MSU Billings Alumni Relations

Fall 2005

Gertrude Stading Koch '69 and her husband, Raymond, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a buffet lunch in Dickinson, N.D.  Gertrude is retired after 42 years of teaching and Raymond was a railroad telegrapher for Northern Pacific Railroad and also worked for the U.S. Postal Service.  They have one son, Monte Koch of Dallas.

Timothy Beeter '77 recently completed the Farmers Insurance Group career program and is licensed to assist customers in purchasing auto, home and life insurance, as well as annuities and IRAs.  His office is located at 2860 Grand Avenue in Billings, Mont.

Joan Grauman '77 has been appointed to the board of directors of the Billings Depot.

Timothy Christensen '78 a financial advisor with American Express Financial Advisors has been inducted into the company's Diamond Ring Club, a level that is attained by fewer than 5% of American Express financial advisors.  Timothy's firm, Christensen, Shy and Associates is located in downtown Billings.

John Vondra '83 has achieved the professional designation of accredited asset management specialist.   He completed the AAMS professional education program from the Denver-based College for Financial Planning.  John is an investment executive with Edward Jones in Billings.

Becky Webber '84 is the new executive director at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County.  She has 15 years experience in the non-profit sector having served as the auction coordinator for Mayfair, a fundraiser for the Billings Catholics Schools, and as a board member for Lockwood Schools. 

Gaylynn Becker '85 of Bismarck, ND received a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Teaching & Learning Higher Education with a Minor in Counseling from the University of North Dakota in December 2004. His dissertation High Stakes Assessment and the ACT: Relationships Between Two Assessments and High School Coursework has been presented to many groups this year and provides insights and points for discussion for interested educators, policy makers, parents, etc. After coordinating state-wide testing programs for 12 years in North Dakota, Gaylynn is in his 5th year as the career counselor at New Salem and Hebron High Schools in New Salem and Hebron, North Dakota. Gaylynn and his wife Linda live in Bismarck. Linda is also a school counselor for Mandan Public Schools. Their son Karl is a senior at NDSU in Fargo.

Jerry Pearsall '86 recently returned to Billings, Mont to join St. John's Lutheran Ministries as executive director of St. John's Foundation.  He previously served as executive director of the Pacific Northwest Section of the PGA of America in Olympia, Wash.

Sharon D. Miller '91 has been promoted to escrow manager at Security Title in Billings, Mont.

Angela Slade '91 has joined St. Vincent Healthcare Occupational Health Services as a sales and account representative.  She was most recently marketing director at Holiday Village Mall in Havre.

Brian Amen '96 recently joined CTA Architects Engineers as a steel detailer in the structural department.  He has six years experience as a steel detailer.

Alan Love '96 recently joined CTA Architects Engineers in Billings, Mont. as a CADD technician in the structural department.  He has eight years experience in drafting for commercial and residential design.

Shane Spears '96 received a Fulbright Summer Study Seminar Scholarship to explore the Old Silk Road in Western China and Kazakhstan this summer.  Shane teaches history and world language at Castle Rock Middle School in Billings, Mont.

Pamela DeVries '97 was recently promoted to member services specialist at the Billings Chamber of Commerce.  She will handle planning and coordinating of all Chamber events and maintain membership information.

Heather Kleppen Webb '97 was promoted to assistant store manager at Herberger's in Grand Junction, Colo. in July 2005.  Heather and Steve Webb were married in August of last year.

Gary Draine '98 of Billings has completed a course in auctioneering, public speaking and auction management from the Western College of Auctioneering.  He is now qualified to conduct public auctions.

Ross Lees '98 of Billings, recently joined CTA Architects Engineers as a drafter in the architectural department.  He is proficient in Solid Works and AutoCAD Inventor, both 3-D modeling software programs.

Julie Palmersheim '98 of Billings, Mont. has completed the Rocky Mountain Hospice Volunteer Program.  Hospice volunteers are trained in family dynamics, communication and caring for the caregiver.

Heidi Knudson '00 Recently accepted a position as Business Development Officer at Avanta Federal Credit Union in Laurel, Mont. Her responsibilities include enhancing relationships with current employer groups, focusing on establishing relationships with new employer groups and representing the credit union in a Public Relations position.

Curtis Kramer '00 has transfered to the Bozeman office of Engineering, Inc.  As a CADD technician he will be responsible for computer-aided drafting and design.  Curtis joined the Billings office of Engineering, Inc. in 2000.

Lynnette McDonald '00 recently joined Rocky Mountain Hospice as marketing coordinator.  She earned her R.N. from Pennsylvania State University and has 16 years of ICU experience.  Lynnette will be responsible for community education and promoting Rocky Mountain Hospice to referral sources.

Michelle Jutila '01 was recently appointed as the director of the Small Business Development Center in Colstrip, Mont.  She will provide business counseling and training services to counties in Southeastern Montana.

Kevin Schweigert '01 has been named adult chorus master for the Rimrock Opera Company in Billings.  As a member of the chorus, he has performed in the productions of Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Carmen, Don Giovanni, the Magic Flute and La Boheme.  Kevin is also the vocal music director at Shepherd School District.

Jamie Ness '02 of Billings, Mont. has completed the Rocky Mountain Hospice Volunteer Program.  Hospice volunteers are trained in family dynamics, communication and caring for the caregiver.

Amber Sparks '02 has joined Entre Technology Services in Billings, Mont. as operations support. 

Freddie Wambolt '03 has joined Wells Fargo Bank in Billings, Mont. as a personal banker.  He was previously the program manager for the Western Wellness Foundation.

Luke Rome '04 has joined New York Life Insurance in Billings, Mont. as an agent.  He participated in New York Life's agent training program.

Robert Gagnon '05 is the executive director of the Yellowstone Surgery Center in Billings.  At graduation this year he was awarded the Master of Health Administration Outstanding Student Award for the Class of 2005.

Kama Humphrey '05 is the new group sales manager for the Billings Chamber of Commerce.  She was previously the visitor's center summer coordinator.

Kelly Melius '05 is a group home coordinator at S.T.E.P. in Billings, Mont.  S.T.E.P.  is a nonprofit corporation that provides services to people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Larry Payovich '05, a recent College of Technology graduate, is working for Central Sheet Metal in Billings, Mont. where he is in a 5-year apprenticeship program.

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