Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense operational committee, announced that three Montana employers have been selected as semifinalists for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the DoD's highest honor for employers that provide extraordinary support to their Guard and Reserve employees. This year, 138 semifinalists stood out among 2,899 employers nominated by a Guard or Reserve employee.
Billing's businessman, Steve Wahrlich, was among three statewide tourism award winners honored by the Montana Tourism and Recreation Industry at the 2013 Montana Governor's Conference on Tourism and Recreation, in Helena, March 24-26. Tourism award winners are selected for their outstanding contributions to Montana's tourism industry.
Wahrlich, owner of the Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn in Billings, was named 2013 Tourism Person of the Year. The Montana Dragon Boat Festival was named the Tourism Event of the Year, and the Gardiner Gateway Project was named the Tourism Partnership of the Year.
Through June 16, guests at MacKenzie River Pizza locations will have a chance to vote on how much each, of seven non-profit groups, should receive from a total $20,000 donation from MacKenzie River Pizza.
MacKenzie will give a portion of the donation to a worthy civic group in each area of their seven Montana locations, in recognition of their 20 years in business and to thank Montana communities for supporting their restaurants. In Billings the organization is Chase Hawks Memorial Association.
Plante Moran Cresa, a real estate consulting firm representing Elizabeth Zeiler, announced that the City of Billings, has approved the annexation and rezoning of the 63.32 acre farm located at 1236 Mullowney Lane along Highway 90. The Zeiler family has owned and operated the farm for nearly 100 years and is now anticipating the sale of the property for development. This annexation and re-zoning will allow for access to city services and utilities which will increase its development potential substantially.
Tom Spika and Spika Welding received the first-ever "Manufacturer of the Year" award in Helena. The award was presented by the Montana Manufacturing Council, a subsidiary of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, at the biennial Trade & Manufacturing Day at the Capitol. Governor Steve Bullock attended the presentation.
Philipsburg is looking for a few good families. The tiny Montana Silver Rush town (pop. 840) is seeking its next wave of pioneers, this time the New Millennium kind. The local Rotary Club and other community leaders have launched a yearlong media campaign targeting the growing members of the new economy who can "telework" anyplace they choose. Those workers include dot-com employees, freelancers and sellers on sites like eBay. People who need only broadband, UPS and perhaps occasional trips through the nearby Missoula International Airport to make a living. The town believes its blue ribbon trout streams, a 9-to-1 student/teacher ratio in its schools, a low-traffic hospital, hiking, hunting, skiing, zero crime and a perfectly preserved jewel of a mining town are an unbeatable combination for open-minded young families. Men's Journal recently named Philipsburg "America's Coolest Town to Live in the Past" and many of the town's residents, new and old, think it is a perfect place to live in the future.
MRL Equipment Company, Inc., of Billings, has been named Montana's 2012 Exporter of the Year. The announcement was made during the Manufacturing & Trade Day at the State Capitol, by Governor Steve Bullock and members of the Montana District Export Council.
The Montana Chamber held a teleconference with the full Board of Directors to discuss proposals to expand Medicaid to individuals and families under 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level via funding from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Chamber discussed the pros and cons of expansion and decided that supporting expansion with reform would be beneficial to Montana's uninsured and the state economy. According to the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), expansion will cost Montana about $518-578 million from 2014-2021, which includes the cost of coverage and administration. Additionally, the BBER estimated that $5.8 billion in federal money would flow into the state within the same period, creating 11,500-12,700 jobs annually and $50-55 million in state and local tax revenue annually.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103