2010-06-20T00:00:00Z Achievers The Billings Gazette
June 20, 2010 12:00 am

Dr. Andrew Hyams, a Billings-based dentist, president of the Montana Dental Association in 2011, has joined the Board of Directors of The Caring Foundation. Administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, the foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports the Healthy Montana Kids Dental Program.


The following local residents were appointed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer to various boards and councils:

Board of Architects and Landscape Architects: Carl Thuesen, Billings, licensed landscape architect.

Family Education Savings Oversight Committee: Gene Jarussi, Billings, public representative.

Montana Heritage Preservation and Development Commission: Randy Hafer, Billings, architect with High Plains Architects.

Vocational Rehabilitation Council: Charlotte Harasymczuk, Billings, president of the Montana Association of the Deaf.


Joshua Whisenhunt has passed the Principles & Practices of Engineering exam and is licensed as a professional engineer in Montana. Whisenhunt is employed at Rooney Engineering Inc. in Billings and works as a senior project engineer.

Jessica Ponce, LPN, recently joined Juro’s Home Medical Pharmacy as a home care specialist, working with the durable-medical-equipment needs of customers. Ponce received her licensed practical nurse training at MSU Billings College of Technology in 2004 and worked for RiverStone Health Clinic for a number of years. Most recently, she worked at the Harmon Medical and Rehabilitation Hospital in Las Vegas.

Jessi Johnson, certified respiratory therapist, recently joined Juro’s Home Medical Pharmacy working in the respiratory therapy department. Johnson graduated from University of Montana College of Technology in 1999 with an associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy. She has worked as a respiratory therapist in home care for the past eight years in the Billings community.

Bill Erickson has joined Century 21 Hometown Brokers, specializing in residential real estate. He can reached at 860-6411 or 294-2208.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Billings (NAMI-Billings) recently elected Dr. Vicki Burford, LCSW, to its governing board of directors. Burford holds an MSW from Smith College in Northampton, Mass,. and an Ed.D. from Montana State University in Bozeman. She has worked as a school social worker for over 20 years and is employed by Billings School District 2. She also has a private practice, specializing in work with children, adolescents and families.

Food Services of America has named Warren Helmer as president of its Billings office. Helmer was most recently vice president of sales and marketing, a position he has held with the branch since 2004.

Helmer originally joined the company in 1993 and has additional experience as sales associate and district manager with the Billings branch. He possesses a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Montana College of Mineral Science & Technology.


Kelly Robison-Konecny recently joined Century 21 Hometown Brokers as a real estate agent. Robison-Knoecny is a graduate of University of Montana, class of 1996. She brings 14 years of experience in small-business administration and social services to the job with a strong background in client services. She can be reached at 860-9031 or

Chad Lippert, CFP, vice president, financial consultant, in the Billings office of D.A. Davidson & Co., is among the first 1,000 professionals to earn the certified wealth strategist designation, administered by Cannon Financial Institute.

Lippert joined D.A. Davidson & Co. in Billings in 1999 as a financial consultant after previously working in the firm’s Bozeman office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business, with an emphasis in finance, from Montana State University. He earned the designation of certified financial planner practitioner in 2004.

Lisa Halpin has been appointed sales manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Billings in Billings. Halpin most recently served as sales manager of Billings Hotel and Convention Center in Billings. Halpin graduated from Montana State University in Billings with a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in history. She is a certified International Wedding Planning Professional.  

Dan Cain has joined Western States Insurance as a commercial-lines producer. Most recently, Cain was a nationally certified personal trainer specializing in risk management and injury rehabilitation. Cain has been licensed with the state of Montana in property, casualty and surety insurance. He can be reached at 869-4401 or 370-6006.

Tom Chamberlin has joined Western States Insurance as a commercial-lines producer. Chamberlin has completed the property, casualty, and surety exams to become a freshly licensed agent in Montana. He can be reached at 670-5461 or 869-4407.

Crystal Rieker has joined Western States Insurance in the benefit-planning department. She has experience in property, casualty, life and health insurance. For the past several years, Rieker has worked at Humana as a licensed producer. She will be assisting Jeremy DeVries and Brian Daubert. She can be reached at 869-4419.

Dr. Andy Pickens and team welcome Dr. Ian McDonald to their practice. McDonald, a Billings native, graduated from Billings Central High in 1999. In 2003 he obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from Gonzaga University and in 2007 his DDS from Creighton University. McDonald has been in private practice in Billings for three years.

He is the president of ZooMontana board of directors, a member of Billings Rotary Club and a volunteer at Riverstone Health. For an appointment, call 256-2121.

Thirty Billings Clinic physicians have received recognition from the Diabetes Physician Recognition Program for providing quality care to their patients with diabetes. The designation was given by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The program was designed to improve the quality of care that patients with diabetes receive by recognizing physicians who deliver quality diabetes care and by motivating other physicians to document and improve their delivery of diabetes care. To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, physicians submit data that demonstrates performance that meets the program’s key diabetes care measures.

Physicians recognized include:

Billings Clinic: Karen Cabell, D.O.; Laura Ferries, M.D.; Julian Gnecco, M.D.; Fred Gunville, M.D.; Lucinda Husby, M.D.; Karen Klee, M.D.; James Mack, M.D.; Christopher Sorli, M.D.; Deric Weiss, M.D.

Billings Clinic Cody: Adair Bowlby, M.D.; Jonie Myrstal Hines, M.D.; Gregory McCue, M.D.; Douglas Morton, M.D.; Adam Peters, M.D.; John Trotter, M.D..

Billings Clinic Columbus: David Kane, M.D.; Richard Klee, M.D.;

Billings Clinic Heights: Dale Emery, M.D.; Glenn Guzman, M.D.; Laura Rathe, M.D.; Larry Severa, M.D.

Billings Clinic Miles City: Stephen Base, M.D.; Christopher Lieb, M.D.; Lewis Vadheim, M.D.

Billings Clinic Red Lodge: William George, M.D.

Billings Clinic West: Daniel Gall, M.D.; Lawrence Hemmer, M.D.; Kari Kale, M.D.; James Kind, M.D.; Charles Wittnam, M.D.

Chambers USA has recognized six Holland & Hart attorneys in the firm’s Billings office, as well as three of the office’s practice areas — corporate/

mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment, and ural resources and environment. They are: Charles Hingle and Larry Petersen, mergers and acquisitions; Jeanne Matthews Bender and Elizabeth A. Nedrow, labor; and Don Quander and W. Scott Mitchell, environment.

The guide ranks leading national and local law firms and leading lawyers in major jurisdictions throughout the country. Chambers & Partners’ researchers conducted thousands of interviews with lawyers and their clients. Rankings were determined by technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness/astuteness, diligence, commitment and other qualities.

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