Payne Center

The Payne Family Native American Center at the University of Montana recently received the highest award for sustainable building from the Montana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Todd Goodrich

Here's a quick look at some business news around western Montana:

UM’s Payne Family Native American Center honored by Green Building Council

The Payne Family Native American Center at the University of Montana recently received the highest award for sustainable building from the Montana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

The building received an Honor Award in the Montana Sustainable Building Award Commercial Category.

“This 30,000-square-feet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum building in the heart of the Missoula campus has an incredible array of high-performance features that express ‘deep respect and integration with the natural world,’” the USGBC Montana Chapter wrote.

The design of the Payne Family Native American Center preserved existing site trees while the construction used logs from a Superfund cleanup site. Excavated rocks from the site were used for retaining walls. The flooring and cabinets are made from recovered wood and the building uses extensive daylight. Performance data shows the building saves 55 percent energy over comparable conventional buildings.

Judges of the competition said the building is an “exciting expression of Native American cultures” in Montana.

The Payne Family Native American Center was designed by Glenn and Glenn Architects. A&E Architects, P.C. worked as the architect of record and interior design with general contractor Jackson Contractor Group. Engineers included Associate Construction Engineering, Beaudette Consulting Engineers and WGM Group. Landscape Architecture Studio did the landscaping for the building, which uses plant species native to Montana. Kath Williams and Associates served as the LEED consultant while Flow Engineers, LLC, was the commissioning agent.

The Sustainable Building Awards celebrate the best buildings in sustainable design and construction throughout Montana. The competition drew participation from the architectural, engineering and construction professionals from across the state. Winning projects represent the highest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance and overall integration.

Montana Distillery wins award

The Montana Distillery, home of Flathead Vodka, brought home to Montana a silver medal from the American Distilling Institute Conference 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. The prestigious award came in the flavored vodka category for the Montana Distillery’s Ginger Vodka, beating out hundreds of other entries.

The Montana Distillery’s Ginger Vodka is an all-natural infusion using The Montana Distillery’s Flathead vodka as its base. Unlike most flavored vodkas, The Montana Distillery uses no artificial flavorings or added sugar to produce this award winning vodka. Over several days during the distilling process natural ginger is infused without filtering to convey the best flavor, naturally. Consumers can see the proof in the bottom of an unshaken bottle where the ginger will settle. The Montana Distillery is located at 631 Woody St. in downtown Missoula. Visit them on Facebook as well for more information.

Missoula County Extension office to host farmers market and local food promotion grant writing workshop

The Missoula County Extension Office will be offering a free training for people who want to promote farmers markets or local food promotion programs. The workshop will be at 2825 Santa Fe Court in Missoula on April 27 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the conference room. This program will help participants secure USDA Agricultural Marketing Service resources and improve their funding success rate of grant applications. For more information call Seth Swanson at 258-4205

Daly Days vendors wanted

The Hamilton Downtown Association is seeking vendors for its Daly Days celebration, Friday and Saturday July 24-25.

Art, crafts, food, and others are welcome to apply. The booth fee remains $50, with an additional $10 if electricity is needed. Booth spaces are ten by twelve feet, and vendors will need to provide their own displays; no tables are provided.

For more information, or for an application, call the HDA at (406) 360-9124, or email

Insurance company searching for staffers offers $5,000 referral award

The Allstate Corporation, the largest publicly-held personal lines insurer in the nation, announced it will appoint several new agency owners in Montana this year and will offer payments to people referring qualified candidates. For jobseekers looking for a new career in 2015, a role as an Allstate Agent offers the rare opportunity to own their own business while being aligned with a nationally recognized brand, according to company spokesperson Stephanie Howell.

The expansion effort is expected to create nearly 10 jobs across Montana including support staff. Each agent is required to have two support staff to help make sure customers are treated with efficiency and courtesy.

Allstate is looking for people with sales, customer-service and management experience to operate agencies across the state, but anyone is welcome to apply.

“With the marketplace as strong as it is, we see this as a great opportunity to invest further in Montana,” said Gary Chitwood, Allstate’s West Central Region’s Strategic Deployment Leader. “Our local field sales leader and recruiters are seeking professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit, looking to own and operate their own business with the support and guidance of the Allstate brand.”

“Allstate is unique among most other insurers because its agents own the economic interest in their business,” continued Chitwood. “Allstate agents have the option to sell the economic interest in their agency.”

To help with recruiting, Allstate is offering up to $5,000 to people who refer a qualified candidate. The award is payable upon the appointment of the candidate as an Allstate agency owner. To find out more about the opportunity or to refer a candidate, people should visit or email our recruiter

UM business students score in 95th percentile in nationwide field test.

School of Business Administration students at the University of Montana continue to perform well on the Business Major Field Test. Overall, the 171 UM students taking the test in the spring semester averaged in the 95th percentile nationwide.

A total of 41 UM students who will graduate in spring 2015 scored in the 90th percentile or above. That is the largest number of students scoring in the 90th percentile or above in any one semester since the business school started administering this test to its students in 2009.

The Business Major Field Test, administered by more than 500 universities nationwide, measures critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students during their undergraduate studies and offers UM’s SoBA a way to evaluate its students’ performance and program’s overall effectiveness against similar institutions around the country.

The test covers a broad set of topics, including accounting, economics, management, quantitative business analysis, information systems, finance, marketing, legal and social environment, and international issues.

The following 41 students achieved scores at or higher than the 90th percentile on the spring 2015 Business Major Field Test: Suzanne Arntz, Devon Asmussen, Nathan Bailey, Matthew Balliet, Alexander Basile, Natalie Black, Genevieve Boyer, Glenda Bradshaw, Connor Bray, Samantha Cannon, Joseph Crowley, Joel Davison, John Eberhard, Lindsay Forman, Lucas Germer, John Gibson, Trenton Hancock, Matthew Hanson, Adam Hefenieder, Ryan Hover, Brian Hybner, Kevin Jablonski, David Kuhn, Bert Martin, Steve McClain, Patrick Mead, Carly Miller, Rylie Moore, Joshua Morasko, Zachery Nybo, Parker Olinger, Ethan Ranger, Kevin Rouse, Cody Sevier, Spencer Sheehan, Alanna Shuey, Mark Simonton, Megan Stevenson, Zachary Stoeger, Andrew Todaro, Brittany Urbaniak and Josephine Warner.

For more information on the Business Major Field Test visit

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