Helping Women succeed...

Professionally, Personally and Politically

Employer of the Year - Past Honorees


2015 Honoree - Kate Wiggins, owner of Bozeman’s Leaf and Bean.   

Kate has created an atmosphere that is friendly, welcoming, and enjoyable for people of all ages.  She has structured her business to thrive with employees between the ages of 18-25, giving many young people a great employment opportunity.  She focuses on mentoring these young employees and encourages them to take leadership opportunities early in their careers.   She has also cultivated a supportive atmosphere where employees help each other  when help is need.  She calls it the “sisterhood of the travelling latte”.

She supports family leave and gives flexible schedules to those with young children.  In fact, when one of her employees lost her day care provider, Kate HERSELF… and her mother babysat the child for 2 months. 

In addition, Kate fosters learning and creativity in her employees.  An example is with her bakers.  They often bring in ideas found on Pinterst and she encourages them to make them! They learn a new recipe and technique and customers benefit from variety.

Kate also has contributed greatly in our community.  She has been involved in the Girls for a Change Conference for 3 years and served as a CAP mentor for 2 years.  She has served on the Downtown Associations for 7 years, and has been on the Board of Directors for Thrive.  She also works with many local non-profits to promote their programs and gives a portion of sales to those organizations.


2014 Honoree - Serena Rundberg, proprietress of The Nova Cafe

Serena has owned the restaurant for nine years. Ms. Rundberg focuses on fair and consistent treatment of her employees. To that end, she has developed a comprehensive Employee Handbook. As one employee noted, the essence of her management approach is to “make it easy” for employees to advance their education and skills, while being well trained in their position.(Nominated by Ann Schrader)
Serena Rundberg has owned the Nova Café for nine years. In Fall 2013, she was awarded the Small Business of the Year Award for businesses in Montana with 10-29 employees.

She provides her new employees with a rigorous training program. As they progress, she sends them to training, i.e. Barista School in Portland OR, the eight hour Serve Safe Training, and national seminar trainings, i.e. how to deal with employee issues.

Serena is very sensitive to ensuring equal rights for everyone, and to that end, she has worked to develop a comprehensive employee handbook and policies that support equal rights. As the employer, she provides a reasonable leave and accommodations for pregnant employees. Her business also proudly supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Ms. Rundberg focuses on fair and consistent treatment of her employees. New employees are given a review as needed, and after three months, 90 days, and then six months there after. Included in their compensation is flex spending for health care, a Health Savings plan, and 401 K that she contributes to. Employees also receive meals and management level employees have vacation time. Her employee policies include timely handling of a hostile environment and any sexual harassment complaints.

In the spring of 2013, Serena participated on a panel of women entrepreneurs at Prospera’s Women’s Conference. For past two years, she has volunteered at the Girls for a Change conference in the ThinkTanks. Rundberg is participating in Bozeman Non-Discrimination Ordinance Campaign. This effort focuses on protecting people from discrimination for housing, in the workplace, and other accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identification and gender expression.

Rundberg has been involved as a volunteer for REACH for many years. She employs people with disabilities. She has one young lady from REACH working at the Nova for several years. She is welcomed as part of the NOVA family, and she attends company meetings and parties.

As one employee said to me, she “treasures” Serena as the owner, a mentor, and a friend. Serena is a great role model for a working woman, she has shrewd business sense, as well as the ability to be authentic and remain fully present when with employees. “She cares about everyone personally.” She is an excellent, attentive listener and is comfortable expressing her emotions in a professional setting, as well as helping others share their burdens. In fact, this employee said that Serena had “inspired her and better equipped her to work in a male dominated world.”

Serena Rundberg “sets the tone” for her business, employees and customers. She is available, has a very positive attitude, sees the best in others, is encouraging to her employees and recognizes people for who they are, and promotes and helps them blossom. In return she has a diverse and dedicated crew of employees who provide some of the most awesome customer service in Bozeman and beyond, and always seem happy! (Ann Schrader’s opinion)

2014 Finalists were Elixiter and Thrive


2013 Employer- Anderson ZurMuehlen & Company, P.C.
Paula Johnson, Shareholder & Business Advisor - accepted the award

Anderson ZurMuehlen and Company, P.C. is the largest Montana based public accounting firm in the state, with 230 employees in six Montana locations, including Bozeman.  Seventy-five percent of its employees are female.  The firm is a strong supporter of working women as evidenced by its policies, programs and actions. 

The “Employer of the Year” award recognizes Anderson ZurMuehlen for its:
·         commitment to the development and advancement of women in the workplace,
·         implementation of family-friendly policies and activities that support working women,
·         creation of a work culture that is guided by established core values, and
involvement in and support of non-profit organizations in our community (United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Gallatin Valley Food Bank, etc.).  

The “Employer of the Year” award recognizes Anderson ZurMuehlen for the following reasons:
1.      Its commitment to the development and advancement of women in the workplace

Anderson ZurMuehlen aims for fairness and transparency in its advancement and training opportunities.  Opportunities for advancement are formally reviewed annually based on performance.  Job openings are published internally and opportunities to move between Montana offices are available.  In-house training sessions are offered live, via the Web and video conferencing.  The firm also pays for external training required to obtain and maintain professional certifications.  With the majority of its employees being female, Anderson ZurMuehlen’s approach to training and advancement is a model program, demonstrating total support of working women.  BPW would also like to recognize that Anderson ZurMuehlen has a gender-neutral compensation policy.

2.      Its implementation of family-friendly policies and activities that support working women

Anderson ZurMuehlen genuinely embraces the importance of family-friendly policies.  There are paid-time off and extended leave policies.  Flexible time and schedules are offered.  Working from home or altering work schedules for family commitments, including dependent care and family activities, are commonplace.  Several years ago, the firm created a “work-life balance” committee to address how best to recruit and retain high quality employees, especially female employees.  The Committee’s recommendations resulted in changing some of the firm’s policies to match employee values without compromising client service.

 3.      Its creation of a workplace that is guided by established core values

Employees feel that one of the best things about working at Anderson ZurMuehlen is that they are guided by the firm’s core values.  More than just words on paper, employees feel that following the values results in a wonderful culture in which to work.  The core values include:  honesty, integrity and ethics in all we do; teamwork in an atmosphere of mutual respect; and developing leaders for the growth and health of the firm.

4.      Its involvement in and support of non-profit organizations in our community

Another of Anderson ZurMuehlen’s core values is “giving back to the communities we serve.”  The firm encourages all employees to be actively involved in their communities.  In fact, it will pay up to 40 hours each year for community involvement activities.  Anderson ZurMuehlen employees are active in numerous organizations, including United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Gallatin Valley Food Bank, and the Cancer Support Community Montana. 

2012 Employer:  Dr. Kimberly Maxwell, Abundant Health Family Chiropractic

Dr. Maxwell received her B.S. Degree in Human Biology from the College of St. Catherine's in St. Paul, Minnesota and her Doctor of Chiropractic from Northwestern College of Chiropractic. She is one of only two Montana chiropractors to have specific training to care for pregnancy and pediatric populations.
Dr. Maxwell is dedicated to helping clients and their families get what they want from their life experiences by helping them find personalized solutions to unique situations, ailments and wellness aspirations.
Her dedication to her work is mirrored with her dedication to providing a positive workplace for her employees. Examples of her commitment o the development and advancement of women in the workplace are: encourages and supports additional job training; conducts weekly performance enhancement meetings; pays a competitive wage and provides a quarterly bonus incentive; and allows for flexible scheduling or leave for family needs.

2nd Place Winner:
Ariana Pagliobagis, The Country Bookshelf

2011 Employer:  Ruth Marion - Health Works Institute

Ruth Marion was named 2011 Employer of the Year. She is the owner and director of Health Works Institute, Massage Therapy School. She has been involved in massage therapy education for twenty-two years, having served as the director of the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in Colorado from 1984 to 1994, chair and director of the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation from 1995 to 1996, and chair of the American Massage Therapy Association Council of Schools from 1991 to 1993. Ruth has a background in business management, in-depth knowledge of school administration, and a strong belief in the value of massage therapy and skin care. Ruth continues to contribute to the development of the profession while she focuses on the efficient operation of an educationally sound program. Ruth has received the National Distinguished Service Award and the Montana Chapter Meritorious Award.

2nd Place Winner:
Anderson ZurMuehlen, CPAs

2010 - Jacki McGuire, McGuire & Associates, CPAs

Jacki McGuire of McGuire and Associates was named Bozeman BPW’s
2010 Employer of the Year. McGuire has been running her own tax preparation accounting firm since1993. She earned a bachelor’s degree in math from Kalamazoo College in 1972, then attended accounting classes at Montana State University, passing the certified public accountant’s exam in 1992.

To see a full list of the Bozeman BPW Employer of the Year Winners, click here.

More Info:

About Employer of the Year
Current Employer of the Year
The Nomination Process

Bozeman BPW’s mission is to support business and professional women in our community
through advocacy, education and information.

Bozeman Business and Professional Women (BPW) - P. O. Box 644, Bozeman, Montana  59771

Report Website Issues WebsiteAdmin@bozemanBPW.org
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software