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AMERICAN AIRLINES

CHOOSES BILLINGS

BILLINGSWORKS

DELIVERING ON GOALS

GET TO KNOW CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

julie seedhouse

IS S U E 13 | M A R C H - M AY 2017

WINNERS


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 3533 Gabel Rd - Billings, Montana 406.652.9151 hubinternational.com Business Insurance · Personal Insurance · Employee Benefits · Risk Management


table of contents

features

3.17 CONTENTS 2017 BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS

p.20

WORKFORCE – BILLINGSWORKS DELIVERS ON GOALS

p.18

RAISING THE BAR

p.28

Excerpt from Emmit Smith's book Game On

Employer of the Year:

Billings Federal Credit Union

Business Person of the Year:

harvey singh Singh Contracting, Inc., Outward Media Group and Seva Kitchen

AIR SERVICE TAKES OFF IN BILLINGS

p.24

Customer Service Excellence:

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Leif welhaven EEC

Supervisor/ Manager of the Year:

DEDE STONER First Federal Bank and Trust

p.32

Gainan’s Flowers. Garden. Home.

Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site opens June 2017

p.26

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departments

3.17 EVERY ISSUE

PRESIDENTS LETTER Success stories for positive initiatives and projects.

Grow

p.6

p.7

Travel with the Chamber to Ireland.

HORIZONS

p.8

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

ADVOCATE

p.9

Use the Action Center to voice your opionion to our Legislators.

MONTANA’S TRAILHEAD

p.10

Take a closer look at the power of travel promotion locally and statewide.

GET TO KNOW JESSICA HART Events Manager for the Billings Chamber.

p.13

TRIPS ON A TANKFUL Baseball, apple pie and rodeos throughout Southeast Montana.

Get to Know JULIE SEEDHOUSE

p. 30

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Earley Enterprises, LLC

p.14

p. 31

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Top Investors

FROM THE PRESiDENT/CEO

Big Sky level

LIVING ON THE EDGE Projects such as these go nowhere without the right people behind the wheel. How would you define “the right person?” Start by reading the stories of our Business Excellence Award recipients. These people know how to run a company, keep a positive attitude through tough times, be part of a team, and take risks when needed. Simply stated, they know how to make things happen.

T

his issue of LiNK is the largest we have produced to date. Why? There are so many positive initiatives and projects occurring around our community and through the Chamber to share. Each of those success stories begins with a leader who has a vision and is able to rally the troops around that vision to accomplish greatness. Securing American Airlines and the NAIA Basketball tournament, breaking ground on the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site, developing a bill draft and engaging elected leaders in their support for the local option authority, BillingsNOW’s strategic plan development for Billings, this summer’s NextGEN statewide leadership conference hosted in Billings, and so much more.

Leadership is not easy whether in business, as a state legislator, local city council member or committee volunteer. One has to wade through personal agendas, conflicting personalities, and simply a desire to be “in charge” and take credit. Most good leaders I have crossed paths with are reluctant leaders who are not seeking glory but seeking the end goal of improving their organization, their team, or their community. To the gracious, giving and spirited leaders, we thank you. You get stuff done. You ignore the obstructionists who struggle with vision, are challenged with graciousness and are not open to new ideas. “I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut. The Chamber is on the edge and Billings is on the move. Onward!

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

2015 Chamber of the Year

®

Granite Peak level

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

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

LiNK is proudly distributed at these member businesses: • Atlas Chiropractic of Billings • Barnett Opticians • Beartooth Vision Center • BioLife Plasma Services • Brewer Dental Center • Commons 1882 • 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: The Billings Gazette Project Management/ Editor: Kelly McCandless Creative Designer: Nadine Bittner Photo Contributors Billings Gazette Staff Photographers, Billings Chamber, Visit Billings, Rhea Wolpoe Advertising Sales: 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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• L P Anderson Point S Tire – both locations • Masterlube - all locations • MorningStar • Moulton Bellingham • Olsen Ortho Studio • PayneWest • Picture Perfect Ultrasound • Practical Taxes • Prill Dental • RiverStone Health • Sanctuary Spa • St. Vincent Healthcare • Starbucks • Thomas Smile Designs • Western Heritage Center


GROW

Travel to Ireland with the Billings Chamber BY JENNIFER REISER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

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he Billings Chamber is pleased to offer its 7th international awareness opportunity with a trip to Ireland November 2017. Since 2011, over 200 individuals have joined family and friends on our international tours to learn about the economy, culture, people and history of foreign countries. The Billings Chamber connects travelers to affordable international travel while offering the chance to foster both personal and professional relationships through extended periods of quality networking. We are proud to provide our valued

guests the opportunity to travel with Central Holidays West, official travel partner of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Central Holidays West offers the reliability that you are partnering and traveling with a strong, longestablished, robust tour operator with a time-honored history, as well as an ongoing commitment to providing the best quality travel packages and unparalleled client service. This year prepare to bask in the luck of the Irish on your Irish Sprit adventure. Here awaits a land of legends and mystical folklore and lush green landscapes coupled with stone-clad castles, medieval masterpieces and spectacular cliff-side views. During this hands-on adventure you will also have the opportunity to tap into the heritage of other kinds of “Irish Spirits ” with tasting experiences at historic pubs, the Guiness Storehouse and the acclaimed Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery. Savor traditional Irish recipes and vivacious music as you get to know

The Cliffs of Moor await travelers to Ireland. Photo courtesy Central Holidays West.

the spirit of Ireland every step of the way. On November 4, 2017, the group will begin their nine day, seven night adventure in Dublin, Eire’s capital city. The tour package features round trip air transportation from Billings, first-class hotel accommodations, baggage handling and transfers, superb cuisine, all-inclusive sightseeing tour including guide and all entrance fees including visits to sites in Dublin, Cork, Tralee, and Galway. Travelers may also continue their adventure with

an optional two-day extension to Belfast. The tour price begins at just $3,399 per person for double occupancy if reserved by April 29, 2017. The full brochure, itinerary and registration forms are available at BillingsChamber.com. The tour is open to both Chamber members and non-members as well as to individuals and families outside the Billings area. Consider joining us for a no obligation information night with Central Holidays Thursday, April 6th at 5:30pm at the Chamber.

Chamber Statistics: What are we doing for you? As of February 15, 2017, the Billings Chamber represents 1,268 members with approximately 51,243 employees.

Since the beginning of our fiscal year on July 1, 2016 through February 15, 2017: Number of Calls/Inquiries:..........................9,042 calls

Chamber Event Attendance:................................3,393

Visitors to the Visitor Information Center:......... 2,385

hotel room nights booked for $4,019,625 total economic impact on the city of Billings.

(avg. 1,205/month)

Visits to VisitBillings.com:...............................106,600 Visits to BillingsChamber.com:..........................25,821

Convention and Meeting Tourism Bookings:.... 17,865

Conventions and Meetings Serviced by Visit Billings:.....................................4,825

Relocation Packets Mailed:.......................................62

convention delegate packets provided.

Visitor Information Packets Mailed:....................2,036

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:..........7,083

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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%____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2016

2014

2015 Billings

Montana

2013

United States

Unemployment Rate Comparison County Population

City Population

154,200 106,954

Yellowstone

3.5%

Montana

4.0%

COUNTY STATE

United

Percent change in county population 2010-2013

4.2%

STATES

4.7% Unemployment Rate as of January 2017 Yellowstone County

Median Household Income

$49,265

Montana

United States

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

Average Home Price

$238,033

400,000_________________________________________________________________________________________________

*

350,000_________________________________________________________________________________________________ 300,000_________________________________________________________________________________________________ Number of Business Licenses

7,350

250,000_________________________________________________________________________________________________ 200,000_________________________________________________________________________________________________ 150,000_________________________________________________________________________________________________

School District #2 Enrollment

16,545

Sources: Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Billings Association of RealtorsÂŽ, City of Billings, School District #2, U.S. Census Bureau.

100,000_________________________________________________________________________________________________ 50,000 _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2016 2015 2014 2013 0

Billings

Bozeman

Missoula

Airport Deboarding Data Source: Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. *2013 Billings deboardings were impacted by runway maintenance in July/August

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BUSiNESS ADVOCACY

Activate your Voice – Connecting you to your legislators BY DANIEL J. BROOKS, Government Affairs MANAGER

it conveyed straight from you, our business community. Last year the Chamber gathered members of our business community to speak to City Council on the local option. The effect was remarkably positive, prompting a re-evaluation of the Council’s previous position. Councilman Yakawich, clearly moved by your presence, remarked, “I haven’t seen this many people coming together to promote a vision…They have the passion and the energy.”

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he Billings Chamber of Commerce is the Voice of Business for Billings. More importantly we are YOUR voice, lobbying for the interests you helped identify to create our Public Policy Guide. Using the Guide as our reference, we have supported and opposed numerous bills this Legislative Session that would affect your organizations. While we continually communicate your positions to legislators, it is essential that you become engaged again. Specifically, we need your voice. Legislators want to hear from their constituents, and it means more to have

To help encourage additional engagement, we have added an Action Center to our website (billingschamber.com/action-center). The platform allows you to quickly and easily search through proposed legislation at the federal and state level, see the Chamber’s position on legislation, and track how your elected officials are voting on issues important to the Billings business community. More importantly, we make it easy for you to contact your representatives and make your voice heard. The process is incredibly simple. From our Action Center, you can find your elected officials and contact them from our website. On the Action Center homepage you can input your zipcode

and address in the “Find Legislator” field, and the platform will direct you to a page listing your official representatives. Put a checkmark next to the officials you would like to contact and click “Compose Message.” You choose the subject line and draft your message. The greeting and salutation will be automatically inserted into your message for you. We know you’re busy and might not have time to explore everything the Action Center has to offer, so we will periodically send out Action Alerts for our campaigns, allowing you to make your voice heard with a couple swift clicks of your mouse. And for those members active on their mobile devices, you can download the Voter Voice app and link it to the Billings Chamber of Commerce, keeping you only a couple taps away from making a difference! Please explore the Action Center and call us with any questions (406-245-4111). We are working for you, but we also want to work with you to improve our community and make the best Billings we can.

How can YOU talk to YOUR elected officials?

Our Action Center helps you:

 Make a call or send an email  Identify legislation and dates so you can go to Helena to testify in person

 Action alerts allow us to let you know about issues of

importance to the business community so you can act swiftly to contact your representative

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VISIT BILLINGS

The Power of Travel, National Travel and Tourism Week May 7-13 by alex tyson EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VISIT BILLINGS

O

ur people, our culture, and our Rimrocks, rivers, vistas, parks, food, culture, history, opportunities for adventure, backcountry access, events, neighbors and pride make Billings a place that residents are proud to call home. They also make Montana’s Trailhead a place others want to come and visit, bringing dollars that grow our economy, create jobs and in some categories, increase the tax base. Out of state travelers directly support 32,529 jobs in Montana alone. These dollars fuel our local businesses and grow local economies. Strong investment in marketing the Montana’s Trailhead brand is part of the formula that helps grow visitation in Billings and southeast Montana. Many of our citizens are well aware of the power of travel in Montana, Billings and other communities. But it’s always good to take a closer look at the power of travel promotion and support of the tourism industry locally and statewide, particularly ahead of National Travel and Tourism Week May 7-13, 2017.


in visitor spending, according to a Longwood’s International study. Today, the region welcomes more than nine million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular in the Midwest. In Yellowstone County, in 2016, nearly $400 million was spent by out of state visitors. Without the strong brand position of Montana’s Trailhead, the Visit Billings regional, national and international marketing strategies, and the efforts by the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, this number wouldn’t be as robust and area tourism partners would suffer. Indeed there are immediate and severe consequences for states and regions that cut their tourism marketing budgets. In Connecticut, travel revenue growth slowed to just half the pace it achieved during the deep recession years of 2009-2010 after the state eliminated its tourism office. Even Connecticut’s governor called the cuts “a gigantic mistake” during his successful campaign, and included restoring the state’s travel promotion funding as part of his platform. When local governments arrive at the misguided decision to shutter their tourism offices or don’t take the time to understand or realize the importance of local tourism efforts, they may not consider what kind of an opportunity that presents for neighboring areas to increase their market share. When Washington State’s legislature shut down its tourism office in 2011, Montana in turn increased its tourism marketing budget by 30% the following year. Predictably, traveler spending in Montana grew 70% faster, and took in far more travel-related tax revenue than its more populous neighbor. Lucky us! The U.S. Travel Association’s Power of Travel Promotion report outlines just how beneficial that investment is for destinations like ours in today’s competitive global marketplace. Case study after case study demonstrates the “virtuous cycle” of economic benefits spurred by travel promotion. More visitors mean more money spent on local attractions, hotels, retail, restaurants and transportation. This in turn creates jobs and in some cities and states, increases investment in infrastructure, city centers, and essential public services.

To start, let’s look at what happens when a destination decides to invest more in promoting themselves both domestically and internationally. Nashville, TN, has long been a mecca for music lovers worldwide, but did you know that its “Music City” moniker is a fairly recent development? Just over ten years ago, the city made a commitment to build a strong, authentic and identifiable “Music City” brand through consistent investment in travel promotion. The move yielded significant results. Promotion of sites like the new Music City Center helped attract more than $1 billion in new development to Nashville’s SoBro (South of Broadway) neighborhood, plus $5 billion in annual visitor spending, and directly supported 58,000 jobs, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation. It’s not just major cities that benefit from effective destination marketing, either. The “Lake Erie Love” campaign has driven an economic revival in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region of Michigan, generating $151 million


All of this growth and activity contributes to a positive “halo effect,” improving a destination’s image at home and abroad, improving quality of life and attracting new businesses and residents. You can learn more about National Travel and Tourism Week at www. USTravel.org.

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. VisitBillings.com

AN INVESTMENT ON THE MSU BILLINGS CAMPUS

Is an Investment in the Future

Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building

MSU Billings has outgrown Science Hall. The need for updating and expanding the building is real. The planned renovation and expansion will add approximately 30,000 square feet of instructional and research space and provide a new home for the growing College of Allied Health Professions. In addition, it will provide a hands-on laboratory environment, enhance research capacity, increase student enrollment and preparation in growing high-demand occupations, and will attract increasingly research-oriented faculty to the institution. The facility will be highly energy efficient with LEED-Silver certification. The three floors will accommodate:

When the current Science Building was built in 1947, total enrollment at MSUB (then Eastern Montana College) was 1,000. The University offered five science and health programs with 36 courses; there were four science and health faculty and 50 enrolled student majors.

• • • • • • • • •

modern teaching laboratories new performance laboratories applied research space classrooms multi-media student research/study center wet and dry science laboratories student support areas departmental support office space state-of-the-art technology in all classroom and laboratory spaces, including a multi-media student research center • a TEIL (Technology Enhanced Integrated Learning) Laboratory

Compare those programs to current enrollments & offerings: • MSUB now provides 22 science and allied health programs of study with 300 courses • Twenty-six faculty members • More than 850 student majors (390 in science and 466 in allied health) – a 1,700% increase • In addition to the science and allied health students, every graduate will use the Yellowstone Building.

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To invest in or for more info on the Yellowstone Science & Allied Health Building: Online: msubillings.edu/foundation/yellowstonebuilding Phone: 406-657-2244 Email: robbie.carpenter@msubillings.edu Mailing address: 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101


GET TO KNOW CHAMBER STAFF:

Jessica

Describe your position in 5 words. Dream Job, Planning, Complexity, Fun!

HART

p h oto C O U R T E S Y r h e a w o l p oe

What book is on your nightstand? My iPad full of bookmarked blogs for soon-to-be boy moms!

Position:

Events Manager

Years on Staff: 1.5 Years

Words you live by: Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

The dish you’re known for cooking? … I am not!

Favorite Chamber/Visit Billings event or program? I love all of our events but I would have to say the Chamber Open Golf Tournament because our members and staff get to enjoy a day out of the office to network, relax, and have some fun! Mark your calendars for it on June 23rd!

One adjective that describes you: Driven.

The TV show you can’t miss: Any “reality” TV is my guilty pleasure. Bring on the drama, tears, and ridiculousness!

Tell us about your photo: That handsome fella right there is my best friend and husband, Keith. He keeps me grounded when the world of event planning can get overwhelming. He is pretty amazing!

If you could have lunch with one famous person, who would it be and why? Ellen DeGeneres because she is a conduit for positive change in our world. She reminds us to be kind to one another and that being funny is one of the best things to be.

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TRiPS on a TANKFUL

Baseball, Apple Pie and… Rodeos

By BRENDA MAAS, MARKETING MANAGER

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.

he rugged and independent cowboy is, perhaps, one of the most iconic and long-lived images of Montana and the American West. With ties that go back to the Spanish and early ranch settlements, the sport has evolved from cowboys in friendly, postcattle drive competitions to the high-tech, bigstakes western entertainment of today. Yet, at its core, rodeo is pure, gritty and raw. Take a skilled cowboy (or, cowgirl) and add a large, unpredictable animal or two. Then mix in a timer, maybe some spurs and often extreme weather conditions. The outcome is rarely the same twice. Therein lies its charm.

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The typical rodeo includes saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. Toss in a few clowns with some mutton busting, and the arena becomes a hive of hooves, boots and drama. From high school competitions to the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), rodeo oozes authentic Montana – and it can easily become a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat obsession. It takes guts to climb on the back of a one-ton animal or to jump off a racing horse while attempting to tie flailing hooves. And it’s all right here in Southeast Montana.


Get Your Rodeo Fix in Southeast Montana

GET TO KNOW SEMT BOARD MEMBER

Big Sky Little Britches Rodeo

Dan Austin, a Visit Southeast Montana Board member for nearly six years, stands as a pioneer in the adventure travel industry. As president of Austin Adventures, he knows what it takes to succeed in the tourism and travel industry.

DAN AUSTIN

Mark your calendar with these genuine cowboy events scheduled for 2017.

March 25-26 and April 1-2 Millers Horse Palace • Billings • nlbra.com

Professional Bull Riders April 7-9 • Billings • pbr.com

Miles City 67th Annual Bucking Horse Sale May 18-21 • Miles City • buckinghorsesale.com

“It’s the old adage that the customer comes first,” said Austin. “Put the emphasis on customers first and foremost – this is especially true in travel. You are talking about someone’s vacation so the experience is amplified.”

Little Big Horn Stampede PRCA RODEO June 24 - 25 • Hardin • Tickets sold on site

Dawson County Fair & PRCA Rodeo

With a legacy that goes back to 1974, Austin Adventures specializes in unique small-group and individual trips to natural and historical locations, which often include a physical element like bicycling, hiking or kayaking. Austin Adventures always gives clients the “wow” factor.

August 12 • Glendive • dawsonfair.com

Yellowstone River Roundup PRCA Rodeo @ MONTANAFAIR August 17 – 19 • Billings • metrapark.com

Fallon County Fair & PRCA Rodeo

Austin considers Southeast Montana an ideal location for both living and doing business.

August 17 – 20 • Baker • falloncounty.net

Eastern Montana Fair & PRCA Rodeo

“We have unlimited opportunities in this state. You could “weekend warrior” for years and never see everything,” he said. “Travel, even in your own backyard, will expand you beyond your comfort zone and open your eyes. You just have to stop your car, get out and meet the locals.” Learn more about this successful Southeast Montana-based business at www.austinadventures.com.

August 22 – 23 • Miles City • Tickets sold on site

NILE PRCA Rodeo October 12 – 14 • Billings • thenile.org

“Small town rodeos have been known to double the population of the town. This kind of increase of people in need of goods and services is a huge shot in the arm for the little retailer. In the case of the Bucking Horse Sale it brings us a huge business lift as well as name recognition of the community based on the event. When you say “The Bucking Horse Sale” people immediately think ~ John Laney, Miles City Chamber of Commerce President. of Miles City.”

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Easier there. Easier back. Travel faster for business with easy, affordable flights between Billings and northeast Montana. And enjoy the ride.

49

$

* each way

from

Havre

Glasgow

Wolf Point Sidney

Glendive

Enjoy the ride.

Billings

capeair.com

800-CAPE-AIR

*Including all taxes and fees. Fares are subject to availability and other conditions. Fares may change without notice, and are not guaranteed until ticketed.


New location, same great care. Welcome to Our New Downtown Walk-In Clinic St. Vincent Healthcare has moved its downtown Walk-In Clinic from our main hospital campus to a new, more convenient location on North 27th Street. You’ll find affordable, same-day care for the whole family without an appointment. We also offer easy parking, a comfortable waiting room, and personalized care and attention from top medical providers. Open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Walk-in care is also available at our Broadwater location at 2019 Broadwater Avenue.

1027 N. 27th Street Billings, MT 59101-1027 406-237-5110 svphysicians.org

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Maintaining the Competitive Edge BillingsWorks Helps Billings Workforce Stay Regionally Competitive

by Melanie Schwarz

Director of Marketing & Member Investors for Big Sky Economic Development

Students work to achieve certifications in City College's automotive program. PHOTOS COURTESY MSU-BILLINGS

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B

illingsWorks is now in its fourth year and going strong. The BillingsWorks Workforce Council has over 100 partners including private business, higher education, K-12 Education, City/ State Government, non-profits, healthcare and more. Each year we produce a State of the Workforce report for our community with data gathered from our employer survey, industry focus groups, and regional education sources. This year will be the 3rd State of the Workforce Report and with continued data and now trending analysis, the path toward building a talented and quality workforce is much clearer. Our four original goals of collaboration, providing resources, education alignment and talent attraction have proven to be right on target for what our community needs in workforce development.

EDUCATION ALIGnMENT Several key successes have been realized, and BillingsWorks is proud to have been at the table. BillingsWorks was a collaborative partner with MSU Billings City College which resulted in our region being awarded over $1.2 million in funding through the America’s Promise Grant designed to help people who have been displaced by the energy industry slowdown. In a first of its kind collaborative effort with Northern Wyoming, we will now be a part in helping match our private industry with workers who need training for a new career path. We also celebrated with MSU Billings when the Board of Regents announced the addition of the online RN to BSN program. This program will enhance the career path of

many nurses, which will in turn benefit our local and regional healthcare partners. Career & Technical Education will also be getting a huge boost in the upcoming months with additional resources for students in K-12 to explore a wider range of career opportunities. This is all coming from the effort to align education and the private sector in preparing workers for jobs that are available right here in our region.

TALENT ATTRACTION Another major initiative this year by BillingsWorks is talent attraction. Bringing talent to our market requires a complex recipe of good jobs, competitive wages, housing and quality of life; including education, healthcare, amenities, arts/culture and outdoor recreation. The BillingsWorks talent attraction committee, chaired by Kelly McCandless of the Billings Chamber and Allison Corbyn from Big Sky Economic Development, have laid out a robust plan for the year. This includes attending job fairs at regional universities to promote jobs in Billings. They used the BillingsWorks collaborative to identify the top 100 jobs in our region for new college graduates and then recruited committee representatives to hit the road to Bozeman, Missoula and Laramie, Wyoming to meet with students and sell the attributes of Billings as a great place to start a career. The talent attraction team is also engaging in a comprehensive social media campaign tied to “Your Dream Career is Here.” This slogan and campaign was designed specifically for the millennial professional. We want to show that we have a very large group of young professionals in Billings and we want more to come here to live, work

and play. The campaign, via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, is a multi-pronged approach of sharing pictures and stories with targeted geographic areas that are known to have large populations of native Montanans and Montana college alumni. We all know people who live in other cities like Seattle, Portland, Boise, or Denver that would love to come back to Montana. We want to encourage them with real life examples of other young professionals who have chosen Billings as the place where they can enjoy family, career and an innovative, vibrant community. Workforce is a top priority for Yellowstone County and there is much more for us to do. We need you at the table to reach out, engage and grow our workforce pool, as well as help to find ways to keep the incredible talent we cultivate every day. To learn more about BillingsWorks visit our website at www.billingsworks.org. If you would like to get involved please email melanie@ bigskyeda.org.

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Chasing Perfection:

2017 Awards By Brenda Maas


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. ~ Vince Lombardi The great football coach, Vince Lombardi, was known as an incredibly demanding leader who continually pushed his athletes in their quest to win. That is not to say that the team never lost. But it was Lombardi’s drive to constantly improve, to continually be better than before that defines his legacy. By definition, excellence is “the quality of being outstanding or commonly good.” One may logically conclude then that the Billings Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Excellence Award recipients stand above others in their respective fields. Interestingly enough, all four award winners in 2017 followed a common theme: People make the difference. In an era when technology changes seemingly at the speed of light, many businesses may feel the need to keep pace, emphasizing digital techniques and online presence to increase revenue. However, these award winners prove that the person behind the device remains the differentiating factor.


Customer Service Excellence: Leif Welhaven, EEC

communication industry, Leif Welhaven knows that networking and customer service cannot be overrated. In his current position as director of business development with EEC, Welhaven brings that extensive experience to the designbuild construction industry. “Obviously, customer service follows the old adage: Treat people the way you want to be treated,” Welhaven said. But he takes it a step further. Welhaven models that behavior at every venue as he networks, from Chamber events to the Home Builders Association, to the Billings Area Association of Realtors to Big Sky Economic Development. He also contributes his leadership skills to community organizations like the Family Tree Center, the Montana chapter of the American Diabetes Association and the Exchange Clubs of Montana and Idaho.

With 15 years in the restaurant business and another 15 in the rapidly-changing mobile

Supervisor/Manager of the Year:

DeDe Stoner, First Federal Bank and Trust

Being “plugged in” as Welhaven calls it, is more

“That year taught me a lot—about how to be a true sales person, about how to live while working on commission, about how to build relationships and, ultimately, about myself,” said the First Federal Bank and Trust loan officer. Stoner believes that demonstrating trust and projecting confidence are important leadership traits. She points to the recent Chamber of Commerce’s leadership class, NextGEN and other sales-based seminars as making a difference in her managing style. In addition, Stoner credits personal and professional coach Emily Petroff, along with the book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, as sources of instruction and inspiration.

DeDe Stoner started working as a lending officer in 2008—the year the housing market crashed.

than just showing up—it’s being mentally and emotionally present in that event—and the resulting relationships built into those situations that can lead to business. Quentin Eggart, president and founder of EEC, recognizes the value of Welhaven's relationships with clients. “Leif always has a smile on his face, and it seems like he works 300 hours a day,” said Eggart. “He has a caring attitude and projects that into the community—that’s our way of doing things.” His humble but happy persona adds to EEC’s brand as a good place to do business, Eggart added. “I think in order to be good at customer service, deep down you have to be a giver and server of people,” he emphasized. “You have to give without expecting anything in return. Good things will then happen.”

job here is important. Her strong moral fiber inspires trust and confidence in the people she works with.” Although mortgage lending can be emotional, stressful and a huge number crunch, Stoner applies practical skills to the task and keeps her team – which, for her includes the client – in mind. “It’s important to be able to relate to your employees,” she said. “It’s not about I’m the boss – you are the employee; it’s about ‘we are in this together.’”

“Emily taught me to step outside of a situation and look at it for what it is, look at it from the perspective of the other person,” said Stoner of managing, “instead of internalizing, rather be compassionate.”

Like many great leaders, Stoner believes in modeling her beliefs, making it part of her lifestyle. She has been involved with Habitat for Humanity in almost every aspect since the late 90s, from building a house, to mentoring recipient families to, most recently, serving on its board.

Alexis Williams, an employee under Stoner noted, “DeDe is the first one to tell you that you are doing a good job and that your work is appreciated. Because of her, I feel that my

“It’s important to me that I, and those I manage and mentor, gain the confidence to think for themselves, to ask questions and to take risks,” she noted. “Therein lies the reward.”

Celebrate These Winners March 30th at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.


Employer of the Year:

Billings Federal Credit Union

Billings Federal Credit Union’s charter dates back to 1935. That sort of longevity creates its own track record, including a service attitude that extends beyond the nearly 9,300 members to the more than 40 employees. BFCU breaks the myth that non-profits do not take care of their staff. “One of the biggest perks of working here,” noted Debbie Strever, vice president of

Business Person of the Year:

Harvey Singh, Singh Contracting, Inc., Outward Media Group and Seva Kitchen

Harvey Singh is not a Montana native. But Billings is truly his home. While many see the now-familiar lion’s head brand about town, residents are just as likely to

Prior to Smith’s presentation, the

human resources, “is that we as a leadership team think about the person and not the procedure.” truly appreciate and respect our employees—we work for them. They are the face of our business.” Nicole Brown, a BFCU employee of nearly five years, compliments her employer. Strever goes on to note that most open positions “They truly care about their employees here,” she at the credit union are entry-level because the said. “I had managerial and social experience but high positions are almost always filled from they were willing to invest in me, training me in within. “When we hire,” she explained, “we look that side of the business to help me gain success.” at a person’s potential, not that he or she will always be a teller.” While BFCU employment includes typical “We take the time to learn about an employee and benefits, it also features atypical ones, too, such their ambitions and where they want to be.Being as paid medical insurance premiums and a 401(k) in which BFCU contributes, even if the employee small, we are able to have that personal touch with our employees; it is face-to-face, look them in does not. The list goes on to accruing time off, opportunities for online classes during business the eye and ask “what do you expect from us?”” hours and encouragement to attend local Another effective strategy, job shadowing, allows training such as the Chamber’s NextGEN and Leadership Billings classes. BFCU typically has an employee to take time from regular duties to “shadow” someone in a different position—rather at least one or more employees enrolled in each year-long session. like trying it on. The result of that trial gives the employee direction and goals. Strever simplifies BFCU’s philosophy by saying “It “We empower our employees to think and to stretch comes back to this: we are here to help people— in order to help our members,” Strever said. “We don’t employees and members. When we keep that just teach them this reg and that reg, we demon- top of mind, naturally the business will follow. strate how to think beyond that, helping the We care about our members and we want them member to think bigger, like ‘how can we help to succeed. When we help them succeed, we help you save for college or consolidate your debt?’ We ourselves succeed – it’s a circle.” see Harvey himself, along with his preschoolaged son, at various community events and fundraisers. From promotional events for the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site, to helping hundreds of youngsters paint and pound shingles on a house at the Polar Express fundraiser, Singh builds community as surely as he built three businesses in less than five years.

Media Group is evolving into a full package firm.”

Singh Contracting, Inc. was born from an extensive background in the construction industry coupled with the historic May 2013 hail storm. Singh saw a need for more quality, local roofing contractors and jumped at the opportunity.

The word Seva is Sanskrit for “selfless service,” which helps define Singh’s attitude, leadership and philanthropy.

While promoting his brand through video commercials, Singh eventually developed the concept, and the professional team, for Outward Media Group, which now produces Singh Contracting’s advertising and marketing. Singh noted that Billings-based companies typically outsourced videography, website design and SEO but he wanted to provide it locally.

While Singh does not miss the traffic and the smog of his former urban home, he feels that Billings could use a wider variety of food and music. This spring he will open Seva Kitchen at 313 N. Broadway, in the former Broadway Deli and Café building, which will serve a variety of ethnic dishes.

“Through sponsoring, donating and networking I’ve met every kind of person, and staying in touch with the community is the key to our success,” he said. “The difference is that we give back.” While Singh’s three businesses are truly evolutions, he keeps that personal piece in a prominent position.

“You have to invest in your people,” he said. “We have monthly team-building sessions and do lots of things together. I don’t want employees who “We want to offer building a website right here, on just show up to work; I want people who see the site, sitting down face-to-face,” he said. “Outward bigger picture.”

2017 Business Excellence winners will receive their awards.

Tickets can be purchased from the MetraPark Box Office or learn more at BillingsChamber.com. MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 23


Air Service Takes Off In Billings By John Brewer, CAE At 12:40 p.m. on June 2, 2017, the first ever American Airlines flight will land in Billings. One month later on July 2 United Airlines will begin its annual seasonal service once again direct to Chicago; this time extending service by an extra three weeks through September 5 (rather than August 15 like last year). These two announcements came within a week of each other. It was not a coincidence and did not happen without a great deal of work by community partners who desire to improve air accessibility. Representatives from Billings Logan Airport, the Billings Chamber of Commerce, Visit Billings and Big Sky Economic Development recently traveled to Dallas to meet with American Airlines planners as well as to Chicago to meet with United. The group also recently met with Alaska/Horizon and Delta. The emphasis on air transportation is a primary initiative from each of these groups because of the economic and quality of life impacts that result as mobility, accessibility and costs improve in our community. Today’s young professionals (the Millennial generation) have been called “the first globals.” Their expectation is that they can live where they want, find work, and be connected to the world. Air service that provides direct access to major metro areas and airline hubs encourages young professionals to call Billings home; it opens doors for business location scouts to consider expansion and relocation into our community; and helps to fill hotel rooms thereby contributing to our tourism economy. So why have Billings’ economic leadership groups been specifically courting American Airlines, and why Dallas? First, American is the world’s largest air carrier. Dallas is the fourth busiest airport in the country - a winwin combination that connects us to over 40 new cities with just one stop through Dallas. Prior to this service Billings did not offer travelers direct service to anywhere in the southeast United States. Recruitement for the new flight began during the Super Bowl in February where this ad ran in the USA Today Super Bowl section in the Texas market.

Secondly, when you look at daily outbound travel from Billings, the top nine cities our


The map above indicates daily non-stop, seasonal non-stop, multi non-stop flights per week and instrastate flights.

residents are traveling to already have direct air service (Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, and Phoenix being the top four). Dallas, Houston and San Francisco typically round out the top 10-12 destinations Billings’ residents travel to daily. Billings is our region’s business hub and there are a number of large corporate connections and like-industries between Billings and Dallas including energy and financial (BNSF, Exxon and FedEx to name three). In addition, Billings is a gateway to Yellowstone National Park via one of the most scenic drives in North America (Beartooth Pass); and a direct connection to western history (Little Bighorn Battlefield and

Pompeys Pillar); not to mention the north-south cattle drive route that once connected Fort Worth to Miles City (Lonesome Dove). There is a great deal that unites our two areas. Over the coming months VisitBillings, the Billings Chamber’s tourism marketing arm governed by the Tourism Business Improvement District, will initiate advertising campaigns in the Dallas area, courting both leisure and corporate travel prospects. Representatives will travel to Dallas for a travel show and will meet with Dallas media to build interest in our community as a destination.

As a first-time business entering Billings, a number of private entities stepped up financially to offer American a guarantee. This means that if in their inaugural year incurring startup costs American does not hit projected revenue benchmarks, local businesses will assist in backfilling their loss. Thanks to the Billings Tourism Business Improvement District, Billings Gazette, Billings Clinic, the Chamber, Big Sky Economic Development and many others for their leadership on this investment.

MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 25


Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site to open June 2017 But your support is still needed.

Sample Join the hundreds of generous contributors to this heritage site to help complete the project. We are just $25,000 away from our goal! To contribute contact Chris Dimock at chris@elation.com or www.YellowstoneKelly.org.

T S TA R O F

B IG S K

Jim & Lin

Roscoe

Beth & Scott

Stephenson

www.YellowstoneKelly.org

ALWAYS GOT EACH OTHER’S BACKS. Adam was about to lift a stack of heavy boxes, when Diane called an audible — providing Adam a hand truck to move the load. The job safely completed, an epic celebration of back-saving safety ensued. Be a champion for safety. Get tips, tools and assistance at safemt.com. 26 | MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

Y U N T RY

Cole Joseph

HE

CO

Bill & Anne


• Kids’ Project Nights • Weekly Painting Classes • Melted Glass Art • Mosaics Kids’ Theme Party Destination and of course Ceramics!

formerly known as In Good Glazes

2010 Grand Ave. 294-4278 www.artnparty.com

WORK HARD. GET SWEATY. HAVE FUN. REPEAT.

Offering

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• Innovative Personal Training • Dynamic Small Group Classes • Healthy Cooking Classes • CPR/First Aid Classes

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Q360 Health Suzie Eades Owner

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Exclusive for Chamber Members.

Ask about QFitness Connection For your company/employees.

50 27th St, West, Suite A Q360health.com | 406-208-1167

MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 27


CONNECT

Raising the Bar – An Excerpt from "GAME ON" by Emmitt Smith BY JESSICA HART, EVENTS MANAGER

W

e at the Chamber are committed to raising the bar for our membership, tourism, and Billings as a whole. This year, we have the honor of bringing you a man who has made his career through the same commitment: Hall of Fame Running Back Emmitt Smith. The Chamber Breakfast, held on March 30th, focuses on his Championship Vision, a commitment to raising the bar in all aspects of life. In GAME ON, Mr. Smith’s book on finding your purpose and pursuing your dream, he shares his experiences with commitment, perseverance, and taking control. The following are excerpts from his book and provide insight into his approach to life and success: “Dreams are built upon your vision for your life, and they provide energy and impetus for what you achieve. You have to see it to want it. What you see in your mind’s eye has a way of manifesting itself as a dream. When you write

down your goals, then you act upon them. The principles that determine the content of your character also serve as your guidelines on the path to achieving those goals. The next ingredient, commitment, is important because it keeps you growing and always moving forward, it determines not only where you go, but also who you become along the way.” “If you are truly intent on leaving a legacy, you’ll keep raising the bar on your goals, because if you are not trying to be the best you can be, why make the effort at all? […] Raising your level of commitment leads to higher levels of accomplishment.” “I also discovered that the more you achieve, the more you believe that anything is possible. And if

you truly believe that anything is possible, then you are driven to push boundaries and break records, but it takes wholehearted commitment. You have to be all in, totally focused on achieving the goals you have set for yourself and performing consistently day after day.” Smith remind us: • “The dreams you have provide the vision.” • “Your goals put you on the path to your purpose.” • “Your strength of character and the principles and value you embrace keep you on course.” • “Your courage and commitment move you beyond fear and past challenges.” • “Embracing the right opportunities expands your reach.” • “Supportive teammates can send you soaring.” Don’t miss your chance to experience Emmitt Smith’s vision yourself during the Chamber Breakfast 2017, March 30th at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark. The event is presented by KULR8. Learn more at BillingsChamber.com.

Content taken from GAME ON, by Emmitt Smith. Copyright © 2011. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Purchase the book at www.tyndaledirect.com.

PRESENTED BY:

paddle Sponsor: Singh Contracting Supporting Sponsors: Avitus Group, BNSF, DIA Events, MetraPark, PayneWest Insurance, Stockman Bank & Townsquare Media Billings

Upcoming

Events 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.

Big Sky Pet Resort April 12 • 2922 Millennium Circle

Beartooth Harley May 10 • 6900 S. Frontage Road

Heights Eyecare June 14 • 430 Lake Elmo Drive

28 | MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

Billings Chamber Open 2017 Friday, June 23 Briarwood Golf Club 7:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. shotgun starts available. $500/team of 4. Registration includes lunch, refreshments on the course, and give-a-ways!


HEADSHOTS

y 50 $

April 12 – 10am-4pm • Chamber’s board room May 24 – 10am-4pm • Chamber’s board room

Vance and Stephanie Elumbaugh 406.850.2684 | www.vandestudios.com

Car

Savings

Home

Ice Cream

Follow Your Dreams Today! MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 29


GET TO KNOW THE BOARD:

Tell us about your photo:

Julie

My husband, Shaun, and I recently bought and moved into this loft in the Stapleton Building. It has been such a rich experience getting to know all of the unique aspects of downtown that I just didn’t see before. There is a wonderful, vibrant energy, and I know that it’s 100% where we are meant to be right now!

TSCHETTER SEEDHOUSE photo COURTESY R H E A W O L PO E

Business: REALTOR at Century 21 Hometown Brokers

One adjective that describes you:

What was your first job?

Waitress at a family restaurant in Aberdeen, SD. It was a super busy place, and I loved it! I learned the value of excellent service, kindness and humor, which has translated to every job I’ve had since.

Bold.

The snack always found in your desk/ office:

Gum…at my desk, in my car, in my purse, in my coat pockets (and consequently sometimes in my dryer).

Words you live by: "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

If you had a super power, what would it be? I wish I didn’t need to sleep. Is that lame? There’s just not enough time to do all the things I want to do!

Why did you initially choose to get involved with the Chamber?

Over the years, I’ve tried to take as much advantage as possible of the benefits of my Chamber membership, and I’ve loved the experience and the contacts I’ve made along the way. I recently noticed there wasn’t representation from the real estate industry on the board, and I also felt that my past experience in K-12 public education as well as higher ed would give me a unique perspective to offer. Plus, I love this community and want to be part of the exciting things the Chamber does for us.

As a board member, you have the inside scoop. What would you share about the Chamber that other members may not know?

Oh my gosh the STAFF! I was aware that they were pretty great, but I had NO idea of the scope of what they do. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, dedicated…just an incredible group of people. Billings is so very lucky to have this group of advocates working on our behalf.

30 | MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

Favorite book and why?

The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum. My dad bought me the book when I was in 3rd grade and I’ve probably read it 100 times. I love the theme that the world is full of wonder, and we learn much about ourselves by exploring it, but ultimately home is the very best place to be.


Partnering to Build Better Communities

We appreciate our Major Investors CIVIL ENGINEERING • SURVEYING • LAND USE CONSULTING

406-248-9000 | www.TerritorialLandworks.com BILLINGS | MISSOULA | FLATHEAD | HELENA | BAKKEN

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

F

ounded in 2010 Earley Enterprises has been working toward creating a foothold for video production in the Billings market. Working in several business sectors both commercially and creatively, Earley Enterprises uses its concept of fiscal stewardship to enhance the overall good it brings to the community. Johnny Earley, the owner, has worked hand-in-hand with many industry professionals to Business Spotlight_Earley Ent.indd 1

understand the complexities of quality video production and utilize those skills to give voice to various charities, non-profits, and commercial entities. Earley Enterprises believes in making a lasting impact and pushing the creative boundaries for what is possible with video in our market. “Every year we continue to grow stronger, and hope that we can enhance the community both fiscally and artistically.” — Johnny Earley

(406) 534-2070 WWW.ALWAYSEARLEY.COM MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 31 3/3/2017 3:44:03 PM


BUSINESS GROWTH: GETTING TO KNOW

GAINAN’S By RENÉ BEYL

BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST

When walking into any of the three Gainan’s locations, you are pleasantly enveloped by a floral scent and your eyes dart to the colorful displays of assorted products. In my interview with Jim Gainan, President, he explains how vital relationships are in the retail floral business and expressed his simple philosophy: business should not feel like work, it has to be something you do freely.

RenÉ:

What inspires you to continue as a business owner?

Jim:

I like to be part of the planning process providing information or ideas during venerable times. We are the intermediary for those planning high emotion occasions. No matter the budget, we will surprise you with how much can be done and always treat the dollars as if they were our own.

R:

How do you credit the longevity of Gainan’s?

J:

During pivotal moments in our client’s lives, we built a reputation across generations. We help celebrate life impacting moments. Our experience and earned trust is the key along with long term partnerships with others involved in the events. Our quality products are a mix designed specifically for Billings. Flowers are the core of our business, there are also gift items for all occasions. Our founders, Grant and Betty Gainan, made sacrifices to meet long term visions for the business. One example was to purchase the land where the downtown location currently resides. We constantly look to improve and grow. Stay tuned for new plans in the works.

R:

Incredible work goes into the details and logistics of operating your business. Is there a secret to managing it all?

J:

Our team is valued beyond measure. You know the quote from Richard Branson about staff comes first? This is the secret. Our staff cares about the details and we rely on each other to attain our goals. Occasions and products continually change and without our staff we could not meet these challenges.

R:

Why are you a Billings Chamber member?

J:

We have been community minded from the beginning. I want to see everyone win. The events hosted by the Chamber, the referrals and Shop Local campaigns, help us all succeed.

Our staff cares ab rely on each other to


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

406 Kitchen & Tap Room

celebrated a new name and fabulous remodel for the restaurant and bar (previously known as The Rock Pile) on November 8th.

Rustic Nail Bar & Day Spa

a new business in Shiloh Crossing, showed off the handcrafted space on November 10th.

Bumps and Bundles

celebrated their move to the Shops at Shiloh Crossing and presented new merchandise on November 10th.

Montana Rescue Mission

completed renovations in the kitchen and hosted a community open house on November 15th.

Turley Dental

has a second location in Shiloh Crossing that was celebrated on November 16th.

Gebhardt Insurance

held an open house to allow all to meet the new owner on November 18th.

Comfort Suites

is a beautiful new hotel which held a ceremony on November 22nd.

Rimrock Mall

hosted a grand re-opening event on December 1st.

Costco

along with staff still on board since day one, celebrated 25 years in business on December 5th.

Home2 Suites By Hilton

FLOWERS. GARDEN. HOME.

hosted a community open house for the new hotel on December 7th.

bout the details and we o attain our goals.

Spherion Staffing

celebrated being a Billings business for 20 years on December 9th.

The Birthday Suites

offers amazing individual rooms for party’s and showed off the creative venue on December 15th.

Wise Wonders Children’s Museum added an amazing water exhibit and celebrated the completion on December 30th.

Open Court Sports & Event Center showed off the look of the gym space at an open house on January 3rd.

Petroleum Club

showed the community the new elegant black and white remodel on January 26th.

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.

In loving memory of

Alma Brown,

devoted Trailblazer and friend.


NextUp with NextGEN:

Giving the Next Generation a Voice By Jennifer Reiser

I

t can be said that the voice is the primary link between the mind and the body. When used properly our voices can make a vital difference in the way we are perceived, treated, and included. Billings’ NextGEN strives to give young professionals and emerging leaders an opportunity to gain insight into Chamber community issues, form opinions, seek additional information and provide input to help solve problems and invest in the future of our community. As a collective, NextGEN has an incredibly pertinent voice to be heard. This group is composed of emerging leaders in the Billings community who have their fingers on the pulse of what’s important to young professionals: what types of jobs, teams, and leaders they are interested in, what they look for in a community from cuisine to events, and what makes people stay and recruit others to this wonderful city. “NextGEN is a valuable tool that leads to an increase in social currency for Billings young professionals,” explains former NextGEN Co-Chair Jeff Ewelt. “The group provides the comfort of peer to peer interactions while creating a large, unified voice for the continued growth of our community.” Further illustrating this point, Forbes outlines that as millennials steadily become more dominant in workplace culture, understanding the millennial mindset is increasingly important. “As the world grows more global, people become more

connected, but they also ache for a sense of unique contribution,” according to Forbes.com. Creating and leaving a legacy is what motivates all individuals, including millennials. NextGEN takes a new approach to networking, supporting, and building an engaged and healthy community. Its members leave behind the mindset of “let's keep doing what we've always been doing” and are willing to explore alternative ways to recruit and retain young talent. According to Connect Co-Chair Karen Baumgart, “NextGEN holds a new perspective which results in having a fresh voice that is important to have at the table to both affirm and question ideas from the group as a whole.” With NextGEN, emerging leaders are given an immediate seat at the table, a place and permission to voice their ideas and views. Members provide a new set of eyes and fresh ideas to overcoming barriers to success. This is a great opportunity for young professionals to question what they believe, learn why they believe what they do, and what they are going to do with this knowledge. What’s more, it’s an opportunity for seasoned professionals to open their minds and hear from these up and coming leaders. Ewelt summarizes the importance of NextGEN by saying, “We have some incredibly talented young professionals in this town and NextGEN is providing a platform for them to be heard.”

IinNTERESTED joining NextGen?

Anyone aged 21-39 who lives and/or works in Billings is eligible to become a member. 1/2 OFF Dues through June 30th! Just $37.50 for Chamber members. Information is available at BillingsNextGen.com, or call

(406) 245-4111

Learn more at BillingsNextGen.com.

Save the d Save the date Save the date JU Pres

Save the date JULY 27 - 29 BILLIN Save the date JULY 27 29 BIL Save the date JULY 27 Presented - 29 BILLINGS Presented B By Presented By

34 | MARCH - MAY 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

the date

JULY 27 - 29

Presented By

BILLINGS


Your Wind River adventure is right around the corner! Not only is the Wind River Hotel and Casino the only place where you can Play, Stay and Win but we also have the perfect adventure packages waiting just for you. Dinosaur Dig Prepare to get your hands dirty as you dig into the past and help find the remnants of a world thought lost. With our Dinosaur dig package, you can spend your day unearthing the bones of a T-rex, Triceratops or a Supersaures. This is an activity the whole family will enjoy with the recent release of the Disney/Pixar film, “The Good Dinosaur,” which was inspired by Wyoming. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis is also home to over 300 skeletons, various dig sites and a gift shop. White water rafting For the really adventurous, join us on a white water rafting trip through the scenic Wind River Canyon. Wind River Canyon Whitewater & Fly Fishing is a Native American-owned business based in Thermopolis. Guiding the canyon for 20 years, they offer a variety of trips from Memorial Day through Labor Day. One of the most popular trips is the Upper Canyon - Enjoy both the peaceful and calm beginning of this trip and the biggest longest rapid on the river! You are surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the upper Wind River Canyon at the launch site; then it’s time to get soaking wet! Golf Looking for something more low-key? Take in two rounds of golf at the highly rated Riverton Country Club. Take on the green and enjoy a day with your friends or partner. We offer great hotel packages and other discounts to make this trip a winner.

Northern Arapaho Experience Song and Dance Every Tuesday night during the summer, the Northern Arapaho Experience Song and Dance is a celebration of music, dancing and friendship. These free performances give viewers a glimpse into the world of the Arapaho people. When the music stops, take a walk through our Cultural Room to learn more about our tribe. An Arapaho elder will guide you through the museum that tells the story of our people through paintings, artifacts and stories. Reservation Tours Want to explore more? We can arrange for a private tour of the Wind River Indian Reservation where you can visit the final resting home of Sacajawea, the famous Shoshone Princess who led Lewis and Clark through the Rocky Mountains. The historical petroglyphs outside of Riverton are some of the oldest recorded art in the area. St. Stephens Mission is a popular site for its beautiful stained glass and painted murals. Our experienced tour guides will take you beyond the history books and give you an up close and personal view of the Plains Indian experience.

Visit windriverhotelcasino.com to find out more information about our packages and book your adventure today.


LiNK - March 2017  
LiNK - March 2017