Ian McDonald, DDS purchased Pickens Family Dental from Andy Pickens in June 2013 and has remodeled and expanded the practice, which has been renamed Benchmark Dental, PC.
In March 2011, ZooMontana faced a dire reality: engineer a drastic and dramatic turnaround or deal with the very real possibility of closing by the end of the year.
Halley Montalban and Ian McDonald were married at St. Patrick's Co-Cathedral in Billings. Father Robert Grosch officiated.
HALLEY AND IAN McDONALD
After a year highlighted by high-profile financial and organizational problems capped off with a little positive momentum, now is the time for ZooMontana to present a new face to the public, or to "put on our big-boy pants," said Jeff Ewelt, the zoo's executive director.
ZooMontana suffered through a difficult time in 2011 due to financial problems, the loss of accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a change in management. But Ian McDonald, a Billings dentist who is president of the zoo’s board of directors, believes better times lie ahead.
DAVID GRUBBS/Gazette Staff Ian McDonald, a dentist at Pickens Family Dental, is also president of the ZooMontana board of directors. He believes things are looking up at the financially troubled zoo. He relaxes by cooking.
HALLEY MONTALBAN AND IAN McDONALD
Halley Montalban and Ian McDonald, both of Billings, plan an April 21, 2012, wedding. Their parents are Vicki Hicks of Billings, the late J. Cody Montalban, Joanie McDonald of Billings and Christopher McDonald of Billings.
Beyond the weeds and sun-bleached signs, ZooMontana’s director envisions new exhibits, amenities and educational opportunities for visitors.
ZooMontana displays signs for future development. Zoo director Jeff Ewelt and the zoo’s board are confident that the facility can be greatly improved with the help of the community.
The garden area at ZooMontana often is rented for weddings and other events. In the coming year, director Jeff Ewelt is hoping to increase the number of events at the facility and regain the community’s trust in ZooMontana.
The main entrance to ZooMontana.
ZooMontana no longer accepts membership cards from any accredited zoo. The facility’s accreditation from the Asoociation of Zoos and Aquariums was revoked this year.
Signs for exhibits at ZooMontana have been beaten by weather, an example of how maintenance has slipped in recent years and what the zoo has to shore up.
The red panda exhibit is one of the popular at ZooMontana. With the loss of accreditation, however, the zoo has had to part with some other popular animals.
McKenna, Ethan, and Andrew Johnson of Laurel interact with a North American river otter at ZooMontana. The otter exhibit has been one of the longest-running features at the facilty.
Jeff Ewelt will take on a permanent role as ZooMontana's director after acting as its interim director since May.
After months of research, a group of Montana State University Billings students has created a business plan intended to point ZooMontana toward a promising financial future.
A few projects at ZooMontana that have been planned for several years will be under construction throughout the summer.