BSFD hires deputy chief


BIG SKY – The Big Sky Fire Department is welcoming a new addition to its ranks this month. On Feb. 18, BSFD Chief William Farhat hired Scott Morovits, a battalion chief with almost 30 years of experience with Wisconsin’s Janesville Fire Department, as Big Sky’s new deputy chief.

“Morovits … is a caring, educated and experienced person who will be able to provide strong support to our staff and enhance the services that we provide,” Farhat wrote in an email to EBS.



Morovits’s resume includes 15 years as an advanced life support ambulance crewmember, nine years as a battalion chief and 10 years as his union’s president.

This past January, Morovits came to Big Sky to interview for the position, a full-day process that included a tactical fire simulation, a public speaking exercise and an operational leadership panel.

“There are times when you default to the level of your training … I’ve been very fortunate to have good mentors [and] good training officers,” Morovits said of the firefighting experience he called upon during the interview process.

Morovits will start with the department on March 22. He and his wife are looking forward to cruising through Yellowstone National Park on their 2015 Indian Chief Vintage motorcycle.

Big Sky school board candidacy filing due March 24


Voters will decide on May 3 who will fill two open seats on the Big Sky School District board of trustees.

The deadline to file a declaration of intent as a candidate is 4 p.m. on March 24, and ballots will be mailed to voters April 13. Ballots must arrive at the County Election Office in Bozeman by the deadline.

The two open seats result from openings left by Laura Michel and board chair Loren Bough, both of whose three-year terms are expiring. As of EBS press time on March 2, Bough had filed his paperwork and Michel had not, according to District Clerk Marie Goode. Whitney Littman and Matt Dodd had also filed their declaration of intent.

The winners of the May 3 election will join current board trustees Matt Jennings, Maggie Luchini and Kim Gunderson.

The next BSSD board meeting is Tuesday, March 22 at 3:30 p.m. in the Ophir Elementary School.

Anyone qualified to vote in Big Sky School District #72 is eligible for the office of trustee. Declaration of Intent forms are available from the school’s main office or by calling District Clerk Marie Goode at (406) 995-4281.

Bozeman pet store franchising


Bozeman pet supply store Dee-O-Gee announced Feb. 24 it is franchising its business. Opened by Josh and Holly Allen in 2008, the business has two locations in Bozeman, on East Main and West Oak streets, selling natural pet food, nutritional supplements, toys, and provide grooming and dog daycare.

Within hours of the announcement, the story was picked up by the online news platforms of Yahoo Finance, Pet Business Magazine, Pet Product News, and Thomson Reuters, among other outlets. Josh attributes the national attention to the successful business model they’ve created in Bozeman.

“We think that it is an attainable entry point for a first-time business owner … In an industry that reliably grows,” Josh said. “And it’s super fun too. Who wouldn’t want to have a job to help pets thrive – and be their own boss?”

Part of the couple’s decision to go the franchise route instead of expanding with a corporate model was people contacting the Allens about trying to open a Dee-O-Gee in their own towns, Josh said.

“We had to say no before, now we can say yes.”

Big Sky Business Services changes hands, name


After 15 years as Big Sky Business Services, community members will now take their shipping and printing needs to QuickPrint of Big Sky.

Agata Morrill purchased the business Feb. 1 from Sean and Wanda McCarthy, who opened its doors in 2001. She also operates QuickPrint of West Yellowstone, which she purchased in 2010 from Tom Nesbitt who will be working in the Big Sky shop.

“At first I thought, all I need is another business,” Morrill said, adding she came to Big Sky last spring for the first time in a few years. “I was amazed at all the development.”

In addition to continuing shipping goods via UPS, FedEx and the Postal Service, Morrill says she offers services that weren’t previously available in the community, including printing brochures, business cards and carbonless forms, and a Kodak kiosk for customers to print their own photos.

Morrill hopes to eventually have a large-format photo printer in the new location, and in the meantime will provide that option to Big Sky customers from her West Yellowstone location.

While patrons will no longer be seeing Sean McCarthy daily in the West Fork Meadow shop, another familiar face will remain – Lori Ueland, who started working for the McCarthys in 2001, is staying on with Morrill’s enterprise.

“The whole reason I could think about doing it, [is] Lori is still there,” Morrill said.

WIA hires new executive director


As Women in Action kicks off its 10th anniversary in 2016, we’re announcing the appointment of a new executive director and a role change for current Executive Director Rachel Thesing.

After founding WIA in 2006, Thesing and the WIA board set out to provide much needed services for children and families in Big Sky. In her new role as chairman of the WIA Advisory Committee, Thesing will help ensure the future success of the organization.

Jennifer O’Connor took over as the new WIA executive director on Feb. 1. O’Connor is no stranger to working with nonprofit organizations in Big Sky after spending four years as the president of the Big Sky PTO and more recently as the development director for Morningstar Learning Center. She is an active leader of the Big Sky Boy and Girl scouts and she and her husband David have three children at Ophir schools.

Stop by the new Women in Action office located at 47855 Gallatin Road, Unit No. 1, above Grizzly Outfitters on the River. O’Connor will be in the office Wednesdays and Fridays and looks forward to working with members of the Big Sky community.