Yellowstone Harley-Davidson partners with local students for global custom motorcycle competition

Yellowstone Harley-Davidson in Belgrade has partnered with the EMERGE school in Bozeman to build a custom motorcycle for a global Harley-Davidson competition called the “Battle of the Kings.” The students were an integral part of the designing and building of the bike, visiting the dealership each weekend to meet with the team and wrench on the bike. Through this competition, they were able to experience first-hand what it’s like to build and customize motorcycles.

It was announced this past weekend that the bike earned a People’s Choice Award, an honor determined by the general public. Voting was held online from April 15 to May 15, giving Harley-Davidson enthusiasts around the world a chance to select their favorite bike.

The entries are divided into three categories: dirt, chop and race. The top six finalists from each category will be announced in mid-June, and the category winners will be announced in mid-July. From there, the category winners will be showcased in Milwaukee to select the U.S. national champion. The U.S. national champion will then travel to Milan for a chance to become the Battle of the Kings champion of the world. You can follow the competition on social media via @yellowstoneharley on Instagram, Yellowstone Harley-Davidson on Facebook and #BattleoftheKings.

Montana Women’s Business Center awards inaugural $15K impact grant to three women-owned businesses

The Montana Women’s Business Center at Prospera Business Network awarded three women-owned businesses in Montana with grants that totaled nearly $15,000. In March, the Montana Women’s Business Center received more than 70 applications for their inaugural grant cycle that launched in March 2019 from funds received at the 2018 Prosperity Party fundraiser at the Rialto last September. Each applicant shared with the selection committee a compelling story of job creation, economic growth for Montana, and how they give back to their own communities.

The 2019 MT Women’s Business Center Impact Grant Winners are: Amber Hofstad of Windrift Hill; Sarah Lukes of Agile Focus Designs and Sue Stark of Wild Blume.

More on the winners:

First place — Windrift Hill, based in Conrad, sells handmade goat milk soap, lotion and body butter along with other body care products, using farm-fresh goat milk from its herd of Nubian goats. They will use the funding to install a reverse osmosis water system to run the newly purchased mixing tanks which will increase productivity and efficiency by 500%.

Second place — Agile Focus Designs, based in Bozeman, provides accurate, agile and user-friendly tools for microscopists in manufacturing, science and health care. It enables researchers with the capability to capture dynamic events by providing 100 times faster focusing and zoom than conventional technology for wide-field and scanning microscopes. The funding will be used to produce a more compact and user-friendly electronics interface for its microscopy prototype.

Third place — Wild Blume, based in Bozeman, is a floral design studio that specializes in weddings, events and workshops inspired by the details of the wild places. The funding will be used to continue their branding campaign to a vehicle wrap on their delivery vehicle.

The 2020 Montana Women’s Business Center Impact Grant will open on Feb. 1, 2020, for Montana’s women entrepreneurs to apply for additional grant dollars.

Visit prosperamt.org for details. If you are interested in donating to this fund, please contact Chrissie Majewski at cmajewski@prosperamt.org.

XY Planning Network named one of Inc. Magazine’s best workplaces of 2019

Bozeman-based financial services company XY Planning Network has been named one of Inc. magazine’s best workplaces for 2019.

This list is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of private U.S. companies that have created exceptional workplaces through vibrant cultures, deep employee engagement and stellar benefits. Collecting data on nearly 2,000 submissions, Inc. singled out 346 finalists, including just two Montana-based companies.

Each nominated company took part in an employee study on topics including trust, management effectiveness, perks, confidence in the future and engagement in their work. Employers were ranked using a composite score of results.

In 2018, XY Planning Network was ranked the 168th fastest-growing private company in the U.S. by Inc. and No. 1 in the state of Montana. Rapid expansion continues with open positions from entry-level to C-suite.

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