New business

APORTA Shop has opened at 117 W. Front St. The curated space will provide an outlet for Montana makers and artists and a studio setting for teaching and learning. APORTA Shop was founded by textile designer and artist Noelle Sharp in 2011. APORTA Shop will carry over 70 different makers and designers — many of them are Montana made. Visit aportashop.com.

New associates

Alison (Aly) Lester has joined EXIT Realty Bitterroot Valley as an agent.

Terran Hillesland has joined First Interstate Bank in Missoula as assistant commercial relationship manager. He comes to First Interstate from his hometown of Sidney, where he was a Realtor with Nick Jones Real Estate and a financial consultant/broker with the Northern Rockies Financial Group. He will serve as account executive for a small commercial portfolio and assist commercial relationship managers. Hillesland graduated from the University of Montana in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management.   

Dr. Stacie Wellman, has joined Community Physician Group — Family Medicine & Obstetrics. Dr. Wellman received her undergraduate degree from Montana State University. She specializes in family medicine and obstetrics treating the whole family at all stages of life with a specific interest women’s health. Dr. Wellman recently returned to Montana to practice medicine after practicing in North Dakota for the past five years. Dr. Wellman received her medical doctor from the University of North Dakota and residency from Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. Phone 327-3880.


Missoula Aging Services (MAS) announced the promotions of Stephanie Filkins and Kate Cotnoir. Filkins is the new Volunteer Coordinator for Meals on Wheels. She started with Missoula Aging Services at the front office. In the Resource Center, Cotnoir has been promoted to Resource Center Manager. As the Resource Center Manager at Missoula Aging Services, she provides support to Resource Specialists and coordinates their activities with other MAS programs and services, as well as providing appointments to older adults and people with disabilities.  


The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce to announced its 2019-2020 officers and board of directors. Jason Rice, Territorial Landworks, Inc., chair; Steve Clawson, NorthWestern Energy, chair-elect; Will Johnson, Will Johnson and Associates, Farm Bureau Financial Services, past chair; Chad Bauer, Republic Services of Montana, vice-chair; Tara Halls, Mettle Strategic Marketing Solutions, vice-chair; Ben Sokoloski, Market on Front, vice-chair; Barb Callaghan, First Security Bank, treasurer; Ron Bender, Worden Thane P.C., legal council; Kim Latrielle, president/CEO. Incoming 3-year term directors: Linda Abreu, LC Staffing; Chad Bauer, Republic Services of Montana; Steve Clawson, NorthWestern Energy; Susan Hay Patrick, United Way of Missoula County; Jan Schweitzer, Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co. P.C.; Tim Winger, Southgate Mall. Partial Term directors: Brandon Naasz, First Interstate Bank. Outgoing directors: Colleen Rudio, Cascadia Business Development and Brent Small, Wizbang Hats.


Lance Koch, realtor/broker, with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties in Missoula, has earned the Luxury Collection Specialist Certification. To qualify, Koch has met the sales requirements to obtain the designation. The standard for a luxury transaction is a residence within the top ten percent of the local marketplace. Other qualifications for the designation include active participation in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury/Resort marketing and education programs, serving on one or more non-REALTOR charitable boards or committees and being a current and active member of a recognized real estate trade association. Koch has been a full-time realtor/broker since 2005. He has handled transactions in a wide array of properties, including homes in town, lake frontage homes and land, river frontage homes and land, second homes, homes on land, bare lots and land, recreational homes and land, condos and townhomes, ranches, development property and 1031 Exchange.

Mickey Smith graduated from the Merrill Lynch Team Financial Advisor program in the Missoula office. Smith joined the KLO Group at Merrill Lynch in 2016. He received a master's degree in mathematics and statistics from the University of Montana. The KLO Group is located in the Merrill Lynch office, 331 N. Higgins Ave. Phone 829-8451.

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