Missoula is hopping these days, with businesses big and small emerging nearly everywhere you turn.

Covering the local business scene is core to our mission at the Missoula Current, so let us know if you're launching a new business, or if any new businesses appear in your neighborhood. Here’s a collection of intriguing businesses we’re highlighting in this month's business roundup:

Hometana sells Montana-proud apparel 

Owner Shirstie Gaylord has opened a Made in Montana-oriented retail clothing store, Hometana, at 312 N. Higgins Ave., a long-vacant storefront and suite within the iconic Simons Block Building.

“From dog treats, jewelry and soaps, Hometana will be a store for everyone,” Gaylord said. “People can feel confident when they shop at Hometana. Their dollars will continue supporting small towns and entrepreneurs across the state.”

Offering “a fresh face to downtown Missoula” in Hometana, Gaylord started her line of Montana-proud apparel three years ago in Great Falls. She found success selling at tradeshows and Farmers’ Markets.

Hometana sells certified Made in Montana goods from all over the state.
Hometana sells certified Made in Montana goods from all over the state.

Hometana sells wholesale to over 30 stores in Montana, including Dillard’s in Missoula. The new retail location will sell certified Made in Montana goods from all over the state. The store website is www.hometana.com, plus it has Instagram and Facebook pages. 

After launching her business in 2017, she spent the rest of the year raising money for the Montana Wildfire Relief Fund and donated all profits from the sale of Hometana’s “Strong Shirt.”

Having recently held a grand opening, Gaylord is especially proud of the new location in the Simons Block building, which was built in 1899 as a hardware store. Owner Dick Clemow restored the building in the 1990s. 

Recently, the north 300 block of Higgins has taken on the catchy nickname of “nobo,” meaning ‘North of Broadway.’

Parsons Behle and Latimer expands office, hires new attorney

Ross P. Keogh, formerly of the Missoula law firm Worden Thane P.C., has joined the team at Parsons Behle and Latimer law firm, which has offices in Missoula, Lehi, Utah; Boise, Idaho Falls and Reno, Nevada, with headquarters in Salt Lake City. 

He will work with Parsons’ energy, environmental and natural resources practice group.

Keogh combines his pre-law business experience, a master’s degree in economics and extensive legal experience in structuring business and real estate transactions – plus a passion for the Montana outdoors and rural lifestyle -- to deliver a unique skillset to clients, according to a recent company announcement.

Called a leading expert on the 2017 Tax Act and the Opportunity Tax Zones tax provision, Keogh advises clients in tax planning and deal structuring. He is “highly proficient in the areas of energy, environmental and natural resource law – including water rights law – and has been instrumental in developing some of the largest renewable energy projects in the Intermountain West,” the announcement reads. 

He has high praise for his new firm, as well.

“Parsons provides a platform to serve the growing needs of my clients in areas of securities law and project finance, while offering multi-state, regional support,” said Keogh. “The firm’s culture of innovation is second to none in the legal industry and underscores the firm’s prioritization of creating value for its clients.”

“Ross brings a strong skillset which perfectly complements our Missoula office,” said Michael A. Zody, chair of Parsons’ energy, environmental and natural resources practice group. “His wide range of experience will allow us to enhance our comprehensive client services. We’re pleased to welcome Ross to the firm.” 

Michael McGowan re-elected to federal bank board 

Michael McGowan
Michael McGowan

Michael McGowan of Missoula has been re-elected as an independent director to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines board. He will begin serving his third term on Jan. 1.

“I am honored to be re-elected to the FHLB Des Moines Board of Directors,” McGowan told the Missoula Current. “I’m deeply committed to the Bank and it mission. The people of Montana are resilient and resourceful, which is why it's such a privilege to help build strong communities throughout the state."

Currently he is the vice chairman for the FHLB Des Moines business operations and technology committee. Financial, business and community leaders from across the bank’s 13-state district serve on the board, which is comprised of 22 directors, 13 member directors, 9 independent directors – like McGowan – and 2 public interest directors. 

McGowan was first elected in 2007 as an independent director of the FHLB Bank of Seattle, which merged with the Des Moines bank in 2015. He served on that board from 2012 until the merger.

Since 2007, he has also served as chair and CEO of Daniel Capital Management Limited, a global business and information technologies consulting firm. Also a SEC Registered Investment Advisor, he has started or developed several technology companies in the last 10 years. 

Prior to entering the technology sector from 1997 to 2007, Mr. McGowan worked in the banking and financial management industry as an investment advisor and trust officer from 1997 to 2007. 

The FHLB of Des Moines is a wholesale cooperative bank that provides low-cost short and long-term funding and community lending to over 1,350 members, including commercial banks, saving institutions, credit unions, community development financial institutions and insurance companies. 

The bank is wholly owned by its members and receives no taxpayer funding. The Des Moines Bank serves 13 states, three pacific territories and is one of 11 regional banks that comprise the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

Love’s Travel Stop opens at the Wye

Love’s Travel Stop, a 24-hour casino, truck stop, a Hardee's, diesel bays and Love’s Truck Tire Care shop, has opened at the Wye. A national chain, it is located at exit 96 off Interstate 90, on US Highway 10. 

Covering 7,000 square feet, offering over 100 parking spaces for cars and trucks, recreational vehicle areas, showers and laundry facilities, Love's boasts more than 490 locations in 41 states and estimated annual revenues of $20 billion, according to Forbes.

Reportedly, the new business at the Wye recently hired 70 new employees. 

Tom and Judy Love founded the convenience store chain Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, according to Forbes. They started their company in 1964, leasing a gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma for $5,000.

Forbes reports their net worth at $7.6 billion, as of Nov. 26, 2019. 

Love’s Travel Stop Manager Rusty Berry said the company – headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – aims to partner with the Missoula community, starting with a donation to the Ronald McDonald House, 3003 Fort Missoula Rd. 

"Anybody needs anything come and see us, we're happy to help,” Berry told MTN News. 

Missoula location jobs and all nationwide are posted online at www.jobs.loves.com/

Contact Business Reporter Renata Birkenbuel at renatab@missoulacurrent.com and 406-565-0013.


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