MSU Billings Alumni Relations

Class Notes Winter 2006

Yvonne Arnold '39 and her husband, Bernard, recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a family barbecue in Absarokee, Mont.  They ranched in the Fishtail area and retired to Absarokee in 1971.  Yvonne and Bernard have three children, eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three stepgreat-grandchildren.


Mary Sweeney '42 and her husband, Hugh, recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Billings.  They have seven children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


James Sindelar '52 and his wife, Virginia, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a reception at The Perfect Place in Billings.   Early in their careers, Jim was a US Navy aviator and Virginia ran a day care.  They own the River Valley Ranch northeast of Billings.  Jim and Virginia have three children and four grandchildren.


Harriet  Warne '65 and her husband, Earl, recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with dinners at their son's and daughter's homes in Billings.  Harriet was an elementary school teacher and Earl a professor at Eastern Montana College, both retiring in 1985.  They have three children and seven grandchildren.


Genevieve Bauer '69 and her husband, Frank, recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at their home in Billings.  Genevieve was a teacher and retired in 1982 and Frank was a carpenter.  They have six children, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Clay Buttman '72 is an optician with Ophthalmic Associates of Billings.  He has 36 years of experience in the optical field and was previously the owner of Kreiner Optical Center.


Richard Hannah '74 has opened a new real estate office in Billings, Mont., ICR/Hannah Real Estate and Development.  Richard was formerly with Prudential Floberg Realtors.


Tom Singer '75 of Billings, Mont. has formed a new firm, Axiom Law Group, PLLC, with two partners, Dean Hoistad in Missoula and Gary Hermann in Big Sky.  Singer is a trial attorney with 20 years experience.  Axiom will represent clients statewide in productsliability, professional liability, construction, transportation, intellectual property, employment and business litigation.


Debbie Michael '76 was elected national president of the American Society of Women Accountants.  She has been a member of the Billings Chapter of ASWA for 21 years and has served as chapter president as well as a member of the national board of directors.


Darryl Smith '76 is the department chair of the Life Skills Program at Sentinel High School in Missoula, Mont.  His oldest son, Tanner, is coaching and teaching in Salem, Ore, and his two younger children attend the University of Montana.


Dolores Jurovich '77 and her spouse, Eugene, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the Sweet Surrender Cafe in Billings.  Dolores taught piano, owned the Mayflower Day Care Center in Billings and is now co-owner of Sweet Surrender Cafe with her sister.  Eugene is retired as owner of Juro's Pharmacy and now serves as a relief pharmacist for area drug stores.  They have two children and three grandchildren.


Jacquie McDonald '78 a teacher at Billings Senior High School was the recipient of the state Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science.  Altogether, six teachers were chosen in Montana and a final judging will be made to select two award winners for a trip to Washington, DC and a cash prize.


Pamela Stone Gustafson '80 completed yoga teacher training through the Samarya Center of Seattle and earned national accreditation from Yoga Alliance.  She teaches at Perfect Balance in Billings.


Jeanette Longman '80 was awarded the National Achievement Award at the national conference of the American Society of Women Accountants in Philadelphia.  Jeanette is a CPA with Jackson, Fekety and Odle in Billings, Mont.


Peggy Roberts '80 was recently hired by the accounting firm, Joseph Eve & Company, in Billings, Mont as a staff accountant.  She is a licensed CPA and will provide auditing services to nonprofit, governmental and tribal clients.


Rod Hessler '82 is the owner of Al's Body Shop in Billings, Mont.  He recently upgraded his equipment with the addition of a Sniper optical headlight aimer.  Al's Body Shop is an ASE-certified, one-man shop and has been in business since 1982.


Lyle Seavy '83 is the vice president for strategic planning at the Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch in Billings.  He has worked in the area of children and family mental health and residential treatment for 22 years and has been employed at YBGR for 14 years.


Will Metz '85, a helicopter pilot for Aero Helicopter of Cheyenne, Wyo, spent three weeks in the Gulf following Hurricane Katrina, flying recovery missions.  Metz helped restore order by ferrying soldiers and police officers to downtown medical facility, transporting dozens of survivors to safe areas, flying Meals Ready to Eat, and even dousing fires from his helicopter.  He ended up flying hundreds of missions, sometimes for 12 to 16 hours a day.


Bob Pitcher '85 and his wife, Tammy, loaded up their business, Big Sky Mobile Catering, in September and headed to the Gulf with their mobile kitchen, supplies and nearly two dozen employees to prepare food for Army soldiers and other hurricane relief workers.  Their busy summer season preparing meals for wild-land firefighters was winding down when they were hired by the federal government to provide hurricane relief in Louisiana.  They fed around 1,200 people three times a day, every day.


Jeff Leuthold '86 has been promoted to branch manager of Sterling Savings Bank in Billings, Mont.  He will also serve as business banking team leader for the Billings and Bozeman Markets.


Bonnie LeSueur '87 has been promoted to accounting manager at Kampgrounds of America, Inc. in Billings, Mont.  She has been with KOA since October 2005 and in her new position will manage day-to-day operations of the accounting department, payroll and bookkeeping for KOA company-operated campgrounds.


Gregg Wilson '88 has earned the certified association executive credential awarded by the American Society of Association Executives.  The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry with fewer than 5% of association professionals earning the designation.  Gregg is director of membership and program development for Associated Employers of Montana in Billings, Mont.


Angie Atkinson '90 recently earned her Certified Insurance Counselor designation.  She is a personal lines and office manager for Hub International in Billings.  Angie was also honored this year as one of the recipients of the 40 Under 40 Award sponsored by the Billings Gazette and Western Business News.


Joanne Grimm '90 is the executive director of Job Placement Services in Billings and she has 14 years experience working with disabled adults.  Job Placement Services is an agency which assists individuals who have a disability with finding employment.


Dawn Schindler-Larimer '90 has been promoted to trust officer at Wells Fargo Private Client Services in Billings, Mont.  She will be responsibile for the management and administration of trusts and investment accounts as well as building and growing Wells Fargo's trust presence in the greater Billings area.


Denise Gorham '91 has joined Stockman Bank in Billings as vice president & marketing director.  She has over 25 years of financial services experience and will be responsible for overseeing all marketing functions for Stockman Bank and in developing new markets.


Mary Hernandez '91 has joined the Mental Health Center in Billings as its Mental Health Foundation director.  She will be responsible for fund development and public relations and brings over 12 years of fundraising experience to the organization.


Tammy Dennis '93 has a new position as accountant with the Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch in Billings, Mont.  Tammy has been with YBGR for 11 years and will be managing payroll, accounts payable, financial analysis reports and assisting with annual budget preparation.


Linda E. Harris '93, a CPA with her own firm in Absarokee, Mont. was awarded the 2004 Woman of the Year award by the American Society of Women Accounts for her involvement in regional activities of the ASWA organization as well as participation in local schools, hospitals and arts councils in her community.


Gina Herbert '94 and her husband, Greg, have opened a Padgett Business Services office serving Billings and south central Montana.  Padgett specializes in providing financial reporting, payroll and tax consulting services to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.


Dianne Asay '95 has joined Prudential Floberg Realtors as a sales associate specializing in residential properties.  She has 10 years experience in corporate accounting and has also worked as a tax preparer.


Darren Besel '95 of Billings has joined CTA Architects Engineers as a drafting tech in the mechanical engineering department.  He has past experience as a mechanical machine designer.


Taylor Mayer '95 recently earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Walden University and is a psychological assessment consultant at Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch in Billings.  Taylor has been with YBGR for the past 11 years. He is also an adjunct clinical faculty with the Physician Assistant program at Rocky Mountain College.


Robyn Volbrecht '96 has been promoted to assistant vice president at First Interstate Bank in Billings, Mont.  She has been with First Interstate for 12 years, the last nine in the real estate department.


Misty Longfellow Kriskovich '97 is the 2005 Outstanding Certified Insurance Representative of the Year.  She manages the commercial insurance department for Hobson Insurance which services seven national buying groups with licenses in 43 states.  She was awarded the Commercial Achievement Award from Safeco Insurance in 1999.


Jerry Simonson '98 has been promoted to Vice President of commercial loans at the downtown branch of Western Security Bank in Billings.  Jerry has been with the bank since 2003.>


Nicole Tackett '98, '03 is a therapist with the Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch in Billings and specializes in providing individual, family and group therapy for girls between the ages of 10 and 18.  She recently received her master's in rehabilitation counseling from MSU Billings.


Marcy Trowbridge '98 is the lead customer service representative at the Billings Heights office of Stockman Bank.  She is responsible for merchant services, bank sales and promotions.  Marcy is originally from Custer, Montana.  She is actively involved in the Billings community with the United Way and Habitat for Humanity.  Marcy and her husband, Chad, have three daughters, Stacia, Nateal and Morgan.


Caryn Fichtner '99 has been promoted to business banking representative for the Billings branch of Sterling Savings Bank.  Caryn has been with the bank since 2003.


Josh Gilchrist '99 received the 2005 Certificate of Excellence: Direct Care Service Award for Advocacy from the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services Developmental Disabilities Program for outstanding commitment to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.  Josh is a habilitation aide with STEP in Billings.   He is also the adviser to the Billings Chapter of People First, an organization that promotes the empowerment of self-advocates.


Lisa Jensen '99 recently graduated from D.A. Davidson & Co.'s comprehensive wealth management program.  Lisa has been with the Billings office of D.A. Davidson since 2000 where she is a registered associate.


Colleen Black '00 has been elected president of the Montana Society of Public Accountants.  She is a CPA and the owner of Colleen Black & Co. PC in Billings.


Steve Gardiner '00 an English teacher at Billings Senior High School has written a book, Building Student Literacy Through Sustained Silent Reading.  Steve has been teaching for the past 28 years and this is his fourth book.  He has been awarded the Medal of Merit from the Journalism Educators Association and a special recognition award from the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund.


Keith Tresch '00 is a member of the Montana National Guard's 1-163rd Infantry Battalion and is also a 6th grade teacher at Lockwood Elementary in Billings.  He received a huge welcome from his students upon his return from Iraq in November.  Keith served in Iraq from August 2004 until November 2005.


Shad Oliver '01 a claims examiner with Montana State Fund in Helena, has been awarded the professional insurance designation Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter by the American Institute for CPCU.  This certification is one of the highest designations available to property casualty insurance professionals.


Kim Schwend '01 is a senior associate auditor with Eide Bailly LLP in Billings, Mont. and recently passed the Certified Public Accounting Exam.  She specializes in single audits, tribal government, small business and college audits.


Tabatha Storer '01 has accepted a position with St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings as coordinator of the Blood Conservation Program.  Tabatha was previously the wellness coordinator for the MSU Billings campus.


Larry Blacksmith '02 has been named as one of nine fellows in a specialized leadership training program through the national American Indian Higher Education Consortium.  Larry is registrar and dean of administration at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Mont.


Victoria Brauer '02 has joined prudential Floberg Realtors in Billings as a sales Associate specializing in residential properties.  She has eight years of sales, marketing and client service experience.


Richard Streeter '02, '04 has been employed at Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch in Billings for the past 13 years and is currently the director of Intensive Residential Programs.  He recently earned his master's of early childhood education from MSU Billings.


David Yuhas '02 has joined the Billings office of Eide Bailly LLP as an associate auditor.  He was previously with the Great Falls office.


Roderick Foley '03 graduated from Capella University in June 2004 with a MS in Human Services/Counseling Studies. In April 2005 he accepted the position of Addictions Counselor at New Day, Inc. in Montana's only co-occurring mental health/substance abuse treatment center serving Native American adolescents and families in what is known as the Four Dances Outdoor Adventures program with a curriculum based in wilderness experience. As of August 1st he began a Doctoral program in Human Services/Counseling Studies with Capella University and in October accepted a position as Operations Manager for Wyoming's premier adult and children's Developmentally Disabled service provider--Rehabilitation Enterprises of North Eastern Wyoming (RENEW).  Roderick would like to express to the entire MSUB system, faculty, students/peers/mentors, and alumni who have helped him achieve at this level; truly an Access & Excellence success story. He wanted to make sure that before he left the Billings community and headed for Sheridan, WY he had an opportunity to thank all of the wonderful people involved in his journey and saw this as a great way to communicate those thoughts and wishes.


Kirk Keysor '03 has joined Stockman Bank in Billings as a commercial loan officer.  He will be developing and servicing commercial loans as well as assisting clients with their lending needs.  While a student at MSU Billings, Kirk received the Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Award from the College of Business.


Casey Calvin '05 recently joined Summit Credit Union in Billings Heights as a financial service representative.  She was previously at Wells Fargo Bank where she worked with home equity loans.


Teauna Martenson '05 of Billings is a clinic outpatient billing coordinator at Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch and works with clinic ancillary services.


Rhonda Hoerster '05 has joined Hub International as a customer service agent in Billings, Mont.  She has commercial insurance experience.


Cathy Wagenhals '05 has joined the Billings accounting firm of Weber, Dobson & Jensen as staff accountant.  She has over 10 years of small business accounting experience and was previously self-employed.


Michael Wombolt '05 recently joined Joseph Eve & Company in Billings as a staff accountant.  He will provide auditing services to non-profit, governmental and tribal clients.


Ken Heikes, administrative vice president emeritus, and his wife, Lena, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in October with a trip to New York City followed by a cruise of the North Atlantic coast and a sail down the St. Lawrence River to Montreal.  The maples were in glorious fall splendor and added to the pleasure of their journey.



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