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  • Business Torch, Spark award applications open

    Updated May 16, 2024

    Press release BBB Foundation, the charitable arm of Better Business Bureau, announced it is now accepting applications and nominations for its regional Torch Awards for Ethics and Spark Awards for Entrepreneurship programs. Businesses of every size based in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Western Wyoming and Central Colorado are invited to apply for BBB Foundation’s annual awards recognizing marketplace role models. Customers are also encouraged to nominate businesses in these communities they find most t...

  • Sheppard promoted to assistant vice president of lending at Independence Bank

    Updated May 2, 2024

    Press release Independence Bank recently promoted Mason Sheppard to assistant vice president of lending. Sheppard came to the bank in 2015 as a credit analyst and was later promoted to loan officer in 2017. In 2021, Mason accepted the responsibilities of managing our credit analyst department and then in 2022 took on the supervision of the ag/commercial lending staff in Havre. In 2023 Mason became a senior Loan Officer and a member of the Banks loan committee. Mason will be...

  • Farmer promoted to finance officer/executive assistant at Independence Bank

    Updated May 2, 2024

    Press release Independence Bank recently promoted Lacy Farmer to finance officer/executive assistant at the Havre Branch. Farmer started at the bank as an executive assistant in 2018. In her new role, she is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all financial matters related to the organization are handled in a responsible and legal manner. Management of the budget, preparation of various financial reports and ensuring accuracy of such reports are critical components of...

  • Stockman Bank ranked in top 50 US community banks

    Updated Apr 18, 2024

    Press release Stockman Bank has been recognized by S&P Global Market Intelligence as one of the top 50 best-performing U.S. community banks of 2023 among banks with $3 billion to $10 billion in assets. S&P Global Market Intelligence ranks institutions based on returns, growth and funding but places a premium on the strength and risk profile of balance sheets. The rankings were launched in 2011 to assess the performance of community banks. “This recognition reflects not only our exemplary financial performance, but the d...

  • Stockman Bank ranked in top 50 US community banks

    Updated Apr 11, 2024

    Press release Stockman Bank has been recognized by S&P Global Market Intelligence as one of the top 50 best-performing U.S. community banks of 2023 among banks with $3 billion to $10 billion in assets. S&P Global Market Intelligence ranks institutions based on returns, growth and funding but places a premium on the strength and risk profile of balance sheets. The rankings were launched in 2011 to assess the performance of community banks. “This recognition reflects not only our exemplary financial performance, but the d...

  • Breding promoted to Loan Officer at Independence Bank

    Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Press release Alec Breding recently was promoted by Independence Bank to ag/commercial loan officer. Breding came to the bank in January of 2022 as a part-time credit analyst while finishing his last semester at Montana State University-Northern and was promoted to ag/commercial lender in 2023. Since then, he has been serving ag/commercial lending customers on the region. "We are very pleased to announce Alec's position as loan officer," Independence Bank Senior Loan Officer M...

  • Frankie's coffee house opens in Atrium

    Christy Bambrough|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    The Atrium Mall has added a new neighbor to the building, Frankie's, a coffee shop located on the main floor. Frankie's is owned by Frankie and Travis Chamberlain, a husband-wife team and were elementary school sweethearts. They have eight children and three grandchildren. Frankie Chamberlain was born in Alaska, where she owned coffee shops, and she has been a professional master barista for more than 20 years, trained in roasting and roast profiles, coffee history, brewing...

  • Creative Yogurt expands into Creative Yogurt and Coffee

    Christy Bambrough|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    Havre locals Nicole and Andy Hanson have added another coffee stop for the public's commute to work every morning. Slight renovations have occurred within the walls of Creative Yogurt in the last couple months to make the additions to the menu. "We opened Creative Coffee Jan. 2, 2024, to add a little pizazz to our already established business, Creative Yogurt," Nicole Hanson said. "The two have so far complemented each other very nicely. Andy went above and beyond with the...

  • Morris promoted to info tech and security officer at Independence Bank

    Updated Feb 9, 2024

    Press release Independence Bank has announced the promotion of Andy Morris to the position of information technology and security officer. In this role, Morris will provide assistance in managing networking equipment, working closely with bank partners to maintain a secure and extensible network. Morris grew up in Belgrade and moved to Havre in the fall of 1997. He attended college at Montana State University-Northern, where he earned a bachelor's degree in computer... Full story

  • Cichosz takes on new roles at Havre Branch

    Updated Feb 9, 2024

    Press release Independence Bank recently promoted Mym Cichosz to the position of MSI corporate secretary/bank board secretary and human resources administrative assistant. In these roles, Cichosz provides services and outreach to our shareholders, aids the board of directors in fulfilling their fiduciary duties, and provides assistance in ensuring human resources meets the needs of our employees. Cichosz is a Montana State University-Northern graduate with a bachelor's degree... Full story

  • Beaudry promoted to loan assistant supervisor at Independence Bank

    Updated Feb 1, 2024

    Press release Independence Bank recently promoted Justine Beaudry to the position of Loan Assistant Supervisor. In this role, Beaudry provides leadership and guidance to the loan assistant staff across all Independence Bank branches. "Justine has worked hard to provide guidance and expertise to our lending staff, "Independence Bank Havre Branch President Karene Faber said. "We are confident that she will continue to promote excellent service for our lending customers."...

  • Les Schwab Tire Center opens in Havre

    Christy Bambrough|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    Les Schwab Tire Center has opened its doors for business in Havre with the official day of opening Dec. 6. Store Manager Trent Goslin said he has been training his crew to perform tasks such as full suspension, brakes, alignments, lift kits, lowering kits, service calls, and anything to do with tires on semi-trucks, agriculture vehicles, side-by-sides, golf carts and four wheelers. Les Schwab is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m....

  • Harvest Hosts and Fresno Tavern join forces to support small businesses

    Christy Bambrough|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    A local business has joined a group that offers recreational vehicle travelers a place to stay across the country at the cost of a yearly fee. Joel Holland, CEO of Harvest Hosts, said Fresno Tavern on U.S. Highway 2 west of Havre is now part of the network. Representatives of the tavern did not respond to requests for comment. Holland said Harvest Hosts is a network of small and local businesses, including farms, breweries, historical landmarks, and more. The project spans across America and hosts offer space to RVers to...

  • New federal reporting law carries hefty penalties for small businesses

    Updated Dec 7, 2023

    Small businesses in Montana and throughout the country will soon need to comply with a new federal reporting law or potentially face steep consequences, including fines of up to $500 daily or even jail time. In January 2021, the United State Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), with a goal of detecting and reducing money laundering, fraud, and other misconduct through shell companies. As part of the legislation, almost all entities are required to file a report with details about their owners and the individ...

  • UM College of Business creating a safer online future for our state

    Updated Oct 19, 2023

    Fall on the University of Montana campus is always a special time - the leaves are turning, and the students' excitement for the new year and achieving their academic and career goals brings a positive energy. This year is particularly special because we welcomed our inaugural class of Cybersecurity Majors to the UM College of Business. Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field. In Montana, over 700 cyber workforce positions are unfilled, and nationally, we expect 33% job...

  • Faber Graduates from Graduate School of Banking at Colorado

    Updated Sep 24, 2023

    Press release Karene Faber the Havre Branch President/Vice President of Marketing of Independence Bank graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (GSBC) on July 27, 2023. In addition to completing the GSBC required curriculum, Karene also completed the Committed to Lead Micro-Credential, a Bolder Banking Initiative, of supplementary coursework offered to second and third-year students. Faber is an MSU-Northern graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Business...

  • Bear Paw Development has funds available for business growth

    Updated Sep 24, 2023

    Press release Bear Paw Development Corp. announced the organization has loan funds available to business owners and entrepreneurs in northern Montana interested in starting a new business or expanding an existing enterprise. The funding is from various sources at the state and federal level and is focused on helping small business owners with their capital needs. "Small businesses are the backbone of active Main Streets and healthy communities in our region of northern...

  • New photography business opening soon in Atrium

    Christy Bambrough|Updated Aug 31, 2023

    Sondra Eacker just moved to Havre and opened a family photography business. Eacker and her husband, Anthony, as well as their two children, Aubrey, 8, and Tanner, 6, sold their home in Kalispell and bought a home in Havre this summer. "We absolutely love it here. We are thrilled to become members of the community... we were looking for a smaller slower pace for our family and Havre is perfect," Eacker said, "My husband is a born-and-raised Montana boy who served his country...

  • Graham promoted at Independence Bank

    Updated Jun 22, 2023

    Press release Haley Graham was recently promoted to bookkeeping manager for Independence Bank. In her new role, she will guide all bookkeeping operations for nine Independence Bank branches and one Independence Bank LPO/DPO. Graham has spent the last eight years in the financial industry, working as a customer service representative and a loan processor. She came to IB in 2022 as a bookkeeper and has played an integral role on staff over the past year. "We were so fortunate...

  • Keeley retires after 31 years with American Greetings

    Updated May 5, 2023

    Press release People will be missing a familiar face in the greeting card section. Havre resident Ellen "Ellie" Keeley has retired from her position as an American Greetings merchandiser after nearly 31 years of service, the company said in a release, adding, one her favorite sayings was "Buy a Card." "Ellie was a treasured and respected member of the American Greetings family, as well as by the staff members in the stores she serviced; most recently, Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods...

  • Makis take over as new owners at Down Under Fitness Center

    Tim Leeds|Updated Mar 9, 2023

    Some changes have happened at Down Under Fitness Center, though Kristi Parrotte, who founded the business with her husband, Daimon, said people won't see any changes in their other business, Physical Therapy Down Under. She said they have sold the fitness center to Justin and Kari Maki from Chester, who have done an "amazing" job with Fitness Express there, and she and her husband are excited to see the changes they will bring to Fitness Down Under. "Please welcome Justin and...

  • We salute our amazing women entrepreneurs during Women's History Month

    Updated Mar 2, 2023

    As we enter the third year of the Biden-Harris administration, we’re fortunate to have a president who understands the vital role women entrepreneurs play in our economy. The U.S. Small Business Administration supports the president’s business advocacy by nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and making sure small business has a voice at the table in Washington, DC. During Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day, we salute women entrepreneurs who take a risk in pursuit of their passions and who see setback...

  • Gary & Leo's awarded Five Star honor

    Updated Feb 16, 2023

    Press release CHICAGO - The Independent Grocers Alliance - IGA - announced Monday that Havre, Montana-based Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods IGA store has been awarded the IGA Five Star honor for achievement in IGA's Assessment Program. Five Star is the highest level of recognition possible under the Assessment Program's rigorous standards. The IGA Assessment Program measures IGA store performance with a combination of unrevealed and revealed assessments focused on operations,...

  • From the Chamber's executive director

    Updated Jan 18, 2023

    Wow, what a phenomenal year! 2022 was filled with growth, challenges, discovery, and opportunity. The past 10 months as the executive director of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce have afforded me the opportunity to really lean into our business community, build relationships, and learn about the challenges our businesses face. I've also been awakened - there are many opportunities available for our community! Looking back at 2022 we have many successes to celebrate! The 2nd...

  • From the outgoing president

    Updated Jan 18, 2023

    Being involved with the Havre Chamber of Commerce has been an extremely rewarding experience for myself, both on a personal and a professional level. Initially, working with various Chamber committees, provided me with an opportunity to meet and begin building relationships with others involved in our community. I was introduced to fellow bankers, accountants, attorneys, insurance providers and many others who have aided me in my career. Serving on the Board of Directors...

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