Carol Holman - Volunteer

Celebrating National Volunteer Week with Carol Holman

By Carol Holman, AVP Real Estate Loan Officer, Hamilton and Missoula, MT

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we are happy to share a few outstanding Stockman volunteers with you. During the week of April 7 through April 13, you will be seeing individuals on our Facebook page and our Instagram page who have gone above and beyond. Many Stockman employees work tirelessly to better their communities in small and large ways. The employees we will be featuring this week live their lives in the service of others.

As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

To kick off the week, we invite you to enjoy a recent interview with Carol Holman, AVP, Real Estate Loan Officer in Hamilton.

Carol Holman - Volunteer

Why is volunteering important to you?

It is important to me to because our communities are only as strong as the people who live in them. If I can make someone’s life better by giving of myself and that improves another person’s life, it is priceless.

Which organizations are you actively volunteering?

Meals on Wheels (delivery driver), Three Mile Fire Department (FF/EMT, Board Member), Make A Wish (Wish grantor), Rotary (President Elect –President as of 07/19, Board Member), BV Chamber of Commerce-Board Member, National Fallen Firefighters (Escort families of Fire Fighters who die in line of duty every year), Team member for Relay for Life Bitterroot.

What motivated you to choose these nonprofits?

I choose to work with all these organizations because it allows me to give to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Making a difference in a senior citizen’s life by simply delivering a meal and visiting for a few minutes is extremely rewarding. Helping an ill child to smile, laugh and forget for a short time how sick they are is priceless. Volunteering in my local community as a FF/EMT allows me to help neighbors to feel cared for and feel safer in a bad situation. Holding their hand and comforting them in their time of greatest need is why I volunteer.

I am honored every year to have the privilege to stand beside a Fallen Brother or Sister’s family in Emmitsburg, MD and show them that I, along with others, will never forget their loved one. Raising money in the Relay for Life to help friends and neighbors battle cancer is so small an act. This event helps to accomplish big changes in people’s lives.

Carol Holman - Volunteer

What has been your favorite memory volunteering?

It is hard to choose, but I would say the times I mentored children through Big Brothers & Sisters (Missoula) and Companions for Children in North Dakota. Helping a child blossom into a beautiful young person and seeing them believe in themselves is the greatest reward a mentor can ever achieve.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced while volunteering?

Having enough time to give to all the above, I wish I had more time to give back to others.

How has volunteering changed you?

It has made me a more caring person.

Helping others has helped me to realize how much we count on each other for both physical and emotional support. I feel like it has made my life more complete and fulfilling. It is a privilege to have had the opportunity to be involved in the lives of  such great people. I treasure every moment I can continue to make a difference simply by caring.

Carol Holman - Volunteer

We are proud to spotlight Carol Holman. Her service and commitment to the many organizations she is involved with exemplify what it means to be a volunteer. Since we last spoke with her, Carol was named Volunteer of the Year from the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Happy National Volunteer week, Carol! Your commitment to community makes all of us proud to have you on the Stockman team.

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Thank You Stockman Bank

Montana Trout Unlimited and Stockman Bank: Partners With A Cause

Guest post written by David Brooks, Executive Director of Montana Trout Unlimited Unlimited

David Brooks

We all like to help improve our own backyards or our own neighborhoods. When I accepted a job with Montana Trout Unlimited a few years ago, one of the reasons I was most excited to do so was because the organization was going to start working on a project to remove the deadbeat Rattlesnake Creek dam near my home in Missoula, MT.

Rattlesnake Dam - Rob Roberts

It’s a rare day that I fail to walk, jog, pedal, or wade along or in the Rattlesnake Creek just below the now-obsolete dam in this stream, which flows from designated Wilderness into the heart of downtown Missoula.

Rattlesnake Dam - Rob Roberts

My daughter grew up frolicking in the creek’s cold, clear water on hot summer days and listening to owls hoot from the riverbank cottonwoods while ice cracked and popped in the Rattlesnake on dark winter nights. My affection for this stream, my daily experiences with it, and my excitement about removing the old, unnecessary dam that blocks its flow is pretty common in this area.

Community support for fully freeing the Rattlesnake is high.

With the city’s support, Trout Unlimited is leading this project, which will allow native westslope cutthroat and bull trout to migrate and spawn in the Rattlesnake without impediment. Restoring the floodplain above and below where the concrete dam now sits in the river, will add about fifty percent more open space to the valley. The addition of hiking and biking trails around the project will help accommodate increasing recreational use.

Removing the dam is proving an occasion to engage the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in reminding people about the rich history of how native tribes have long used the area, as well as allows us to tell the history of its development and protection. TU’s work at the site will likely provide an opportunity for university-level field work. Local contractors will be hired to do the rock rolling.

Local Support

In addition to community enthusiasm, local businesses have stepped up to kick-start the fundraising for this project, estimated to cost $1-1.5M. Stockman Bank was among the first and biggest to do so by contributing $10,000 in November of 2017. That initial gift has been critical to raising awareness about the dam removal and has been matched by other local businesses looking to help with this multi-year effort.

Stockman Bank Check Presentation

Fishing with Bob Burns

I had the chance to fish the Blackfoot River with Stockman Bank’s Missoula market president Bob Burns last summer. Having met Bob at various ceremonies for the donations Stockman made to the Rattlesnake, followed by a $7,500 contribution to TU work in the Blackfoot and another $4,500 for the Bitterroot River, I knew he cared deeply about forwarding the bank’s efforts to build healthy communities, including their natural environments and the recreation healthy rivers provide.  Seeing Bob fish made it clear that his commitment to angling and the outdoors is very personal, too.

Like taking out a dam, investing in the Blackfoot and Bitterroot helps us help wild and native trout. TU’s new Bitterroot project manager, Christine Brissette, is overseeing work to reconnect and restore one of the most important native trout tributaries in that drainage. Her work will reopen spawning habitat and a source of cold, clean water for federally-listed, endangered, native bull trout.

Rattlesnake Creek - Rob Roberts

And the Bitterroot and Blackfoot are some of the countless watersheds where the key to TU’s success is thanks to partnerships to with local ranchers. Like Stockman Bank, much of our work is with folks who know the land best, because their families have worked it for generations.

Cottonwood Revegetation

The Stockman donation for the Blackfoot River helps finance work on public and private property through win-win-win solutions for landowners, the public, and trout. A multi-year stream restoration on the Nevada Creek tributary to the Blackfoot is reducing erosion of literally thousands of tons of soil from a multi-generation ranch and, hence, reducing sediment in the river.

Our Big Blackfoot River chapter project manager, Ryen Neudecker, has also replaced an irrigation head gate to make water use more efficient and to keep hundreds of native fish from being caught in a ditch and dying every year. Like most TU stream restoration project managers, she is also using early, private or business donations to leverage millions of grant dollars that put local contractors to work. Local school kids have used the site as an outdoor science classroom and volunteer opportunity.

Willow Growth

Building Relationships

As great as it is seeing improvements in the stream that’s virtually in my backyard and being involved in that work, what’s even better about the work we do is building relationships. By focusing on Montana’s revered trout waters, we often benefit from and enjoy working with agricultural and ranching producers, biologists, recreational river users, agency staff, and community-minded businesses. Once in awhile, I even get to spend a day on the river with someone like Bob Burns.

There’s a corny fish joke that goes something like: Where do fish keep their money? In river banks. Ha ha ha. The truth is, if Montana trout did any banking, they’d be smart to consider doing so with their friends at Stockman.

Thank You Stockman Bank

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Steve Tucker - Head Start

Employees Giving Back – Steve Tucker

Our commitment to Montana extends beyond great service, our bank buildings and our monetary contributions.

Every year, our employees go above and beyond their day-to-day work activities. They take pride in being involved in their communities and give countless volunteer hours to events and organizations.

Steve Tucker, VP Branch Manager, Billings Grand

Steve Tucker, VP Branch Manager, Billings Grand

Young Families Head Start and Steve Tucker

Steve Tucker, the branch manager of Stockman Bank Billings Grand Avenue, is on the Board of Directors for Young Families Early Head Start (YFEHS) in Billings. This nonprofit assists and supports low-income, primarily teen, parents and prenatal parents pursuing their educational goals as well as the development of parenting skills, while providing comprehensive, quality child care for their infants and toddlers, from birth to age three.

Steve Tucker - Head Start

Board Members Karen Moses, Steve Tucker along with Wendy Wheeler, Director, playing outside with children.

Steve shared his heartfelt story of why he is so passionate about being involved with YFEHS:

“Let’s go back about 48 years. I want you to envision a young 15 year old teenage girl living on the south side of Billings with her five siblings and parents. They live a very modest life, dad has a decent job with the Montana Power Company and the house is always filled with family, friends and laughter. One day, much to her surprise and that of her family, this same little 15 year old girl came home with the disheartening news that she was pregnant.

What? How did this happen? What is to be done now? All options are considered, but it becomes painfully obvious there is no way they can keep this baby. The family does not have the financial ability to sustain another child. Mom is just a child with the inability to care for herself, much less a newborn baby. Even if she did try to keep the baby, she would have to forego her education and opportunity for a future.

The Decision

After much discussion and debate, they decided the best option was adoption and just before the young girl started to show her baby bump, she was sent off to the Florence Crittenton home in Helena to carry the baby to term. Six months later, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy who was promptly adopted through the state of Montana, and she returned home to Billings to finish her education.

Fast forward to today. That same young boy who was adopted about 48 years ago is sharing his story with you right now with the privilege of being the newest board member of the YFEHS organization and the honor of representing Stockman Bank on the Board. We recognize the vital role that YFEHS serves in allowing young mothers the opportunity to keep their babies without sacrificing their own education and future.”

Steve Tucker - Head Start

Thank you Steve

Steve experienced first-hand the vital role an organization like YFEHS plays in our local communities. Now, he is giving back his time to an organization that makes a difference in the lives of young mothers and children with similar stories. We thank Steve and all our Stockman employees for their volunteer service to help make Montana communities better places to live.

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Erin’s Crystal Ball

Cassandra Garrison

Cassandra Garrison

Post written by Cassandra Garrison, Real Estate Loan Specialist

Helping to make our Montana communities better places to live and work has always been important to us.

Over the past year, we’re proud to have contributed more than $1.5 million and thousands of employee volunteer hours to our state’s community organizations.

One of those organizations is Erin’s Hope Project, Inc., a non-profit program based in Miles City that helps kids and families across Montana.

Stockman Bank supports this organization every year at their annual fundraiser, Erin’s Crystal Ball. It’s one of my favorite organizations and I want to share how they’re making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of having coffee with Pam Hurr – a mother, wife, nurse, friend – and one of the co-founders of Erin’s Hope Project.

erinCassandra: Hi Pam! So many of us who live here in Miles City know your family and your organization.

For the Montanans across the state who maybe haven’t heard your story, I wanted to share more with them about the history of your organization, Erin’s Hope Project.

Pam: Erin’s Hope Project, Inc. was created in March 2011 in memory of our nine-year-old daughter, Erin.

Erin was born in Miles City, Montana on December 9th, 2000. In March 2010, she went to heaven peacefully after bravely battling a brain tumor for 2 years.

Cassandra: What were some of Erin’s favorite things to do?

Pam: Erin’s life was full of many activities, always surrounding the ones she loved. Hanging with her best friend, Emily, and baking with their Easy Bake Ovens.

She especially loved to read in her spare time and one of her biggest accomplishments was teaching her younger brother Jacob to read before he started Kindergarten.

Erin also enjoyed camping, swimming and going to Big Timber Water Slides. One of her more memorable moments was getting to go to Disney World for a Make A Wish Trip and meeting Cinderella and Tinkerbell.

Cassandra: What is your mission and purpose for Erin’s Hope Project?

Pam: Erin had such a strong spirit, and always had a heart full of joy that overflowed to everyone who knew her. To honor her, we want to make positive differences in the lives of families across Montana.

The kids we help may be battling cancer, have a rare illness, or terminal disease – and our mission is to bring them joy and hope through our Erin’s Hope Adventures.

Meet-The-Hurr-Family-2Cassandra: What are Erin’s Hope Adventures and how many families have you worked with so far this year.

Pam: We’ve worked with four families so far this year.

The adventures are different for each family, but we usually send each family on a week-long family trip, or a 4-day weekend getaway if they aren’t able to be gone for a week.

It gives the family and kids a break and a fun time to share together.

Cassandra: What are some of your favorite adventures that you’ve gotten to do for a family?

Pam: We’ve helped sponsor a surprise birthday party for a young man in Helena with a rare condition whose friends and family wanted to surprise him with a Star Wars themed birthday party.

We also sponsored a trip for a little boy with a rare auto-immune disorder and sent him and his family to Seattle, WA to watch a Seahawks football game.

We also sponsor trips for families to go camping, fishing, hiking, hot springs, Yellowstone National Park – it’s always neat to see where the kids want to go and what they want to do. Our organization’s motto is “If it happens outdoors, we will help you and your family experience it!”

Meet-The-Hurr-Family-14Cassandra: Tell me about your annual fundraiser Erin’s Crystal Ball, and what you have planned for this year.

Pam: We usually host our annual Fundraiser Erin’s Crystal Ball around Christmas or New Year’s.

This year we are hosting Erin’s Crystal Ball on December 29th, 2018 at Miles Community College.

We serve dinner and there is both a silent auction and live auction, and during the dinner we always share a video that commemorates the memory of our daughter and share stories about the families we have sponsored throughout the year.

Erin would have been graduating from high school this year, and we asked her childhood friends to share with us what they think Erin would have been like today if she were still here with us, and we are going to share that in our video this year.

Cassandra: Thank you for taking the time to meet and have coffee with me today Pam. If there was one thing you could share with people across the state, what would it be?

Pam: Most of us measure life by the length of time, but true life is measured by the impact we make. The impact Erin made in the lives of others goes far beyond her years.

Since Pam and her husband started Erin’s Hope Project, Inc., their organization has sponsored close to 30 families and individuals across the state of Montana.

If you would like to learn more about Erin’s Hope Project, please visit their website at

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