Christian S. Kendall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Denbury Inc., will be the guest speaker at the annual Montana Petroleum Industry’s Appeciation Day Luncheon on Sept. 1, in Billings at the Doubletree Hotel, 3rd Floor, 11:30 am.

Kendall also serves as a member of Denbury’s Board of Directors. He joined Denbury as Chief Operating Officer in September 2015 and was named President in October 2016. He was appointed to his current role as a Director and CEO, July 1, 2017. Prior to joining Denbury, Chris was with Noble Energy for 14 years prior to that, holding a wide range of domestic leadership positions, primarily in the Eastern Mediterranean, Latin America, and the Gulf of Mexico.

The luncheon is part of Montana Petroleum Association’s annual conference, which will be held in Billings Aug. 30 – Sept. 1.

Features of the conference include discussions about “Montana’s Tax Picture, Government Revenue vs. Tax Equity,” with Brendan Beatty, Director, MT Department of Revenue; Bob Story, Executive Director, Montana Taxpayers’ Association; and Kurt Alme, Montana State Budget Director.

Also a panel discussion on “Methane Monitoring and Control” and on “Regulatory Update will be held.

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Joe Kola has joined Stockman Bank as market president of Stockman’s new bank scheduled for construction next year in Whitefish.  This new bank will be Stockman’s first in the Flathead Valley, and its 37th full-service banking location in Montana. Kola will oversee Stockman’s entrance into the market and supervise all phases of staffing, lending, operations, planning, and development of the Flathead market. 

Kola brings 22 years of banking experience to the position, serving most recently as market president for a multi-state bank in Kalispell. He started his career on the teller line while attending the University of Montana’s School of Business Administration, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance followed by an MBA. After college, he worked as a credit analyst, then as a commercial relationship manager, a commercial group manager, and finally as a market president. He has worked in Missoula, Whitefish, Jackson, Wyoming, and most recently in Kalispell.  Along the way, he attended Pacific Coast Banking School, graduating with honors, and completed Leadership Wyoming (Class of 2015). A Kalispell native, he returned “home” in 2019 from Wyoming.  His wife, Tracy, is also a Kalispell native and their twin boys will attend Glacier High School as freshmen this fall. 

 “We are excited to welcome Joe to the Stockman Bank family,” stated Jeremy Morgret, Chief of Branch Supervision for Stockman Bank. “His experience, and deep-rooted knowledge and understanding the Flathead Valley will be key for us as Stockman enters this new market.”

 “While Stockman already has many customers in the Flathead Valley, we look forward to serving more of our neighbors throughout this beautiful region of our state,” added Bill Coffee, CEO of Stockman Bank. “We will soon have a temporary banking office for Joe and his future team and will begin construction of a new state-of-the-art banking facility in Whitefish next year. We are confident our unique brand of Montana community banking will bring more options and a higher level of customer service to the Flathead Valley.”

The KLJ Solutions Holding Co., parent organization to KLJ Engineering LLC (KLJ), and its Board of Directors has announced Eric Michel, as the organization’s chief executive officer (CEO). Michel fills the gap left by previous CEO Barry Schuchard, who passed away in March of this year. “It’s really an exciting time at KLJ. Eric brings a combination of extensive industry experience and an enthusiasm for growth to this role,” said Dan Bayston, Vice Chair of the KLJ Solutions Holding Co. Board of Directors.  

Michel brings decades of construction, engineering, and leadership experience to the role. In joining the nearly 85-year-old company, he also brings enthusiasm for the firm and the industry, having previously spent time with the company as the Vice President of Energy and Natural Resources. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from North Dakota State University. He will locate out of the company’s Saint Paul, Minn. office.

Janiel Olson recently joined RBC Wealth Management as a Financial Advisor. RBC Wealth Management financial advisors assist individual and corporate clients in selecting appropriate investments including stocks, taxable and tax-exempt bonds, options and mutual funds. They also assist clients with wealth plans, retirement plans and goals-based planning.  Janiel graduated from Montana State University Billings (MSUB) with a Bachelors in Business Management and Masters in Healthcare Administration and was a member of the MSUB basketball team.  Janiel was born and raised in Billings, where she now lives with her husband.   

Over 18% of the total manufacturing earnings in Montana during 2018 came from petroleum and coal products. With regulatory changes, a shift in the manufacturing industry is inevitable. Recent data shows growth coming in pharmaceutical; dairy; aerospace; beverage; and other wood products sectors to name a few.
This year’s Economic Update Series will bring expert panelists highlighting Montana’s ‘Centers of Opportunity’, including manufacturing, high-tech, and bioscience,- industries critical to Montana’s economic recovery.
Dr. Pat Barkey from University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research will also present his state and local post-pandemic economic projections.
The Economic Update Series takes place in 4 cities across Montana.
*July 29- Kalispell (Hilton Garden Inn)
*August 17 – Bozeman (GranTree)

  • August 18 – Billings (Northern Hotel)
  • August 19 – Helena (Delta Marriott)

Marya Pennington has been promoted to Billings Chamber Communications and Marketing Manager. Pennington has been with the Billings Chamber for over two years, and has a strong background in public relations and communications. Her responsibilities will include overseeing all communications, public relations, and marketing, while generating a positive local awareness of the Billings Chamber and promoting the Chamber’s brand.
Pennington was born and raised in Billings and is a graduate of Billings West High and Montana State University Billings, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in public relations. She began her work at the Billings Chamber with Visit Billings to bring the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) conference to Billings. In 2021, she led the Billings Chamber’s most recent rebranding campaign, resulting in the Western Association of Chamber Executives’ highest award for the western Unites States in communications.

Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency announced the fifth class of graduates of the Internal Medicine Residency program. A commencement ceremony on June 4 honored the ten physicians who completed the three-year residency and the four physicians who completed a one-year preliminary program required for future specialty residency training. The graduates are:

* Jay Brahmbhatt, MD, will practice as a hospitalist at the university of Washington in Seattle, WA.

* Conrad Addison, MD, will continue training through a Sleep Medicine Fellowship at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT.

* Thomas Brockhoft, MD, will practice as a hospitalist at Monument Health in Rapid City, SD.

* Tya Campbell, MD, will practice as a hospitalist at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, MT.

* Jennifer Eitingon, MD, will continue her training through a Palliative Care Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, MD.

* Sarah Mete, DO, will remain with Billings Clinic as the 2022 Chief of Medical Residents for the Internal Medicine Residency in Billings, MT

* James Rankin, MD, will practice as an internal medicine physician.

* Brian Reidy, DO, will practice as a hospitalist at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, MT. 

* Julia Rosion, MD, will practice as a hospitalist at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, MT.

* Meredith Sladic, MD, will practice as a primary care physician and Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Faculty Hospitalist at Billings Clinic in Billings, MT.

* Syney Asper, MD, completed the one-year program and will continue training in radiology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT.

* Travis Bailey, MD, completed the one-year program and will continue training anesthesiology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

* Paul Harrie, MD, completed the one-year program and will continue training in radiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

* Andrew Monforton, MD, completed the one-year program and will continue training in radiology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.   

Billings Clinic established Montana’s first Internal Medicine Residency program in 2013. The three-year program combines education and research with practical clinical and hospital experience among a complex patient population. The residency program is designed to train internists to care for complex medically ill patients in rural environments. Training includes working in a rural community through the Rural Rotation Program. Each resident spends one month working at Central Montana Medical Center, and one month at Sheridan Memorial Hospital, an 88-bed community hospital.   

John Vogel recently joined Stockman Wealth Management as a Junior Portfolio Manager in Billings. His responsibilities include financial planning, investment account management, economic analysis, and business development.

Vogel brings over three years of financial industry experience to the position, which includes portfolio management and analysis. He holds his Series 7, Series 66 and Life and Health Insurance licenses and will be working towards the designation of Certified Financial Planner certification as well.

Vogel earned his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Montana State University in Bozeman in the fall of 2018. He is located at 402 N Broadway and can be reached at 406-896-4853.

 Stockman Wealth Management is a SEC Registered Investment Adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Stockman Financial Corp., a family owned bank holding company serving the banking and investment needs of customers throughout the region.

Ryan Siemsen has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager for Stockman Bank Worden. His responsibilities include overseeing bank operations, management and employee supervision, and all lending activities in Worden.

Siemsen, who grew up in Huntley, brings 20 years of experience in Ag and Ag business to the position, which includes 11 years of Ag lending. His extensive background will continue to provide valuable resources not only for customers and potential clients, but for the community as well. He has been with Stockman Bank since 2018 and most recently served as an Ag loan officer for the Billings market.

Siemsen earned his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Business from Montana State University in Billings and an associate’s degree in Farm and Ranch Management from Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas. He is active in the community serving as the President of Young Rider Series and will continue to be involved in Stockman Bank related activities.

He may be reached at 967-3612 at Stockman Bank Worden.

After the announcement that Magic City Blues will indeed be held in Billings this summer, promoters reported being flooded with requests for tickets from all across the country.

Magic City Blues will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary with three days of perormances on August 5, 6 and 7 in downtown Billings. The urban music fest will feature Willy G, Mike Farris, Jessica Eve, Free Spirit Soul, Anthony Gomes, Keb’ Mo’, Karkin Poe, Daniel Kosel & Madrona Road, John Roberts Y Pan Blanco, Kevin Burt, G. Love  The Juice and Samantha Fish.

Music fans will be arriving in Billings for the event from Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, as well as from dozens and dozens of towns throughout Montana.

For details go to