When he’s not working for Charter Communications, Jonathan McNiven runs his own business developing websites for small communities in the Billings area. On top of that, the married father of four also represents House District 44 in the Montana Legislature.
And sometimes he even pitches in to help out with his parents’ business, Western Romance Co.
McNiven’s constituents include many residents of Lockwood, the unincorporated area just east of Billings that’s wrangling with growth and infrastructure issues.
“I go to a ton of meetings where they’re trying to figure out how to make Lockwood a better place to live,” he said. “I feel my job is to spotlight all of the good things going on. I’ve tried to be a voice in that I can help the people get informed about everything, and I encourage them to get involved.”
McNiven developed the website www.huntleyproject.net because he saw a need to create a forum to publicize local businesses and community events. The Huntley website gets more than 100,000 page views per year, he said.
Describe how you got where you are in your work today: I started my employment in May of 2007 as a regular customer care representative for Bresnan Communications after moving back to Montana. Over the years, I also supported our customers as a bilingual agent before I achieved the level of an advanced customer care agent. I applied for the position of a team lead and have been in my current position since March of 2009.
What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced in your business? Not allowing escalated calls to get personal and having confidence in my decisions in focusing on a resolution.
What did you learn from that challenge? Over time, I’ve learned how to sit back, relax and take a broad approach to each situation. After listening to the customer and reviewing the account, I try to find a win-win resolution. Explaining my decision in a calm tone and the reasoning while having confidence in my decisions.
What’s the best business advice you have received? It’s easier to catch flies with honey than it is with vinegar. I have a long way to go on this advice, but I keep getting better each year.
Who gave you that advice? My mother.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: Continue to improve the good information circulating online and help provide an online resource for the communities in which I associate.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? Being dependable, ethical and helping the greater cause while providing the necessities of life for my family.
Which living person do you most admire? My wife, Tana, is the one I most admire as she is the one who influences and helps me become a better person because of who she is. She is a loving, organized, forgiving, encouraging, thoughtful, selfless, ethical, supportive, reliable, responsible person.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My family, not easy but worth it.
I’m happiest when I’m… fishing and spending time outdoors with the family.