journey has strengthened our faith and trust in God immensely. It has been humbling for us to realize that none of our kids, foster, adopted or biological, are our own.
Compassionate Care Additional Community Services Available at North Valley Hospital and Clinics By Allison Linville
As a community hospital, North Valley Hospital is known for providing quality care in a healing environment. In addition to hospital functions like an emergency room, imaging center, operating room, birth center, and medical/surgical floor, there are many other services at North Valley Hospital and affiliated clinics to provide care close to home our entire service area. Our patients come from Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, and Glacier counties to visit our facilities, and we’re proud to serve long and short term visitors to our area as well. Below is an overview of community care available at North Valley Hospital and affiliated clinics that you may not have known about, that allows us to better serve our patients and our community. Visit nvhosp.org to learn more about any clinics or services.
Clinic Services: Primary Care
North Valley Hospital primary care clinics are located in Columbia Falls, at the North Valley Professional Center, and in Eureka at Eureka Healthcare Primary Care. These clinics are established in our service communities to provide nearby access to primary care for the whole family. Primary care includes wellness visits, well-child checkups, men’s and women’s health, sports physicals, behavioral health, and more. Each primary care clinic is also associated with a School Based Health Clinic so that students and teachers can access healthcare services on location. Establishing a primary care provider is an essential step in taking charge of your health, and is often the first step to a healthier life for some patients. Building a relationship with a primary care physician means you have a reliable expert for medical questions, concerns, and health goals. Contact our clinics today by visiting nvhosp.org/clinics.
October is Physical Therapy month, and our physical therapy clinics have a full staff of therapists to help you address any needs from rehab to ergonomics, balance therapy to women’s health. The North Valley Physical Therapy clinic in Columbia Falls and Eureka Healthcare Therapy Center in Eureka both provide one-on-one care with an energetic, encouraging attitude. If physical therapy is on your to-do list, make October the month you take the next step and talk to a therapist.
Hospital Services: Diabetes Prevention Program
The National Diabetes Prevention Program is offered at North Valley Hospital twice per year, with the next session starting in mid-January 2020. The National Diabetes Prevention Program is a yearlong lifestyle change class focused on nutrition, movement, and changing habits to improve success. Physician referral is required, but the cost is only $150. To learn more about the January classes, call (406) 863-3519 or keep an eye on the Facebook page at Facebook.com/NorthValleyHospital.
Free Childbirth Education Classes
The Birth Center at North Valley Hospital is pleased to offer free classes covering five topics around childbirth (childbirth education, birth center tour, breastfeeding, sibling preparation, and
infant massage) and three support groups, including our popular Mother/Baby support group, in addition to support for mothers and families facing any circumstances including Baby Blues Support Group and Life After Loss Support Group. The classes are offered every month year round, and many take place at the Professional Office Building in Whitefish. Call The Birth Center at North Valley Hospital for more information (406) 863-3535 or visit nvhosp.org/services/the-birth-center.
North Valley Hospital Infusion Services offer appointments seven days a week, as a convenient location for patients who may live or work in Whitefish. Infusion services include a variety of treatments delivered via intravenous application. It can be a successful alternative to oral medications or antibiotics for serious or chronic infections. Illnesses treated through infusion include infections, dehydration, Rheumatoid arthritis, Crone’s disease, anemia, electrolyte imbalances, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and more. Additional infusion treatments include blood transfusions, chemo support and follow up care, and antibiotics. A registered nurse (RN) and certified nursing assistant (CNA) staff the department daily including weekends. Visit nvhosp.org/services/ infusion-services for more info.
Offers V-Backs By Dr. Jonas Kalispell OB/GYN
My first baby was born by Cesarean section. Is it safe to have my next child vaginally?
That is a great question, and the answer is likely “yes.” Vaginal births after cesarean can be a wonderful option for most women. If you had your first baby by Cesarean section, you have two options for your next delivery. You may labor with the goal of having your baby vaginally. If you are successful, this is known as a VBAC. Or, you may elect to have another cesarean as early as one week prior to your due date. While VBACs are generally very safe, there are aspects of each woman’s personal history, health and pregnancy that affect both the amount of risk and her chances of success.
Obstetricians generally agree that if a woman is felt to have a high chance of success and
a low risk of complications, she should be offered a trial of labor. There is a great deal of research to support the safety of a VBAC if a woman has had no more than 2 cesareans of the “low transverse” (or side-to-side) incision type. Women carrying either a single baby or twins (if the first baby is head down) are candidates for a vaginal delivery. The benefits of a vaginal birth after cesarean delivery are great and include avoiding another surgery, quicker recovery, less blood loss, less risk of infection, and a more familycentered experience for the birth of your baby. If you are planning a large family, avoiding a cesarean delivery will decrease your risks of complications for future deliveries. In general, 60-80 of every 100 women attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean will be successful. Factors affecting your chances of delivering vaginally include your age, your weight, your baby’s weight, if you have had a vaginal delivery before, and the reason for your
previous cesarean. In particular, if your previous cesarean delivery was for a reason not expected to recur (such as breech presentation, stress of the baby, or placenta in an abnormal location) or if you have had a vaginal delivery before you stand a greater chance of having your next baby vaginally. On the other hand, if you are well over your ideal body weight, your baby is very large, or your previous baby would not fit despite appropriate labor, your chances of success are lower. There are calculators recently published that allow you and your provider to estimate your chances of success. There are, of course, risks associated with a trial of labor and these risks should be carefully balanced against the benefits. The most significant risks include distress of the baby, or “rupture” of the previous scar which can cause a life-threatening situation for both mother and baby and requires emergent surgery to deliver the baby. Thankfully, the risk of uterine rupture is very low for most women
– generally believed to be less than one percent. A woman’s risk of severe complication, including rupture, is known to be higher in certain situations. The most common of these situations is if you have had any surgery on your uterus that required a large incision into your uterus other than a low transverse cesarean delivery. In this case, it is not recommended for you to attempt a vaginal delivery. If you are planning a trial of labor, there are two things you should take very seriously: the choice of your labor attendant and the location of your care. If you are considered low-risk, your chance of a uterine rupture is very low, but it does occur. When it occurs, it often happens with very little warning and extremely rapidly. The signs and symptoms may be subtle at first. Because it occurs rarely, you will be best served by a physician that has taken care of many women attempting a trial of labor and that is trained to perform life-saving surgical delivery if needed. They will have the greatest chance of recognizing any complications and moving quickly to keep you and your baby safe. You should be in a location where surgical response is available immediately with a surgical crew, and anesthesiologist in the building. This by definition is a hospital setting. These things will allow your labor to proceed in the safest manner possible. There has been a recent trend to attempt vaginal birth after cesarean in an out-of-hospital environ-
ment with a non-physician as the labor attendant. There is no data to indicate that a woman has a greater chance of success in this environment. If a uterine rupture occurs in a birth center separate from the hospital the chances of life-threatening consequences are very real. Precious time will be lost recognizing the crisis and transporting the pregnant woman to the hospital. Please, consider both your child’s, and your own, life and health very carefully as you make your plans. I am a strong believer in vaginal birth after cesarean, and I would urge all women to choose the absolutely safest environment for their trial of labor. You and your provider should decide if a trial of labor is a safe option for you. If you do not routinely see a physician for your care, I would recommend that you ask for a referral, or make an appointment yourself, to discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives and your chance of success. Obstetricians have the greatest experience with both the decision process and trials of labor. They can be a wealth of information as you are considering your options This has not been meant to be a list of everything you need to know about VBAC but a brief overview. For more information, I would recommend visiting the website of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, http://www.acog.org/Patients, or UpToDate, http://www.uptodate.com/home. I wish you the very best for your next pregnancy and delivery!
Factors affecting your chances of delivering vaginally include your age, your weight, your baby’s weight, if you have had a vaginal delivery before, and the reason for your previous cesarean.
It Hurts so Good
Let’s talk about PAIN. Is it good for us or bad for us? We live in a social media world surrounded by motivational memes telling us there’s no gain without pain and that we need to suffer for our success, ect. Because pain is just weakness leaving the body after all. Let’s dive deeper.
Mirriam-Webster defines pain as 1) a localized or generalized unpleasant bodily sensation or complex of sensations that causes mild to severe physical discomfort and emotional distress and typically results from bodily disorder (such as injury or disease), and 2) a basic bodily sensation that is induced by a noxious stimulus, is received by naked nerve endings, is associated with actual or potential tissue damage, is characterized by physical discomfort (such as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leads to evasive action. It also associated pain with mental or emotional distress or suffering.
by Dr. John F. Miller DDS - SMILE MONTANA It is a globally accepted opinion that pain is bad. It is unwelcome in our lives, a nuisance. We would like to never experience pain again in any of its forms, right? If we revisit the definition from above we see that pain will lead to evasive action following a noxious stimulus. Who uses words like that anyway? “I fell off my bicycle and experienced a myriad of noxious stimuli.” Like what? “Oh, mainly the asphalt ripping off my skin.” Yes, noxious stimuli is fancy talk for tissue damage.
As much as we would love to never feel pain again, pain is an important part of helping us live life as successfully and as healthy as possible. There are individuals who are born without the ability to feel pain. This condition is called Congenital Analgesia. A major finding in these individuals is damage to their tongues and cheeks from chewing on them. Think of pain as constructive criticism from your body, these individuals do not receive this feedback and suffer the consequences.
So the scientists have determined, quite convincingly I might add, that the ability to sense pain is requisite for thriving throughout this life. This is further supported when you consider an individual who doesn’t experience emotional pain or distress. We have another word for folks like this, sociopaths. That’s no bueno. I mentioned that pain resulted from tissue damage and we have a lot of different tissue types in our bodies. The majority of these tissues have sensitive nerve endings close to the surface and will respond readily and rapidly to “noxious stimuli.” Our evasive action will be quick and we will reduce the amount of tissue damage experienced. There are however, tissues that have no nerve endings at all and will not readily or rapidly respond to damage. As a dentist I am very concerned with one of these tissues, and that is tooth enamel. The enamel on your teeth is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in your body. It
As much as we would love to never feel pain again, pain is an important part of helping us live life as successfully and as healthy as possible. There are individuals who are born without the ability to feel pain. This condition is called Congenital Analgesia. A major finding in these individuals is damage to their tongues and cheeks from chewing on them. Think of pain as constructive criticism from your body, these individuals do not receive this feedback and suffer the consequences. health}
covers the outer layer of each tooth and it is the most visible part of the tooth. The enamel is made up mostly of minerals, primarily hydroxyapatite. In other words there are no living cells within your tooth enamel. Enamel plays a very important role in protecting your teeth from decay, so it is important to do everything that you can to prevent your enamel from eroding. It forms a strong barrier that protects the inner layers of your teeth from the effects of acids and plaque; it also protects the sensitive inner layers of your teeth from foods and beverages that are very hot or very cold. Let’s recap the previous paragraphs. There is nothing stronger in our bodies than enamel. It does not feel pain, rather it protects us from pain. If it is being damaged it does not initiate evasive action. This is somewhat unfortunate in my world as a dentists as cavities are forming all over the Flathead Valley and the victims are unaware. “But wait,” you wonder, “I have teeth that are sensitive to cold, or to sugary foods. What does that mean?” This means that there are areas where your protective enamel is either gone, or becoming very thin and compromised. This is the number one reason why my profession of dentistry recommends annual updates to your x-rays and intra-oral examination by your dentist. We can catch enamel breakdown quite easily on a dental radiograph and can offer you that “constructive criticism” to possibly reevaluate and/or reinvigorate your oral hygiene and nutritional habits. Especially as we enter this 2019 Holiday Season. Happy Fall Everyone!!
406 contents featured 14. Amy Gardner
36. Habitat for Humanity 30 Year Celebration
food & flavor 20. Filet Mignon with Pink Peppercorn Chimichurri Sauce Thermador 24. English Pie
design 30. Tablescaping Multi-purpose 40. Accessorize for fall
travel 42. New England
46. Hannah and Ryan
52. The Village Shop
406 w o m a n
by A mand a W ilson P hotogr ap hy
P h i l ip W i l s o n
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Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year
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Daley McDaniel Photography Alisia Dawn Photography Kelly Kirksey Photography Carrie Ann Photography Kathryn Hayes Media Green Kat Photography Jennifer Mooney Photography
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The leaves are changing and Montana is really starting to show her colors as we enter into the beautiful season of fall. With the season comes sweaters, warm drinks and sitting cozy by the fire. This is the time of year that we think of home and family and here at 406 Woman is no different. We would like to thank our family of readers, advertisers and contributors for the love and support they show us every day and we hope you enjoy what we have for this next edition. Warm wishes to you.
Thanks to Scout And Gather Mercantile for the photo location.
Amanda & Cindy
In this issue you’ll find…. Learn how Whistling Andy Distillery got its name and how they have helped to rebuild Glacier Park’s historic Sperry Chalet. A local agronomist tells all about her balancing act with raising five boys and making the Flathead Valley farms more productive. Artist creates smiles with her whimsical works of art using 'found' objects. No two pieces are the same and that's the way she prefers it. How a husband and wife take a chance on fostering children and end up with a forever family. The ins and outs of selling a business. How to make the right choices for you and your business. Visit with two newlyweds on how they met, what love means and how they incorporated the love of the area into their wedding. A wife and mother in what she calls her Second Act turning a hobby into a career and inspiring new products made locally to bring about a healthier life.
Meet Callie Reaganâ€Ś Virtual Assistant Callie has lived in the valley for over three years, but has been coming here yearly to visit since she was 12. Like many others in the valley, Callie has a love for the outdoors and enjoys hiking the trails of Glacier National Park, photography and in the summers rafting the local rivers with her family. One of the main reasons Callie moved to Montana was because she wanted horses. Horses and horsemanship are a passion for her. While she loves other sports like snowboarding and golfing, horses have taken first place since moving here. One of her favorite things about being a virtual assistant is all the learning. She loves being able to learn about client's products and services and how she can help them.
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The Farmers' Gardner Local agronomist Amy Gardner on growing crops and raising five growing boys
By Shea Swenson Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography
Off of Farm Road, encircled in magnificent Rocky Mountain views, sits an idyllic Montana house and hobby farm. A gentle summer breeze rhythmically sways grasses in the fields surrounding the home side-to-side while butterflies with perfect, white wings flit from flower to flower in the yard. A rustic sign just to the right of the front door of the abode will tell you that this is the Gardners' farmhouse. And life is good. And it most certainly is. Inside, Amy Gardner lives with her husband, Mookie, and their boys. Five boys to be exact. All under the age of 10. The idea of five young boys may bring to mind scenes of messes, noise and overall chaos, but that could not be further from the reality at the Gardner’s.
“I have five awesome little momma’s boys,” Amy says. “Walter, Charlie, Norman, Stanley, and Clyde. My little old men.” Raising kids and maintaining a career may just be the ultimate balancing act, and Amy is a master at it. In addition to taking care of her five kiddos, Amy started her own business, Lower Valley Consulting. She works with local farmers and growers in the Valley as an independent consultant and agronomy coach. “When people ask me what I do, I always say I’m a wife, mom, and agronomist. And always in that order,” Amy says. A simplistic way to describe Amy’s role as an agronomy coach is as a plant doctor. Working with local farmers, she checks the health and wellbeing of field crops and diagnoses what the area needs to be the most productive. She does this by taking soil samples, testing nutrient levels, checking for insects and diagnosing diseases, among other things.
Amy uses the data she collects along with research she conducts to advise growers on what their crops need to be the best they can be. “I tell them what I see to help them make the best decisions possible,” she says. “I coach them in lots of areas, but at the end of the day, they are the ones making their own decision for their operations. “ Amy, a third-generation native of the Flathead Valley, has always had an interest and appreciation for agriculture. Agriculture and education. After graduating from Montana State University with a degree in Agricultural Education, Amy fully intended on teaching. In fact, she spent three years teaching kindergarten and two years running a preschool out of her house before she realized that she wanted to make a change. “I wanted to be able to build a business while being a mom,” she says. “I thought ‘how can I keep those values of wanting to raise my kids and be there and keep them a priority while still serving an industry that I love – agriculture.’”
“I love that my boys get to be around and learn from such a high caliber of people,” Amy says. “And that’s truly what farmers are.” featured}
The change came to fruition when agronomy coach and Amy’s mentor, Markus Braaten, invited Amy to learn and work with him scouting fields one summer. When Markus left his coaching business to move on in his plant science career, he passed his clients on to Amy’s care. Since then, Amy has been working closely with and learning from local growers and industry specialists. She covers about 10,000 acres of farmland in the Flathead each year. “It was a very steep learning curve when I started this job,” she says. When she was first beginning her work as an agronomy coach, she said she got the advice to “'give it seven years,’ because you are trying to become a doctor of plants.” Now, Amy says, “I’m a little over five years in and that advice was right. You can never know it all. But I love expanding my knowledge, especially in areas where I can use the information to better serve our local growers.” With flexible hours and the ability to bring her boys along, the job is perfect for Amy. “If I have a sick kid, I can hit the field tomorrow,” she says. “But at the same time, there are no weekends off in this line of work. I get those phone calls and might not have childcare available, so I load up my kids, and we go check a field.” As far as a typical workday for Amy, there is no such thing. “No two days are the same, which I love,” she says. From April until August – seeding and growing season – you can most likely find Amy in a field looking for diseases, insects, nutrient deficiencies, or tissue sampling and irrigation scheduling. All while, more often than not, carting around at least one of the boys. “All the growers so far have been understanding when I include the boys,” Amy says. “Not only do they fully respect my efforts as a working mom, they seem to almost appreciate my efforts to incorporate my kids in my business.”
Amy loves the faith, family values, and work ethic she sees in the agriculture community. She gushes with gratitude as she describes how fortunate she feels about raising her kids in that environment. “I love that my boys get to be around and learn from such a high caliber of people,” Amy says. “And that’s truly what farmers are.” And as for the Gardner boys? They love it too. Amy explains that Norman, 5, who wants to be a farmer himself, is always up for tagging along with mom to work. Walter, 9, cares for the family’s horse and shows his fair lamb, Outlaw. Seven-year-old Charlie is really fascinated with the “cowboy scene.” Stanley, 3, can often be found out in the field swinging his own bug net to see what he can capture. While at 7 months, baby Clyde is just content to tag along in the fresh air. All-in-all, the boys just really enjoy being outside,
going on adventures and living the rural lifestyle, which works perfectly with Amy’s schedule. “I have a lot of meetings in the cab of a tractor or combine. These guys are busy, and I try not to make them carve out extra time, so if they are already out in a field, I try to join them there.” she says. “I usually have a boy or two on my lap because who wouldn’t want to go combine some wheat or swath some hay.” When the days get shorter, the temperature drops and winter sets in, those months are for research and digging through data, which Amy very much enjoys. The goal with her research is to bridge the gap between academia and the boots-on-the-ground side of agriculture. So she uses her data to plan for the next season by helping program next year’s crop, making crop fertility recommendations, and suggesting switch-ups in equipment or logistics.
“My goal is not to help grow the most bushels, but to help grow the most profitable bushels,” she says. And her months of deep data dives in the winter help her do just that.
In addition to helping growers produce the best product possible, Amy is passionate about educating folks outside of the agriculture world about just how important and hard-working the men she works with every day are. “Farmers are some of the most intelligent people I know. They need to be able to run and fix machinery, have a deep understanding of the crops they are growing and the soil conditions they are planting in,” she says. “They are constantly making decisions based on factors out of their control. Their risk management skills are second to none. They are feeding the world. They truly are.” One of the ways she seeks to teach farmers and town-folk alike is through her favorite event of the year – Summer Field Day. Summer Field Day is an event where Amy gathers not just her growers, but anyone who is interested in learning about agriculture, as well as industry experts, and travels around fields in the Valley. Participants learn with and from each other, dig plants and look at equipment. It is one of many ways Amy’s passion for education comes out in her job. “Even though I planned on being a teacher, I do not doubt that God has me right where he wants me in this season of life,” Amy says. “Five kids, having a business that I can work from home and incorporate my kids as much as I do was kind of my only option. I’m so thankful I found this.” Amy’s goal isn’t to run a large agronomy business, but to support her passions: plants and parenting. This fall, Amy is busy sampling fields that will soon be seeded to winter wheat. Getting crops in the bin this
season, according to Amy, has been slow for growers in the Flathead given the weather conditions. Farmers are already starting the crop planning process for next year as they take on the responsibility to grow nourishing food that graces our plates three times a day. As for the future, Amy plans to keep her business small while the boys are home. Once all five are in school, Amy says it is likely she will expand. She has no plan of leaving the Flathead Valley or the agricultural industry. “Now that I’m knee-deep in agriculture, I don’t plan on going anywhere.” She looks forward to staying on top of innovations in the industry, learning about new technologies and techniques that will come about and seeing how they will impact her life and the lives of her growers. “Just as the crops are growing, I am continually growing and expanding my understanding of plant science and how best to assist farmers in driving their profitability and growing nutrient-rich food,” Amy says. “I love serving the farming community with my boys by my side.”
To learn more about Amy’s work, follow her on twitter @AmyGardnerMT or like her business on Facebook, Lower Valley Consulting.
Billings - Bozeman - Missoula - Kalispell fredsappliances.com
The Secret Ingredient is
Filet Mignon with Pink Peppercorn Chimichurri Sauce
Thermador Filet Mignon with Pink Peppercorn Chimichurri Sauce
For the Steaks
Make the Sauce
2 (about 10 oz) filet mignon steaks Kosher or sea salt, to taste Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1. In medium bowl combine olive oil, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper red chili flakes and pink peppercorns. Set aside.
For the Pink Peppercorn Chimichurri Sauce 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup finely minced parsley (about 1 large bunch) 2 cloves garlic, minced zest of 1 medium lemon 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice pinch of red chili flakes, or to taste 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste fresh cracked black pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, slightly crushed
2. Preheat oven to Roast 400° F.
3. Tie filet mignon steaks into an even round shape. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. 4. Heat a large oven proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat. When very hot, place steaks in skillet and sear until a nice dark crust develops, approximately 1-2 minutes on each side.
5. Place pan directly into the oven and cook for 5-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steaks and desired doneness. (Test by pressing and feeling steak firmness or check the internal temperature with a thermometer for steak doneness; 130-135°F for medium rare, 155-165°F for medium well.) 6. Remove steak from pan and set aside covered with foil. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes. 7. Serve the steaks sauced with the pink peppercorn chimichurri sauce.
English Pie By Carole Morris
In our last issue, I mentioned that my family went on a spot-on European vacation. I shared an incredible recipe from Paris that, when tasted, arouses tears of joy in the taster. The Chicken and Mushroom recipe below is also an emotionally charged delicacy. We were excited to go to Nottingham, England because of Robin Hood—who lived in Sherwood Forest near Nottingham. My kids (growing up) loved Robin Hood’s story because my mom (who was Scottish) said that he was really Rob Roy, a relative of our family. No wonder we like to rumble! There are a variety of meat pies that are savored in Nottingham. However, I upped the ante on England’s meat pie by using puff pastry instead of regular pastry…a stroke of genius! You’re going to cherish this recipe.
Chicken and Mushroom
Preheat the oven to 400°
Cooking time: 20 minutes This recipe makes enough filling for 4 individual ramekins (holds 2 cups of filling each)
Ingredients 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed) 6 large mushrooms (sliced)
¼ finely chopped carrots 5 tablespoons butter
cup onion (diced)
1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon pepper
¼ cup flour ½ cup chicken broth ½ cup whole milk 1 teaspoon garlic (minced) 3 chicken breasts (sliced thin, then diced) 2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup parsley
1 egg (for egg wash) 1 tablespoon water
1. Thaw your frozen puff pastry before using (leave in frig overnight). Melt butter in medium frying pan (medium heat). Add mushrooms to the pan and coat in butter. Add onion, carrots, and garlic then stir until lightly browned. Add flour stirring until thoroughly combined. Add milk, stirring to combine. Then add chicken broth, filling should look like gravy! Add salt and pepper (to taste). 2. In a separate pan (over medium heat) cook chicken breast in olive oil stirring often until thoroughly cooked. Stir chicken into the mushroom mixture.
3. Spoon filling in 4 ramekin bowls. Sprinkle parsley on top.
4. Roll the pastry out (on lightly floured surface) just a bit thinner than it comes out of the package. Cut it into quarters to top the filling and just hang over the sides of the bowls. 5. Whisk egg and water together, brush onto the puff pastry before putting in oven. Put on baking sheet, bake for 20 minutes. The filling should be bubbling and the puff pastry golden brown.
By June Jeffries for Empress Tents and Events Photographed by Kelly Kirksey Photography
It could be mother natureâ€™s unparalleled beauty but there is something about working with and around nature that is pleasing. The benefit of an outdoor photo shoot is the unlimited source of light and background options. It is particularly rewarding as the seasons change when the trees turn from green to red, orange and yellow. Autumn colors are saturated colors that contrast perfectly with a grey day; the clouds naturally diffuse the light. We didnâ€™t plan on a cloudy day but judging from the photos the lighting was perfect. The colors, textures, and mix of earthy elements (glass, metal, & stoneware) create a sense of harmony between indoor and outdoor living: the new ottoman is a showstopper, the yellow and orange luncheon plates on top of wooden chargers is the perfect mix of rustic and chic. We realize we have the good fortune of having access
The colors, textures, and mix of earthy elements create a sense of harmony between indoor and outdoor living.
Bright red apples in singles, doubles, bundles or bushels will add color and style to any table. to a vast inventory of props and accessories but if you donâ€™t have a complete set of rustic, vintage, modern, elegant or chic dinnerware and tableware for 300 guests - donâ€™t despair with a little ingenuity you can create a fall tablescape. We are huge supporters of choosing decor accessories with a multi-purpose: pumpkins - big and small orange or white - immediately scream autumn and afterward they can be used to decorate the front porch or for the ultimate repurposing: oven-roasted pumpkin soup. Bright red apples in singles, doubles, bundles or bushels will add color and style to any table. You simply canâ€™t go wrong decorating with edibles, if given a choice we choose items with a reusable option. Thank you to Glacier Raft Company for their hospitality.
Thanks to Lynn (www.empresstentsevents.com) for bringing this all together and to Kelly Kirksey (http://kellykirkseyphotography.com) for a touch of magic.
30 Year Celebration Written by Bob Helder and Rebecca Wilson
“When you support Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley with financial gifts, the resource of time as a volunteer at our ReStore and/or at our build site, meals for our workers, materials or trades time for construction, items to stock the ReStore – or you shop the ReStore, because we were once again voted the “Best Home Improvement Store in The Flathead” . . . When you talk about us, our mission, the results we create, the people we serve, the hope, the transformed lives . . . Awesome things happen! Because of YOU!” – Bob Helder, HFHFV Executive Director
The Completion of these 3 townhomes on 6th Avenue West, happened with the help of 539 individual volunteers who volunteered 1701 times; working 12,357 hours! Individuals, families, businesses, organizations, churches – residents inside and outside of the Flathead supported Habitat with their time, donated in-kind resources, and financial support. Home dedication is scheduled for November 13 at 5:30 PM. The community is invited to attend!
Kecia with her two younger sons 82 406
“Every donation of $100 equals one square foot of an affordable mortgage, one square foot of a child’s bedroom, a kitchen where a meal will be enjoyed, a family room, a home where a family can thrive.” – Bob Helder: HFHFV Executive Director
I want to thank Steve Tartaglino (Construction Site Supervisor), Rebecca Wilson (Community Outreach Coordinator), Danny Shaw (Business Operations), and Bob Helder (Executive Director), as well as the rest of the Habitat for Humanity Flathead County board members for dedicating countless hours and all of their resources to fulfill the needs of our community.
Introducing the Families and Their Stories!
My name is Katelyn. I had been scouring the rental ads in every local newspaper or website to find a space suitable for my family. However, as I continued to watch these ads and look for our next place, the cost of rent kept increasing and the waitlists for affordable housing were steadily growing, rarely having any openings for new families to move in. Since moving to the Flathead Valley in June of 2014, originally from New Jersey, I have moved a lot and found roommates or have rented a room from the primary leaseholder, but rarely was that a good fit and never did I feel like I had found the place I truly felt comfortable calling “home”. When my son was born, I made a silent promise to him that he would never have to experience the of feeling of unsettledness that I have experienced. While I have worked to make sure my son is comfortable and safe wherever we are living, with the hard work of the Habitat for Humanity staff, we now are on the road to having a place that already feels like home. In my new home I will be better able to create a more playful and learning [and always magical] environment to watch my child thrive in his surroundings. The great community support and affordability cannot be matched anywhere else. The Habitat staff have been amazing to partner with as they are very supportive, knowledgeable and are as focused on the success of their future homeowners as the homeowner is themselves. Their belief in my ability has led to me to once again become more confident in myself.
Tawna with her daughter
Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley is celebrating a special moment in its history! They are turning 30 years old and are completing their 58th, 59th, and 60th homes for three awesome female headed household this November. These 60 homes will represent over 207 family members, 124 children and a community that made Habitats mission a reality! “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope!”
Hello my name is Tawna. Home ownership means so much to me and my daughter. I am a single mother and wish for nothing more than to provide a stable home. With assistance from Habitat for Humanity, I am making that possible. My daughter recently said, “My mom and I have gone through some very tough times. It will mean so much to the both of us to have a home of our own.” My name is Kecia. I am a single mom of 4 boys, with my two youngest living at home with me. Since we moved here, we have found it difficult to find appropriate and affordable housing. We currently live in a one bedroom, 300 sq. ft. RV. I look forward to a time when we can have birthday parties for my boys at our place, when I can invite a new friend over for dinner, and when I can have room to study for school while my
Katelyn and her son
The vision of HFHFV is to eliminate substandard housing in Flathead County, Montana. We work to empower hardworking, low-income families by helping them transition out of substandard housing into simple, decent, affordable homes of their own. featured}
Habitat for Humanity
boys do their homework. This opportunity gives us a chance to reestablish ourselves in a community that can support us and that we can contribute to as well. That’s what makes a house a home.
The Results Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley Achieves:
The vision of HFHFV is to eliminate substandard housing in Flathead County, Montana. We work to empower hardworking, low-income families by helping them transition out of substandard housing into simple, decent, affordable homes of their own. Habitat partners with deserving, qualified families to give them a “hand up, not a handout” as we seek to break the cycle of poverty, increase opportunities for financial improvement and for success, all while cre-
ating a world where everyone has a decent place to live on terms they can afford to pay. Habitat believes homeownership is a critical step in breaking the cycle of poverty, strengthening neighborhoods and promoting a sense of community. The Habitat model promotes sustainable community development, as homeownership provides families with a lasting foundation upon which future generations can thrive. For More information on the ministry of Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley, How you can support them in their 30th Year, stop by their office – 275 Corporate Drive, Ste 550 in Kalispell; visit www.habitatflathead.org; call 406-257-8800 X2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessorize for fall
By Wrightâ€™s Furniture
If you are feeling unsure of how to start you only have to look outside to find inspiration. As the leaves change and the temperature drops adding the colors of fall to your space will add the perfect natural aesthetic and can help make the season something to look forward to. A fall season color palette can be easily achieved with warm natural colors. Shades of brown, taupe, green, ivory and cream should be favored and consider adding accents of rust, burgundy, orange, yellow, navy blue, and other rich earthy tones.
Try replacing bright summer florals with branches in your vases. Place pinecones and acorns in bowls and add many cozy layers of blankets and toss pillows to enhance fall textures to any room. Decorative teak wood bowls, pumpkins, dried corn, harvest themed patterns and soft plaids can create a beautiful impact. You can also add other elements from nature, either real or faux, such as feathers, furs, antlers and leathers.
Candles are a simple way to add natural color and, in some cases, aroma to a space. Using a nature inspired scented candle will bring the freshness of the outdoors inside. A scent such as pumpkin spice can help enhance the theme of a new season.
-The pictured accessories as well as many other styles are available at Wright's Furniture6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services | www.wrightsfurniturestore.com
FALLING FOR FALL
A mother daughter road trip through autumn in New England Written & photographed by Jaymee Sire
Last year, my mom reached out to me with an interesting proposition. She is on a life-long mission to visit every state in the U.S., and was ready to knock a few of them off her bucket list while simultaneously taking in some New England fall foliage. After much research and google-mapping, I decided on overnight stops in Rhode Island, Maine & Vermont, with a drive through New Hampshire. Four days, four states and countless memories during a whirlwind fall road trip. NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND About 180 miles from NYC, we found our first stop of Newport, Rhode Island. The seaside community is known for its historic mansions and storied sailing history. It also boasts a cute little downtown area on the water, with plenty of restaurants and shops to explore, as well as a beautiful Cliff Walk, where you can enjoy the ocean breeze while getting a peek at some of the impressive estates the town is known for. Where we stayed: Francis Malbone House I love B&B's... especially in historic communities such as Newport, as the lodging becomes almost a tourist attraction on its own. Francis Malbone House is centrally located to downtown Newport, and has a rich history dating back to 1760! Inn keepers are a great resources for area attractions, and as an added bonus, you are treated to a home-cooked meal. Francis Malbone offers a bountiful afternoon tea each day with freshly prepared snacks and desserts, as well as a scrumptious breakfast in the morning with your choice of sweet or savory entrees cooked to order. Where we ate: Midtown Oyster Bar & Thames Street Kitchen After grabbing a couple snacks at the afternoon tea, we wandered down to the Midtown Oyster Bar
to sample some Rhode Island Clam Chowder and consume our first lobster roll of the trip. Rhode Island Clam Chowder has a clear broth (as opposed to the creamy New England style chowder), and I almost preferred it to its more famous cousin. The lobster roll came Connecticut style, poached and dressed in warm butter. Later in the evening, we checked out Thames Street Kitchen for dinner, which was more of a modern American menu that focuses on local and seasonal ingredients when available. If you go, don't miss the Parker House bread!
dramatic drops to your left and stunning mansions to your right. Just beware that part of the trail is nicely paved, while other parts have you navigating your way over large rocks, so bring proper footwear!
What we did: Cliff Walk Before setting off for Maine the next morning, we decided to take a stroll along the water on the famous Cliff Walk. This National Recreation Trail runs 3.5 miles along along the rocky coastline, with
Trellis House also offers some "afternoon refreshments," and breakfast is a set menu each morning with a rotating selection. On this particular day, we had cheddar & chive scrambled eggs with Trellis House potatoes, sausage, and toast from a local bakery along with their signature apple coffee cake.
OGUNQUIT, MAINE According to legend, Ogunquit was named by the Abenaki tribe because the word means "beautiful place by the sea," and that might be the most accurate town description of all time.
Where we stayed: Trellis House B&B Much like our accommodations in Newport, Trellis House is a historic property. But I would say the biggest difference is the way the owners have managed to update the property with tasteful decor and modern conveniences, while still preserving the seaside charm of this quaint little home. Perhaps the best part about this 8-room B&B is the location! The house is just steps from Marginal Way, and also walking or trolley distance from Ogunquit Beach and Perkins Cove, as well as the many shops and restaurants.
Where we ate: Cape Neddick Lobster Pound & The Front Porch On our way from Rhode Island to Ogunquit, we took the scenic route and stopped into Cape Neddick Lobster Pound on recommendation from our B&B hosts. There, we had yet another lobster roll and a cup of the New England style clam chowder. It featured perfectly dressed, tender chunks of lobster in light mayo on a bed of lettuce inside a toasty split-top roll. The clam chowder was the perfect combination of creamy and chunky and chock full of clams. Cape Neddick Lighthouse is just another mile down the road, and a popular tourist attraction (though it was surrounded in scaffolding for refurbishing during our visit.) We also dined at The Front Porch later that evening, which is a lively spot with a rockin' piano bar upstairs. The lobster mac and cheese was rich, cheesy and a great way to cap off the coastal portion of our trip. What we did: Marginal Way As I mentioned, The Trellis House was conveniently located near Ogunquit's main attraction: Marginal Way. But this beachside path is anything but
marginal. The name actually refers to the "margin" between land and sea on this 1.25 mile walk along Maine's breathtaking coastline. We timed our walk right before sunset, allowing us to enjoy the rocky coastline, crashing waves and tide pools just as the sun was vanishing over the horizon.
WOODSTOCK, VERMONT Having checked two states off mom's bucket list in two days, we headed west to knock off another two. New Hampshire was more of a drive-through, as we simply admired the red, yellow and orange leaves as they blurred into a beautiful fall mosaic through the windshield as we made our way to Vermont.
Where we stayed: Deerbrook Inn As much as we adored our first two B&B's... we were borderline obsessed with the Deerbrook Inn. It was recently taken over by a delightful couple who revamped the entire place into a rustic chic mountain oasis. Every detail of the place blends perfectly with its wooded surroundings from the wide array of artwork portraying all of the local birds to the neutral wood furnishings, all the way down to the forest-inspired wallpaper.
They, too, offer a daily happy hour with homemade appetizers and wine. Breakfasts alternate sweet and savory every other day. We happened to visit on a "sweet" day, where we were treated to ricotta stuffed French Toast with lemon curd and Georgia peaches (an homage to the owner's roots), as well as a fruit tower and freshly brewed coffee. Where we ate: The Lincoln Inn & Restaurant Not only was Woodstock our favorite lodging of our trip, but it also provided our most memorable meal. As a way to cap off our special motherdaughter adventure, we decided to splurge at the Lincoln Inn & Restaurant at the Covered
to pick just one, it would probably be the Japanese Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with Escargot.
What we did: Cabot Cheese, Quechee Gorge, Sugarbush Farm & Taftsville Covered Bridge
Bridge. The best way to describe our evening: "an experience." From the time we stepped inside the cozy dining room to the moment they practically had to roll us out... we enjoyed every sip, every bite, every note played on the piano (by our server no less.) Forbes Magazine named it one of the best restaurants of 2016, and it's easy to see why. The globally inspired cuisine crafted by Michelin trained Chef Jevgenija Saromova is a true work of art. We opted for the 7-course chef's table in their private dining room with the expertly selected wine pairing. Every coarse was as stunning as it was complex, unique and memorable. But if I had
When in Rome... or in this case, Vermont... you must eat all of the cheese and maple syrup! We stopped at the Cabot Cheese store in Quechee, VT where you can sample and purchase pretty much any type of Cabot cheese imaginable. Just down the road from the store is the Quechee Gorge, which is known as "Vermont's Little Grand Canyon." It's definitely not nearly the scale of the real deal, but it's a beautiful spot to park, admire the view and snap a few photos, especially if the leaves have started to turn. If you have more time, there are also hiking and walking trails along the Ottaquechee River. We also made a pit stop at Sugarbush Farm, a 500acre producer of cheese and maple syrup on a winding and scenic road just outside of Woodstock. There, you'll find 15 kinds of cheese, four different grades of maple syrup, plus a farm store filled with locally made jams, mustards and meats.
Vermont is also home to more than 100 covered bridges, with more per square mile than any other U.S. state. We stopped at the Taftsville Covered Bridge, which wasn't far from Deerbrook Inn. The bright red bridge was constructed in 1836, and stands as one of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont and the country as a whole. As we woke up refreshed from a peaceful night's sleep and satisfied from our delicious breakfast... it was sadly time to head back to New York. Thanks to my mom for sparking the idea for a special New England road trip I'll never forget!
Jaymee grew up in North Central Montana and is an Emmy Award winning sports broadcaster, former ESPN SportsCenter anchor, and occasional Food Network contributor. She also writes a food and travel blog called “e is for eat.” (eisforeat.com)
Hannah Photography by Kelly Kirksey Photography Location Triple B Ranch
Ryan September 7, 2019
Who are you? Hannah Meeker, 31, from Lander Wyoming but living in Kalispell for last 3 years, Audiologist at Glacier ENT
Ryan Sims, 32, from Riverton Wyoming but living in Kalispell for last 3 years, Electrician (almost a journeyman come Spring 2020!)
How did you meet?
We met in 2008. He was 20 and I was 19, both students at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. We met as coworkers at a local drive-thru coffee hut called Java Java Espresso and worked the closing shift together on Tuesdays. We were dating other people at the time, and remained friends for 5 or 6 years before we started dating.
love is an
unwavering, steadfast devotion to and compassion for another person, and putting their needs above all else!
It was Valentine’s Day 2018. We had just bought our new house the month before, so we weren’t even fully unpacked yet. I came home from work, not expecting him to be home because usually he got done with work later than me. I walked in the door and found a bouquet of flowers and some candles on the kitchen table with a cute note and instructions to “follow the trail”. He had sweet notes and candles throughout the house. When I finished reading the last note, he came from around the corner and without saying anything, got down on one knee and held out a ring. I have never seen him shake like that before in my life!! It was really special because it took place in our first home with our cats and fish as witnesses!
What is love?
Hannah: Love is an unwavering, steadfast devotion to and compassion for another person, and putting their needs above all else! It should take sacrifice, but it should also be a whole lot of fun.
love her strength and affection. She always
wants to be by my side, and she supports me ceaselessly. She is also really darn cute!
Ryan: I think that love is the phenomenon by which all humans are interconnected. It is a lens for which life can be seen a little more clearly.
What do you love most about each other?
Hannah: I love how genuine Ryan is and how he truly wants to make lives easier for other people. He is always offering favors to friends and neighbors, even if they don’t ask. He’s very thoughtful in that way. Ryan: I love her strength and affection. She always wants to be by my side, and she supports me ceaselessly. She is also really darn cute!
When did you know you were in love?
Hannah: Probably around 3-4 months into dating, he drove 10 hours to visit me in Boise. We had the best weekend together of paddle boating with ducks and eating Coldstone at least 5 times. My apartment felt so cold and vacant when he left, and I think I realized it in that feeling.
Ryan: I knew from the second I met her that I was head over heels. It wasn’t until I visited her in Salt Lake City in 2014 that I loved her.
Theme: Blush, grey, and greenery
We named our tables based on various peaks, parks, and rivers in Wyoming and Montana such as Fremont (the county where we both are from), and Wind River (the stunning mountain range just outside of Lander where Ryan has backpacked countless times) We saved a lot of money on flowers by having our centerpieces be fresh eucalyptus wreaths from Etsy! (And they smelled amazing!)
We had both a live band and a DJ. We discovered an amazing band out of Missoula, TopHouse, at the Flathead Celtic Festival in 2018 and approached them about doing our wedding. We got really lucky, because they have now moved to Nashville to continue their music.
COORDINATOR Big Day Celebrations PHOTOGRAPHER Kelly Kirksey Photography VENUE Triple B Ranch FLORAL Mum’s Flowers VIDEOGRAPHER On the Fly Films DJ Sidecar Audio PHOTOBOOTH Pixelated Gigs BAND Tophouse HAIR & MAKEUP Soucie Soucie Having a photobooth at the wedding was a big hit!! (Thanks Pixelated Gigs!) It doubled as a guest book signing station where guest could paste in one of the photo strips and write a note. The book is something we will love to look back on later.
We literally had guests from every corner of the country: Seattle, San Diego, New England, and Florida. And everywhere in between. Probably 75% of our guests came from out of state, and we were thrilled to get to show them this beautiful part of the world. Hannah wrote her vows at midnight the night before.
We went on a Viking River Cruise along the Danube! It started in Budapest, and went west through Vienna, and ended in Nuremburg, Germany. We were the youngest couple on the cruise by a few decades, which actually made it that much more enjoyable. We met amazing people with interesting life stories, and came away with a lot of marriage advice! As a final stop of our honeymoon, we spent an afternoon at IKEA in Calgary!
CAKE Just Desserts RENTALS Celebrate! Event and Party Rentals CATERER Oso’s Catering OFFICIANT Norm Young SUIT RENTALS Menguin BRIDESMAID DRESSES Azazie INVITATIONS Minted WEDDING GOWN BHLDN
201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200
A Splash of Color
406 Woman Vol.2 No.3 Business