For almost three-quarters of a century the Harrington family has been growing Harrington Bottling Company of Butte, serving an every expanding area of southwestern Montana, an achievement for which they were recognized this year with the Family Business Awards, in the "old business" category.
Aadsen Ford in Ronan is the recipient of this year's Family Business of the Year in the "small business" category.
The late Don Aadsen established this successful dealership, following some ups and downs in the automotive industry. Since its establishment the business has seen three generations of the Aadsen family become involved with its continued growth.
Frieling Agriculture Equipment, this year's Family Business Award winner in the "Very Small" category, is a business that totally epitomizes the iconic profile of small business in America. The Frieling Family started the company in 1995, in the basement of their family farm home, with no outside employees and only one single service line of sales – grain vacs. Gross first year sales totaled $12,500.
Each year, the Montana State University College of Business recognizes family-owned and managed businesses in Montana – of which there are legions of outstanding examples. Through a nomination process some of the best of the best are recognized at a special Family Business Day program in Bozeman, sponsored by the college and State Farm Insurance. Stockman Bank and the Montana Chamber of Commerce are also supporting sponsors.
The name Carisch is probably readily recognized in many communities in Montana in association with theaters. And, well it should be. Gerald F. Carisch was a significant player in the movie theater business in Montana for many years. His business story is one of ups and downs in a volatile industry that changed dramatically over his career. What he learned over those years, Carisch explained in "Eight Lessons of Business," which he conveyed to other business owners and their families/ employees at the Family Business Day Awards Luncheon in Bozeman.
Carisch is co-founder of Carisch, Inc., which today is mostly invested as an owner of 85 Arby franchises in seven states. Carisch, Inc. once owned and operated 95 movie theaters. It also once owned a medical transcription company, and still owns retail and office buildings.
A growing manufacturing concern, Magnum Development, has purchased a building in Laurel in which to expand.
Magnum, owned by Mike and Laura Mussetter, has purchased the building which housed the Laurel Furniture Outlet, 220 West Main Street.
Laurel Furniture Outlet is closing. Ken Miller, who is campaigning for the office of Governor of Montana, said that the campaign demands too much time of him and his wife, Peggy, to continue running the 12-year-old business. They began a liquidation sale on Sept. 1.
A long-held desire to live in the mountains brought Joe Billion to Bozeman to continue the legacy of a family business that this year is recognized as the Family Business of the Year in the "large business" category.
On a ranch near Lavina, a group of women will gather from October 10 to 14, to learn a new career in home energy rating, or to enhance a current career.
Energy rating, also called "energy auditing", is a growing field of certified or accredited professionals who inspect a home and determine how it is functioning.
Once a house is tested, recommendations are given for improvements.
The Women's Energy Auditing course will be held at The Pure Energy Center near Lavina, and is offered by award-winning energy auditor and coach A. Tamasin Sterner, an experienced trainer whose company has audited more than 40,000 homes over 30 years. When asked why the course is limited to women, Tamasin explains: "This is a great field for women. And there are far too few women in the industry. I want that to change." And she explains the rural location: Our campus has several different types of houses that are used for teaching the inspection skills," she said. "I call the opportunity 'a distraction-free learning experience' because the students are far from shopping, restaurants and bars."
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103