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Former President/CEO of Glacier Bank, Mick Blodnick, named 47th Great Chief at the 114th Annual Banquet & Auction


Equestrian skijoring, an exciting combination of alpine skiing, stunts, and horseback riding, returns to Rebecca Farm for the second year on Dec. 29th and 30th kicking off the 2019 National Skijoring Season. Alpine skiers pulled by horse and rider teams will fly down the snow covered course, sailing over jumps, grabbing rings and navigating gates as they compete for a total prize purse up to $25,000. New this year is a j-hook course, providing an added challenge for competitors, as well as extra excitement and better viewing for spectators. Teams will compete in Open, Sport, Novice and the crowd-pleasing Costume classes from 12:00pm to 4:00pm both days. This wildly entertaining, family-friendly event is fun for all ages. Admission is $5 per person, with children under 13 free. Food and beverages will be available on-site for purchase from local vendors like Frugal’s. Rebecca Farm is located west of Kalispell at 1010 West Spring Creek Road. Skijoring at Rebecca Farm wouldn’t be possible without a crew of wonderful volunteers. Extra hands are still needed, no horse experience necessary. To get involved, click here or email rfdressageheidi@ For more information, visit Skijoring at Rebecca Farm is presented by Montana Equestrian Events, Inc.

In order of appearance from below

FLATHEAD LEGISLATORS SELECTED FOR LEADERSHIP IN THE 2019 SESSION Several of our Flathead legislators were selected for leadership positions in the ’19 Session. Sen. Mark Blasdel (Lakeside) will serve as Senate President Pro Tem, the #2 position in the Senate. Rep. Greg Hertz (Polson) will be the Speaker of the House, and, Rep. Derek Skees (Lakeside) will be a House Majority Whip. Additionally, several local legislators will serve as committee chairs: Rep. Carl Glimm will chair the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Mark Noland will chair House Business and Labor, Sen. Keith Regier will chair Senate Ethics and Senate Judiciary, Rep. Bob Brown will chair House Fish Wildlife and Parks, Sen. Jennifer Fielder will chair Senate Fish Wildlife and Parks, Sen. Bob Keenan will chair Senate Legislative Administration, Rep. Derek Skees will chair House Rules, Sen. Dee Brown will chair State Administration, and Rep. Matt Regier will chair the Appropriations Committee on the Judiciary.

DECEMBER LUNCHEON TO PREVIEW 2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 | 11:45AM - 1:15PM | RED LION HOTEL Our final luncheon of the year will take a look at the upcoming 2019 legislative session. Featured speakers of this event will include NW Regional Field Representative for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chris Eyler, with a federal update. Additionally, a panel on the Montana State Legislative session will have Sen. Scott Sales, Sen. Mark Blasdel, Rep. Mark Noland, and will be moderated by Mark Baker with ABS Legal. Cost to attend is $20 per person and includes lunch. Please click here to register by Friday, December 7.

IN THE NEWS Blodnick Named Kalispell Chamber’s Great Chief, Daily Inter Lake Former Glacier Bancorp CEO, Mick Blodnick, Wins Kalispell Chamber’s Great Chief Award, Flathead Beacon Flathead Businesses Feel National Spending Trend, NBC Montana Shopping on Small Business Saturday, Flathead Beacon Shoppers Out in Droves on Small Business Satuday, NBC Montana

GOV. BULLOCK MEETS WITH CHAMBER BOARD OF ADVISORS On Tuesday, December 4, Governor Steve Bullock sat down with our Board of Advisors to talk about issues affecting Kalispell, the budget, and the upcoming 2019 Montana legislative session. The topics most covered during the meeting included Medicaid expansion; public education, early learning, workforce issues; and advancements in infrastructure, all of which are components of the budget released by the Governor earlier this fall. Also discussed during the meeting were state alcohol laws, affordable housing, and funding for aquatic invasive species.



The Montana Chamber of Commerce Business Days at the Capitol event brings together business leaders and government officials to talk face-to-face and participate in a variety of educational and networking events. This is a terrific opportunity to speak directly with elected officials and to learn about the current business climate in Montana. Conference registration is $175 per person, and space at the Best Western Premier Great Northern Hotel fills up quickly. If you will be attending the event, please let us know. Click here for more information.

ANNUAL BUSINESS AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED AT 114TH BANQUET During our annual banquet on Friday, November 16, we announced the recipients of our annual business awards. Mick Blodnick, former President/CEO of Glacier Bancorp was named as the 47th Great Chief. The Great Chief Award is the chamber’s longest-standing and most prestigious award that honors an individual’s civic and volunteer spirit. Mick, pictured on the cover, was a core member of the Glacier Bancorp public offering in the 1980s and was a leader in the company acquiring other banks to join the extensive Glacier Bank family, which Dave and Debbi Waldenberg now spans seven states and over $12 billion in assets. Mick is also well-known in the community having volunteered as co-chair for fundraising the $14 million to expand KRMC’s Emergency Room and is a strong supporter of other programs in the valley like Legend’s Field, FVCC, Kidsports, the Hockaday Museum of Art and many other great organizations. Dave and Debbi Waldenberg, pictured above, were together named as the Businessman and Businesswoman of the Year. The Waldenbergs own Central Heating, Plumbing, Cooling, and Electrical, which is known for providing employees with top-quality training and mentoring, giving customers outstanding service and satisfaction, and supporting community programs like FVCC, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County, Montana Wounded Warriors, and more. Clint Ekern, Owner and Creative Director for Sky Vault, was named as the Member of the Year for his involvement with chamber programs like the Ambassadors, Flathead Area Young Professionals, and assistance as a creative partner in telling the chamber story through compelling video creation.


Leadership Flathead’s Class of 2020 participated in their second session of the year with a theme of Planning, Growth, and Government. The session provided a more in-depth look at the history of the Flathead Valley that has led us to our current structure, and a look ahead at future planning. The latest on the Core & Rail Redevelopment program was shared with the class, highlighting the planning and collaboration required to bring about changes and cooperation with the number of stakeholders involved in the process. Montana Trolley provided a driving tour through the Glacier Rail Park on the way to a tour of the state-of- the-art, award-winning Kalispell Wastewater Treatment Plant The facility uses only biological treatments to protect our precious water systems. We must all recognize the importance of our city utilities and their value to our community.

Last day to register to travel to Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia in April 2019 is December 15. Contact us for more information (406) 758-2803.

MANUFACTURING PROGRAMS CONTINUE IN 2019 We plan to have a continued focus on education and workforce in 2019, highlighting the manufacturing and trades industries year-round, not just in the fall. On the agenda is a partnership between Flathead High School, FVCC, and ourselves on January 9 to take approximately 100 students through a half-day course of hands-on activities with CNC machines, plasma cutters, heavyequipment, and more, before touring local manufacturing and trades companies. This event will be followed by the Making Montana Manufacturing and Technology Expo, Feb 15-16, that will give nearly 2,000 students the ability to learn skills needed in manufacturing and technology with fun, interactive setups from dozens of local companies. For more information about either of these events, or if you would like to participate, please contact Kate Lufkin at (406) 758-2801 or For a review of manufacturing programming from this fall, please click the image to the left.

BUSINESS INPUT NEEDED FOR FEDERAL RESERVE STUDY The Federal Reserve Bank system is currently conducting a national small business credit survey and needs assistance in reaching the small businesses of Montana to give them a voice. The outcomes of this survey may provide policy makers and researchers with an unbiased source of information about small business conditions and financing experiences. This information will ultimately be compiled into a report and made available to Montana businesses and community leaders, should there be 100+ survey respondents. If you are interested in reviewing previous years’ reports, please visit The survey closes December 8, 2018. Click here to participate.

KALISPELL CONVENTION & VISITOR BUREAU KCVB OFFERS MEETING PLANNING SERVICES ACROSS KALISPELL Have you ever planned a meeting before? If you have, you understand it is always a bigger task then it initially seems. Are you aware of the complementary services the Kalispell Convention & Visitor Bureau can provide when you book your meeting at a Kalispell hotel? Here are five ways we have assisted group meeting planners in just the last two weeks: • Gathered RFPs from our Kalispell hotels for a Group Tour Coordinator • Provided welcome bags for the attendees of a conference being hosted in Kalispell • Coordinated a site tour for a conference committee for a potnential 2020 conference in Kalispell • Provided a list of group activities for a group to do during their time in Kalispell • Provided group venue options for possible receptions and conference room spaces If you are considering hosting a meeting, but are nervous about how much work will need to be done, please reach out to our Group Sales Manager, Dawn Jackson, at (406) 758-2020 or

WINTER ACTIVITY GUIDE What is your favorite winter activity? Kalispell sparkles once the calendar turns to winter, with snow-capped mountains lining the horizon and frozen ponds dot the landscape. There’s so much to do here during the snowy season. Click here to read about what winter activities are being promoted during the KCVB’s winter campaign, now running across the drive markets of Washington and Alberta.

FLATHEAD AREA YOUNG PROFESSIONALS FLATHEAD AREA YOUNG PROFESSIONALS TO HOST MORNING EVENT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LIFELONG LEARNING WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12 | 8:00 - 9:00AM | KALISPELL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 15 DEPOT PARK As we age, learning is no longer about attending institutions and earning degrees. Books, online classes, podcasts and other learning resources have never been more accessible than they are now. In person, FVCC also offers great opportunities for lifelong learning through their broad Continuing Education Department. If you are a young professional between the ages of 21-39, or know someone who is, consider this Flathead Area Young Professional’s morning Espresso Yourself event, which will cover learning opportunities here in the Flathead. Additionally, this event will provide time to hear from other young professionals about their favorite books, podcasts, or other learning tools. For more information, please contact


Yeah, We Do That Too!

DECEMBER MEMBERSHIP MILESTONES 30+ YEARS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

CityServiceValcon Flathead Travel Service Best & Westover, P.C. Attorneys at Law Weyerhaeuser Flathead Farm Mutual Insurance Company Rocky Mountain Transportation Inc. D.A. Davidson & Co. Flathead Valley Community College TD&H Engineering Glacier Bank First Interstate Bank Pepsi Cola Bottling Company Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana Wells Fargo Bank Flathead Beverage Company CARQUEST Auto Parts Spectrum Business


• Coca Cola Bottling Company High Country

1 YEAR • ScottiBelli’s • Highline Design & Marketing • Glacier Outfitters

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Click each for more information

Ribbon Cutting with First American Title Thursday, December 6 4:00pm 219 E. Center Street, Kalispell Photos with Santa and Tree Lighting Friday, December 7 5:00-6:00pm Kalispell Chamber Kalispell Art Walk Friday, December 7 5:00-9:00pm Downtown Kalispell

Ribbon cutting with Casa Mexico Cantina and Casino (above) and ribbon cutting with Jeremy Hicks State Farm Insurance (below).

City of the North Parade Saturday, December 8 5:00pm Main Street, Kalispell December Luncheon, 2019 Legislative Preview Tuesday, December 11 11:45am - 1:15pm Red Lion Hotel, Kalispell Ribbon Cutting with Kobe Steak & Sushi Tuesday, December 11 5:00pm 85 Treeline Rd, Kalispell FAYP Espresso Yourself: Lifelong Learning Wednesday, December 12 8:00 - 9:00am Kalispell Chamber Ribbon Cutting with Sacred Waters Brewing Co. Saturday, December 15 3:00pm 3250 US HWY 2 E, Kalispell Skijoring at Rebecca Farm December 29 - 30 1385 Farm to Market Rd, Kalispell January Monthly Luncheon Tuesday, January 15 11:45am - 1:15pm Red Lion Hotel, Kalispell

Have an event coming up? Make sure to post it on our website!

Ribbon cutting with Mod Pizza (above), and a record attendance turnout for Small Business Saturday this year (below).

Kalispell Chamber December 2018 Newsletter  

Rounding out 2018 with a legislative preview, winter campaign towards drive-market visitors, Skijoring at Rebecca Farm, and more.

Kalispell Chamber December 2018 Newsletter  

Rounding out 2018 with a legislative preview, winter campaign towards drive-market visitors, Skijoring at Rebecca Farm, and more.