MSU Billings Alumni Relations

Class Notes Winter 2004

Tom Anderson '51 and his wife, Bev, of Longview, Washington, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  Both are retired and enjoy cruises, yearly trips to Billings, exercising and gardening.  They have three children and four grandchildren.  Tom was a “lost alum” until their anniversary announcement in the Billings Gazette, so welcome back, Tom.


Otto Neuhardt '62 and his wife, Elvera Haglof Neuhardt '69 recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the Town and Country Club in Miles City.  Both taught school for 30 years in Miles City and farmed in the Crow Rock area.  They have 5 children and 8 grandchildren.


Bethel Kienitz '67 of Billings volunteers her time with the RIDES program.  As a RIDES volunteer she helps to meet the transportation needs of seniors residing within Billings who need assistance with daily appointments and errands.


Kristeen Keup '68, an English teacher at Billings Senior High School, has earned the prestigious National Board Certification.  Kristeen is one of 33 Montana teachers who have earned this distinction.


Barry Conver '71 and partner, Dennis Winchell, have opened a multi-line independent insurance agency in Billings, Montana.  Conver and Winchell Insurance has two locations in Billings and together the partners bring over 40 years experience to the business.


R. Ross Elliot '71 has earned certified financial planner status in accordance with CFP Board Certification and renewal requirements.  Elliot is responsible for the marketing and service of State Farm Insurance and investment products in Buffalo, Wyoming where he has been an agent for the past 27 years.  Ross is another “lost alum” who was recently found, so welcome back, Ross.


Marie Lehfeldt '72 of Lavina, Montana has been national coordinator for the 4-H Make It Yourself With Wool competition for ten years.


Kathy Hollern Bakkenist '73 of Roseville, Minnesota, has been named vice president of operations for Minnesota's Board of Social Ministry.  She will oversee all operations for the non-profit organization, including nursing homes, senior housing facilities and senior community services in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Kathy received her master's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota in 1976.


Monty Haselhuhn '73 was recently certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association Certification Commission.  Monty is a teacher and coach in Forsyth, Montana.


Nancy McManus '74 completed a leadership training workshop conducted by the Montana State Reading Council.  Nancy is a teacher at Alkali Creek School in Billings, Montana.


Debbie Hedrick '79 received the HIV/AIDS Governor's Recognition Award for her outstanding effort in educating and assisting the Billings community to respond to the HIV/Aids crisis in Montana.  Debbie is the community health services director for the Yellowstone City/County Health Department.


Sandra McKee ’79 is the director of program and spiritual development at Sacred Heart Renewal Center in Billings.  She is a Covenant Affiliate of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and holds advanced degrees in pastoral ministry from Gonzaga University.  Sandra’s duties at the Renewal Center include teaching, retreat programming and spiritual direction.


Charlotte Corrigan '80 was chosen as Special Education Teacher of the year for 2003 by the Montana Council of Administrators of Special Education.  Charlotte is a teacher with School District #6 in Columbia Falls, Montana.


Mary Rose Simon '80 recently joined One Eighty Communications of Billings as an operations specialist.  She has 13 years of telecommunications experience and previously worked for U.S. West, Western Wireless and Three Rivers Communications.


Marc S. Swanson '80 has been selected as one of the Kenai Peninsula's seven BP Teachers of Excellence.  Swanson successfully obtained an Alaska Science and Technology Foundation grant last year that guided sixth graders and parents through the sea lion articulation process.  Marc and his family live in Seward, Alaska.


Marc A. Swanson '82 of Glasgow, Montana and his family were awarded the 2003 Small Family Business Award by the Small Business Association and sponsored by MSU Bozeman College of Business.  The Swanson’s own Hi-Line Ford and employ 25 people.


Margaret Plouvier Aukshun '83, a math teacher and department chair at Billings West High School, was acknowledged as an Algebra 2 reviewer in the textbook series Prentice Hall Mathematics 2004.


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 a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Billings.


Terri Hogan '84 received her juris doctorate in law from the University of Montana, spring 2003.  Hogan attended St. Louis University's Health Law program for her final semester and received an Academic Excellence Award for her work while attending St. Louis University.  She has accepted a position with Allegiance Benefit Plan Management in Missoula, a third party administrator, as staff attorney.


Allan Maust '84 graduated from Billings Vo-Tech with a culinary arts certificate.  He started his business Rent-A-Chef in 1997 and has become a well-respected caterer in the Billings area.  In November 2003 he was featured in the Billings Gazette's Entrepreneurs column.


Greg Monical '84 Billings Vo-Tech grad, recently opened Powerhouse Gym and Fitness Center in Billings Heights.  The Gym is a state-of-the-art fitness center and is also connected with Montana Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and Heights Physical Therapy.  Future expansion goals include a swimming pool and gymnasium.  Greg has been in the fitness industry most of his career and opening the Powerhouse Gym is his dream job


Will Metz '85 was awarded the Good Samaritan Award at the 2003 Heroes Breakfast Program.  Will lives in Laurel, Montana.


Carol Annin ’88 a third grade teacher at Meadowlark Elementary in Billings has earned the prestigious National Board Certification.  She is one of 33 Montana teacher to have earned this credential.


Mark Jaskot '88 was honored with the Albert E. Trieschman Award by the American Association of Children's Residential Centers for his dedication to the profession of child care.  Jaskot has worked for the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch for over 18 years.


Detective Cobey Theade '88 of the Billings Police Department was presented with the Heroes Award at the 2003 Heroes Breakfast Program in November.


Becky Anseth '90 is the events manager for the Billings Gazette.  She promotes Gazette trade shows and events and also coordinates the company's Newspapers in Education and Read With Me programs.


Delane Langton '90 owns Blue Body and Paint, an autobody repair shop, in Lockwood near Billings, Montana.  His business received industry recognition when it qualified for the 1-Car Platinum award for commitment to excellence.  Blue Body and Paint has been operating in Lockwood for over 14 years.


Gail Neal '90 retired this winter as CEO of COR Enterprises, a position she held since 1979.  COR Enterprises, located in Billings, Montana, trains people with disabilities to become as self-sufficient as they can in the workplace and at home.  Gail isn't totally retiring however, and plans to continue working part-time as the director of outlying services and will travel throughout the Yellowstone region.


Colleen Chlapowski '91 has been promoted to assistant vice president at Wells Fargo Bank in Billings.  She has been with Wells Fargo Bank for 12 years and was most recently store manager of the downtown office.  Colleen is originally from Stockett, Montana.


Laura Allsop '92 recently earned her CPCU designation from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.  Laura works for State Farm Insurance Company in Billings, Montana.


Linda Auch '92 completed a leadership training workshop conducted by the Montana State Reading Council.  Linda is a teacher at Alkali Creek School in Billings, Montana.


Andy J. Fulton '93 has joined C.J.'s Restaurant in Billings as the food service manager.  Fulton has a culinary arts degree from the College of Technology and has had tenure at four star restaurants.  He was previously with the Yellowstone Country Club.


Robyn Kuhr '93 is the director of residential services for the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.


Troy Stowe '93 is an agent with Hoiness LaBar Insurance in Billings, Montana.  He recently transferred to the company's Payne Financial Group, specializing in entrepreneurial businesses.


Nicole Geiger '94 is serving as president of the Colorado-Wyoming-Montana Division of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.  Nicole is eKamp coordinator and technical services secretary at the corporate offices of Kampgrounds of America in Billings, Montana.


Shawn Kleinsasser '94 is a certified Microsoft systems engineer with Entre Technology Services in Billings, Montana.  He recently completed training on Microsoft Course 1572, Implementing and Managing Microsoft Exchange 2000.  Shawn is also Cisco and A+ certified.


Lisa Fulkerson '96 graduated May 2002 from MSU-Bozeman with an MS in Health and Human Development and Mental Health Counseling. In November 2003 she became a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Montana.


Randy Heiser '97 is an investment representative at Edward Jones in Billings.  He recently received the firm's Regional Leader's Award for his outstanding sales and service efforts over the past year.


Kristi Conroy '98 recently joined Intermountain Mortgage Company in Billings, Montana as a mortgage consultant.  She has more than 17 years experience in the financial and construction industries and specializes in all areas of home financing.  Kristi was previously a financial advisor at UBS Financial Services and has owned a construction company and worked as a realtor.


Case Haslam '98 completed Professional Development Level III with the Boy Scouts of America at its training center in Westlake, Texas.  Haslam is the endowment director with the Montana Council of Boy Scouts of America in Billings, Montana.


Jerry Simonson '98 has joined Western Security Bank in Billings as a commercial loan officer.  He has over five years of lending experience.


Janna Curtiss '99 is earning her master's degree in youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.  She continues to live in Billings and works as a special education teacher with School District 2 while taking courses at Luther Seminary.  Her master's degree will allow her to serve as a lay minister for her home congregation, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Billings.


Jason Mueller '99 of Billings, Montana has joined CTA Architects Engineers as an information technology technician.  He will be responsible for plotting and providing support for the company's network and PC's.


Jason Bough '01 has joined Laurel Federal Credit Union as accounting Manager.  Bough has over 12 years of management experience.


Casidee Riley '02 was hired in November as the Business Improvement District Coordinator for the Downtown Billings Partnership.  She will be working to enhance the business atmosphere and improve the safety and cleanliness of downtown Billings.


Cathy Bealer '03 is the CEO of Hematology Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies and oversees clinics in Billings, Butte, Sheridan and Cody, Wyoming.   She has a nursing degree and earned her master's in Health Administration at MSU Billings.


Mark Brindamour '03 has joined One Eighty Communications of Billings as staff accountant.


Ronda Butler '03 has joined the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Billings as the volunteer coordinator.  Her job is to help seniors find a meaningful way to use their wealth of talent and skills in service to the Billings community.


Jim Cayko '03 is the new service writer for Pierce RV Center in Billings, Montana.


Toby Laird, 2002, and Rachel Hertz, 2003, both members of the MSUB tennis team, were married in Billings at St. Patrick's Cathedral on June 28, 2003. Toby is in the doctoral program for Educational Psychology at the University of Arizona. Rachel is a certified personal trainer at Naturally Women, a women's fitness center.



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