FEC Raffle Stands for Food Banks
Representatives from Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, West Shore, Libby and Veterans food banks gathered at Flathead Electric Cooperative on Friday, September 9 to celebrate the results of this year’s Ribeye raffle.
Organized by the co-op to support local food banks, the 2022 Ribeye Raffle raised $22,725 in cash and approximately 1,000 pounds of meat to donate to the seven food banks.
As part of its commitment to community members owning the co-op, Flathead Electric purchases beef, lamb and pork each year at the 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) Market Sale at the Northwest Montana Fair. Most of the meat goes to food banks, except for the best steaks, which are raffled off. This year, the co-op purchased beef from Clara Giffin and Tristen Cheff; the lambs of Cadance Jones and Wyatt Bernier; and the pigs of Dylan Benson and Bentley Braaten.
The winners of the raffle were announced on August 23. Dana Brown and Susan Gudmunson, both of Columbia Falls, each received about 60 one-inch-thick Montana sirloin and rib eye steaks worth more than $500.
Will Tutvedt, the Co-op’s Community Outreach Specialist and organizer of the Ribeye Raffle, is delighted with the results of this year’s raffle and shared, “It’s just amazing; when we started the Ribeye raffle, we raised about $1,000 every year. The pandemic shutdown forced us to sell our sales online, and that turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the Ribeye Raffle. Ticket sales increased to over $10,000 the first year they were online and surpassed $20,000 for the first time this year. Our members are so generous and as a co-op we are happy to be able to organize this effort and give to our community food banks in such a meaningful way.
Over the past seven years, Ribeye Raffle has raised $52,386 in cash and donated approximately 6,000 pounds of meat to food banks in Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Bigfork, Lakeside, Libby and Veterans. Ticket sales are closed for 2022 but will be available in summer 2023 for purchase online, at the Co-op’s Libby and Kalispell offices, and at the Co-op’s booth at the Northwest Montana Fair.
WCU announces additions to leadership team
Whitefish Credit Union has announced the following five additions to the management team.
• Jennifer Archer has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Lending Operations. Archer most recently served as vice president of credit administration supporting the loan portfolio. She joined Whitefish Credit Union in 2005 and held several positions within the credit union before overseeing lending operations. Archer serves on the board of Women Who Wine, a local nonprofit that highlights and raises funds for other nonprofits. She graduated from Flathead High School and is currently attending CUNA Management School, a leadership program for credit union executives.
• Cory Coopman has been promoted to Senior Vice President of IT and Project Management. Coopman joined the credit union as vice president of information technology in 2018 and brings more than two decades of deep experience managing and improving information technology systems. Coopman graduated from Arizona State University with a business degree in computer information systems, and he actively volunteers in the community coaching youth sports.
• Cheryl Mintz recently joined Whitefish Credit Union as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. She holds an MBA and JD from Tulane University, with additional certifications in mediation and arbitration. Mintz is a certified member of the Montana Bar Association and has extensive experience in multiple industries. She holds a private pilot license, a diving license and a black belt in judo. In her spare time, she has supported numerous charities and is a Soprano II member of the Glacier Symphony Chorale group.
• Matt Venturini has been promoted to senior vice president of loans. Venturini started with Whitefish Credit Union in 2011 as a credit analyst. After six years at Glacier Bank, he joined the credit union as Vice President, Head of Home Lending before being promoted to his current role overseeing all aspects of Whitefish Credit Union lending. Venturini graduated from Flathead High School and earned a degree in finance from Concordia College. He is Chairman of the Board of Habitat for Humanity Flathead Valley.
• Josh Wilson has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing. Wilson has worked for Whitefish Credit Union since 2017, previously serving as vice president of marketing. He has over sixteen years of financial services experience and is an adjunct instructor in West Virginia University’s Data Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing Communications graduate programs. Josh received his master’s degree from West Virginia University.
Riley recognized for his work with H&R Block
Celina M. Riley of Kalispell has just been named one of 25 people nationwide to be recognized for the 2022 Henry Bloch Awards for Excellence in Customer Service for H&R Block. Riley is bold and always working to grow H&R Block’s presence in her area.
Each recipient has been chosen to go above and beyond in customer care and reflect the behaviors and purpose of H&R Block: to provide help and inspire trust in our customers and communities around the world.
Mann Mortgage wins award for connecting buyers with down payment assistance
Kalispell-based Mann Mortgage received the HomeNow Top Lending Institution award from MoFi, a nonprofit that has served Montanans for more than 30 years.
Mann Mortgage won the award because its loan officers helped connect the most homebuyers in Montana to MoFi’s HomeNow down payment assistance program in 2021. HomeNow helps increase access to property among Montanese who have good income and good credit, but need help with the down payment. Mann Mortgage has received the award five years in a row since 2016, when HomeNow down payment assistance was first offered.
Based in Kalispell, the company also has branches in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula, Polson, Stevensville and Whitefish.
“HomeNow’s down payment assistance has been an extremely valuable resource for Mann Mortgage,” said Steve Paulson, Branch Manager for Mann Mortgage in Kalispell. “Many of our clients throughout the state of Montana would not have been able to achieve their dream of homeownership without the program, and we feel both privileged and proud to be Montana’s Lender of the Year. MoFi for the fifth consecutive year.”
Homebuyers can access HomeNow down payment assistance through a participating mortgage lender. It comes in the form of a deferred loan at 0% interest. Buyers can receive up to 5% of their total loan amount, and assistance can be used for both down payment and closing costs. The program is not limited to first-time home buyers. Since launching the program in late 2016, MoFi has helped nearly 600 Montana residents become homeowners.