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A LEADERSHIP BILLINGS GRADUATE PROGRAM

DEBUNKING MYTHS ABOUT BILLINGS

GET TO KNOW VISIT BILLINGS'

ALY MURNION

Agricult ure IS S U E 16 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 - F E B R UA RY 2018

AN ESSENTIAL INDUSTRY


Good insurance supports you, Guides you and empowers you, And so should a good broker. Looking out for you Looking ahead for you

HUB International Insurance 3533 Gabel Rd - Billings, Montana 406.652.9151 Business Insurance ∙ Personal Insurance ∙ Employee Benefits ∙ Risk Management


table of contents

FEATURES

12.17 CONTENTS BILLINGS' MOST ESSENTIAL INDUSTRY

p.20

UPDATE ON ONE BIG SKY CENTER

p.17

Billings Now: Bigger. Bolder. Better.

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES UPDATE

p.18

SAYING FAREWELL TO FOUR COMMUNITY LEADERS

p.23

NEXT UP WITH NEXTGEN

p.24

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

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p.26


DEPARTMENTS

12.17 EVERY ISSUE

PRESIDENT'S LETTER

p.6

Holiday greetings from the Chamber.

GROW

p.7

Trailhead Leadership Academy, a graduate program for Leadership Billings.

HORIZONS

p.8

Some of the latest statistics and economic data impacting businesses in Billings.

ADVOCATE

p.9

Elections have consequences, and an update from the Special Session.

MONTANA’S TRAILHEAD Debunking myths about Billings.

TRIPS ON A TANKFUL The Huntley Project Museum of of Irrigated Agriculture.

CONNECT

GET TO KNOW ALY MURNION

p. 30

p.10

p.14

p. 28

2018 Agriculture Appreciation Banquet and announcing our Ag Excellence Winner.

BUSINESS GROWTH Territorial-Landworks, Inc.

p. 32

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TOP INVESTORS

FROM THE PRESiDENT/CEO

HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM THE ENTIRE GANG AT THE BILLINGS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE!

A

s a staff, we have had a full plate of blessings this past year. Most notably, our gang has grown. It’s been a wonderful year of welcoming chamberbabies into our family. As we continue to focus on our business-community priority list (air service, convention center, local option authority, trails, supporting small business, leadership development and more) this is the time of year to reflect on the “why” of what we do: making Billings a wonderful place for us and these kiddos. Congratulations Jessica and Keith Hart; Kevin and Theresa Cremer; and Alyssa and Konner Voeltz. May 2018 bring every one of you moments to cherish and special times with the ones you love.

Knox Hart

Addison Voeltz

DELP TEAM

REALTOR

kwPREMIER BROKERS KELLERWILLIAMS®

GRANITE PEAK LEVEL

DoubleTree by Hilton MSU Billings EBMS NorthWestern Energy Holiday Station Stores U.S. Bank

BEARTOOTH LEVEL Albertsons District Office Big Sky Economic Development Big Sky Executive Search, LLC BNSF Century 21 Hometown Brokers CMG Construction LLC Computers Unlimited Crowley Fleck PLLP Denny Menholt Chevrolet Devfuzion DiA Events Enterprise Holdings ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co. Gainan's Flowers & Garden Center Kampgrounds of America Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. PayneWest Insurance Phillips 66 Radisson Hotel Rocky Mountain College Spectrum Business Stockman Bank The Western Sugar Cooperative Underriner Honda Vertex Consulting Group Walmart Walmart, Heights Western Security Bank

LiNK is proudly distributed at these member businesses:

Cremer Boys Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

2015 Chamber of the Year

BIG SKY LEVEL THE

®

• Barnett Opticians • Beartooth Vision Center • BioLife Plasma Services • Brewer Dental Center • Crowley Fleck PLLP • Doc Harpers • Double Tree by Hilton & Starbucks • EBMS • Fringe Salon & Boutique • Grand Avenue Dental Care • Heights Eye Care • Jiffy Lube • KTVQ

Published by: Project Management/ Editor: Creative Designer: Photo Contributors

Advertising Sales:

• LP Anderson Point S Tire – both locations • Masterlube - all locations • MorningStar • Moulton Bellingham • Olsen Ortho Studio • PayneWest • Picture Perfect Ultrasound • RiverStone Health • Sanctuary Spa • St. Vincent Healthcare • Starbucks • Thomas Smile Designs • Western Heritage Center

The Billings Gazette Kelly McCandless Nadine Bittner Billings Gazette Staff Photographers, Billings Chamber, Visit Billings, Rhea Wolpoe Kevin Cremer 406-245-4111

www.billingschamber.com PO Box 31177 Billings MT 59107-1177 406-245-4111 • 800-711-2630

Fax 406-245-7333

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GROW

TRAILHEAD LEADERSHIP ACADEMY: THE NEXT STEP IN LEADERSHIP BILLINGS BY JENNIFER REISER, IOM CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER visionary leader your career, your organization, and our community demands.

I

f you are a graduate of Leadership Billings and looking to utilize the knowledge and information gained during your experience, you need to register for the Trailhead Leadership Academy. In its inaugural year, this immersive learning experience will accelerate your professional transformation by identifying and addressing your unique leadership goals, organizational challenges, and community needs. Whether you were in Leadership Billings recently or years ago, this program will empower you to become the

The goals of the Trailhead Leadership Academy are to offer an exclusive opportunity for Leadership Billings Alumni that builds on the foundational knowledge of our community and your leadership skillset. This course will dive deeper into the successes, challenges and opportunities facing Billings. The programming will be interactive, include special projects and problem solving, yield high level connections and put your leadership into action. You will return to your organization with the leadership mindset, confidence, and cross-functional skills to take on new challenges, drive meaningful change and move on promising opportunities.

The inaugural program is limited to 25 participants. The cost is $500/ person for the five-month program and classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the following dates:

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

24 28 28 APRIL

The curriculum will POINT you in the right direction through People, Operations, Influence, Network Building, and Tough Questions. Don’t miss your chance to be part of the Trailhead Leadership Academy. Learn more at BillingsChamber.com/trailheadleadership-academy-2/.

MAY

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CHAMBER STATISTICS: What are we doing for you? As of November 15, 2017, the Billings Chamber represents 1,326 members with approximately 50,466 employees.

Since the beginning of our fiscal year on July 1, 2017 through November 15, 2017: Number of Calls/Inquiries: .........................6,982 calls (avg. 1,551/month)

Visitors to the Visitor Information Center: .........1,882 Visits to VisitBillings.com: ................................79,867 Visits to BillingsChamber.com: .........................24,279

Chamber Event Attendance: ...............................2,901 Convention and Meeting Tourism Bookings: 10,820 hotel room nights booked for $2,434,500 total economic impact on the city of Billings.

Conventions and Meetings Serviced by Visit Billings:....................................1,985

Relocation Packets Mailed:......................................28

convention delegate packets provided.

Visitor Information Packets Mailed: ...................4,311

Is your info current? Make sure we’re sharing the correct information with potential clients! Check your listing at BillingsChamber.com and let us know if changes are needed

Business Meeting Attendees at Chamber: .........3,252

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COMMUNITY STATISTICS

KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS Hotel Occupancy

80.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 70.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 60.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 50.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 40.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 30.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 20.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 10.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 0.0% ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2017

2016 Billings

2015 Montana

2014

United States

Unemployment Rate Comparison County Population

154,200

City Population

110,323

Yellowstone

3.1%

Montana

3.9%

COUNTY STATE

Percent change in county population 2010-2013

United

4.2%

STATES

4.1% Unemployment Rate as of October 2017 Yellowstone County

Median Household Income

$51,012

Montana

United States

Airport Deboardings: City Comparison 500,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 450,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Average Home Price

$240,135

400,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 350,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 300,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Number of Business Licenses

7,350

250,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 200,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 150,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________

School District #2 Enrollment

16,645

Sources: Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Billings Association of Realtors®, City of Billings, School District #2, U.S. Census Bureau and the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research..

100,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 0 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2017 2016 2015 2014 Billings

Bozeman

Missoula

2013 Billings deboardings were impacted by runway maintenance in July/August. **2017 Deboardings reporting for January - June only.

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BUSiNESS ADVOCACY

ADVOCATING FOR BUSINESS BY DANIEL J. BROOKS, BUSINESS ADVOCACY MANAGER

The final House floor session to conclude the 2017 Special Session, circa midnight.

Elections Have Consequences

T

he Billings municipal elections wrapped up a month ago, with four new members and two incumbents winning their races. We were very pleased with the outcome and the great candidates voters had to choose from. Record turnout and vote tallies were testament to the shared vision between the victors and voters in our community. The message we received was: Billings is ready to execute a vision of progress and growth through good leadership and an exceptional community primed to assist. We look forward to working with the new council and thank all the great candidates in all the races.

2017 Special Legislative Session Last month Governor Bullock called the Legislature back to Helena for a special session to deal with the budget shortfall. The last special session was held in 2007 when Governor Schweitzer called lawmakers back to Helena to transfer $55 million to pay for a costly fire season. Ten years later, lawmakers and the Governor would need to approve legislation, make cuts, and raise taxes to find $227 million to offset overestimated revenue. The problem in the most recent budget crunch was not caused from the state collecting less revenue than previous years, but from realizing less revenue than expected and budgeted. The legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a revenue bill with estimates that were far more optimistic than realized. Add on to the

unrealized revenues an incredibly expensive fire season and the probability of a special session became a question of “when?” rather than “if?” A mandated budget reduction proposal from the Governor’s office drew strong opposition from directly affected Montanans and local governments that would have needed to pick up the costs. This lead the Governor to propose splitting the burden into thirds, each accounting for about $75 million of the total: funds transfers and legislation; cuts; and revenue enhancers to pay for the fire costs. This special session was very different from its 2007 predecessor in that a deal was not brokered beforehand, leaving it open to the Republican majority to expand the special session call outside of the framework proposed by the Governor. And in contrast to a regular session, a few changes were made to the process of lawmaking. Probably the most substantial alteration to lawmaking rules was elimination of the requirement to provide a fiscal note on legislation with a fiscal impact. Absent a fiscal note—the estimate generated by the Department of Revenue to assess the fiscal impact of a bill—some votes had to forego the prudent scrutiny and analysis lawmakers generally give to bills. What resulted was a debate on the House and Senate floors about the means to a common end. Democrats, outnumbered and short on leverage, fiercely argued that expediency had trumped judiciousness. From the other side of the aisle Republicans countered that a solution should be found post haste, despite the lack of fiscal certainty, to resolve the budget crisis and reduce

cuts without adding to the cost by staying in session longer then necessary. A whirlwind of decision-making led to the passage of a dozen bills that plugged the State’s budget shortfall and allowed lawmakers to approve the call to “sine die” and adjourn the 2017 special session. The final result was approximately $94 million of fund transfers, a $30 million charge on certain State Fund accounts, $15 million in mandatory furloughs, at least $15 million from the state’s private prison in Shelby, and $76 million in cuts, with a provision to “unwind,” or return, cuts if revenues come in higher than expected. Nobody was going to come out of this special session a clear victor. Government took a cut. School funds were tapped into. Controversial private prison money was part of the deal. In the end both Republicans and Democrats could leave Helena secure in the knowledge that although they did not get everything they wanted, deep cuts to essential programs and services were mitigated. As for the Billings business community, we fared pretty well. We avoided an increase to the lodging and rental car taxes as the bill was tabled in committee. A hastily constructed tax credit elimination bill never made it to a floor vote. And although the $76 million in cuts will certainly affect our community, the effect is far less severe than if the Legislature had not been called back for a special session. The Billings Chamber thanks all of our legislators for their hard work in finding compromise and crafting a deal that will benefit many Montanans.

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MONTANA’S TRAILHEAD

DEBUNKING THE

Myths

ABOUT BILLINGS B Y S T E FA N C AT TA R I N VISIT BILLINGS SALES MANAGER

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PHOTO COURTESY: BIG SKY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


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eeting and convention recruitment takes Visit Billings all around the country visiting with Meeting Planner Professionals from nearly every industry. As an economic hub for anchor industries like agriculture, energy, healthcare, finance and education, tourism ranks among them as one of Billings leading economic contributors. Of the $305M in total contribution of nonresident tourism spending to Yellowstone County1, the Meeting and Convention industry contributes approximately 23% of that impact2. The efforts of Visit Billings, comprised of the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), have never been more important than they are today, facing aggressive and growing competition across the state and region. Visit Billings continues to work diligently to retain and grow that 23%. Just how do we do that? Well I’m glad you asked… “Where is Billings?” That is the recurring question received when presenting Billings as a choice destination to host their next meeting

and interest from planners wanting to learn more. “How can we bring our event to Billings?” becomes the renewed perspective as a result of our messaging3.

or convention. Professional planners can be uncertain about Montana, and more specifically Billings. Uncertain about getting here, uncertain about where they’ll meet or what conference attendees will do once they are here. In an effort to address the ‘elephant in the room’, debunk misconceptions and speak to these concerns, Visit Billings crafted a message to Meeting Planner Professionals that is both humorous and memorable. We make sure they know that contrary to popular belief, Billings, Montana does have automobiles, indoor plumbing and yes, even WIFI. While this approach continues to draw laughs, we see increased attention

Professional planners can be uncertain about Montana, and more specifically Billings. Uncertain about getting here, uncertain about where they’ll meet or what conference attendees will do once they are here. In an effort to address the ‘elephant in the room’, debunk misconceptions and speak to these concerns, Visit Billings crafted a message to Meeting Planner Professionals that is both humorous and memorable.

Converting a Meeting Planner from “where is Billings?” to “How can we bring our event to Billings?” is not a quick, one-time-conversation. It’s often a lengthy process of relationship-building, developed trust and inspiration. Fortunate for Billings, we are Montana’s Trailhead: the beginning of an action-packed conference experience. Montana is a bucket-list state and it is rare to encounter a planner who doesn’t smile with a childish grin at the notion of visiting our incredible state. Billings is unique among destinations in Montana for a number of reasons. We are the largest city, not only in Montana but also in a 5 state, 500-mile radius reaching west to Spokane and Boise, south to Fort Collins and the Denver Metro area, and east to Sioux Falls. We have the luxury of ‘Big City’ amenities while still reserving the small-town charm many expect when traveling to Montana. Billings is also positioned perfectly to offer visitors both

TOP: A graphic used to start telling planners the story of Billings. ABOVE & NEXT PAGE: Sample ads used to interest meeting planners in Billings.

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remains imperative that our community continues to advocate on behalf of protecting and growing the $305M out of state tourism market and the 23% contribution that meetings and conventions provides our local economy. Convention center conversa-tions and strategic efforts to improve, modify and develop new, state of the art meetings facilities is vital to not only sustaining the 23% market share, but to compete against neighboring communities who are supporting the same conversations.

a mountainous adventure and a historical and cultural experience. The Beartooth Mountain range, Montana’s tallest mountains, can be encountered only 45 miles to the southwest by way of Red Lodge and the Beartooth Scenic Byway, one of the top scenic drives in North America.4 This iconic pass also serves as Billings’ gateway to Yellowstone National Park. To the east, southeast Montana boasts some of Montana’s top attractions as well as natural wonders and beauty. Little Bighorn Battlefield

National Monument draws more visitors than any other attraction in Montana next to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Pompeys Pillar National Monument is also a wonderful historic attraction for convention goers. Both major attractions are no more than one hour away from any hotel in Billings. Billings also offers convention hotel properties and unique meeting venues. Our revitalized downtown with great walkability

and immediate access to local culture aids in gaining the interest of planners. Montana’s only ‘walkable brewery district’ is also a certain head turner for the meeting planner. Such attractions offer fun experiences off the conference agenda. As our messaging continues to gain momentum in Meetings and Conventions recruitment, it

If you have any questions or an opportunity to help us get this message in front of local organizations and groups, please reach out to Stefan Cattarin at Stefan@VisitBillings.com.

The mission of Visit Billings is to generate room nights for lodging facilities in the city of Billings by effectively marketing our region as a preferred travel destination. Visit Billings is managed by the Billings Chamber of Commerce.

1 Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research https://scholarworks.umt.edu/itrr_pubs/360/ VisitBillings.com 2 Randal Travel Marketing http://www.visitbillings.com/staging/files/5708866cbe3f1.pdf 3 View full Bring it to Billings presentation: http://prezi.com/qpfeesfoqdjz/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share 4 American Motorcycle Association ranks Beartooth Pass #1 Scenic Drive in the Nation https://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/ama-members-select-americas-15-bestmotorcycling-roads-1

VISITBILLINGS EARNS MAJOR RECOGNITION FROM SPORTS INDUSTRY PARTNERS SportsEvents Media Group, the leading industry publication focused exclusively on helping sports event planners produce excellent competitions in the United States, announced Visit Billings as a 2018 Readers’ Choice Award winner. Sports event professionals were asked to nominate destinations and sports venues that they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the youth and amateur sports groups they

host. Nominations were received from readers throughout the year, and the top picks were selected based on results from an online voting system. Additionally, the NAIA recognized Billings as the Best New Host for their work on the DI Women’s Basketball Tournament. Visit Billings, a key partner in earning the business, is proud of the recognition for the community and eager for the 2018 tournament. Tickets are already on sale at MetraPark.com.

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GET TO KNOW CHAMBER STAFF:

Aly

Describe your position in 5 words. Exciting, Challenging, Inspiring, Innovative, and Collaborative

MURNION PHOTO COURTESY RHEA WOLPOE

If you could make one change in Billings today, what would it be? Riverfront development! I would love to see an attractive riverfront at Coulson Park like what they have in Spokane or Boise.

Position:

Leisure Marketing, Sales and Social Media Manager at Visit Billings

Years on Staff:

If you could have lunch with one famous person, who would it be and why?

1 Year

The TV show you can’t miss: Game of Thrones!

Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Seeing photos of her struggle to finish a race women weren’t allowed to run at the time has always been an inspiration. Her courage to run even though she wasn’t welcome reminds me that nothing is unattainable.

The dish you’re known for cooking: Biscuits and Gravy, thanks to years of panicked phone calls to my mom!

Favorite Chamber/Visit Billings event or program? It’s hard to pick just one! I love that we have the Trailhead Tourism Ambassador program to show our frontline staff all the great things we have in our own backyard. NextGEN is such an awesome program. It connects our local young professionals and the pride that group has created for Billings is absolutely amazing!

Words you live by: “She believed she could, so she did.” My best friend gave me a bracelet with that saying when I finished my masters and I wear it every day as a reminder to believe in myself and others.

What is one thing about the Chamber/Visit Billings you think most people don’t know? How beneficial the Billings Tourism Business Improvement District has been for our city. When I was first hired I had no idea, and it’s been really eyeopening to see how much it contributes to Billings as a destination and for bringing more quality of life to the area. It’s exciting to think about where the next 10 years will take us!

Tell us about your photo: My sidekick Summer and I love downtown Billings. We live downtown and wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s amazing to see how vibrant it is now and we literally have great coffee on every corner which is my other favorite thing. Weekend mornings are usually spent with a stroll to one of our great coffee shops and taking in the beauty of our historical downtown!

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TRiPS on a TANKFUL

HUNTLEY PROJECT MUSEUM OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE:

AN EASY JAUNT BY BRENDA MAAS, MARKETING MANAGER

The Russian style barn, in which the boards were laid flat for great strength, was built by Jacob Baum in 1911 and was used actively until 1978. The structure was donated and moved to the Huntley Project Museum in 1979 as a testament to pioneering architectural skills.

SoutheastMontana.com The mission of Visit Southeast Montana is to increase tourism to Southeast Montana by increasing awareness of our region, showcasing our cultural heritage, developing memorable experiences and educating our residents about the economic benefits of tourism. Visit Southeast Montana is managed by the Billings Chamber of Commerce.

s the American West was being settled more than 100 years ago, agriculture was a predominant industry. Without food for crops and cattle, the settlers would not survive. However, the semi-arid environment of southeastern Montana was not necessarily a farmer’s paradise. A closer look at the Huntley Project, an initiative with the Bureau of Reclamation, gives detailed insight into both U.S. history and the long, convoluted tale of farming in Montana. Located just 17 miles northeast of Billings along Highway 312, the Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture provides an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to simultaneously explore and learn. The museum emphasizes the homesteading era of the late 1800s through the early 1900s, which coincides with the opening of the Project in 1907. However, history is only part of the story. The Huntley Project Museum celebrates the community created around agriculture – a community that remains strong today.

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Annual events like the Threshing Bee in August and Homesteader Days in July, which are hosted on the museum’s grounds, continue the gathering traditions that cycle around farming. Other events, like the Pumpkin Walk or Gingerbread House Decorating Party, celebrate families and holidays. Spotlight exhibits such as Wedding Dresses and the Stories They Tell give voice to the tales of the pioneers as they followed their own American Dreams to Montana. Visitors can walk the 10-acre grounds along the original canal that supplied livesustaining water from the Yellowstone River to 582 farm units – and still functions today. The park-like setting includes a oneroom schoolhouse, a small Russian barn, an original tar-paper shack, a mercantile and a homesteading family’s house. Vintage farm implements are scattered across the grounds, giving testament to the region’s primary economic driver and urging the visitor to ask questions. For all guests, experiencing heritage adds to understanding history – an integral element for progress. Kelli Maxwell, executive director for the Huntley Project Museum, noted that visitors come from all areas, for all reasons. “We have people who are interested in ag and tractors; we have those who like to learn about pioneer life. Some might like

textiles while others are interested in the emerging engineering demonstrated here,” she said. “Each group that visits has an area of interest, and we tailor the tour to fit.” Maxwell also noted that genealogists and those who grew up in the area also visit, mainly for familial reasons. And although a severe drought in 1910 forced many families to abandon their claim, many more families still farm the same land today, three- or even-four generations later, as history lives on. The Reclamation Act of 1902 lead to the government purchasing land from the Crow tribe, which was then plotted to include towns, schools and irrigation routes. In many ways, the project is not all that different from today’s city-county planning efforts. The Huntley Project Museum preserves, interprets and shares that project with visitors and locals alike. The Huntley Project Museum is open year-round with hours that vary seasonally. See www.huntleyprojectmuseum.com for details. HUNTLEY PROJECT MUSEUM OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE

770 RAILROAD HWY. • HUNTLEY, MT 59037 406-348-2533

www.huntleyprojectmuseum.com

MEMORIAL DAY – LABOR DAY: 9 A.M. – 5 P.M./EVERY DAY LABOR DAY – MEMORIAL DAY: 10 A.M. – 4 P.M./TUES. – SAT. NO ADMISSION FEE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED

MEET A SOUTHEAST MONTANA BOARD MEMBER: LESLIE JANSHEN

Leslie Janshen has called Miles City home for nearly 20 years. In her role as Assistant General Manager and Sales Director of Sleep Inn & Suites, she relies on the town’s agriculturalbased roots and western traditions for much of the hotel’s business. While nearly 10,000 spectators attend the annual Bucking Horse Sales every May, Janshen points to Miles City’s western-themed attractions and events as trip-worthy venues. “I often recommend the Range Rider’s Museum, Ag Advancement Center, WaterWorks Art Museum, Camp 21 and Tongue River Winery to guests,” she said, “or, encourage them to take a day trip to the Terry Badlands or just go see the Yellowstone River. We involve tourism in everything we do.” Janshen’s passion for Miles City – and the town’s somewhat quirky attitude – is evident when she fires off a list of truly-unique events: Bobby Burns Celebration; Cowtown Beef Breeders Show; Mosquito Fest; Bison Bar Stache Bash or the Annual Irish Throwdown. She sincerely wants to share the fun that is Miles City. “This is such a wonderful and communityoriented place. There’s always something going on, bringing in more business, and many young professionals have come back to build things like the new amphitheater,” she said. “Or, you can always see the old downtown that is still strong.” When she’s not focused on tourism and lodging, Janshen goes “off the grid” at the family cabin near Broadview, travels and enjoys hunting for arrowheads with her husband, Jeff. She is a mother to three and a very new grandmother (insert beaming face here). If you see her, be sure to thank Leslie Janshen for her service to Visit Southeast Montana tourism.

The Huntley Project museum grounds include many renovated structures, which replicate area homesteading and towns from the early 20th century, including a schoolhouse and the homestead. The main building (lower left) houses permanent and rotating exhibits along with a gift shop. PHOTO COURTESY: HUNTLEY PROJECT MUSEUM OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE


TRANSFORMING THE REGION:

Downtown Allentown, PA is an award-winning Hammes Company project, pictured above.

WHY IT MATTERS:

THE NEXTGEN PERSPECTIVE BY KEITH HART; KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY

I

f you’re like me, you’ve probably been watching the news as it relates to the One Big Sky Center (OBSC) and how the project has KEITH HART progressed and pivoted from its inception. Being a Realtor in Billings, I watch the development of our community closely, as changes in the livability of our amazing city have a direct impact on both my business and my family’s quality of life. We all want to live, work and play in this great area, and OBSC has a chance to truly change the landscape (both physically and metaphorically) of Billings forever. I was fortunate enough to represent the Billings Chamber NextGEN group during a visit to Wisconsin in early November. We were given insight into the Hammes Company (the lead developer on the project), their track record of success, and how Billings and OBSC can work together to create a shared vision of our future. I walked away from these meetings with a few key takeaways: • OBSC is not a “project.” The idea for

OBSC was originally conceptualized as a multi-use conference center/office building/ public space. With the addition of the Hammes Co. to the OBSC team, it has become much more. We are now looking at the creation of an entire economic development engine in the form of a “Downtown District.” The district will comprise of an anchor piece (think convention center, area, multi-use athletic facility, etc.) that is a public/private partnership. Through the creation and construction of the district and the anchor, Billings will see increased ancillary development that will change Downtown Billings in a remarkable way • Downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, which the Hammes Co. conceptualized, designed, and implemented, is a model that closely relates to the idea of the Downtown Billings District. • Hammes Company stood out to me as the right partner for the future of Billings. Hammes has

a track record of success in the creation and implementation of the district development process with projects in Allentown, PA; Duluth, MN; and Rochester, MN. OBSC and the downtown district development model is vitally important for the future of downtown Billings, the entire city and the state. In looking at the Allentown, PA model, we can see significant, smart investment in a downtown district brings additional development to the surrounding areas. By creating a vibrant, thriving downtown area, we will see the addition of amenities NextGENners look for in a place to live, work and play. Additionally, as outlined by Allison Corbyn of Big Sky Economic Development, Billings faces a serious shortage of young, talented workers, as well as space to house said workers. With a shortfall in downtown residential living we will continue to face recruitment issues in regard to employees wanting to live, work and play in a thriving downtown. The Billings Clinic, alone, faces a shortfall of numerous physicians, 48 nurses, and more than 400 general healthcare workers. A project like OBSC will make Billings a more attractive place to relocate.

The PPL Center is an anchor tenant in the Allentown, PA development led by Hammes Company.

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The workforce we need isn't going to come knocking on our door. We must create a city that is more attractive than the competition. OBSC is the total package.


ONE BIG SKY CENTER WHY IT MATTERS:

ADDRESSING SIGNIFICANT WORKFORCE NEEDS

BY ALLISON CORBYN, BIG SKY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

E

very community in the United States is competing for talent and private investment. With ALLISON CORBYN unemployment rates dropping throughout the nation, baby boomers retiring at a rapid rate, and Gen X and Millennials making decisions about where to live based on quality of life, Billings is at a pivotal point. While our community experiences stable growth (approximately 1.5% population growth each year), it is not enough to support our workforce needs – 30,000 jobs will need to be filled in the next 10 years. The OBSC development would be catalytic for the heart of our community, providing amenities Billings needs to continue to grow, a convention center that would draw people from all over the nation, and retail space suited for national tenants.

With myriad projects being tackled by peer communities in our region, if Billings does not secure a project like the One Big Sky Center development to propel us into the future, we will be left behind.

WHY IT MATTERS:

RAISING THE BAR

BY LISA K. HARMON, DOWNTOWN BILLINGS ALLIANCE

T

he Downtown Billings Alliance represents the interests of over 750 property and business LISA HARMON owners and service providers in beautiful downtown Billings. We assisted the City of Billings with redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Billings since 1997, and have facilitated over 275 significant projects from retail to housing to mixed-use developments that have made Billings a vibrant, economically diverse, growing city with a stable city center poised for future investment and growth. For the last three years, we have been working with our economic development partners on

One Big Sky Center, a transformative urban renewal, mixed-use development project in the central business district of downtown Billings. We see this as critical to the current and future needs of the city with regard to economic growth, job creation, talent attraction and recruitment, tourism, art and culture, infrastructure improvement, meeting and civic plaza space, retail, housing and other amenities. The project affords the continued evolution that has been taking place in downtown Billings, and will help compliment the mixed-use, diverse character of downtown Billings. It will increase livability and economic advantage throughout the City of Billings, further making Billings a destination of choice. While the proposed project furthers our revitalization efforts and fosters long-term stimulus for the downtown and surrounding districts, it equally assists our city and our state to have a competitive advantage. We are already seeing the signs of other Montana cities seizing the opportunity, competing and earning our market share. We can and must be proactive on behalf of our community and our economy, and invest in the future of our city and keep pace with our competitors. Over the years and with the many projects we have done in downtown, through publicprivate partnership and wise investment of tax increment financing, we have addressed blighted and underperforming buildings; we’ve preserved historic buildings, built parking structures, and supported small business. We are pleased that our work has led to this – the prospect of a game-changer for Billings, Montana. We have the ability with this project, and the projects that will be catalyzed by it, to energize our community, and more importantly, up and coming generations, who are engaged and hunger for change in the city they have boldly chosen. This isn’t about trying to be like other cities; it’s about creating our own sense of place, our own competitive niche, and about being the best that Billings can be.

Hammes Company recently released this map indicating the potential location of two key districts, Lifestyle and Healthcare.

DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 17


STRATEGIC PRIORITIES UPDATE

older. Better.

BY KELLY MCCANDLESS

GROW: WHAT’S NEW WITH BILLINGSNOW BillingsNOW is in the final stages of the critical strategic planning process facilitated by Elation, Inc. The group recently completed committee meetings on the three identified strategic objectives to determine what the action plan around them should be. The strategic objectives are: 1. Inspire the Masses/Share the Passion Create and share compelling stories about the Billings community to inspire Billings residents to Dream Big.

AIR SERVICE: AMERICAN AIRLINES IN BILLINGS The American Airlines flight between Billings and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas is nearing the end of its second quarter operation. Numbers for the first quarter were very positive indicating a successful flight. While flight demand tends to slow in the fall and winter months, a comprehensive marketing effort is underway to encourage use of the flight both into and out of Billings. Major factors impacting flight demand in the Billings area right now include the continued challenges facing the energy industry and the

Additionally, the website is in its final stages of development and will soon be available at www.BillingsNOW.org. This will be a resource for interested parties to make suggestions and learn about projects and pillars of focus for BillingsNOW.

2. Identify and Lead Dream Big Projects Develop criteria and a selection process to evaluate and select the specific project(s) for BillingsNOW to lead and champion. 3. Financial Resource Development - Determine current and potential funding needs and mechanisms BillingsNOW should investigate and champion.

drought/ fire recovery efforts by eastern Montana agriculture partners. As we see these significant segments slow their flight demands, other areas must step up to support the flights. The key takeaway for the region is to Fly Billings. By continuing to support the Billings Logan Airport and its flights, the demand will lead to continued growth.

CONNECT: TRAVEL TO SCANDINAVIA WITH THE BILLINGS CHAMBER Experience first class accommodations, sightseeing, and cultural discovery with like-minded adventure seekers all in the comforts of group travel. Since 2011 your chamber has facilitated seven international travel experiences for our members and community. Over 200 travelers enjoyed international awareness tours to China, Spain, Austria/Germany, Tuscany and Ireland. We invite you to join us on our 2018 exploration of Scandinavian capitals, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. For more information email jennifer@billingschamber.com or go to https:// www.billingschamber.com/scandinavian-capitals-2018/.

18 | DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

Lastly, the Coulson Park project continues to advance as Big Sky Economic Development is nearing completion of the Master Plan funding initiative. BillingsNOW voted to support this project as our lead Dream Big initiative and will support Big Sky Economic Development in defining what the future of this park looks like.


SURPRISING BENEFITS OF OWNING A HOT TUB

After a long day at work, few things are more relaxing than a soak in a hot tub. Once the stresses of the day have faded, you may find that more than just your nerves have taken a turn for the better. Time spent daily in your hot tub can also enhance relationships, contribute to your overall wellness, and even reduce body aches and pains.

E M I T Y L I M FA

Unplug & Engage

Soaking in a hot tub can give your mind (and your smartphone) a rest, allowing you to disconnect from technology and connect with what’s most important.

Open Up Hot tubs help promote active relaxation that encourages you to be more aware of yourself and open with others.

Benefit

Benefit

You’ll want to share and enjoy more meaningful conversations in a comfortable, no-stress setting.

Cut out distractions and connect with the people in your life.

Connect with Each Other and Your Surroundings Benefit

Soaking keeps your body contained but lets your mind wander and connect with the environment around you.

Bask in the beauty of nature while sharing the experience with family.

406.652.7727 2217 Grand Ave. Billings, MT www.lovethetub.com DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 19


Work that Matters:

An Essential Billings Industry B Y K E L LY M C C A N D L E S S

PHOTOS OF COURTNEY COURTESY RHEA WOLPOE

20 | DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


COURTNEY KIBBLEWHITE

BUTCH BRATSKY

T

is the season to slow down and take a moment to give thanks for the things we have. When I take a moment to pause and think about things we take for granted, the food on our table is most certainly one of them. Not just a lack of understanding about where the dinner on your table comes from, but a lack of appreciation for what it takes to get it there to begin with. And I don't mean the time I spent preparing it for my family and I to enjoy. The really hard work begins long before that. Courtney Kibblewhite is intimately aware of the processes behind the food on the table. From the seeds that go in the ground to the feed purchased to raise animals, and everything in between, her family, her business and her clients live and breathe the process. As the Vice President for Northern Broadcasting and the Northern Ag Network, as well as the Chair of the Chamber’s Ag Committee, Courtney works day in and day out helping agriculture related businesses build their value and their brands throughout the region. "I'm a generation removed from the ranch," she shares, reminiscing about her family's operation in Sand

Springs, "My dad was raised on the ranch, but I was not. Still, I was immersed in 4H, FFA and all the things kids in the ag-world grow up doing. Now, my brother runs the ranch. Courtney laughs when she tells me Sand Springs is nothing more than a gas station and a post office – but really the area is much more. Rolling prairies devoted to raising crops and animals – all to put food on the table somewhere else in the world.

SOUTHEAST MONTANA AGRICULTURE

Like more than 80% of the Chamber’s membership, farms and ranches are generally classified as small businesses. They work each day to support their families and produce a quality product. "Whether it's cattle, sugar beets, wheat, barley, or alfalfa, the goal is the same: make a living. Ranchers and farmers generally aren't in it to be millionaires,” Courtney explains. “Their fueled by their passion for working the land." Butch Bratsky, Senior Banking Executive for Stockman Bank, echoes Courtney. “The passion of the farmer and the rancher is as tough as they are,” he says. “They weather the ups and the

downs of their livelihood through careful financial planning and thoughtful preparation. They have to have a lot of passion to do what they do.” Butch, a 25-year banking veteran and an expert in agricultural finance, is in the sunset of his career and planning to retire at the end of December. “I’ve staked my entire career on my agricultural clients. Their work makes the Billings community turn.” He explains that over 35% of Stockman Bank’s business is dedicated to ag loans, and he works very closely with his clients to carefully assess operating loans, the financing that keeps them running between planting and harvesting. “We do everything we can to ensure they are well-positioned and thoughtfully planned out financially,” Butch explains. “We want them to succeed and recognize this component is key to that happening.”

AGRICULTURE IMPACTS BILLINGS It can be hard for some businesses to appreciate the impact agriculture has on our local economy, especially if they don’t see the direct impact. But whether you sell tractors or coffee, Billings is a hub for business and rural eastern Montana relies on the community for trade, services, entertainment and more.


“I always challenge people to know their clients,” notes Courtney. “We want people to pick Billings to buy their tractor, their animal feed, or to have their books and taxes handled. We want them to get medical services at our hospitals. We want them to stay in our hotels and eat in our restaurants.” She went on to remark on the importance of that money funneling through the local economy and that when agriculture markets struggle, the Billings area shows it. “If a business knows their clients, I’m certain they’ll be able to find a connection to the success of agriculture and their bottom line.” “When the ag markets are good, Billings’ area businesses are generally doing well and you’ll see the ag dollars turn five to seven times,” says Butch. “A good year in the field may mean a new truck or more entertainment spending in the off season. Our farmers and ranchers are generous beyond their work – they spend their money in the areas where they’re supported.”

ISSUES IMPACTING FARMERS AND RANCHERS

The issues impacting our farmers and ranchers are widespread. Some, like drought and fire, are entirely out of anyone’s control. Others, like Environmental Protection Agency regulations, PETA, property taxation, business equipment tax and other policy concerns, can be impacted. “Many farmers and ranchers are worth millions on paper. But they don’t have that kind of cash on hand. Their land, animals, and equipment are the entire value of their operation.” Courtney explains these costs are also part of what makes the growth of farm and ranch operations so challenging. “It’s expensive to start a farm or ranch from scratch. It’s expensive to pass on to your family. And the work is hard. It’s a long-term commitment without any guarantees.” Which means one of the biggest problems facing agriculture today is the shrinking population prepared to run them. “It’s a different culture and lifestyle,” Courtney explains. “We rely on hard work, family, and our neighbors. You can’t just run to Walmart when you need something, so you have to lean on those around you.” But those relationships pay off in spades when Mother Nature takes her toll. The fires from this past summer, which were the result of widespread drought, will mean a multi-year recovery effort. Courtney shares that when disasters like that strike, a rancher’s first thought is about their animals and what they can do to care for them and then their thoughts shift to their infrastructure. “Because of the fires, many ranchers had to wean their calves early and sell them early, meaning their financial plan is greatly impacted,” explained Butch. “Lighter animals, lower payouts, and costs for recovery. It’s a

challenging situation to navigate.” But when reflecting on her family and her neighbors’ operations, Courtney holds dear the stories of assistance she experienced – assistance for her family and for her neighbors. “People sent hay and feed and labor. We even had a group just show up all the way from Ohio, just looking to help. It was remarkable.”

BY THE NUMBERS

According to a Billings Gazette article from October 14, 2017, more than 40,000 cattle moved through the auction barns in Miles City and Billings between July and October – a larger than average number due to ranchers selling their calves earlier than normal. Selling early was forced by drought and fire-riddled pastures. When you drill it down, “Ag contributes $1 billion to the 20-county region around Billings and over $200 million in Billings directly,” says Courtney. That kind of money isn’t easily replaced, and it’s a responsibility shouldered by a small part of the state. “Montana has a low population,” Butch explains, “Just over two percent of our population, about 28,000 people, actually farm and ranch the 60 million acres dedicated to the industry throughout the state. That’s a lot of economic obligation on the shoulders of few.” He adds that the products these people bring to our population are equally as important. “We depend on food, fiber, clothing – we don’t have these things without our partners in agriculture.”

BILLINGS CHAMBER’S AG COMMITTEE

The Billings Chamber’s Ag Committee is its longest-standing committee, and boasts one of the most dedicated followings. Butch was there for the very first meeting, and continues to attend today. Reminiscing about his 25+ years of involvement he said, “The Chamber’s dedication to ag is so important. This committee keeps the issues top of mind and addresses legislative and advocacy needs. It ensures our producers receive the thanks they deserve and it enables area businesses to connect to this essential industry.” At a time when the industry seeks to attract young people, the Chamber’s support has been key. Courtney explains part of her vision leading the Ag Committee this year: “We’ve been able to engage with youth, speak at the Annual Meeting, and push our message out to a wider audience: Ag is relevant and important to our entire community.” If you know of a group who would like to learn more about and be connected to agriculture, contact Courtney at ckibblewhite@ northernbroadcasting.com.

22 | DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

Western Sugar Invests in Montana’s Trailhead Western Sugar is an operation owned by the farmers who produce the sugar beets. In fact, approximately 850 growers throughout Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska purchased Western Sugar in 2002 from the original owners. The result is a business relationship that is a well-paved two-way street. The farmers need the sugar production to run smoothly, and Western Sugar needs the farmers to ensure a quality product. What’s more, the sugar industry provides local farmers a sustainable, viable crop to raise in our region. That kind of symbiotic relationship results in successful operations in Ft. Morgan, Colorado, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Torrington and Lovell Wyoming, and, of course, Billings, Montana. It also encourages Western Sugar to look for ways to support the communities they produce in. In an effort to do just that, Western Sugar recently granted an easement on their property to the City of Billings to help develop the William Clark Recreation Area, an amazing natural, historic landscape along the Yellowstone River. The easement will allow Billings to develop an asset which in turn serves their farmer/owners by enhancing the quality of life. “Besides being owned by our growers, Western Sugar’s Billings factory employs 220 seasonal and fulltime employees,” explains Randall S. Jobman, Northern Vice President of Agriculture for Western Sugar. “Add to that the $71M we push out into the local economy through payments, taxes, local purchases and more and the importance of this operation is obvious.” So, the next time you smell those pungent beets being turned to sugar, take a moment to appreciate the impact those beets have on Billings and the community-minded leadership improving quality of life for each of us.


Farewell AND

BEST WISHES

B

y the end of 2017, Billings will say goodbye to some of our best and brightest community leaders. Each is moving on to new adventures and leaving behind an important and meaningful legacy for our community. Please join us in saying “Thank You” and sending a heartfelt farewell to these community leaders:

MAYOR TOM HANEL

ROBYN PETERSON

CITY OF BILLINGS Term-Limited

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, YELLOWSTONE ART MUSEUM Pursuing new adventures

GREG KRUEGER DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, DOWNTOWN BILLINGS ALLIANCE Retiring

LISA HARMON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DOWNTOWN BILLINGS ALLIANCE Pursuing new adventures

DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 23


BILLINGS’

S S E ACC

EDUCATION

CONNECTIO

N

Mentorship Spurs Professional Relationships BY JENNIFER REISER, IOM


M

entorship provides a valuable opportunity for professional growth and relationship building. Guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a relevant community, is a key driver of success. Like all good relationships, mentorship is a twoway street. Mentorships start with mutual connections, and, when used wisely, continues to evolve. Relationships established during mentorship assist in growing and sustaining our workforce by improving the likelihood that individuals deepen their connection to our community. Through its Learn action team, NextGEN facilitates mentorship between its members and Billings Chamber members who are seasoned professionals within our community. Mentorship can assist in expanding your professional network, offer resources for career development and build on your area of expertise. Mentors share known resources, expertise, values, skills, perspectives and contacts in their industry. What’s more, the experience enables a professional relationship where mentees are able to ask for guidance in regard to their career path or for specific professional or educational situations they may be facing now or in the future. The 2017-18 NextGEN Exchange program matched 30 NextGEN members with seasoned community professionals as mentors. These 60 participants are guided by the Chamber and NextGEN Learn from September 2017 – May 2018. The program kicked off with a facilitated luncheon and will end with a collective gathering; however, in between mentor-mentee pairs are encouraged to get to know each other, establish expectations, develop goals, and create opportunities for further engagement. There

were 44 participants in the 2016-17 Exchange program and many of these relationships continued after the facilitated mentorship ended. Both mentors and mentees reported experiencing genuine connections and felt personally and mutually invested in each other’s success. In addition, the NextGEN Inspire action team provides mentorship to college students at MSU Billings and Rocky Mountain College. Student mentees are matched with NextGEN mentors to help students build a professional network and offer resources for career development. This also provides our emerging leaders (NextGEN Members) the opportunity to share their experiences and retain incoming young professionals. We do our best to match the mentee with a mentor in their career area of interest. This is not an internship. Mentorship is much different than an internship where the student works for a business. Mentorships are inherently more relational, but in a professional capacity. Mentees should be able to ask for advice in regard to their career path or for specific professional or educational situations they may be experiencing. Since 2015, NextGEN Inspire has offered mentorship opportunities to nearly 50 students. Regardless of where you are in your career path, there are benefits for both mentees and mentors. Successful mentorships depend on both parties to make a dedicated effort to the relationship. Both mentors and mentees need to research each other’s backgrounds, establish who they are and what they want. Additionally, pairs are encouraged to be open to learning unexpected lessons.

BENEFITS FOR MENTEES

BENEFITS FOR MENTORS

• Insight into career options • An expanded personal network • Accelerated training and development • Increased self-awareness and self-discipline • Constructive feedback

• Share ideas, try new skills • Enhance leadership role • Translate values and strategies into productive actions • Identify opportunities to enhance personal contributions in your organization and your community • Personal fulfillment by investing in others

THE 2018 NEXTGEN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES

JANUARY THRU MAY 2018. Each spring the NextGEN Learn Action Team facilitates a professional development series for young professionals. Themes in recent years included Human Resources, Technology and Leadership. This year the Learn Action Team, led by Kelly Elletson and Zack McKittrick, announced the topic for the 2018 series will be ‘The Art of Professionalism’. Through this five-month series, young professionals focus on a variety of topics on professionalism: interacting with personality types other than their own, bridging generational gaps, how to create and maintain professionalism in differing avenues of social media, and keys to increasing productivity at work by using and prioritizing time. Lastly, they will learn how and why engaging in the community as a young professional is important and how it adds value to them as a young professional, in turn increasing the value of their organization. This is a great educational opportunity for NextGENers to mature professionally, connect with others, develop their career, and achieve better access to the community. The Art of Professionalism development series will kicks off on Tuesday, January 23rd from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. More information can be found on the NextGEN website under events or on the NextGEN Facebook events page. Cost is $25 per session or $100 for the full series. The Art of Professionalism 2018 Dates:

January 23 March 27

th

May 22

rd

February 27

th

April 24

th

nd

DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 25


Work hard. Be safe.

Head home. A good day at work always ends the same way. You’re efficient. You’re productive. And you go home safe. At Montana State Fund, we have the programs to help you make every day at work that kind of good day. Learn more at safemt.com. 855 Front Street Helena, MT 59601

26 | DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

Work hard. Be safe.


CONNECT

2018 AGRICULTURE APPRECIATION BANQUET BY JESSICA HART EVENTS MANAGER

A

griculture is a core piece of the Billings business community. From sugar beets to cattle and everything in between, this billion-dollar industry truly is the lifeblood of Billings, and that is something to celebrate. And, once again, we’ll do just that on what will likely be a chilly evening January 19th. Attendees at this event take a few hours to show appreciation for nearly 1,000 people who work in or support our number one industry. We take this time to showcase how important agriculture is to the businesses in our region and honor our friends and family members who make this their livelihood. One of the most celebrated moments of the evening is the Chamber’s Agriculture Excellence

EVENTS UPCOMING

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

Business After Hours is the premiere networking event for business professionals in the Billings area. It is held on the second Wednesday of each month from 5 – 7 p.m and the cost to attend is just $8.

Award which recognizes and honors someone who has made outstanding contributions to the Billings agricultural community. Steve Lackman, former Montana State University Ag Extension Agent, was selected as the 2018 honoree for demonstrating excellence in his involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, and participation in civic and community organizations. Steve has been a long time member of the Chamber Ag Committee and we are incredibly lucky to celebrate and honor his work this year at the banquet. Join us January 19th for the 21st Annual Chamber Ag Appreciation Banquet presented by Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative. We return to the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark this year and the evening will include a prime rib dinner, an industry update, presentation of

HIGHGATE SENIOR LIVING JANUARY 10TH • 3980 PARKHILL DR.

Steve Lackman, 2018 Ag Excellence Winner

the Ag Excellence Award, and entertainment by John King. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a nohost cocktail hour and we wrap up around 10:30 p.m. Tables of 10 cost $500 and can be purchased through the Metra. You may avoid purchasing fees by buying your tickets in person at the Box Office. Call the Chamber at 406-245-4111 with questions.

SAVE THE DATE:

ADVANCED CARE HOSPITAL AG APPRECIATION OF MONTANA FEBRUARY 14TH • 3528 GABLE RD. BANQUET JAN. 19TH • DOORS OPEN AT 5:30 P.M. CLARK MARTEN TABLES OF TEN COST $500 PHOTOGRAPHY CHAMBER BREAKFAST MARCH 14TH • 2606 MONTANA AVE. FEATURING FIVE FOR FIGHTING ADULT RESOURCE MAR. 29TH • DOORS OPEN AT 6:00 A.M. TABLES OF TEN COST $500 ALLIANCE GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS $40 APRIL 11TH • 1505 AVE. D

28 | DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


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DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 29


WORK HARD. GET SWEATY. HAVE FUN. REPEAT.

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Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a HappyNewYear We are grateful for our Clients, business partners, and associates in the Billings community and look forward to our continued partnerships in the new year.

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30 | DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


ANNOUNCING

JOHN ONDRASIK FOR THE

2018

CHAMBER BREAKFAST BY JESSICA HART

BREAKING THE MOLD

E

ach year we seek to raise the bar for the Chamber Breakfast, our biggest annual event hosting over 1,700 people. Our speakers have included sports stars, heroes, entrepreneurs, and comedians, and they’ve each offered a valuable nugget the audience can take back with them. This year we promise an event that breaks the mold of all our past events and sends attendees back to work feeling empowered and inspired. On March 29, 2018 we will be back at MetraPark with a fresh twist on the Chamber Breakfast, presented again this year by KULR8. Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik will provide us with an incredible morning of inspiration, creativity, and music. Ondrasik, best known for his hits “Superman” and “100 Years,” creates inspiration

through a unique experience blending the traditional speaking format with musical performance. What does this have to do with business? Everything!

Leadership and success do not fit neatly into a mold. In fact, many of our incredible community leaders would agree that building a career, pushing a project forward and achieving success can be defined in many ways. So, taking note from our unconventional leaders, we’re breaking the mold of what we have offered in the past with a speaker who will touch on innovation, relationship building, and creativity.

Ondrasik built his career by producing six albums that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His hit “Superman” served as an unofficial anthem after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and his songs have been featured in more than 350 films, TV shows, and advertisements. Ondrasik is also a songwriter, writing songs for various artists ranging from Josh Groban to The Backstreet Boys.

The event will be one for the record books, and we hope you’ll be part of it. Join us March 29th for the 54th Annual Chamber Breakfast presented by KULR 8. Tables of 10 are $550; General Admission tickets are $40. Tickets may be purchased through MetraPark. Additional fees may apply when purchasing online or over the phone. Learn more at BillingsChamber.com.

DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 31


BUSINESS GROWTH: GETTING TO KNOW

TERRITORIAL LANDWORKS, INC. BY RENÉ BEYL

BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST Territorial-Landworks, Inc. (TLI), a Montana-based Engineering & Surveying firm, is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the merge between two MT businesses with over 30 years of experience. I sat down with Kolten Knatterud, a partner in the firm and the Billings Branch Manager, who proudly shared the company’s guiding light is to be client focused. We also discussed the diverse range of projects TLI has going across the state.

RENÉ:

Why did TLI choose to come to the Billings Market?

KOLTEN:

We had requests from existing clients to open an office in Billings. It was an easy choice because of the community, steady economy and solid growth.

RENÉ:

What services does TLI offer?

KOLTEN:

RENÉ:

Why do clients choose to work with TLI?

KOLTEN:

We value relationships with our clients and seek to build lasting partnerships that provide value. We treat their money as if it is our own.

RENÉ:

What is an exciting project that TLI worked on recently?

KOLTEN:

The craft brewer, KettleHouse, was planning a major expansion and purchased property to build a new production facility. We managed their site design. Also, a wastewater treatment package was needed and in order for TLI to provide the best solutions, members of our team invested time to learn more about the craft brew industry. We then used our research to provide a solid solution for our client. Cold Smoke beer is now in the Billings market. We were also involved in the development of the adjacent amphitheater.

RENÉ:

What value do you see the Billings Chamber offers your business?

KOLTEN:

Our firm partners to build better communities, and we want to make a positive impact in Billings. We participate through committees and groups where we can offer insight and look for opportunities to network with new clients. The Billings Chamber is thankful for the assistance from TLI. They donated a tremendous amount of time and work to securing the grants to develop Clark’s Crossing and the Western Sugar Easement. These areas enhance our trail system along the Yellowstone River.

Through committee p can offer insight and find our scope of work.

We are land use consultants providing land development, municipal, survey, site planning and oil and gas services. Bretz RV is a local example of our site plan services. Through a collaborative effort we positioned Bretz RV for success now and into the future. The City of Billings is our largest municipal client. We recently performed construction monitoring and engineering services for the reconstruction on Grand Avenue.


Ribbon Cuttings The following Chamber member businesses recently celebrated grand openings, anniversaries, rebranding, relocation, and ground breakings. Congratulations to each of them!

BROADWAY DANCE STUDIO

held a ribbon cutting for their new dance studio for all ages on September 7th.

BARBIERE

promoted opening a unique barbershop in downtown Billings with an open house on Sept. 8th.

FISHER TECHNOLOGY

is new to the Billings market and held a grand opening on September 28th.

YELLOWSTONE KELLY INTERPRETATIVE SITE celebrated the completion of this amazing community amenity on September 28th.

MAURICE’S

hosted a ribbon cutting to share they are now located in Shiloh Crossing on September 29th.

JJIFFY LUBE

cut a ribbon at both the new locations, Shiloh Crossing and Henesta, on October 5th.

SEAN O’DANIEL - STATE FARM INSURANCE

opened a new office in Shiloh Crossing with an open house on October 6th.

YOUR PIE

showed off the new fast casual pizza and craft beer restaurant with a grand opening event on Oct. 9th.

CITY VINEYARD

celebrated their new location including a lounge and gourmet market on October 9th.

N.I.L.E

held a 50th Anniversary ribbon cutting and kicked off new events along with the rodeo on October 13th.

participation and groups, we d new businesses to align with The Billings Chamber is thankful for the assistance from TLI. They donated a tremendous amount of time and work to securing the grants to develop Clark’s Crossing and the Western Sugar Easement. These areas enhance our trail system along the Yellowstone River.

WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION – MON-DAKS CHAPTER

held a ribbon cutting prior to playing live during the N.I.L.E. on October 20th.

THE SPRINGS AT GRAND PARK

renovated their assisted living facility and hosted a community open house on October 23th.

BRIGHTER SKY COUNSELING – ERIN BRATSKY commemorated the opening of her business on October 25th.

MICROBOOKS

celebrated the opening of a business office on Main Street in Laurel, MT on October 26th.

ALTANA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

officially opened the new location on Main St in Billings on November 7th.

CORE DENTAL CARE CO

was renovated by the new owner and held a ribbon cutting open house on November 16th.

MINT SMARTWASH M

celebrated their new car wash business in Billings with a grand opening on November 16th.

Does your business have a momentous change in the future? Schedule a ribbon cutting celebration! This complimentary member benefit is available to all members – simply contact us to schedule yours by calling 406.245.4111.


34 | DECEMBER 2017-FEBRUARY 2018 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


Billings Chamber of Commerce 815 S. 27th St. Billings, MT 59101

Link December 2017  
Link December 2017