• Oil producer Hess Corp has turned to a manufacturing process developed by automaker Toyota Motor Corp to cut costs and boost production as crude oil prices lag, according to a Reuters report. Deploying a process called Lean manufacturing, and used by only a handful of other oil producers, the move has shaved roughly $400,000 off the cost of each North
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  • A company called Enell, Inc. has quietly been doing business in Havre, Montana, serving an international market for the past 22 years. Like so many successful companies, ENELL serves a niche market – one ignored by the big companies catering to the mainstream. ENELL makes sports bras for well-endowed women. Perhaps, not surprisingly, the company’s evolution has paralleled the entrance of
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  • Caterpillar Oil & Gas announced that Caterpillar has made an equity investment in Billings-based company, GTUIT, a manufacturer of mobile gas treatment systems. The companies plan to collaborate to deliver equipment to reduce flaring and emissions from flaring gas in the process of oil production. Brian Cebull, President and CEO of GTUIT stated, “As a result of the Caterpillar investment,
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  • Billings business owner Rich Naylor has been named Small Business Person of the Year in the small business category by the US Small Business Administration in Montana. He owns My Handyman Service & Construction, Inc., Billings. Two other Billings businesspeople are in the list of award winners announced by the SBA. They include Haley Vannatta, owner of Yellowstone Valley Women’s
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  • Electric generation companies, such as Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC) are “under attack,” according to Anita Decker, CEO of the Northwest Public power Association, of which YVEC is a member. At risk is the YVEC mission of providing customers with “the lowest cost, highest value investment,” said Decker, who spoke before the annual meeting of the YVEC on last week
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  • In the coming year local employers say they expect to hire 1000 new employees. That reflects a $42 million increase in wages for Yellowstone County. Will they be able to find the workers? Unlike many areas of the country, Billings and Yellowstone County face a labor shortage, a problem which if not addressed could negatively impact local business growth and
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  • If you want to reduce employee turnover in your business, fire mangers who are jerks. That’s the advice of Dick Finnegan, who was keynote speaker at the BillingsWorks Workforce Council luncheon. Finnegan is a nationally-recognized consultant on workforce retention and author of “Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad,” and of a forth coming book, “The Power of Stay Interviews
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  • It looks like the vision for a new restaurant in downtown for the Howard Shen and Tina Wu is becoming a reality. They plan to open Wild Ginger Steak House by late June on the ground floor of the new Empire Parking Garage on Montana Avenue between North 28th and North 27th Streets. The husband and wife entrepreneurial team are
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  • Building a convention center in Billings would cost in the neighborhood of $60 million, and require almost $700,000 annual subsidy. But, such a facility could turn Billings’ prospects around from possibly losing 25 percent of its convention business by 2020, to more than tripling it. A convention center would increase the economic impact of conventions held in Billings by about
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  • The goal for Jefferson Bus Lines is to open a new bus station in downtown Billings by July, according to company President Steve Woelfel. Woelfel announced last week that the Minneapolis-based company has purchased the former Underriner building at Fourth Avenue North and 18th Street North, to serve as their future headquarters in Billings. The new location allows the company
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  • The Guadalajara Family Mexican Restaurant at 927 S. 32nd Street West is moving to the former location of Beef O’Brady’s, 1223 Grand Avenue, Billings. They plan to have the new location completely remodeled and ready to open by about March 20. The restaurant, one of four Guadalajara Restaurants in Billings, is owned by Juan Nuno Sr. and his family members,
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  • The name “Blain” in Yellowstone County is almost synonymous with flying. The late Gerhart Blain was a pioneer in the local aviation business. His sons, Al and Gary, have carried on the family tradition with their business, Billings Flying Service, for which they recently announced big expansion plans. They anticipate more than doubling the size of their business over the
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shape upEntries are now being accepted for the 10th Annual Shape Up Montana program, a three-month team-based project of the Big Sky State Games that encourages Montanans to make healthier nutrition choices and be more physically active.

Since it began in 2003, over 43,000 Montanans have logged more than 10 million activity miles and shed 82,948 pounds! Organizers are working to reverse the progression of obesity and overweight trends in Montana.  This year’s program features a new user friendly website.

The early entry deadline is January 24. 

The “Shape Up Montana” program works with the business community, member organizations and families to engage their employees and members in a team format that spurs increasing physical activity and encourages healthy eating habits.  Past Shape Up Montana teams included businesses, church groups, organizations, friends, clubs, school staff and families.

 The team competition offers two categories:

  Accumulated Activity based on logging miles with the aid of an activity conversion calculator and Weight Loss due to healthful eating and physical activity. 

Teams of 4 to 10 individuals work together for three months (February 1 - May 1) helping each other and their team to either log mileage or lose weight.  Mileage is converted from regular daily activities (yard work, housework) and aerobic activity (swimming, running, walking, cycling, etc.). 

The cost for the three-month program is $15 and $10 for employees of Big Sky State Games (BSSG) program sponsors.  Everyone who enters will receive a Shape Up Montana T-shirt, weekly challenges, exercise videos, nutrition and physical activity tips/articles, access to numerous wellness calculators and free entry into the 27th Annual Big State Games Fitness Walk held July 20, in Billings.  Awards will be presented to the top three teams in each division.

Online registration, entry forms and more information are available at www.shapeupmontana.org or call (406) 254-7426.    Entry forms are also available at the Big Sky State Games Office in Billings (490 N. 31st, Suite 200).  

Shape Up Montana is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. Community Sponsors include Billings Clinic, Billings Gazette and Montana’s News Station (KTVQ, KBZK, KXLF, KRTV, KXLH, KAJ18, KPAX). 

Contributing partners include Albertsons, Eat Right Montana, Montana Chamber Choices, TwoMedicine, Montana Beef Council and Wendy’s.

The Big Sky State Games’ Major Sponsors are First Interstate Bank, Kampgrounds of America, and Montana Cycling and Ski.


 

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