Montana's Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) proposed merger with a multi-state company was greatly discussed during a Montana Chamber of Commerce's recent meeting in Billings, one in a series of meetings on its "Giving Thanks Tour." BCBS sponsored the event.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana filed paperwork, about two weeks ago, with the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, and with the Attorney General, to get approval to merge with Health Care Service Corp (HCSC) — the nation's fourth-largest health insurer.
The non-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that HCSC will pay $18 million for some Blue Cross assets and assume some of its liabilities.
The Montana State University College of Agriculture presented its annual Outstanding Agricultural Leader awards during Celebrate Agriculture, the week of Oct. 26-27.
Receiving the awards for 2012 are Dale Schuler, a grain producer from Carter, and Larry and Madge Pilster, sheep ranchers from Alzada.
This year's recipients exhibited outstanding leadership in Montana public service, as agricultural producers, industry advocates, agri-business leaders, and as friends of agriculture. A selection committee comprised of three Montana agriculture representatives, a College of Agriculture faculty member and a student, reviewed the applications. This award has been presented by the College since 1999.
Stockman Bank presented a check to Billings Parmly Library Foundation last week, a major gift to help fund the construction of the new $14 million library building. The check was the final contribution in Stockman's commitment to the library's "Our City...Our Future...Your Legacy" capital campaign. The contribution will sponsor the new Montana Room in the library. Pictured on the left, Jeremy Morgret, Stockman's Downtown Branch Manager, said this is the largest contribution Stockman Bank has ever made. Also, pictured with Morgret on the right is Leslie Modrow, Library Development Director, and Bill Cochran, Library Director. Modrow announced that the Library also received a $100,000 grant to design a "Learning Lab" in the new library.
Marilyn Bartlett, chief financial officer for EBMS and a member of the EBMS Executive Committee, is the inaugural recipient of the Montana Society of CPAs (MSCPA) Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry Award.
The MSCPA Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry Award recognizes the achievements of individual CPAs.
NorthWestern Energy and Compass Wind, LLC have closed on the purchase of the 40-megawatt Spion Kop Wind Project near the central Montana community of Geyser.
Approximately $8 million was spent on Montana services during construction including transportation, lodging, food, labor, materials, permitting and siting. In addition to those economic benefits, the project will generate an additional $566,000 in property taxes and fees in the local area during its first year of commercial operation. NorthWestern Energy, Compass Wind, GE and Ryan Companies also donated $10,000 to purchase new iPads for the Geyser School before the start of the current school year.
After seeing the 100-foot long Montana Showcase, a display of a wide variety of Montana-made products, at the Compete Smart Conference, in Missoula, Clara Asmail, Senior Technical Advisor for NIST MEP, said she was "blown away."
"There is an energy behind this," said Asmail. It reflects "a unique system of support of companies that are thriving here. .. it is really unique."
Three Montana manufacturers, presenting at the Compete Smart Conference in Missoula, struck upon a theme in talking about their companies and why they have been successful. "It's the people," they said.
"I'm a true believer that any business, even if they have only one person working for them, owes the people," said Brit Fred, Founder and President of Northwest Factory Finishes in Bonner, located just east of Missoula.
"I don't call it my business. It is their business," said Fred, "It is quite an honor to just manage what is going on."
A hundred coal trains passing through Billings, daily, isn’t likely, according Matt Rose, CEO?of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF). Rose was the keynote speaker during the 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
Calling the three-digit projection, “a figment of people who oppose coal in our country,”?Rose said that BNSF?would run no more than 14 coal trains, daily --and not necessarily through Billings.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103