6. Kim Crowley- Keeping the Library Alive
8. 114Â° West- Fall in the 406
profile 12. Talking Harlow
14. Insurance- Being Prepared is Smart 16. Time Management- What does that mean exactly 18. Vulnerability- A Woman's Natural Strength
20. Business Operating Agreements & Guidelines
22. O'Brien Byrd- Player, Coach, Business Owner & Family Man
Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 6477 Hwy 93 S Suite 138, Whitefish, MT 59937 email@example.com CopyrightÂŠ2013 Skirts Publishing
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Keeping the Library Alive Kim Crowley By Tara Roth Photos by Molly Claridge
Kim Crowley rediscovered her Montana roots when she accepted the position of Flathead County Library director nearly 10 years ago. After conquering a career in the commercial fishing industry, which she credits as the source of her impressive knife skills, Crowley found her passion for equal access to information within our nation’s library system. Fortunately for the Flathead Valley, Crowley’s contagious passion radiates in all the local libraries, and their growing popularity, even in today’s digital age, is a key sign that libraries are not a dying breed.
Crowley comes from a family of Montanans. Her mom was raised on a sheep ranch that her grandparents homesteaded in Canyon Creek, located near Helena, and her dad was raised in Butte where her grandpa worked as a blacksmith in the mines. Crowley’s upbringing was much different. Her dad worked for the U.S. Department of Defense which required her family to move around to different places across the nation. But Crowley spent many summers on the ranch and always called Montana home, and after graduating high school, she knew she wanted to get back. But Crowley had a few detours along the way. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from The University of Montana, she headed to the Midwest where she worked for a commercial fishery on Lake Michigan. While in Michigan, she went back to school and earned a master’s degree in information and library studies from the University of Michigan. With her master’s degree in hand, she headed back west to Fort Collins, Colo., where she began her library career as a reference librarian and worked her way up to technology coordinator and then acting director. Crowley found her time at the Fort Collins Public Library rewarding as she was a driving force behind the creation of a strong multicultural services program for Spanish-speaking citizens which has been and is con406
With the dramatic advances in technology over the years, and even during Crowley’s nearly 10-year tenure at the Flathead County Library System, there is no question that libraries have evolved from what they once were. With the birth of the Internet, electronic books (e-books) and notebooks (iPads), libraries have “I am fond of authors that evoke a sense of place,” she had to adapt and equip their staff with the knowledge said. “Writers like Jim Harrison, who wrote about the to help customers discover what they are looking for in sand hills of Nebraska, inspired me to want to explore a digital age. those places.” tinuing to be used as a model by other libraries across the nation. When it was time for a change, Crowley left her job and spent six months living out of her car and traveling to many of the different places she had read about.
And that’s exactly what she did. She went back to Crowley noted that there is a common misconcepMichigan where she camped on Lake Superior, and she tion that Internet access is available to all. Not so explored the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio before landing her job as the Flathead County Library direc- according to Crowley. tor in 2004. “There are a lot of people who only get Internet access According to Crowley, a library is not only a power- at the library,” she said. house of information and resources; it is a place of community. It holds out the promise of self-discov- Another misconception is that the popularity of libraries is on the decline. Not true again according to ery. It’s a launching pad for dreams. Crowley. In fact, during her tenure, checkout of library “One of the reasons I am so passionate about the library materials has been on the rise and not on the decline. is that we are here for everyone,” she said. “We are one Last year, the Flathead County Library System, comof the most democratic institutions in our society. We prised of the main branch in Kalispell and branches in champion the right for everyone to have equal access Bigfork, Columbia Falls and Marion, served 324,000 to information. We defend the freedom to read so that customers. On a busy day, the main branch sees over people can have the choice to read whatever they want.” 1,000 customers.
Crowley attributes the library’s efforts to keep up with technology and to restructure its layout to be more user-friendly as having a direct impact on the library’s popularity and increased circulation. While the circulation of printed books holds steady, the library system has seen an increase in circulation of DVDs and e-books. Also, last year, library staff implemented a reorganization of the library’s spaces which involved implementing self-checkout for customers and getting the library staff away from behind the desks and onto the floor so they can provide optimum customer service. Crowley credits two support organizations—the Friends of the Library and the Flathead County Library Foundation—for donating the funds to make the remodel possible.
stay and play. For kids and teens, the library offers a summer experience program which encourages them to read over the summer. And it’s all free for anyone to access, enjoy and reap their invaluable benefits. Not only do local citizens take advantage of their local libraries and all of the resources they have to offer, the libraries serve a generous amount of tourists who stop in with various objectives, whether they are asking the staff about where they can find a good hike, checking their email or printing out their boarding passes.
Free access to library computers and wireless Internet access is a huge draw, says Crowley. Not only are the library computers highly popular among “The staff loves the new set up, and so do cus- some customers, others bring in their own laptops tomers,” she said. “Staff are able to spend more and notebooks. When the libraries are closed, it is time one-on-one with customers. With the new not uncommon to see people parked on the lawns self-check-out system, our customers are much to take advantage of the library system’s free wiremore comfortable checking out materials on sen- less connection. sitive topics, like health, self-help, sex, and money matters, now that they no longer have to hand And top everything off with an amazing staff that the materials to the staff. This new system allows Crowley credits as being intelligent, well-read and warm. our customers to have their privacy protected.” The library also recently revamped its children’s area. “They care deeply about our communities,” she said. The area is now outfitted with lowered desks, little “They bring a myriad of skills to the job, from techchairs, lowered shelves and computers equipped nology to child care.” with interactive learning programs for children ages six and younger, so children can maximize their ex- Sadly, the library system facilities are underbuilt, perience sat the library. Each library branch also providing daily challenges for Crowley, her crew and library goers. The lack of space limits the prohas a special place just for teens. gramming that can be offered. Crowley wants the For those who omit visiting their local library, libraries to offer more programming for adults, small meeting rooms, space for proctoring tests Crowley says they’re missing out. (which are now sometimes done at staff desks) and Libraries today are equipped with numerous free separate computer stations for kids playing video resources beyond the traditional printed books games and others building resumes. Crowley is and materials. They now contain DVDs, music, now working on completing a facilities master plan audiobooks, e-books and downloadable content project for the Flathead County Library System. for technology. They offer free technology courses, such as Microsoft Windows, iPad or how to down- “If we are able to build larger, more modern faciliload e-books. They even provide job and education ties, then we can do a better job meeting the diverse support. For the little ones, they offer a books and needs of our citizens,” she said. “We know we have babies class which stimulates and supports early to expand, and we need to identify the sites and brain development and preschool story time which funding sources to make it happen.” incorporates reading, song, movement and craft or
Martha Furman, Youth Services Librarian and Kim Crowley The lack of space prevents a challenge for library goers, as “shhh shing” is now a thing of the past. Today’s library environment is vibrant. It has transitioned from being a repository for books to serving as an active place where people engage in interactive learning experiences. It is now a place to connect, network and discuss community issues. Today, Crowley remains active at the state level. She just completed a three-year leadership role as president-elect, president and past president of the Montana Library Association, and she continues to stay involved on various task forces and committees. Crowley stays in touch with legislators and serves as an advocate for libraries across the state. “I’ve had many people tell me that the library is the best use of their taxpayer dollars,” said Crowley. “It is very rewarding to hear that from our citizens. F lathead County Librar y System
Main Librar y - Kalispell: 247 First Avenue East, 406-758-5820 Bigfork Branch: 525 Electric Avenue, 406-837-6976 Columbia Fal ls Br anc h: 130 6th Street West, 406-892-5919 Marion Branch: 205 Gopher Lane, 406-854-2333
Support the library system through the Flathead County Library Foundation 406-758-2469
www.flatheadcountylibraryfoundation.org. Mark your calendar for the 5th Annual Loud at the Library on March 20, 2014. The annual event features wonderful food, beverages, live music, terrific auction items and great raffle prize baskets.
114 west °
Fall in the 406 By Courtney Ferda Photos by jeremiahandrachel.com
Goodbye summer, and welcome fall! The change in seasons is one of my favorite things about Montana. I know many people love the warmth and consistency of the southern coasts but, for me, I want to see the leaves change, or to go jump in the first huge snow fall of the year. I want to smile with the trees coming back to life at the end of a long winter and watch the 11 o’ clock sunsets in the summer. These seasons are a huge part of Montana, dictating both our lifestyles and our closets. I am excited to see that so many companies are designing a bulky knit sweater. It can be a statement piece in your closet especially with embellishments like the one shown. When you are looking for a sweater this year don’t be afraid to try something with a bold pattern or interesting detail. There are many local shops in Whitefish and in Montana with countless sweater options. Go check them out! Scarves are my favorite part of the cold season. I would encourage you to find scarves with a fun texture or pattern and then pair that scarf with something with a similar color pallet but different pattern. Mixing of textures and colors is a beautiful part of “Montana style” and I would encourage you to push yourself out of your “matching” comfort zone. I am thrilled to share some thoughts and an every day fall look that I love with all of you. For more ideas check out my blog at
SWEATER- TJ MAXX COAT- Harlow SCARFThe Village Shop BOOTS- Frye EARINGSPoisenberry Jewlery JEANS- 7 for all Mankind 406
about me Courtney Ferda was born and raised in beautiful Whitefish, Montana. After graduating from Whitefish High school she moved down south to spend two years in Arkansas before returning to Whitefish to finish her degree in education. She started her style blog, 114° WEST, in January and it has quickly become one of her favorite passions, documenting the unique style of Montana and sharing that style with people all over the world. From styling seniors to engagement shoots, Courtney enjoys styling photo shoots and helping creative visions come to life. Courtney loves Montana style’s unique ability to look beautiful yet completely functional for any activity (or weather front!) that comes our way. Courtney enjoys coaching, volunteering and spending time with her family. www.114-west.com
Ladies Night Out
The Toggery Chic Boutique Sage & Cedar Village Shop Great Northern Pasta Stumptown Snowboards Backdoor General Store McGough and Company Genesis Kitchen Mum’s Flowers Reecia’s Salon Sweet Peaks Lili Blue Sappari SM Bradford Mi Casa Pottery Fifty Seven Boutique Exhale Pilates Studio Smooch Children’s Boutique Dick Idol Signature Gallery Bear Mountain Mercantile Montana Coffee Traders Harlow Sprouts Piney Creek Spanky and Gus Montana Territory Great Northern Cycles
a stumptown shopping shopping-sales-fun-friends
When I walked into the Bulldog, where Becky choose to meet and that was OK with me as I love and crave their wings.... Becky looked as stylish and beautiful as ever. She has such a flare for fashion and always looks like a million bucks, even when in sweats and a t-shirt. She’s not afraid to dress outside of the box, and I’ve come to NEED her to help me pack when I go on trips now. Come to think of it, I wish I had a little Becky to live in my closet and help me pick out my clothes for the day.... hmmm... that’s a thought! Her cute personality shines and I was ready to talk FASHION.
Lindsey: I for one would like to say that Harlow is definitely one of the favorite stores I’ve ever been in. The first time I was there, I wanted to try everything on and then I wanted to buy everything. And that never happens. You always have super fun, cute, flattering awesome clothes. Becky: Thank you, you are one of my best customers.
Lindsey: Usually when you go into stores, it’s just a bunch of clothes hung up. There aren’t other things to look at. What gave you the idea to decorate like you did? Like what’s up with the motorcycle?
Becky: It’s partially my weird sense of humor. My bedroom looked a bit like Harlow when I was a kid. But mainly I tried to think of something that would attract men and women. I have 3 brothers and I wanted to create a space where they felt comfortable hanging out. Guys need a chair to sit in and things to look at- interesting fixtures and such. And the high windows were a challenge, so I needed something that defined that masculine/feminine
Gar inte dner o rvie ws f Lind Bec s ky R ey Jan ygg e of H Photo g arl ow. raphy
look, but was still sexy. A motorcycle seemed like the appropriate thing. Lindsey: I like that you have the Men’s in the back because they can go back and look at the clothes alone without a bunch of women staring at them. Becky: Yeah, the men’s section out front was doing just ok, so I used my extra space in the back to create their own little haven. I really need a TV and a kegerator. They stay back there for a long time!
Lindsey: And who helped you with the design and building of Harlow?
Becky: My brother, Adam Noble of Noble Design. He’s an architect and designer and together we searched the valley for stuff -The Salvation Army, Flathead Industries, the ReStore, Vintage Whites Market, Station 8. We found things that could be something else. I was really lucky to have him. If I had an idea, he could bring that idea to fruition. It was really fun and playful. Lindsey: Where did you get your quirkiness? Your clothes are fun and hip and where do you think you found that? Has that been your style your whole life?
Becky: I think I’ve always been quirky. I always wanted to be different and not like anyone else. Trends didn’t affect me that much. I remember when I was little, my friend bought stirrup pants for the first time and teased me that I didn’t have any. I wasn’t really aware of all that. I was inspired more by movies and TV than by fashion magazines. Lindsey: That makes sense being that you’re an actress yourself. How do you correlate acting and Harlow?
Becky: A main component of acting is the costume and looking the part. They just work together. You can kind of create a character in how you dress and present yourself.
Lindsey: It’s funny because in NY you get to act and have well paid acting jobs, but you couldn’t afford to own a store, but in Whitefish, you can own a store and you can still act. You get to fulfill the best of both worlds. Becky: And it’s all creative, if retail isn’t creative, why be in it? Lindsey: Oh, I love to watch your Facebook posts. Your mannequins… Becky: Manny and Petty and their Russian friend, Irena or French exchange student, Coquette and of course, the Lady of the Window. Lindsey: What made you think of that?
Becky: Basically, I created characters out of my mannequins because I couldn’t take it too seriously. If it didn’t make me laugh, I didn’t want to post. Nobody even knew I was open, so I surrounded myself with inanimate friends! And I’ve gotten so much response from them. I created a monster.
Lindsey: Another thing that I like about Harlow, you really cater to all ages. Your mom is a good example. Your clothes look just as good on a 60-year-old customer as one of your 30 year old customers. It’s cute and fresh and it doesn’t look like she shouldn’t be wearing it. Becky: Like dressing too young. Lindsey: Exactly
Becky: I think that’s the model that I based my store on, kind of a mom and daughter store. Your mom can buy something and your daughter can buy something. That’s the price range too. A teenager can have a $14 tee or a $30 dress and mom can have the $200 pair of jeans. But it’s harder in Whitefish. I think older women look at my clothes and think, aaaah, that’s too young for me. And I understand. I had to convince my Mom to try things out of her comfort zone and now all she wears is Harlow. Lindsey: And she gets complimented a ton. She’s the cutest looking Grandma ever. Becky: It’s not Cold Water Creek!
Lindsey: How did you learn to dress people? Isn’t it hard to dress other people’s bodies?
Becky: I worked for a woman in LA who put her employees through retail boot camp. You couldn’t sell to anyone until you knew how things fit and how to put outfits together. I don’t know if it was her drilling ideas into my mind, or if it just comes naturally, but it’s like creating costumes for people. I love making others feel good about how they look. It’s fun and creative, especially when people trust me. Lindsey: Do you find that you have a lot of the same customers or is it new people finding you all the time?
Becky: Good question. I find that I have a nice base of customers who get my style and sense of humor and always check in and come to all the events. But everyday, someone new comes in and says, “I’ve never been here.” Or “I keep hearing about Harlow and can never get in to town” or something like that. That location is not the easiest. If I’d been on Central, it would have been a different first year. Lindsey: I think it’s good to be off the beaten path.
Becky: It makes you get creative for sure. One of my favorite things about the last year is finding other people to work with, like you! We get to collaborate and do a lot of fun projects, whether it’s an ad, or a party, or an interview. I worked with Courtney Ferda on her blog, 114-west.com and Kelli Trontel has a blog as well, blog. kellitrontel.com and we’ve collaborated on a magazine ad. And I like that. There are a lot of great people here, and it’s easier to promote a bunch of people at one time. Lindsey: And what about the future of Harlow and your family? Becky: I’m thinking of getting a third Yorkie. Just kidding. Marlow and Callie are a lot. They are like having children. Good practice, since I’m going to have a baby. Lindsey: woohoo!
Harlow 505 Railway St, Ste B Whitefish 406-730-1290 www.myharlow.com www.facebook.com/myharlow
Becky: I’m just trying to fit in. it’s a kid town. We are naming him or her Harlow. We have to. Then we have a good story for the name of the store. Lindsey: Really?
Becky: No. Just teasing. Harlow already has a good story. Lindsey: I know I know it, but tell me again,
Becky: My building was originally Harlow Chevrolet when I was a little girl. My Harlow was the shop area and Mackenzie River was the showroom. So that actually informed the style of Harlow a little bit. We brought in a metal floor and a lot of metal fixtures and car parts reminiscent of the old Harlow. And it runs in the family I guess, my Grandfather had the rival dealership, Rygg Ford. I’m actually a 3rd generation business owner. Lindsey: Why didn’t you call your store Rygg?
Becky: A boutique named Rygg. Ha! We’re going to go down to Rygg today….doesn’t have the ring that Harlow does. There is good name recognition with Harlow, like Jean Harlow and House of Harlow. Lindsey: Well, I just relate Harlow to your Harlow. Becky: That’s awesome, cause I have big plans for Harlow. Harlow LA, Harlow Seattle, Harlow NY. Lindsey: Harlow Prague. Becky: Oh yeah. Harlow, a worldwide empire. Ha!
Lindsay Jane Photography 525 Railway St Whitefish 406-253-3145 www.lindseyjanephotography.com
Being prepared is smar t
Protect the lifestyles of the people you love in the event of the unexpected With today’s busy lifestyle, it takes a plan to get things done. Whether it’s as simple as a grocery list, or as complicated as planning a wedding, careful preparation can help you save time, money and countless headaches.
Surprisingly, though, most people don’t have a well-thought-out plan when it comes to protecting their loved ones if something bad were to happen like an unexpected illness or untimely death. Ask yourself, if you suddenly became ill, disabled, or died, would your family have the financial means to remain in your home? Could your children still graduate from college? Would your dependents be able to pursue their dreams and goals? Without a proper financial plan in place, the answer may be “no.”
While no one can predict the future, you can still take the necessary steps to help prepare for the unexpected. When you purchase life insurance from a reputable company, the insurer provides you with a guaranteed* promise that your loved
ones will be financially secure after you’re gone. You’ll feel better knowing your family is taken care of, and can focus on achieving their own life milestones, like getting married, purchasing a first home and having children.
A knowledgeable and experiences life insurance agent can work with you to help determine which type of coverage is best for your situation. Together, you can create a financial strategy so you’ll be prepared for whatever the future brings. *Guarantees are based upon the claimspaying ability of New York Life Insurance Company.
This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Licensed Agent, Lisa D. Macalister, New York Life Insurance Company. For additional information on the information or topic(s) discussed, please contact (Lisa D. Macalister) at firstname.lastname@example.org, (406) 471-3377.
Valuable Contribution of the Stay-at-Home Spouse
While everyone recognizes the vital role of the family homemaker, few people think about the cost of services performed by the stay-at-home spouse. This includes childcare, looking after the home, preparing meals, and many other time-consuming activities, like carpooling, laundry and grocery shopping. Today, annual childcare costs can exceed $23,000 for children age 15-17 in husband-wife families. All told, the financial equivalent of the vital services a stay-at-home spouse provides can amount to tens of thousands of dollars a year. That’s why it’s crucial for a stay-at-home spouse to have his or her own life insurance protection. It’s hard enough for a family to deal with the emotional repercussions of losing a parent or spouse.
Time Management…What does that mean exactly?
The balance between all that life has to offer.
Written by Maria Phelps
Time…the thing we ‘want more of’ and ‘need more of’. First of all, just thinking about it, isn’t going to get you anywhere, but there are a few things you can do to make your busy life a little ‘less crazy’ (or make it seem that way).
Everyone handles time and stresses differently. It is important to understand that you will not be able to mange time exactly the same as me, or someone else. However, many of the things I do on a regular basis, can help you in your daily success.
CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS Have you already decided you don’t have time? Don’t set yourself up for failure. Simple words can cause you to fail on a daily basis. Deciding DAILY, to set up your tasks and schedule on a positive note, will allow you to accomplish more. And YES, it is okay to change the date in your task organizer if it doesn’t happen that day.
LEARN TO SAY NO When was the last time you said no to a party invite, business meeting or family gathering? Are you doing things just to make others happy and make that ‘appearance’? If it doesn’t benefit your family or your business, you can say no. It is hard to say no sometimes, but be honest and realize that you are the master of your own schedule. Take back your time. A simple reply is, “It’s not going to work out for us/me.” And leave it at that.
DEVELOP A SCHEDULE Do you run through your day unorganized? Unaccomplished? Depending on what your business/job/ life entails, it is important to have tasks and projects included into your schedule. Everyday, we have tasks that we need to accomplish for the day. They need to be written into our schedule or timeframe, AND then need to have the ability to be flexible.
FLEXIBILITY Life is never perfect, but we can create a backbone
that can be flexible. One way for me to keep sanity in my changing schedule is to have 1 or 2 days that rarely change (unless there is an emergency of course). Every Monday and Tuesday is on a set schedule for our family. There is some flexibility in the schedule, but we work hard to create these days as our base. When we do this, the rest of the week seems to go better.
PRIORITIZE It is important that you decide what are the most important aspects of your life/business on a daily basis. For example: This past summer, one of my friends asked me how I get everything done. She stated, “You work, homeschool and have pretty happy kids.” I said “My house is not perfectly clean and I have a huge stack of clean laundry in my room that needs to be folded. There are things that I don’t get done, but my family is fed and clean.” I’ve accepted that not everything will get done but the most important things to me get accomplished. Along with prioritizing, it is important to understand where you are in life, and to realize that each life change will create new priorities.
EVALUATE YOURSELF Have you taken time to see what your threshold for stress is? If you get stressed under pressure, then it is important to avoid those pressures when possible. Are you confident in the decisions you make? Are you physically active? How do you manage your stressful situations? It is important to understand yourself and what you can handle. It is okay to not be able to do everything. What is not okay, is trying to do something that consistently causes you stress.
DELEGATE Have you considered giving some of your tasks to an assistant? Delegation is important because you CAN’T do everything. Even if you think you can, it will start to wear you down, especially if your business is growing, or your job duties are increasing. For some, delegating tasks to another person is hard. It can be hard because of the costs to hire out, or just stressful
to hand over your duties to someone else. BUT, when you do this, and find a good person, your stress level will drop and your product/service will benefit.
TOOLS Are you still using a pen and paper to keep track of your business? Have you tried Google Calendar and Google Tasks? These two integrate well on most smartphones, computers and tablets. They can also be shared with your team. On a daily basis, I use tools for my business and life. If your business involves a large client base, you can even use a CRM (customer relationship management) program that helps you and your team stay consistently connected with customers/clients. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK Don’t try to be superwoman (or superman). Realize your limits and take a break when needed. Are you the type that needs a few hours, here and there, of downtime? Or do you need 1 full day to unwind? It is important to understand YOUR needs, and then take a break when YOU need it.
“Be proud of your accomplishments and use your errors as a learning experience.”
*Maria Phelps is the founder of Find It For You, LLC and has 2 divisions. www.FinditMontana.com, a Directory of Montana Businesses and resource for all, and www.FinditMarketing.com your complete marketing resource offering a large abundance of marketing assistance. Maria is also a wife, mom of 2, homeschool teacher and a lover of people. “A look into my daily schedule may give many a heart attack, but I love waking up early, working on my business, then being able to work with my kids all day. Sharing their lives and education, then back to work. It is what keeps me going and it is my WHY.”
Maria Phelps and Find It For You, LLC is available to help you get your life in order. Each business/person is unique and it is important to find the right tools to help your uniqueness. Contact Maria to take a step in getting your ducks in a row. Maria@FinditMontana. com 406.871.4546
A Woman’s Natural Strength & A Key to Business Success Written by Susan B. Clarke
“Look I’ll say it. I made a mistake. I should have picked up the phone and told you we had a serious problem, but I didn’t. Even as the problem got worse, I just kept my team focused on solving it and never reached out. Now I see how that decision set up the conflict you guys are in now.” Josey was one of the newer members of the senior leadership team and had recently moved into quality assurance. In her first six months there had been three major product quality issues.
“Can you say why you didn’t give us a head’s up?” Tom was VP of Sales and the quality issues and low inventory had resulted in his team missing their bonuses.
“Honestly, I wanted to save face. I was fearful of telling you about the problem, getting an ear full and not yet having a solution.” Again, Josey was frank and transparent.
“Well I guess it is true, we do often fire back when we hear there’s a problem. Look Josey, I appreciate your candid answer. I think we played into the problem as well because we knew there were some inventory issues and we didn’t stop selling or check in.” Tom was not one who usually acknowledged any mistakes.
This all came after a half day of team building and training on the importance of vulnerability-based leadership as a path for getting to healthy conflict, clarity and commitment. Everyone said at the end of the day how powerful the interaction had been, primarily due to Josey setting an example. Oddly though, when it came time to talk about what would be communicated out to the larger organization about the off-site, this is what happened.
“No way am I letting my team know we had any trust issues and, personally, I don’t like using the word “vulnerable” – that is just going to get people concerned.” Tom was clear that vulnerability wasn’t going to be a circulated value.
“I think our people need to know what we talked about. How else are they going to get the okay that acknowledging a mistake an important step.” Josey was the first to counter Tom’s position.
Sue, the conservative voice of the legal department agreed with Tom. “Our people don’t need to think we are having any issues,” Sue added, “Sure we want honest communication but I think our issues stay in this room only.”
It was a bit shocking to hear these same folks that had, moments ago, said how important the frank, open honest communication had been. Now they wanted to put on the armor and padding of confidentiality to make sure no one saw any weakness. Shocking … but not uncommon.
and her team to potential danger. She also opened a door for more open, transparent communication. Acknowledging can be as simple as saying, we/I made a mistake, we’re sorry, we believe we are the best and want you to choose us.
A Definition of Vulnerability
I believe vulnerability-based leadership is quite natural for women. As women we are often told to toughen up if we want to be in business; don’t wear your heart on your sleeve; and please don’t bring emotions or empathy into the business equation. But really, that is what business needs – open and honest conversation between people. Not padding, not protective gear, not the ability to dodge hard hits. Empathy, or walking in someone else’s shoes can go a very, very long way towards creating new ideas and possibilities. And really, football players are some of the most emotional beings out there, it’s just all covered up in pads and helmets.
There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance vulnerability. Author Brené Brown in her book, Daring Greatly, is giving vulnerability lots of frontline press, and it is becoming a bit of a buzzword. So what does it mean to be vulnerable? Well first let’s go to the dictionary and pull the standard definition: “To expose oneself to danger, to be revealed.” Not really a great drawing card when you put it like that. Why would anyone be willing expose themselves to danger? For a long time business has been about strategy and out-playing the competitors. That version of business encourages, holding your cards tight and looking good. There is not much room for revealing or exposing yourself to danger. Having made a living sitting in boardrooms and executive conference rooms listening to leaders and teams define and clarify their business strategy, I have wrestled with the effectiveness of all the secrecy, importance and politics that often takes place among a group of smart, passionate people supposedly on the same team. The word – vulnerable, if talked about, will often be taken off the communication plan that cascades out to the rest of the organization, as demonstrated in the meeting above. Instead, the messaging usually implies that there was some sort of team huddle where everyone fought the good fight, and produced outcomes that are supercharged new or a refreshed vision and mission. Not much revealed or exposed to danger there. I once heard a wonderful woman speaker at a womenowned business conference. Her opening line has always stayed with me, she said, “If eleven women were sitting in a room designing something to do, they would have never come up with football.” Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good competitive game, even football, but football is sort of the ultimate example in lacking vulnerability. Pretty much every inch of those guys is covered in protective padding, and oddly, many of the worse type of injuries still occur. There is some truth to the story that all that protection and gear can, and often does, get used to hit harder. I often wonder if there were as many head injuries in football before helmets came along. Often, too much armoring or protection simply invites more problems and attacks.
So What is Vulnerability?
What does it mean to revel oneself or expose oneself to danger? Simply put – it means acknowledging what is really going on. When Josey spoke up and acknowledged her decision to keep the problem quiet, she exposed herself
A Women’s Natural Strength
Emotions are the true potential energy of people. It’s emotions that drive us to action, not dreaming. A great dream will only become a major movement and possibility if it is embodied with emotion. That combination is vital and if you want people to come along with you, a dose of vulnerability will go a very long way in getting to the real issues. Josey made it possible for some honest conversation and led to an acknowledgement on Tom’s part about how his team can fire back and may contribute to the problem. This was a huge step forward for the leadership team. Sadly it may not roll out yet to the broader organization without a bit more vulnerability in modeling to the rest of the organization that acknowledging mistakes can lead to healthier teams. We learned later that Josey continued to influence her peers when another quality issue came up. This time she spoke up early and Tom was able to let the sales team in on the problem. Together they arrived at a solution that had no negative impact on the customers or the bonuses. Tom still isn’t fond of using the word vulnerability but he does communicate out the importance of exposing and acknowledging the potential issues faster as the best path for creative solutions.
What You Can Do: Use Your Feminine Strength
So step into your next team meeting or planning session and, instead of holding your cards, try revealing what you really think, feel and want. Be interested in discovering how others respond. Use what may be a more natural feminine strength. You might be in for a big surprise. Play without pads and helmets, but if you do, be sure to let the rest of your company know what really happened in the boardroom. Try a little dose of vulnerability – maybe you are exposing yourself to danger, but you may also be giving yourself the best chance to see what is really out there and respond accordingly.
Agreements & Guidelines
Business Operating Agreements & Guidelines
Tools to Help Small Business Owners Protect Themselves By Kelly O’Brien, Attorney at Law
Andrea and Susan were old friends that decided to start a small business together in Montana. For them the process of setting up their business was fairly simple; they found a great downtown location for their little gift shop, each invested a small amount of their own money to purchase inventory, and then they were open for business. Initially they did not form any separate entity, but within a few months of opening they decided to form a limited liability company, or an “LLC.” Andrea found the “Articles of Organization” form, and filed it with the Montana Secretary of State. Over the coming months, both owners would use personal funds to help purchase inventory, in amounts they agreed upon, but they never formalized any agreement regarding using personal funds for the business. After several years of being in business, Susan decided that she wanted to spend more time traveling and no longer wanted to be involved in the business. At that point in time the gift shop had become quite successful and Susan believed that her interest in the company had become very valuable. With that in mind, Susan approached Andrea to let her know her intentions for leaving the company and suggested that Andrea buy her out of the business. However, the amount suggested by Susan was shockingly high to Andrea. According to Andrea, 406
Susan was only entitled to her initial investment, which was less than one-third the amount proposed by Susan. Andrea suggested a lower price and unfortunately the two spent the next year arguing over the value of Susan’s interest. This situation is all too common for small businesses; the owners file a form to become a separate entity such as an LLC or corporation in an effort to protect themselves from personal liability, but fail to actually follow the formalities of a separate entity and fail to execute an operating agreement. The operating agreement is key in determining the value of the business, how individual owners may join or withdrawal from the business, and what happens to an owner’s interest in the event of their untimely death, bankruptcy or other life event. Observe Business Formalities First, observance of LLC or corporate formalities is an important factor in determining whether it will be actually treated as a separate entity. If the LLC or corporation is not treated as a separate entity, then the members or shareholders may be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the company. Some examples of to how maintain business and personal matters separate include: · Refrain from commingling business funds or accounts with personal funds. If you are placing
personal funds in the business, make sure it is accounted for as a capital contribution, a loan or a reimbursed expense. · Always make clear when you are acting on behalf of the business, rather than acting in a personal capacity. This may include signing documents in a representative capacity or clarifying your role in a business meeting. · Do not use funds owned by the business to pay personal debts and obligations. Personal obligations should not be paid directly from business accounts. If you need to make a personal payment, pay yourself first as a member or shareholder of the business, then make a payment from your personal account. · Maintain written documentation of actions of Members, Shareholders, Directors or Officers. This includes maintaining minutes of your annual meeting and any special meetings, or written consents, signed by all owners. Create an Operating Agreement (or Shareholder Agreement) An operating agreement is the document used by the owners or “members” of an LLC. A shareholder agreement is the document used by the owners or “shareholders” of a corporation. For discussion purposes the term “operating agreement” is used here to generally discuss internal documents for
The operating agreement is key in determining the value of the business, how individual owners may join or withdrawal from the business, and what happens to an owner’s interest in the event of their untimely death, bankruptcy or other life event.
the operation of various business types, but a different term may be used for a different type of entity. An operating agreement is a contract between the members of the LLC and the LLC as a separate entity. It sets out all of the internal terms for the operation of the LLC. These terms may include valuation, distribution of profits and losses, and the withdrawal or addition of a new member. While an operating agreement may be drafted by an attorney, it is important that the members or owners of the business have a discussion as to the important points of the operating agreement. This ensures everyone is on the same page and has discussed these issues from the beginning of the business, rather than trying to figure out these issues in a disagreement or other unknown circumstance. Some important issues to discuss in the creation of an operating agreement include: · What limitations to place on transfers of ownership Some options to consider include: no transfer without consent of all owners; right of first refusal of company and/or members; limitations on forced buy-outs; or right to remove owners for certain unlawful or unethical actions. · How to fund a buy-out of an owner Consider such issues as allowance for installment payments, use of life insurance, or loans. · How to calculate the value of an ownership interest in the business Will the value simply be book value, or assets minus liabilities of the company? Or do
you want to use a different formula? Do you want to set a price in advance? · What happens in the event of unforeseen life circumstances? What happens to an owner’s interest in the business when that individual owner retires or wants to withdrawal from the business, becomes disabled, gets a divorce or files for bankruptcy? Obviously these are just some of the discussion points to consider when creating an operating agreement. A business attorney can advise you on options for your particular business. However, it is important that the business owners discuss these issues prior to starting business, rather than wait until after a dispute arises, like Andrea and Susan. If only Andrea and Susan had taken some extra time to create an operating agreement when they started their business, they could have spent less time and money arguing back and forth over the value. Instead Andrea could have spent more time focusing on the business and Susan could have spent her time traveling. By taking the time to discuss a potential buy-out in the beginning of their business these women could have saved themselves significant time and money in the long-run.
For advice regarding business formalities, operating agreements or general business law contact Kelly O’Brien at Measure, Sampsel, Sullivan & O’Brien, P.C. at (406) 752-6373 www.measurelaw.com This article is intended for educational and information purposes only, it is not intended to act as legal advice. 21
P l ay e r , C oac h , B u s i n e s s O w n e r , & F a m i ly M a n By Inge Cahill Photos provided by O'Brien Byrd
Soccer Pitch, center circle, bicycle kick, nutmeg, slide tackle and misconduct are terms associated with the lingo of association football, commonly known throughout the world as football, or soccer. It is the world's most popular sport, played by 250 million male and females players in over 200 countries. O'Brien Byrd, Head Coach of the Whitefish High School Boys Soccer Team, has a lot to say about how the game has influenced his life. His dark complexion is evidence of his Chippewa heritage and his competitive tenacity can be attributed to his Irish spirit. Hence the name his mother, Maureen, gave him, O’Brien, who was adopted as an infant. He grew up in Martin City, Montana, a tough place to live for an ethnic youngster. The local school children bullied him at first. He was stopped after school one day by three boys wanting to fight, being out numbered he ran home as fast as he could and cried to his father about what had happened. Once O’Brien had calmed down his father provided him with a valuable lesson and instructed his son to face his fears no matter what the odds and said, "Next time son, don't run". The next day when the bullies showed up again, he adhered to his father's advice and gave them a good fight. Later on they all became best friends. O'Brien expresses great admiration towards his parents who taught him to work hard, to have confidence, be a good person and follow your dreams. He has two siblings who also are adopted from various ethnic backgrounds.
In the fall of 1986 his parents signed him up for recreational soccer in Columbia Falls. He and Zac Perry were of the few “canyon kids” to carpool in from Martin City. Greg Trennery was his coach and did his best to keep them interested and somewhat organized. O'Brien was very energetic but not as good a player as Zac, who excelled in the game. He didn’t really enjoy soccer in those formative years, but for some reason his parents kept signing him up.
When O’Brien started high school in Columbia Falls he decided to play for the club team. Soccer wasn't officially sponsored by CFHS until 1992 and the new school program team did not win a lot of games against bigger more established AA schools. Through his high school years he struggled to understand the game. His attention span was extremely short and the coach tried his best to
get through to him, but when the whistle blew, he just ran all over the soccer field, burned up a lot of energy and got in everyone’s way. He was athletic and fast but did not apply any soccer knowledge during the game that he had obtained at practice. However, when the referee blew his whistle, ending his last high school career game in Helena, something very odd happened to him, he cried his eyes out. Then he asked himself, "Is this really over? Do I really love this game that much? I do not want it to end". He was hooked. Even though he had not mastered the game by any means he was voted team captain his junior and senior year and enjoyed a few successful games, which was enough to catch the attention of a college recruiter from McPherson College in Kansas.
walk up to her and introduce himself. She said her name was Melanie and following an extended courtship they married.
Playing soccer at McPherson was a big learning curve for O'Brien. With loads of attentive coaching from his mentor, Coach Malone, he was starting to see the game differently. He was actually becoming obsessed with it. His keen drive to learn and master the game gained him the respect of his teammates who made him team captain his junior and senior years. He started most all of his college games and in the end was voted All Conference Honorable Mention. During the summer breaks he would return to Montana and organize pickup games together with his friends Rory, Eddie, Cliff, and Ryan. Those battles would last for hours on the It was time to decide to either attend Carroll Col- Columbia Falls game field. The 2 on 2 and 1 on 1 lege in Helena, where most of his family and some battles in the hot sun always came close to fistfights of his schoolmates went, or accept the scholarship and broken limbs. But in the end they were invaluMcPherson College offered him. O'Brien did not re- able character builders for Byrd and established search the Kansas campus, as a matter of a fact, he lasting friendships. had never ventured south beyond the boundaries of Montana. So following his instincts, and more of his parent’s advice to, “Follow your heart and act Following a successful college career Byrd was on it”, packed up his truck and headed out for an possessed with an insatiable desire to find a way opportunity and a bit of adventure. to continue playing soccer. He had a difficult time at first, trying to balance making a living while conHe arrived in McPherson in the middle of a humid tacting various club teams and attending profesAugust night. The dorms were already locked and sional tryouts. With no pro’ contract offers O’Brien since he had no other place to go, Byrd jumped over returned to the Flathead and started a men’s team, the soccer field fence and rolled up in his sleeping The Flathead Rapids. He and his mates stormed bag. The next morning he awoke to the sounds of through the men’s league and won their first trothe professors early morning jog and they were phy. Also, he and Melanie applied for teaching wondering who was in the sleeping bag. Quickly positions in the Flathead and were both offered O'Brien got up and found his way to the dorms. All positions. They were happy to be here, playing soche saw were male athletes and it made him won- cer with the local team and teaching. But after one dering if he was at a men’s college. But on the way year O'Brien and Melanie quit their jobs and moved to the administrative office he saw an attractive to Hawaii, they were not ready to settle down and coed. She was a young woman in soccer shorts needed some life experience, again, they followed with tanned athletic legs, he could not help but to their hearts.
After one year in Maui they came back to MT. In 2001 O'Brien was offered a management position at an indoor soccer facility in Pennsylvania. So the Byrd family took flight and relocated to PA. He continued his soccer-coaching career as a head assistant coach at Middletown HS. They made it to the state semi finals in his first year of coaching. Placing them at the top of 256 teams in the State. This was an incredible experience under the tutelage of Coach Hoover, from whom he learned the importance of team dynamics and team psychology.
Byrd was back in MT at this time and landed the head coaching position at Whitefish HS. He is now coaching his 11th season at WHS and is still involved with the Flathead Rapids, which gives him an opportunity to give back to the community by teaching and mentoring young athletes. “It is just a different direction,” said Byrd. “From playing professionally to passing on my experiences to younger players.” It is more than a game for him; it is a way of life.
The Flathead Rapids have grown into much more than a local men’s league team. Now the team hosts summer camps, a senior showcase, alumni games and a women's program. "We started an academy four years ago for kids from the ages from 5 to 10, and then this light switch went on and we realized there was a lot of potential for these kids," said Byrd. “That really kick-started this whole movement for us. We realized that there was an opportunity to have the Rapids keep playing and competing, and also have the ability to give back to our local community.” Over the last three years, youth participation has grown exponentially, with soccer academy attendance nearly doubling. Two years ago they held their first ever summer camp and 150 kids participated. "To be able to have actual soccer players that played the game at a high level, who are also good coaches and role models, is the key.” said Byrd. The Flathead Rapids have collaborated with Glacier United, Whitefish Youth Soccer Association, and Columbia Falls Youth Soccer, which have all experienced significant growth in player registration and retention and now all three associations are under the Rapids umbrella. Their accredited coaches offer a fresh and unique perspective with a trained and enthusiastic approach. Additional information is available on their website; www.flatheadrapids.com
as National High School Soccer Coach of the Year, the top honor for prep soccer coaches across the nation. The award honors a coach’s achievements throughout their career, and specifically recent successes. For Byrd, 2012 was a stellar year. His 100th career win came in September, WFHS won another Class A state title, and a perfect undefeated record came in October. To top it off in December of that year, he was named state and regional NSCAA Coach of the Year.
O’Brien is a very talented athlete but even more importantly he is a man of great character. His body may not have held up to the rigors of intense competition and his heart may have ached for the loss of his dream job but he is truly devoted to his family. So O’Brien redirected his energy to provide for their future. On his way to Kalispell, while looking for an additional source of income, he stopped by Jack Therrien's old liquor Store in Columbia Falls. O’Brien’s parents owned the Hungry Horse Liquor Store so he was familiar with the business. While chatting with Jack, he mentioned that he would be interested in purchasing the store one day. To this day O'Brien doesn't know how he came to stop into Jack’s place, but it definitely turned out to be another fork in his road. Jack called the next day and accepted his offer to purchase the business. A few days later O'Brien & Melanie were the proud owners of a liquor store. He produced a perfect business model, relocated the store to a more visible location on HWY 40 in Columbia Falls and proffers an extensive liquor selection to the public. He is enjoying a continuous education in different wines and has established one of the valley's largest wine collections. He finds that more and more of his clients often enjoy coming in and looking for a new bottle of wine to pair with food.
While in PA, O’Brien’s professional aspirations came true when he signed a contract with the Reading Range, a D3 pro team. Coming from Martin City, MT and climbing the competitive ladder to become a professional soccer player at the age of 25 was awesome. He had worked hard and was looking forward to a long career. Still very much a rookie in the total scope of being a professional player, his dream job came to an abrupt halt in 2002. O'Brien tore a large portion of meniscus in his left knee. Over the next 9 years he continued to play on for the Rapids and enjoyed some of his greatest soccer memories with them. But over that time span, damage to his knee became unrepairable and increasingly obvious. O’Brien’s heart was heavy with the realization that he could not actively play his sport any longer. He went through mental turmoil, physical pain and a time of despair. Letting go and hanging up his boots was unimaginable. This was by far his most difficult experience but he had to find a way to deal with it. He realized he had become too emotionally invested and that his desire to try and keep playing was a pointless obsession given his injury. With Melanie’s help he found the courage and strength to rise above what could have been a self-indulgent state of depression. O’Brien’s strength and character are attributed to his close knit family and he Stop in and say hello, have a look around, purchase deeply thanks his wife and children for helping him In January 2013, Byrd was honored by the NSCAA your favorite adult beverage and find out how the (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Rapids are running. get through his difficult time.
406 Woman Business Vol.6 No.3