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6. Annegret Pfeifer President of Kettle Care Organics


12. Dr. Linda HitchcockGeriatric Specialist 14. Gloria ShirtliffJ2 Office Products


10. Notice SnowboardsAll in the Family 16. The Women's Foundation of MontanaEqual Pay & STEM Grants 20. FinanceTax Strategies can mean savings 22. Leadership Whole Woman Leader

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24. Managing your estate Choosing a representative

18. Walter Kuhn Community Man


28. Art that Inspires Christy Lynn Greene 30. Music - Glacier Symphony Winter's New World


32. ImagineIF Libraries Launch Week

Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 6477 Hwy 93 S Suite 138, Whitefish, MT 59937 CopyrightŠ2013 Skirts Publishing

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Annegret Pfeifer

Annegret Pfeifer Getting to Know

intelligent, beautiful, and thoughtful businesswoman By Jill Seigmund Photos by Danella Miller Photography The first thing you might notice upon meeting Annegret Pfeifer is her skin… it’s beautiful. I met Annegret about four years ago when she was a participant and I was the director of Leadership Flathead. In her introduction to the group, Annegret mentioned that she was the mother of two teenagers. I remember thinking to myself, “How is that possible? She’s too young!” I decided that she must have started her family while she was still in high school. Well, as we all know, looks can be deceiving. For the record, she wasn’t a teen mom so what’s with the beautiful skin?


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Born in what used to be West Germany, Annegret spent much of her childhood living on a small farm at the edge of a forest. The family embraced a natural lifestyle, raising sheep whose wool they spun into yarn for knitting projects. “My mother had a passion for herbs and wild grasses,” says Annegret. When she was 17, Annegret moved to the city of Hamburg to study to become a foreign correspondent. She had left farm life behind, but the agrarian lifestyle had made a lasting impression. At the age of 20, Annegret began making her own facial cream from all-natural ingredients, a practice she would keep up into her 40s. Beautiful skin explained.

discovered Kettle Care Organics, I quit making my own cream.”

Today Annegret and her husband Klaus are the owners of Kettle Care Organics, manufacturing all-natural body care products from essential oils and herbs, right here in the Flathead Valley. The couple and their two children moved to the Flathead from Austin, Texas in 2007 after Klaus, a physicist and chemist by training, accepted a position with Semitool. Annegret, who had earned degrees in economics and accounting while living in Texas, got a job as a CPA with a firm in Kalispell. She was still making her own facial cream until the fateful day she discovered Kettle Care on the shelf of a local natural food store. “I was amazed at the high concentration of essential oils and herbal extracts they were using,” she says. “When I

Anyone who has ever owned and managed a business knows it can be overwhelming. Not only is it physically demanding with long hours and the rare day off, it is mentally taxing. For Annegret, the most difficult part of owning Kettle Care is making decisions that impact other people. “I am always asking myself, ‘How will this decision affect my customers and my employees?’” she says. Annegret’s thoughtful and discerning nature is likely due in large part to her German upbringing during the Cold War.

In 2012, Annegret and Klaus made a major life decision: they decided to transition from the safety of being employees to the risky business of being employers. Klaus retired from Semitool, and Annegret resigned from her CPA job to purchase Kettle Care Organics. They have spent the past 18 months learning the recipes, streamlining the business practices and refurbishing a building on Highway 93 north of Kalispell to be Kettle Care’s new home. All of this has been possible only because of the support of a strong team of employees, says Annegret.

“Both my parents were refugees from East Germany,” she says. “When we wanted to visit family members on the other side, we had to cross the Iron Curtain, which was


scary.” Annegret was 24 years old when the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989. “I grew up learning to differentiate between propaganda and fact in the news,” she says. “I learned in school that it was my job to critique politicians.” To this day, Annegret still reads multiple newspapers from different countries to ensure that she is receiving as broad of a perspective as possible. As surely as we know that looks can be deceiving, we also know that beauty is only skin deep. Or is it? “Whatever you put on your skin goes directly into your bloodstream,” says Annegret. “And then your liver has to deal with it.” According to Annegret, you’re better off eating certain toxins rather than putting them on your skin. “If you eat it, digestive enzymes will help break it down. We are much more directly exposed to toxins on our skin than those ingested with food,” she says. This is a concept that has been quicker to catch on in Europe than in the United States, but Annegret believes awareness among U.S. consumers is gaining momentum. She and Klaus predict they will double their production and sales within the next two years, thanks not only to a growing interest in the importance of natural body care products to overall health, but also to the increased manufacturing capacity afforded by their new location. The new facility, located on HWY 93 N, in the Northwind Commercial Center, just north of the Humane Society, will be open for business by the time this magazine reaches your hands. Customers can purchase products there or at one of dozens of retail outlets throughout Montana and the country. Kettle Care Organics is one of many bright spots on the horizon for the manufacturing industry in northwest Montana. From natural body care products to wind energy storage batteries to cross-laminated timber, people are making some cool stuff here. Kudos to Annegret and Klaus for taking the bold steps necessary to join the legion of creative and industrious Montanans who are not only making stuff, they’re making jobs. Jill Seigmund is the entrepreneurship coordinator at Flathead Valley Community College, working under a U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT grant. She can be reached at 756-3834 or jseigmund@fvcc.

During our photo shoot with Annegret, we asked Klaus to take a break from working on the remodeling of the building and got this great shot of the couple.

Annegret Pfeifer


all in the family-

NOTICE SNOWBOARDS NOTICE by Kristen Hamilton photos by Scott Wilson Photography

Owning your own business has its ups and downs – when it’s a family business, you add another layer of dynamics that requires a great relationship, strong skill sets, a business background, boundary settings, and, most importantly, a great idea. Lauren and Brittan Ellingson knew they had a great idea and had worked together in business before so starting Notice Snowboards, as a couple was a natural next step. After two years both the relationship and the business are going strong.

Lauren (maiden name Baldridge) grew up in Whitefish and headed to Colorado State University to earn her degree in economics. Brittan was raised in Denver but spent much of his childhood in Whitefish. All in all they had Montana in their blood and loved the mountains.

In 2002 at Brittan’s dad’s 50th birthday party, their paths crossed and they have been together ever since. Not only in life but also in work as they found themselves working side-by-side after graduating college, often on contract projects (where they were their own bosses). Working on their own created great habits and discipline to own their own business eventually. Brittan was passionate about snowboarding and mountain biking and when the opportunity came along to work at Never Summer, he jumped at it. Never Summer is based in Denver and produces snowboards and longboards. He learned how to build snow-

boards and gained great experience in the industry he loved.

The couple was now married with a baby (Jett, their son, is now 2 ½) and they were looking for something longterm. Brittan said to Lauren, “I think I can make snowboards.” With that and the desire to live in a mountain town, the Ellingson’s moved back to Lauren’s hometown and started Notice Snowboards. That was almost two years ago and they haven’t looked back.

Notice Snowboards started with solid plan, a strong partnership, and a desire to succeed. The couple determined their roles early on and as a team, work really well together. Lauren is in charge of the business side of things handling the back office, books, scheduling, communication, and marketing. After the initial customer contact is made and the process underway, Brittan consults individually with each person to create a custom snowboard that is perfectly suited to his or her needs.

The process is personalized from day one. What type of board are you looking for? What shapes of boards do you like? Do you want a freestyle, powder or all-mountain board? What is your budget? And, a really cool component – What type of graphic do you want on your board? After the initial consultation and a decision on a graphic, the building of your board takes about two weeks.



Notice Snowboards started with solid plan, a strong partnership, and a desire to succeed. Notice Snowboards has already built a great base of customers and are thrilled at the number of locals who have discovered their products. They’ve built boards for professionals as well as beginners. As we all know, having great equipment is a key component to doing well in a sport. They take the time to be sure that the finished product is perfectly suited for the customer. Ultimately they know their image and reputation are on the line and want to be sure the customer is happy. It has also helped build a great “word of mouth” business. A key component of their business is to sponsor top young boarders that are competing throughout the west. “These are good kids that represent the company well,” Brittan said. This component has been really successful, as when a top young boarder has a Notice Snowboard, other boarders want to follow suit and ride the best. Brittan loves working with these athletes and it helps him to develop new products and they are great at test-

ing the products. He added, “it also keep me hip.” Together, Lauren and Brittan love owning their own business. It offers flexibility, spending time together, and a chance to plan their future together. Notice Snowboards prides itself on being a small craft company that is filling a niche. They use only the best materials and control quality every step of the way. Creativity is also key as now they are working on some different shapes including split boards (for back country boarding) and shorter, wider powder boards. Notice Snowboards is constantly innovating, testing new materials and board shapes, progression on that level gives them an advantage over the big manufaturers. By press time, they will have attended the SIA SnowShow (SnowSports Industry America) in Denver as a vendor and are excited about the prospect of sharing Notice Snowboards with the

top companies in the U.S. To take this step in two short years is “surreal” according to Brittan.

This summer they are planning to add an employee and work on developing a handmade line of snowboards that will be available in select stores. It’s an exciting next step for a really exciting family business! Great job Notice Snowboards!

Notice Snowboards 406-730-1357



Dr. Linda Hitchcock

Dr. Linda Hitchcock By Naomi Morrison Photos by Scott Wilson Photography

Geriatrician is an advocate for elderly Upon reaching the age of 65, most people will have at least one limitation in their activities of daily living that can rarely be gained back if they are hospitalized. Additional loss of capabilities commonly continues with further aging. In 2011, 76 million baby boomers (born between 1946 to 1964). Today, the baby boomers represent 13-percent of America’s population, but those over 65 years old will grow to 25-percent of the US population by the year 2025. Clearly, there is a growing need to provide specialized services to meet the needs of this age group. From her small town in Missouri, Dr. Linda Hitchcock became a formidable influence in the specialty of Geriatrics. She has passionately developed programs around the country that provide comprehensive geriatric care for the whole person she is treating. At North Valley Geriatric Specialty Services, Dr. Hitchcock’s model of care is to help her patients enjoy a good quality of life and live independently as long as possible through a team approach that begins with an overall assessment. She also partners with the talents of other specialists in pharmacy, nutrition, physical therapy and social/cognitive therapy to get a full medical evaluation of the patient. The family and caregivers are encouraged to be a part of the assessment process.

Every person has unique needs and goals so Dr. Hitchcock begins by listening to what each patient desires to find solutions they will be passionate about working toward. After the assessment process, she provides a Care Plan to the patient’s primary care provider who continues the on-going care. Mile-marker follow ups with Dr. Hitchcock allow for modifications to the plan that are again communicated to the primary care provider who helps the patient continue to work toward his or her goals. She’s created plans that helped a Parkinson’s patient meet his goal of dancing with his 406

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wife a year after starting the program; and a disabled painter to achieve works of art once again. The stories go on and on and she and her husband Fred proudly remember them all.

“Men predominately want to fix things without necessarily listening to what the problem is,” says Fred Hitchcock, Dr. Hitchcock’s husband and Program Director of North Valley Geriatric Specialty Services. “One of the essential components that Linda brings to the profession is her gender. Women are inherently team builders, compromisers and motivated to find a shared solution. Geriatrics is a team sport. Everyone has to participate. What the geriatric specialty does is pull all those voices together.”

The Hitchcock’s lead their practice by exampling the team approach with each other. “We each have our strengths and we respect each other,” Fred said. “In the end, we know we’re working toward the same goal. She welcomes my participation. We may not get to the destination the way we originally intended to go. We change direction a lot, but we still get to the same end point.” “He gave me the confidence to be able to go after what I really wanted to do with Geriatrics,” Dr. Hitchcock said. “I learned from him and we just have fun with it. We do have the same vision and that’s to do something really good for the patients.”


Dr. Linda Hitchcock

Dr. Hitchcock was the first to develop a model of care that provided multidisciplinary geriatric care to more than 25 skilled nursing facilities across seven counties in Illinois. She has a long list of contributions to geriatrics such as articles in prominent medical journals, leadership roles with medical associations and committees, and speaking engagements at medical conferences.

Dr. Hitchcock is Board Certified in Family Practice, Geriatric Medicine and Hospice-Palliative Care. She received her medical degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and did her residency at Southern Illinois University. She has practiced in family practice clinics and long-term care facilities as a primary care provider until starting her own geriatric medicine clinic in Illinois. She also was the geriatric specialist at King’s Daughters Medical Center, Outreach Services and Nursing Home Care in Kentucky. She moved to the Flathead Valley from Texas where she was the Director of Geriatrics at the Department of Medicine at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Associate Director of Scott and White Hospice, Medical Director of Santa Fe Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility and Medical Director of Temple Meridian Clinic.

Dr. Hitchcock was the first to develop a model of care that provided multidisciplinary geriatric care to more than 25 skilled nursing facilities across seven counties in Illinois. She has a long list of contributions to geriatrics such as articles in prominent medical journals, leadership roles with medical associations and committees, and speaking engagements at medical conferences. “I would never be where I am today without Fred,” Dr. Hitchcock said. “It hasn’t been boring.”

The Hitchcock’s met in 1997 when an Illinois cardiology group he was managing was looking to form a management care group. He was extremely vocal with his vision of this change and it caught her attention. “I didn’t know who he was, and I knew everyone in the room, and I wanted to know him too,” she said. She was hired to manage the new program and “away they went”. Now in the Flathead Valley, they look forward to contributing to the health and wellbeing of the geriatric population in this community. And being a part of the small facility of North Valley Hospital, they are able to build intimate relationships with their patients, their families and the medical professionals who provide the regular care.

“We are advocates for our older citizens,” Fred said. “We’re looking forward to being a partner and asset to area primary care providers. Geriatric patients face a lifetime of challenges and we’ll use our gifts to help meet those challenges and prepare the patient and their care team for the future.” North Valley Geriatric Specialty Services A Division of North Valley Hospital 406-862-1030



Gloria Shirtliff

Gloria Shir tliff J2 Office Products By Kristen Hamilton Photo by Scott Wilson Photography

When Gloria Shirtliff graduated from Flathead High School, she really hadn’t thought about her next step. That’s when a girlfriend suggested she apply for a job at Bomar Office Supplies (now J2 Office Products) because as fate would have it, her friend had passed out in the interview and realized that the timing was not right for her…but it perhaps was for Gloria. Well, Gloria did get the job. 42 years later, she’s still at it! Ironically, she remembers as a child actually buying office supplies to play with. “I don’t necessarily think that we choose a job (career), but it chooses us.” Although Gloria has worn many hats over the years, she’s settled in as an Account Manager. Looking at the smile on her face as we spoke, the right career did in fact choose her.

“I really enjoy the people. Both the ones I work with in the office and the ones I call on,” she said. There are many people that she has worked with at J2 for over 30 years. It’s been a great environment and the people I work with are really like family. As an Account Manager, she visits as many as 25-30 clients a day throughout Kalispell and Whitefish. She sells primarily office products, but also can work with clients on office equipment and furniture purchases. Her keys to success are consistency, knowledge of product and, of course, building relationships with her customers. 406

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“I really love my customers, and I look forward to just about every day,” she commented. What a refreshing attitude in the business world!

Gloria shared a story about consistency and as I would describe it, persistence. For two years, she consistently stopped by (just about every week) at an office on her route to say hello and drop off materials about her products. In that time, she never received a sale. Finally, the persistence paid off and the call came in with the first order. That was years ago now and the customer orders office products from Gloria every week.

Gloria was born and raised in Montana. She’s been happily married for 39 years to Ron Shirtliff. After working for Fred Meyer grocery (in Columbia Falls, Polson and Kalispell) throughout his career, her husband is retired now. Gloria looks forward to the day that she’ll retire. I don’t think John Flink, owner of J2, is as excited for that day. When you see John and Gloria in the office, you can see that he has a great deal of respect for her and what she’s accomplished over the years. Gloria has a grown son who works for the government in Helena and a daughter who works as a hairdresser at J Thomas Salon in Kalispell. Her joy is her eight-year-old grandson, and she feels blessed that her family is all in Montana. In Gloria’s free time, she’s a basketball fan and loves going to the local high school games as well as her grandson’s rotary

games. During the summer months, you can find her at the lake, boating and swimming. She also said she enjoys golf but really doesn’t get a chance to play very often – perhaps on retirement. Thanks for sharing your story with us Gloria – best of luck in all of your future endeavors! Gloria Shirtliff J2 Office Products 406-752-8520



Women Foundation

The Women’s Foundation of Montana:

Will Work for Good Jobs and Good Pay for Women By Jen Ewell

Equal Pay Makes Cents This year marks the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Montana. We won the right to vote six years before the rest of the nation. Our state has always been a place in which women and men work side by side and all are valued for their contributions. We know we stand on strong shoulders as we work together toward a brighter future for women and girls. However, we recognize that we still have far to go to reach equality. We have a 74% gender pay gap, about three cents larger than the national average. A recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that by achieving parity in pay between women and men, we would cut the poverty rate of families of working women in half. Essentially, equal pay for equal work is about economic development. With women making up nearly half of the workforce in Montana now, we can’t afford to pay them less than their true worth. The Women’s Foundation of Montana is proud to be participating in the Governor’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force. We have a three-pronged approach which includes working to equalize policies and practices in the workplace, working to provide education and leadership training to women and girls, and working to raise awareness and continue the conversation about the gender gap. On March 31st, Lilly Ledbetter, women’s equal pay advocate and inspiration for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, will be speaking in Bozeman. The following day, on April 1st the Equal Pay Summit will convene at MSU to explore topics such as, “Beyond the "Pink Collar": Expanding Career Opportunities for Women, Shattering the Glass Ceiling: A Woman's Place is in Leadership, Closing the Wage Gap: From Parity to Prosperity. The Equal Pay Summit will also feature a Work$mart training session for women who would like to learn to negotiate for their own wages and benefits. Space is limited, so please email Annie Glover at to register for this free opportunity. Registration for the Equal Pay Summit is now open at event?eventid=2139001134. Learn more a bout the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force at http://www.


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STEM Grants for Girls’ Programs In 2013, the Women’s Foundation of Montana granted more than $25,000 to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs for girls. We believe that encouraging girls to get excited, and stay excited, about these areas of study is one way to move more girls toward economically sustainable careers. One $10,000 grant was to the Montana Girls’ STEM Collaborative, http://www.ngcproject. org/collaborative/montana-girls-stem-collaborative, to provide matching funds for their mini-grant dollars. This initiative means that projects who apply for these funds can now seek up to $2,000, rather than the original $1,000 cap. The Montana Girls STEM collaborative brings together organizations throughout Montana that are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Our joint funding project with them is an exciting collaborative project that aims to provide small amounts of project funds to help make good STEM project ideas a reality in Montana. Our first grant recipients include Exploration Works in Helena who is planning a STEM Roundup of women in science

that will provide mentoring opportunities for girls, an MSU Extension project on climate change research for youth, and a Girls’ Coding Project in Butte. The Collaborative and the Women’s Foundation of Montana are planning another mini-grant cycle this spring. To find out more or to learn how to apply for funds, email Program Director, Jen Euell at jeneuell@ More Opportunities for Girls (And Boys!) Code Montana is an organization that teaches and promotes coding skills to Montana youth. They are holding a contest in which young people can win cool prizes for learning to code at http:// MSU Extension is currently holding a Montana Saves Scavenger Hunt in which Montana youth can win cash for participating in a financial literacy scavenger hunt at Love the WFM? Like us on Facebook at or find us on the web at

Middle school and high school girls from the Missoula area joined then-First Lady Nancy Schweitzer for a Montana Girls STEM Collaborative panel discussion on STEM for girls in August 2012.

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Walter Kuhn

“Community”Man- Walter Kuhn By Gretchen Knuffke

As I sit in Walter Kuhn’s office overlooking the Swan River as it empties into Bigfork Bay, I can see why he has such a love for his town. This little downtown, with its quaint shops and restaurants, sits nestled at the foot of the mountains on the shores of Flathead Lake. Walter arrived here 23 years ago, seeking a change of lifestyle from what he was living in Southern California. When he saw Bigfork it was love at first sight and he knew he didn’t want to live anywhere else.

He and his partner, Dan Kurz, brought their commercial real estate management company, K-M Management, Inc. to Montana and never looked back. K-M Management owns and manages several properties in Flathead Valley as well as real estate located throughout the continental United States. Walter has been an active leader in the community of Bigfork for many years. He is a member and past president of the Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork, as well

as past president and treasurer of the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Foundation. In 2008, he took on a major role in the huge fundraising effort to expand the Bigfork Center into the mainstay of the town that it is today. It took a year to raise $750,000 and then two more years to reach their goal of 1.2 million dollars. This money allowed the Center to expand, update and remain a first class facility, along with helping the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, the Center’s primary tenant, to continue its legacy as one of the premier repertory theaters in the northwest. The Center, the Summer Playhouse, and the surrounding art galleries helped Bigfork land the title of “One of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in the West.”

Being a very humble man though, Walter credits all the people who came before him at the Center for putting the stepping stones in place in order to reach the lofty goals they had set. He has great respect for Don and Judy Thomson who run the Bigfork Summer Playhouse and says “without the Summer Playhouse there would be no Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts.” This little theatre brings an estimated 25,000 people to Bigfork every year which is good business for everyone in town.

In 2009, Brach Thomson founded the Bigfork Playhouse Children’s Theatre Performing Arts Center which Walter calls “one of the greatest things in this little town.” Walter co-owned the building at 833 Grand Ave with the Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork and generously gave the Children’s Theater space to practice and to provide after school activities until they could raise the money to purchase it. Through a huge fundraising effort by a group of parents and a donation by Walter and his wife, Nancy, Brach was able to purchase the Kuhn’s interest in the building. The deal was finalized just a few weeks ago.


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Bridge Street Cottages is another property that has benefited from the vision of Walter and his partner, Dan Kurz. Sitting on the banks of the river, it was an eyesore until Dan went on a trip to the wine country in Calistoga, CA. He happened to see a group of cottages that were the perfect answer for the space by the river. He sent a picture to Walter, and they modeled the Bridge Street Cottages after those pictures. They are beautifully appointed with a lovely view of the river and have become a great asset to downtown Bigfork.

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The community of Bigfork has long been the recipient of Walter’s expertise and involvement, but you won’t hear Walter say that. He would claim that it is he who has benefited from his involvement in Bigfork. You won’t meet a man more willing to give the credit and spotlight to all the other people who made Bigfork what it is today. These days he has stepped back from his hands on involvement, and although he still sits on the board of many groups, you are more likely to find him traveling with his wife or racing cars. Growing up in the desert of Imperial Valley, CA, Walter spent his younger years racing motorcycles. His love for speed continued in Montana until he broke his back in a snowmobiling accident in 2004. These days, he still races, but he does it inside a car on the racetrack at Laguna Seca in Salinas, CA. He and his wife, Nancy, spend a lot of time traveling around seeing the world or just to visit their kids.

Walter and Nancy are extremely proud of their kids; combined they have 7 kids. Walter’s oldest daughter, Leah, is the product line manager for UGG Australia. His son, Ryan, is a mechanical engineer in the Bay Area. Daughter Kristin, after a 2-year stint in the Peace Corps, now works for San Diego Coastkeeper, a non-profit entity, and daughter Amy is a senior correspondence writer for the Clinton Foundation in New York City. Nancy’s oldest daughter, Megan, is a court reporter in Denver. Son Matt lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two daughters and is in the Navy, Special Forces, and daughter Mindy is a sales rep for a local Denver coffee roasting company. Between work, community, traveling and visiting kids, Walter and Nancy are two very busy people.

Walter Kuhn



Written by the Staff of JCCS, PC

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: PLAN NOW, SAVE LATER How Tax Strategies Can Mean Savings for Your Small Business bracket next year, consider accelerating income into the current year and/or deferring better, and… make smarter tax decisions. Maybe expenses until next year. However, don’t let that’s not on the forefront of your small busi- tax considerations get in the way of sound business decisions. Think twice about these ness’s radar, but in the midst of filing your 2013 strategies if your revenue is lower than extaxes, the New Year does happen to be a conve- pected; they could have a negative impact on your business’ cash flows and not be worth nient time to reevaluate your tax strategies for the potential tax benefit. next year. If being pro-active wasn’t already one It’s not usually a good thing to operate a busiof your resolutions, here are a few reasons why ness at a loss but it can actually provide some tax benefits. A net operating loss (NOL) ocplanning ahead can benefit your small business. curs when operating expenses and other deThere is a mix of good and bad tax news for ductions for the year exceed revenues – in small business owners this year. The good other words, more was spent than was made. news - many tax breaks for businesses have Generally, an NOL may be carried back two been extended by the American Taxpayer Re- years and possibly generate a refund. Any loss lief Act of 2012, (ATRA). The bad news - flow- not absorbed in those two years is then carthrough entities, such as partnerships, limited ried forward up to 20 years to offset income. A liability companies (LLCs) and S corporations, carried back NOL that generates a refund may may be affected by the ATRA’s increased in- provide a needed influx of cash. However, you come tax rates for individuals. If you are a can elect to forgo the carryback if carrying the business owner, this means that you need to entire loss to future years may be more benplan carefully to take advantage of the breaks eficial, especially if you expect your income to available to you this year while minimizing the increase substantially or tax rates to go up. impact of higher rates. If you use your vehicle as a part of your busiA lot of what determines the effects of taxes on ness, you can get a deduction for that! Busiyour business is its structure. Many business- ness-related vehicle expenses can be deducted es choose entities that combine flow-through using the standard mileage-rate method (56.5 taxation with limited liability, namely limited cents per mile driven in 2013 and 56 cents liability companies (LLCs) and S corporations. per mile driven in 2014) or the actual-cost After ATRA, the top individual rate is higher method (total out-of-pocket expenses for fuel, (39.6%) than the top corporate rate (gener- insurance and repairs, plus depreciation). Really 35%), which might affect business struc- gardless of the method you choose, you must ture decisions. For tax or other reasons, a keep adequate records of your vehicle exstructure change may be beneficial in certain pense. Keep a detailed mileage log book and situations, but there also may be unwelcome retain all receipts. tax consequences. Your tax advisor can help you determine whether or not a change would Health insurance is on every employer’s mind since the passing of the Affordable Health make sense for your company. Care Act. Believe it or not, by offering a variProjecting your business’ income for this year ety of benefits you not only attract and retain and next year will allow you to time income the best employees, but it may also save you and deductions to your advantage. If you money on taxes. Consider starting a qualified believe it’s likely you will be in a higher tax deferred compensation plan for yourself and The New Year is a time to dream big, aspire to be


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employees. These include pensions, profit sharing, SEP and 401(k) plans, as well as SIMPLEs. You are able to take a tax deduction for your contributions to employees’ accounts, and the plans offer tax-deferred savings benefits for your employees. Other considerations are Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, and other Fringe benefits such as employee discounts on services and products.

Heard of this one? The manufacturers’ deduction, also called the “domestic production activities deduction,” is available to traditional manufacturers and to businesses engaged in activities such as construction, engineering, architecture, computer software production and agricultural processing. Applying it is a little complicated so be sure to check with your CPA if you think you might be eligible.

Purchasing assets this year? For assets with a useful life of more than one year, you generally must depreciate the cost over multiple years. If you plan it right, you can maximize your depreciation deductions in the year you purchase the asset. In most cases, using an accelerated depreciation system such as the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) method will be preferable to the straight-line method because you’ll get larger deductions in the early years of an asset’s life. Warning: depending on the timing of your asset purchases throughout the year, you could be subject to a slightly different convention of MACRS – consult with your CPA about how these timing differences could affect your business and your taxes.

There are also some depreciation rule changes coming this year. As of December 31, 2013, there will no longer be bonus depreciation, and another form of accelerated depreciation, the Section 179 election, will be drastically reduced, from $500,000 to $25,000, provided Congress does not extend these provisions.


Last but not least, look for tax credits! Tax credits reduce your tax liability dollar-for dollar, making them a particularly valuable tax tool. It’s like free money! Numerous types of credits are available to businesses. Here are a couple to consider for 2013:

Health care coverage credit: This is generally available to small businesses with 25 or fewer full time equivalent employees with annual wages of $50,000 or less per employee. The 2013 maximum credit is 35% of the group health coverage premiums paid by the employer, provided the employer pays at least half of the total premium.

Retirement plan credit: This applies to small employers (generally those with 100 or fewer employees) that create a retirement plan. Qualified businesses may be eligible for a $500 credit per year for three years. The credit is limited to 50% of qualified start-up costs. Be sure to ask your tax advisor what credits can be taken advantage of given your business situation.

No one likes to think about taxes (except accountants), but making an effort to do a little planning could be a smart way to start off the New Year. Grab a hold of that New Year spirit and make an effort to do a little planning! Thinking about taxes may not be fun, but hey – it’s easier than giving up chocolate!

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

Have You Had Your Annual Checkup?

As a small business owner or manager, you spend most of your time monitoring operations and dealing with everyday problems. But just as you need an annual checkup for your personal health; your business needs an annual checkup for its financial health. Here are ten things that you should make time to do every year.

1. Review all systems, policies, and procedures Give your business a thorough exam to discover what's working and what's not. Don't keep outdated or unsuccessful methods just because they have become habits. 2. Review your business insurance coverage Don't just automatically write a check to renew your insurance policies when they come due. Instead, sit down with your insurance agent every year and review your business operations, focusing on any changes. 3. Review your business banking relationships Take a look at your cash balances and banking relationships. Meet with your banker about new products or services that could help your company. Look for ways to reduce idle cash, boost interest earned, and improve cash flow.

4. Check the effectiveness of your marketing Are your current methods and channels working well, or are you simply doing what you've always done? Don’t forget that your website is a part of your marketing program – make sure it’s up to date. 5. Examine all vendor relationships Don't let habit dictate your dealings with your vendors. Review how much business you do with each vendor and


renegotiate agreements where appropriate. If a vendor is not meeting your needs, look for other sources. If your vendors are providing outstanding service, take the time to express your appreciation. 6. Evaluate your team Are you turning your employees into a superior team? By letting employees use their unique talents and providing training where it's needed, you can add to customer satisfaction and company profitability. 7. Get a pulse on your customers An annual customer satisfaction survey is a great way to assess performance, obtain insight on potential new products or services, and to let your customers know how much you value their business.

8. Review your business tax strategy Meet with your tax advisor to discuss ways to minimize your taxes not only for the current year but long-term as well.

9. Clear out the clutter Do a complete house cleaning once a year. Throw out stuff that's not used and not needed. Tidy up both the inside and the outside of your business. Employees and customers will respond positively to a neater, cleaner environment. 10. Update succession planning for your business Review your succession planning annually. You should have a specific plan for each key manager position, including yourself. Be prepared for a shortterm absence or a permanent vacancy. An up-to-date plan can be invaluable if you have an unexpected vacancy.

If you are serious about improving your business, consider a yearly assessment of your operation. For any assistance you need, give JCCS a call.




Whole Woman Leader – Yes! Written by Susan B. Clarke

“Wow! I have no clue what to do, and frankly, I am quite anxious about our success.” “I think I am doing something that isn’t working. My team is failing.” “I need to find someone smarter than me. I don’t think I can figure this out myself.” These are statements I have heard in my line of work as a business consultant and executive coach. Almost always, these types of comments are from women. It’s not that I only work with women leaders. The truth is, most of my business coaching clients are men. What I hear from them is quite different. “I know I have the right folks, and I am clear about where we need to be headed, but something isn’t right.” “Look, I’ve got this issue, and I’d like to use you as a sounding board.” “I’m rocking at work, but lately I’m having trouble sleeping and have some heart palpitations. A friend said you might be able to help offline. The timing is not good right now for this sort of stuff. I really need to stay focused at work.” 406

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These are the more common statements from male leaders. Notice the difference. Women often present themselves as the cause of the problem or they are looking for some answer outside of themselves. They lack confidence and have no sign of healthy narcissism. Men present with much more confidence in their own ideas and efforts. They are either looking for validation or are dealing with some other presenting physical or relational issue that is getting in their way to success. If narcissism comes up it’s not because it’s lacking.

speak confidentially, men move forward when they realize that those less-than-ideal qualities, like fear, doubt and uncertainty, are not career killers but are, rather, simple human emotions that are helpful in influencing and leading people. With women, however, it seems harder to get them to own their strength, wisdom and value. Women leaders need a healthy dose of confidence, narcissism and a willingness to step forward in a world dominated by men. Often when I am listening to women leaders share their lives, ideas and challenges they’ve had to face to get to the level they are, I am stunned to discover they do not see or hear what I do.

Let me just say right up front - I am a fan of narcissism. Not the clinical version. Healthy narcissism is a good thing. Loving yourself is not a bad thing. Frankly, I think these days, the word gets way too much negative press.

Like one woman who as a single mother: went back to school in the evening to complete her degree

My real interest in writing this piece is to explore why women so often doubt themselves and lack the confidence that seems more readily available in men?

turned it into a local business that provides single mom’s (and Dad’s) a flexible working schedule

Remember, this is 406 Woman, so I don’t mean to say that men don’t have their own issues. Too often, that exterior bravado isn’t genuine and what comes forward in our work together stems from some fear and doubt. However, usually with an opportunity to

This woman is now faced with the opportunity to expand her business to a national level and is questioning if she is the right one to lead that initiative. Her friends think she might never meet the right man if she keeps focusing on expanding the business

started her own muffin business

Women leaders need to know that just because they are confident, opinionated and strong, it does not mean they are any less of a woman or mother. As a matter of fact, adding confidence and bravado may be helpful in all areas of their lives!

and that her children might suffer. She’s wondering if she needs to hire a ‘real business person’. She attributes her success to luck, her mom’s great recipe and the great people working for her. Sure those things have helped, but I want to shake her and say, “Really? You need to take a little credit for the awesome leader you are. You need to believe in you. You rock and are definitely qualified as a business person AND as a great mom!” Women leaders need to know that just because they are confident, opinionated and strong, it does not mean they are any less of a woman or mother. As a matter of fact, adding confidence and bravado may be helpful in all areas of their lives! I think it is difficult for women because often the message these days is to be more like a man - bury your fears and don’t show the tears. Honestly, that just seems off. I get that in our current corporate world there are leader qualities that are considered positive (confidence) or negative (sensitive) or worse, masculine or feminine. It is true that men can do things, such as be aggressive or even mean, and they are called competitive and driven. This makes them a frontrunner for the promotion or corner office. A woman does the same thing and she may be quickly told that she is too aggressive, needs to tone it down, or worse, is called a bitch behind her back. In other words, same behavior, but with very different outcomes and rewards. There will always be stereotyping that goes on, but this is not the real issue. I think that women need to find other women who support them in being all of themselves. Not in trying to be like a man, but in owning their points-of-view, and encouraging each other to be forthright, aggressive, competitive and yes, at times, even a bitch (AND owning that as an honor, not an insult). I am hoping a few men might be reading this as well because, I believe, it serves men well when they too can find colleagues and other men who will share and acknowledge their fears and doubts. Honestly, I would wish that for all leaders. A safe place to say, “I’m scared. I don’t know. Help! I’m awesome. I am angry. No.” These are not masculine or feminine qualities, nor are these admissions any better or worse when it comes to leadership. These are human emotions. They make us who we are and when we are invited to be all of who we are - we become whole! Imagine a world where our leaders were whole. Where it was okay to be scared AND confident! To cry AND deal effectively with what is happening right here and now. To ask for help AND still have something to offer in terms of the solution. To love yourself AND love others. Wouldn’t the world be a better place?


Managing Your Estate

W ho is in C harge of Y our E state ? Choosing a Personal Representative or Trustee to Manage Your Estate By Kelly O’Brien, Attorney at Law

Choosing the personal representative of your estate or successor trustee in the event of a trust, is one of the most important estate planning decisions you will make. However, all too often people make this decision rather quickly without considering all of the options and potential long-term issues. Take the case of Sharon. Sharon was a single woman with four grown children. She finally decided to get her estate plan in order. Due to the nature of her assets she determined that a revocable living trust was the best option for her. She put considerable time into creating her trust, and appointed all four of her children as co-trustees of the trust. Sharon’s four children were also her main beneficiaries and would receive most of the assets of her trust.

According to the terms of Sharon’s trust agreement all of the trustees were required to agree before they could distribute any assets of the trust. Upon Sharon’s death her four children were unable to agree on anything and make any decisions about the trust distribution. Consequently it took several years to settle her estate and had a traumatic impact on her four children and their relationship with each other. This situation is actually quite common; parents nominate all of their children as their personal representative(s) or trustee(s) with the best of intentions, but the children cannot agree on any 406

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aspects of the distribution. As a result it can take years for an estate to be settled at the expense of family relationships. How can you avoid this situation? Choosing the personal representative of your estate, or successor trustee in the event of a trust, is one of the most important estate planning decisions you will make. It requires careful consideration of both your estate assets and family relationships. What Does a Personal Representative or Trustee Do?

Duties of a Trustee A trustee is the individual you appoint to carry out the terms of your trust agreement and plan of distribution. You would nominate a trustee, or successor trustee, only if you have executed a trust agreement, most likely a revocable living trust. A trustee is required to collect the assets of the trust, pay bills of the trust, account for trust assets, and distribute those assets. Often a trustee is also required to invest and manage assets for the benefit of your beneficiaries over time. Unlike a personal representative, the duties of a trustee can carry on for many years, sometimes even multiple generations.

As an initial matter whether you appoint a personal representative or a trustee depends on your specific estate plan and whether you create a will or trust.

Who Should You Choose to Manage Your Estate?

A personal representative (also known as an "executor" or "administrator") is the individual responsible for the administration of your Last Will and Testament through probate. The personal representative is responsible for gathering up the assets of your estate; evaluating claims against the estate; paying the last debts and expenses of the estate; accounting for assets of the estate; paying taxes; and distributing the assets of your estate according to the terms of your will or trust.

Once you have created a will or trust, then whom should you appoint to manage your estate? Again, who to appoint requires careful consideration of the nature and value of your assets, as well as your plan of distribution and the relationships between your family members. Typically, a married individual will nominate his or her spouse as a personal representative of their will, or a trustee of a trust. However, it can be difficult to determine whom to appoint as an alternate personal representative of a will or alternate trustee of a trust.

Duties of a Personal Representative


Managing Your Estate

Appointing Your Children After appointing a spouse, people often appoint either one or all of their children as alternate personal representative(s) or alternate trustee(s). If you have a fairly simple will or trust, and a relatively small family with a solid, ongoing relationship, then appointing one or all of your children may be a good option. Your children are familiar with your assets and intentions. Accordingly, appointing your children to manage a simple estate can provide a relatively quick and economical solution. However, as illustrated above children are also often the primary beneficiaries of an estate, which can provide for unintended consequences. Even siblings with the best of relationships do not always agree to the management or distribution of an estate. Appointing a Relative or Friend

Instead, you may decide to appoint a relative or close friend that is not one of your children and not a beneficiary named in your will or trust. Appointing a family member, such as one of your siblings or a close friend, can be beneficial because they are familiar with your family dynamics, your assets and your intentions. Moreover, an individual that is not named in your will or trust does not have a potential conflict of interest between the duty to manage your estate and the desire to receive certain assets from your estate. While appointing a non-beneficiary family member or friend may help to reduce disputes between your children, there are drawbacks to consider. One common issue is that family members often lack experience managing estate assets, financial investments and methods for ongoing accounting of these assets. In addition, a relative or friend may not be immune to family disputes. One of your children may simple dislike or not agree with the personal representative or trustee, which makes it difficult for that individual to carry out his or her duties. Appointing a Professional Fiduciary or Institutional Trustee As an alternative to your children, relatives or close friends you may choose to appoint an in

stitutional trustee such as your bank's trust department, or professional fiduciary to act as a personal representative. One key advantage to a professional or institutional fiduciary is that they are not subject to the same family pressures and can provide neutral management. A professional fiduciary also has critical professional knowledge in working with wills and trusts, and managing and investing estate assets. The use of a neutral professional may help to reduce family conflict, although there are other issues to considering when deciding to appoint a professional fiduciary or institutional trustee. The main consideration for most people is simply the cost of administration. A bank or trust company will charge a fee for its services, and usually have minimum fees that make it unaffordable for a simple estate. Another important consideration is that a professional fiduciary is not familiar with your family dynamics and can be a bit impersonal. However, the impersonal aspect may be an advantage when it comes to providing neutral administration, especially with arguing family members. Qualities of a Personal Representative or Trustee Ultimately the choice of who to appoint to manage your estate is personal and depends on your particular estate and family dynamics. It is important to consider the factors mentioned above and choose an individual or institution that is responsible, has the ability to follow with large amounts of estate paperwork, an ability to work with all of your beneficiaries, and is willing to seek the advice of professionals such as estate attorneys and CPAs. Discuss your thoughts and concerns with an estate-planning attorney and your family members to ensure you have made the right choice for your family and estate. If you have specific questions about any of the issues discussed in this article, Contact Kelly O’Brien at Measure, Sampsel, Sullivan & O’Brien, P.C. at (406) 752-6373/ This article is intended for educational and information purposes only, it is not intended to act as legal advice.


Artist Rochelle Lombardi, owner of “Going To The Sun Gallery” in Whitefish, is a Montana renowned sculptor who combines her love for domestic animals and wildlife in her art and subsequent expression. Rochelle is also degreed in custom jewelry design, and creates unique jewelry pieces for clients from all over the world. “Going to the Sun Gallery” features fine original art (no reproductions or prints) that are oil, pastel, acrylic, or watercolor based.  We also have distinctive Montana crafted fine furniture and

lamps with a distinctive western flare. From handcrafted leather and deerskin "feather filled" pillows, to alpaca/bison rugs, and custom designed jewelry, there is something for everyone.  We take pride that our artists are local as well as regional, and that by representing their work, we do our part to support our vibrant community.

Woman magazine and on the cover of Rural Montana magazine. She is featured in two galleries - Going to the Sun Gallery in Whitefish and Sacagawea Gallery in Bozeman.

Rochelle’s bronze art has been featured in The Western Art Collector magazine, Montana

“Exceptional Montana Quality"

Commission work is always welcome. Come meet Rochelle and see how her zest for life just makes everything better! 


Christy Lynn Greene

Art by Christy Lynn Greene

Photos by Catherine L. Walters

Art that Inspires How long have you lived in Montana? I’ve lived in western Montana for 36 years, since 1977.

Tell me about Art by Christy Lynn Greene? I provide art and design, specializing in painted silk products. I create paintings depicting a feeling and place we may wish to be. Some pieces have a whimsical bent, others, you might say, a form of magical realism, but all in all, I hope to inspire. What type of medium do you use? These paintings arrive in many forms. My fine art is usually depicted on a silk canvas and can be mounted on a board for a wall display, or completed as a wall hanging. Other paintings end up on silk scarves, ties, clothing, pillows, curtains, lamps and table runners.

My passion is working with my clients on ideas we share to develop a one-of-a-kind piece just for them, be it a fine art hanging, or that special outfit for an event.


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I have also created murals, watercolors and cattle marker paintings. These range from a small 5x7 up to an entire wall. I discovered painting on silk after these aforementioned endeavors, and have been so enamored with this medium, that this is what I currently spend my time on.

Painting on silk captured me because I found I could use my watercolor experience, applying the wash techniques I so enjoy, only I accomplish this more extensively on silk, using more washes and more color. I also found that the silk had special values, presenting new concepts, in which I could move the paint, and it would all just evolve before my eyes. If I was to leave a painting, and

return later, it would be different, a surprise - the process is quite magical. The most exciting part of this process is heat setting. Upon completion, the painting must be either steamed or ironed; this permanently sets the colors in the silk, so they cannot wash out. After this is accomplished, the colors take on a brighter, deeper, absolutely beautiful shade. This is what really makes me happy - to see these colors perform.  Tell us about your background and how you become an artist? I grew up in Minnesota. My mother was an artist and an art teacher so she always kept us busy with different projects. Being creative was second nature to me. I found a passion for watercolors in the 7th grade, and pursued the medium until I married and started a family.  While in high school I took a backpacking trip through the Bob Marshall Wilderness, which is when I knew I would come back to Montana. As soon as I graduated, I enrolled in the University of Montana, studying wildlife biology and resource management in the School of Forestry.  I took some art classes along the way, when I could fit them in, but became too busy and eventually left my painting behind for 25 years. At age 48, adversity hit hard. I found myself divorced, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I was facing a layoff from my job of 25 years, and two of my three children were still in high school.  I felt lost and very challenged. After the layoff I was working three jobs, and quite unsatisfied with what life had given me. 


I began to paint. And paint. And paint. It became my therapy; I was and still am happy when I paint. I soon discovered that painting was something that no one could take away from me. It was a wonderful and priceless discovery.

Christy Lynn Greene

have dreams with ideas and lots of color com- myself when I awake in the morning and don’t have to run to punch the clock. binations. I see color in my sleep!

When did your company officially start? Art by Christy Lynn Greene started when I was I decided to make this rediscovered passion of commissioned by the Missoula airport to complete six paintings depicting Montana State mine into a business.  Symbols in 2008. That summer I started showing my work at Missoula’s Saturday Peoples What happened next? Market and then other shows in Montana.  I submitted for art shows, had artist openings, I also had showings in Missoula First Friand completed commission work, fine art, and day events. From there, I have completed comclothing. I traveled to Greece as an Artist in Res- missioned work, public works and have had idence for four months, and completed public my work at Montana stores, galleries and gift works projects. I have gained private collectors shops. Now I am expanding to other states and of my wall art and wearable art.  I have a shop countries. on my website, where you can purchase and make orders.  I am constantly thinking of what How long have you been in business? to paint, create, and design on silk. I have been in business for five years. My passion is working with my clients on ideas What do you love most about owning we share to develop a one-of-a-kind piece just your own business? for them, be it a fine art hanging, or that special I love having my own schedule. It’s very imoutfit for an event. portant, as an artist, to have the opportunity to I am always excited to start my next painting. I create when you are motivated. I still giggle to

What are you currently working on? I am working on themed wedding packages. This includes providing hand painted silk neckties or bow ties, cummerbunds, wedding trousseau items, a pillow with the bride and groom and wedding date, and a painting of the location of the wedding or reception.

What are your plans for the future? I have many plans for the future. I have so many ideas I want to apply to my canvas! I would like to create more fine art (including scenic and portraits) and an art series depicting the extensive traveling that I have experienced with my boyfriend, who is my framer and also an artist.  I would also like to travel more. Travel always inspires, teaches, challenges, and humbles me.

My biggest plan for the future is to enjoy today! A good day is one that I create. When I create, I feel my possibilities are endless.  And, if I can inspire - I have done my job.

A r t by C h r i s t y Ly n n G re e n e 4 0 6 - 5 3 1 - 6 4 1 2 w w w. a r t byc h r i s t yg re e n e . c o m




“Winter’s New World” Enjoy a symphony that went to the moon– seriously! By Marti Ebbert Kurth

Experience a dramatic musical conclusion to winter when Glacier Symphony performs two thrilling concerts sure to warm you up. “Winter’s New World” will be presented on February 22-23 followed by “Canyon Reverie–Ancient Spring” on March 15-16. Both concerts will feature internationally renowned guest soloists plus offer you a chance to meet them in a more informal setting (see “S3” sidebar). February’s concert title refers to the work by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak “Symphony No. 9 in E - from the New World.” Arguably it is one of most popular works in the Romantic symphony repertoire. Indeed, it was the first piece of music to land on the moon, when astronaut Neil Armstrong took a recording of it with him on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969!


Considered to be Dvorak’s signature work, he composed it in 1893 when living in the United States working as director of the National Conservancy of Music in New York City. Dvorak greatly missed the rural life and rolling hills of his native homeland and wrote this symphony as his reflection on ‘the new world’ he had landed in. He admired the beauty of African American spirituals and plantation songs of the American south and musicologists speculate that many melodies of the New World Symphony were based on such spirituals. According to scholar

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Photo of Alon Goldstein Betsy Schwarm, Dvorak acknowledged that certain segments of the symphony were also inspired by "The Song of Hiawatha", a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  that recounted the tale of  Hiawatha, the legendary Onondaga chief. “A dancelike passage in the third movement supposedly evokes the Native American wedding feast depicted in Longfellow’s poem,” she explains.

About Alon Goldstein

Pianist Alon Goldstein ( makes his return appearance to the Flathead valley, having been a featured artist with the 2012 Festival Amadeus event in Whitefish. He is Israeli-born and highly regarded both internationally and in the US The music takes the audience on a powerful jour- as one of the most original and sensitive pianists of ney through the orchestra, thundering through the his generation, greatly admired for his musical intelbrass to land onto the woodwinds and flute with a ligence, dynamic personality, artistic vision and innosoft melody. The musical theme is repeated through vative programming. each movement and concludes in a memorable crescendo. The piece will be immediately recognizable A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, Goldstein as it has often been used as background to many studied with Leon Fleisher and served as his assispopular movies and broadcasts. tant – a position assigned only to his most exceptional students. His orchestral debut took place when he was Also on the February concert will be another widely 18 with the Israel Philharmonic under Maestro Zurecognized and thrilling piece of classical music: Edvard Grieg’s “Piano Concerto in A.” Music bin Mehta. In recent seasons Alon has performed with Director of GSC, John Zoltek has procured New the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia OrchesYork-based pianist, Alon Goldstein to perform this tra, the San Francisco, Baltimore, St. Louis, Houston, iconic musical work. Grieg is said to have been Vancouver, Kansas City and North Carolina Symphoheavily influenced by the Norwegian folk music of nies, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and orchestras his homeland and you can hear both a folk song and on tour in Paris, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. His reviews have been glowing he has been described as a dance motif in the various movements. “an irresistible powerhouse,” by the New York Times, Both concerts will be held at Flathead High Perfor- “a stylish and spirited player” by the Chicago Tribune mance Hall in Kalispell on Saturday, February 22 at and “electrifying” by the Tel Aviv, Israel press. 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 23 at 3 pm.





Concert halls in March will echo with

Music Director of GSC John Zoltek has paired two interesting musical traditions for the concerts on Saturday, March 15 at 7:30 pm at Whitefish Performing Arts Center and Sunday, March 16 at 3 pm at Flathead High Performance Hall in Kalispell. The first evokes the spirit of the natural world featuring the contemporary American music of R. Carlos Nakai. It will contrast with the delicate and exotic music of three French composers, Satie, Massenet and Debussy. “The theme of this concert refers to the eternal Spring and the ancient musical traditions that serves as a fountain to our collective cultures,” Zoltek explains. “Selecting a set of pieces from R. Carlos Nakai’s extensive repertoire for cedar flute with strings or chamber orchestra was no small task,” comments maestro Zoltek. “There have been many pieces composed for this unique master of Native American music!” He narrowed it down to five pieces that will showcase Nakai’s virtuosity and inspirational soulful music. The French compositions were chosen to complement Nakai’s music. Featured will be “Gymnopedies” a delicate arrangement of a piano work by Satie that evokes an ancient mood; “Meditation for Thais” from Messenet’s beloved opera and “Petite Suite” a work by Debussy originally written for piano. An additional treat will be wonderful piece for string orchestra titled “Dance of the Great Bear” composed by Montana-based Glacier Symphony cellist Janet Haarvig.

Cascade String QuartetChamber Concert

Photo of R. Carlos Nakai

“Canyon Reverie – Ancient Spring”

About R. Carlos Nakai Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He began his musical studies on the trumpet, but a car accident ruined his embouchure.  His musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and was challenged to master it. Nakai, while cognizant of the traditional use of the flute as a solo instrument, began finding new settings for it, especially in the genres of jazz and classical.  He founded the ethnic jazz ensemble,  the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet, to explore the intersection of ethnic and jazz idioms. Nakai brought the flute into the concert hall, performing with over fifteen symphony and chamber orchestras. In 2005 Nakai was inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.  He has authored a book with composer James DeMars, The Art of the Native American Flute, which is a guide to performing the traditional cedar flute. In addition to his educational workshops and residencies, Nakai has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, and has worked with Grammy® winner flutist Paul Horn, guitarist/luthier William Eaton, composer James DeMars among many others.

GSC is offering a one-night-only opportunity to hear the Cascade String Quartet on Friday, February 28, 7:30 pm at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center. Founded in 1979 the group is the resident string quartet with Great Falls Symphony and will include the stop in Whitefish as part of a an interactive tour and educational school tour throughout the region. Their extensive repertoire spans a range of musical styles from Arriago to Mozart to Led Zeppelin and they have been praised for their high energy and artistic quality. Enjoy this accomplished ensemble in a delightful program of chamber music.

Photo of the Cascade String Quartet

In February and March Glacier Symphony offers two opportunities to enjoy the talents of these internationally acclaimed guest soloists in a more casual and intimate setting. Called Symphony Soloist Spotlight or “S3” for short, the new series is held at the Alpine Lighting Ballroom, 333 Main St in Kalispell, on the Thursday evening before concert weekend. Doors open at 7 pm for each show for a chance to meet and converse with the artists over a glass of wine or beer before the music begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are priced at $15 and seating is at tables and informal groupings. – February 20, Alon Goldstein will offer selection of solo piano music as well as share some great stories about his life as a musician and a newly naturalized citizen of the United States. – March 13, R. Carlos Nakai, a master of the native cedar flute, will talk about his remarkable journey as a performer of Native American music and culture. “Every culture in the world has flute music. It speaks to an ancient, almost forgotten part of us,” says Nakai. At this event he will play some of his original compositions. Ticket Info for Feb/March As part of the GSC’s commitment to educate children and families about classical music, all youth through grade 12 are admitted free to Masterworks concerts! Both the February and March orchestra concerts are included in this program. Tickets for adults are available in a range of seating tiers starting at $15 in the Flathead High venue. Please reserve a seat for your child when purchasing tickets either online at or by calling the GSC box office 4077000 or stop in the office at 69 N. Main St. in Kalispell.



I m agineIF

Libraries Encourage Exploration, Fresh Ideas and Self-Discovery Photos by April Szuch, Public Services Librarian

As of January 13, the Flathead County Library System is ImagineIF Libraries. And it’s not just a name change. It’s a change in our physical spaces, services, programs and attitude. ImagineIF is all about expanding boundaries and exploring ideas. ImagineIF is about transformative experiences every day and remarkable possibilities for the future. Starting this year, ImagineIF Libraries will offer experience-based programs that will teach new skills, stimulate imagination, and turn the library into a place for building, collaborating and creating. Coming this summer is a book bike that will offer library services at community events. ImagineIF Libraries are also fine free. We want to thank our communities for their support, and we don’t want fines to keep anyone from visiting our libraries. During launch week, January 13-18, the community joined in to celebrate ImagineIF with new library cards, free tote bags and temporary tattoos, a photo booth, launch parties, live music, balloons and a family gaming day. Find out more about ImagineIF at


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