Business briefcase: New jobs, promotions, awards and news

Business briefcase: New jobs, promotions, awards and news

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Names and faces

Aaron Farmer has joined the team at Stahly Engineering & Associates in the Land Survey Department. Farmer is finishing his bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology at Montana State University. He will be assisting the Stahly Helena office in providing land surveying, mapping, and construction staking services to our clients on a variety of public and private projects.


Dorota Carpenedo, MPH, is the new analytic team project manager at Mountain-Pacific Quality Health. Carpenedo joins Mountain-Pacific’s Montana team of analysts who are responsible for summarizing, reporting and interpreting health care data. Carpenedo brings 14 years of experience serving in public health, as well as 12 years as an epidemiologist including three years of supervisory experience. Carpenedo is a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ukraine working with environmental and health organizations.


Jason Butcher has joined Reach Higher Montana as the outreach director. In this role, Butcher will oversee Reach Higher Montana’s outreach efforts and supervise outreach staff located throughout the state. In addition, Butcher will be actively engaged in Reach Higher Montana’s work with the Montana Youth Apprenticeship Partnership, including the development and implementation of intermediary services for employers, students, and schools partnering to expand youth apprenticeship.

Prior to joining Reach Higher Montana, Butcher served as an assistant deputy superintendent at the Office of Public Instruction. He has also served in several leadership positions in Montana school districts, including school superintendent, principal, assistant principal, activities director, classroom teacher and coach.

Tessa Littlefield is Reach Higher Montana’s new programs coordinator. In this role, Littlefield will work with the Programs Manager on the delivery of scholarship programs and programs assisting youth with experience in the foster care system to pursue education after high school.

Littlefield returns to Montana from Colorado, where she managed a dental office. Previously, Littlefield served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Butcher and Littlefield will work in the Helena office.

For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.


Mike Davis has joined EXIT Realty Helena. EXIT Realty Helena, located at 849 Great Northern Blvd. and is a member of EXIT Realty Montana’s rapidly expanding network of independently owned and operated brokerages across the region.

Awards and honors

BPA honors CHS class of ’77 graduate

The Bonneville Power Administration presented Greg Olesen, a 1977 graduate of Capital High School, with its Meritorious Service Award as part of the agency’s 2020 Administrator’s Excellence Awards program.

The annual program honors employees and members of the public whose innovation, initiative, superior service or courageous acts have made exceptional contributions to BPA’s mission, the electric utility industry or the local community.

Olesen joined BPA in 1985 as a lineman journeyman and spent 13 years working on both sides of the Cascades before transitioning to BPA’s Safety Office. He was the first to conduct BPA’s aerial safety training, developed the Explosives Safety Program and made emergency eyewash stations more accessible to workers in field locations. He currently manages transmission operations and maintenance for BPA's East Region.

News and notes

Public Health recognizing ‘Shining Star’ businesses

Lewis and Clark Public Health has launched a Facebook campaign to recognize local businesses that have made extraordinary efforts to protect county residents from COVID-19.

The campaign, called Shining Star, invites residents to nominate a business by sending a description of why they deserve the distinction to

“We’ve heard almost daily about the sacrifices businesses have had to make because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Drenda Niemann, health officer and director of LCPH. “We’ve also heard from residents who are impressed by the lengths some businesses are going to in order to provide a safe environment for their patrons. We want to share the praise.”

Drenda Niemann, health officer and director of LCPH said LCPH has developed guidance for local businesses to help them begin reopening under the governor’s Phase One directive. It’s available on the department’s website at

HACF, UWLCA announce phase 2 emergency relief fund

The Helena Area Community Foundation, and the United Way of the Lewis & Clark Area announced the second phase of emergency relief grant funding, titled Rebound and Reopen. Eligible organizations include nonprofits in Lewis & Clark, Broadwater, and Jefferson counties. The application will be released on May 15, 2020.

Funds from this account will be disbursed as grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations who are:

  • Responding to an increase in demand due to COVID-19, or are having trouble meeting usual demand due to decline of revenue related to COVID-19 or
  • Who are altering their program delivery models to reduce personal contact, and who require financial support to retool their organization or reopen their doors or
  • Who have an urgent need related to food, housing, transportation, childcare, or healthcare access.

Priority is given to organizations:

  • Who serve vulnerable populations, or
  • Who serve a large number of clients, or
  • Whose organizations require significant operating environment changes to continue their work.

Grants will be made between $500 and $2,000 per nonprofit organization. HACF Executive Director, Emily Flemming, asks that organizations should only apply for funding if they have urgent financial needs directly correlated to the COVID-19 outbreak that are not being met by their current donors or other funding sources.

The application can be found at

To donate to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, visit, or write a check and mail to: Helena Area Community Foundation, P.O. Box 92, Helena MT 59624.

Producers reminded to complete crop acreage reports

USDA’s Farm Service Agency  offices in Montana are currently open to phone and virtual appointments only; but can still work with producers on timely filing crop acreage reports. FSA staff can provide assistance over the phone, by email and through virtual meetings via a software program called Microsoft Teams.

The deadline for acreage certification is July 15, 2020, and applies to crops such as spring alfalfa seed, CRP, perennial forage not covered by the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, annually spring seeded crops, and any other crop not reported by a previous deadline.


The IR welcomes reports of hiring, promotions, awards, recognition, learning opportunities and other news from local companies and nonprofits. We accept press releases and photos (digital images at 300 dpi or more are preferred). Email your information to

There is no charge for items appearing in the Business Briefcase. Items are run on a space-available basis, and we reserve the right to edit and use information as we see fit.

The deadline is noon Tuesday to be considered for publication the following Sunday.



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