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New business

Clay Christian has opened Stewart Title of Kalispell, a full-service title insurance and escrow office, at 17 Main St. Christian owns Stewart Title offices in Missoula, Hamilton, Florence, Darby and Bozeman. The office is managed by Tom McElwain. McElwain worked for Montana Power Co. for more than 31 years. The team of title examiners, lead by senior examiner Lesli Schreiner, is composed of Jo Brown, Diane Jones and Troy Thompson. Schreiner and Jones came to Stewart from the Flathead County Clerk and Recorder's Office, where Schreiner managed the Plat Room and Jones was an office assistant. Brown, who also performs duties as an escrow officer, has eight years of title and escrow experience. She was a real estate agent before joining Stewart Title. Thompson has four years' experience in finance and sales. Lynde Lechner, who worked 2 1/2 years as an escrow officer with Stewart Title in Missoula, and Mike Ratzburg, who managed several local businesses, handle closings, customer service and marketing. David Mosby is the controller/disperser. Mosby is a graduate of the University of Montana, an inactive CPA and has worked in several area businesses. Stephanie Mauro, receptionist, has five years of experience in finance and real estate.

Joe and Sandy Brosious have opened a new floor covering store, Brosious Carpet and Floors Inc., at 2825 Stockyard Road, Suite G1. The business specializes in all phases of flooring, carpet, hardwood, ceramic tile, laminate and linoleum. Joe recently retired after 30 years of working for Unisource, which specializes in supplying local businesses with printing, packaging and floor covering items.


Greg Terry, president of Big Sky Shredding Inc. announced the business has added another document shredding truck, enabling them to serve businesses throughout the state. Big Sky Shredding is a member of the Missoula and Helena chambers of commerce.

New positions

Jody McElravy has been named executive director of the Springs at Missoula. McElravy comes to Willowcreek Senior Living from Hunter's Glen, where she served as executive director. She is ALFA National Administrator certified and is active on the Montana Health Care Association and the Gerontology Advisory Board at the University of Montana. Willowcreek Senior Living owns and operates senior communities in Missoula and in Salem and Milwaukie, Ore.

Adventure Cycling Association, the nation's largest recreational bicycling organization has added new staff members. Danny Smitherman, the association's new membership services manager, has a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Texas at Austin and has worked with computer technology and customer support since 1997. He specializes in database applications. Larry Diskin, who worked for six years in the association's tours department, has moved to the role of bicycle travel promotion manager within the newly formed Outreach and Education Program. Diskin has a bachelor's degree in recreation and tourism management from the University of Oregon and is a former Trek Wrench Force mechanic. Guy Barel, tours manager, joined the staff after spending five years logging 30,000 miles on bike tours throughout much of the association's 31,735-mile National Bicycle Route Network. During his travels, he rode the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route solo in 1999 and 2003 as a guide for Adventure Cycling's Great Divide Expedition. Barel has guided several other Adventure Cycling Tours , which have taken him to Alaska, across all of the Southern states, and on the classic TransAmerica Cycle Trail, as well as the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. Liz Book, the association's new tours specialist, earned her bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Montana in 2003. She worked as an intern prior to becoming a permanent member of the staff. She raced for the University of Montana cycling team. Shaun Radley is the association's new part-time sales specialist. He is a sophomore at the University of Montana majoring in recreation management and business management. He has helped with the association's Cycle Washington and Cycle Utah events.


Jerry Brunson, master colorist and stylist, is now offering his professional hair services at Appearance by Design. Brunson is a national color educator, master colorist and has attended New York's Redken Exchange.

Sunee Milstead has moved her business from Bighorn Barber & Styling to Total Look Hair & Nail Salon. Milstead has 17 years of professional barber experience, color and perms. Walk-ins are welcome.


Jerry Lusk and Rhonda Whiting have been appointed to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana's board of directors. Lusk, joined Milliman initially in 1977 and again in 1989 following three years as the chief financial officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. Whiting is the vice president of communications for S&K Technologies Inc. She earned her juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law in 1993.

The Missoula County Association of Realtors recently installed new officers and directors. Judy Gudgel of Gillespie Realty was installed as president. John Herring of John Herring Real Estate was installed as president-elect and was also installed to a two-year term on the Montana Association of Realtors board of directors. Steve Schultz of Gillespie Realty, K.C. Hart of Fidelity Real Estate and Susan VonTersch of Mullan Trail Realty were installed to three-year terms on the board of directors. Germaine Haberman of Gillespie Realty, Donna Hamilton of Gillespie Realty, Rick Robinson of Red Carpet Realty and Tim Evans of Re/Max Realty Consultants were installed to three-year terms and Matt Rosbarsky of Clark Fork Realty was installed to a one-year term on the Montana Association of Realtors board of directors.

Rich Hamma, CPA for Galusha, Higgins & Galusha, has been named the Missoula Downtown Association's newest board member. New officers for 2004 include: Julie Lapham of Missoula Mortgage, president; Rod Austin of Sterling Savings Bank, past-president; Kim Johns of J. Elaine's Boutique, vice president; Jim Galipeau of Junkermeier, Clark, Campanella & Stevens, treasurer. Other members of the MDA board of directors include Jon Bernthal of Holiday Inn Parkside, Rick Bice of Allegra Print & Imaging, Rich Boberg of Bon-Macy's, Dan Cederberg of Cederbeg Law Offices, Matt Ellis of the Missoula Osprey, John Engen of Engen Creative, Bryan Flaig of First Security Bank, Diane Lanning-Nicklay of St. Patrick Hospital, Kim Murray of Joint Ventures, Bob Zimorino of Zimorino's Red Pies Over Montana, Chris Behan of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, Steve Earle of Mountain Line, Anne Guest of the Missoula Parking Commission and Dick King of the Missoula Area Economic Development Corp.


Gary Clark, president and CEO of Missoula Federal Credit Union announced that six employees have been promoted within the organization. Sandy Mitchell was promoted to senior vice president of finance/CFO. Mitchell, who received her MBA from the University of Montana, has worked for MFCU for almost 10 years. Joni Walker was promoted to senior vice president of marketing. Walker started in February 1993 as a teller and has overseen the marketing functions for nine years. Robert Farmer was promoted to supervisor of the University Branch. Farmer has worked for MFCU since March 1999. Julie Bunnell was promoted to consumer lending supervisor/financial service officer and will now supervise eight employees in the lending department. Commercial loan officer Brent Colbry is now a vice president for MFCU. Colbry has worked for the Credit Union since September 2002. Colleen Bache was named supervisor of the Southside Branch. Bache has worked for MFCU for 14 years in a variety of positions, most recently as a real estate loan officer.


Alan Powell, who operates a Kirby distributorship in Missoula, earned a bronze medal from the Kirby Co. The prize is part of the Challenge of Champions Campaign, a yearlong promotion in which distributors win prizes and trips for reaching their business goals.

Alan Tronson has been awarded the designation of Certified Business Intermediary by the IBBA. This award is representative of a higher level of education and training for his practice, which specializes in the valuation, sales, and merger and acquisition of regional companies.

Daylene Withycombe has been named the 2003 Downtowner of the Year by the Missoula Downtown Association. The Downtowner of the Year is awarded to an individual who has made Downtown Missoula a better place due to his or her unselfish and extraordinary efforts, activities or contributions. Withycombe has served on the Out to Lunch committee since its inception in 1985 and has volunteered countless hours soliciting sponsorship and staffing the Out to Lunch table. She also volunteers her time working in the MDA office when special projects arise and when the staff needs assistance.

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