The Fire Within

We celebrated 26 Inspire and Aspire Award winners at the annual Fire Within in Great Falls. The Haute Hive was packed with outstanding women in business and over 160 people who came to support their achievements; see KRTV

Each year the Great Falls Development Authority and community partners honor exemplary women in business. 

Inspire Award

This award will go to a Woman Business Owner in operation for 5+ years in an established business that has made a significant personal contribution to its success, growth or expansion. We are looking for a business savvy woman who has helped or is helping other business owners or budding entrepreneurs. The winner will have: five plus successful years in business and mentored at least one other entrepreneur.

Aspire Award

This award will go to a Woman Business Owner in operation 1-5 years who has recently realized her dream by starting a new venture. Her early success and accomplishments show her creativity, passion and drive. 

2023 Aspire Award Winners

Kalen McKelvey; Sunshine Stables
Trisha Heck; Wild Honey Salon
Katie Scollin; Scollin Design
Laura Ewalt; Honey Hippo Café
Shelbi Frieling & Nicole Frieling; Montana Apothecary & Compounding
Ashley Friesen; Threshold Real Estate
Holly Kopekin; Omni Marketing & Design
Karen Beeler; Life in Bloom
Rylie Carmichael; White Bear Baking Co.

2022 Inspire Winners

Robin Miller, Decorating House

Angela Smith, Daydream Boutique

Joanie Agamenoni, Agamenoni & Frank Reporting

Bonnie Beuning, Century 21-Northwest Realty

Corinna Dahlin, Corinna Dahlin Photography

DeAnna Murphy, Studio Montage

Becky Rammel, Golden Triangle Gym

Lola Sheldon-Galloway, Dairy Queen and Great Falls lumber

Sophia Sparklin, BSpark Architecture

Beth Olson, TLC Daycare

Amy Roberts, Amy’s Morning Perk

Jennifer Klinker Lea, Ox & Son Towing

Bethany Benedict, Prairie Kraft Specialties

Leslie Vassar, Penthouse Salon

Tianna Ford, Two Dot Press Kasey Lorang, Adventurous Learning Space

Sara Calhoun, Red Ants Pants

2023 Inspire Award Winners

Brandi Cundiff; Firefly Salon & Spa
Gretchen Swift; Floors & More
Tammy Stubs; Allstate Insurance – The Quintrell Agency
Shirstie Gaylord; Hometana
Nicole Wiegand; Downtown Dice & Games
Linda Geranios; Geranios Enterprises Inc.
Theresa Ormseth; Shortgrass Web
Morgan Tweet; IND Hemp
Julie Argabright Demarais; Ala Care
Melissa Dascoulias; Dascoulias Realty group
Heidi Reiste; Electric City Coffee
Tara Beam; Roadhouse Diner
Tracy Perry; The Blue Rose
Candice English; Farmer’s Daughter’s Fibers
Susan Crocker; The Good Wood Guys
Ashley Wilkinson; Fetch Boutique

2022 Aspire Winners

Brita Lee, Decorating House

Veronica Van Voast, The Refinery

Molly McGonigal, 406 Cookies

Lorie Jean Schult, Good Deeds Real Estate

Jade Heather Hinman, Hinman Coffee House

Jenn Rowell, The Electric

Lyndsay Guiterrez, Nourish Darby Bogden, Colored Snow

Kate Stephens, Farm Ag Fashion

Ashlee Anderson, BRB Preschool

Paulette Wright, Mrs. Wright’s Pasty’s

Cassie Campbell, Spices N’ Spurs

Heather Kunz, Broadwater Coffee Brewing Company

Carie Bates, All The Things Charcuterie

Melissa McQuillen, All The Things Charcuterie<span>

INSPIRE Award Hall of Fame

2011: Cari Yturri, Bennett Motors
2012: Sandra Johnson-Thares, O’Haire Motor Inn
2013: Alison Fried, Dragonfly Dry Goods
2014: Penny Rubner, Penny’s Gourmet to Go
2015: Linda McPherson, Montana Academy of Salons
2016: Katy Duncan, Happy Tails Lodge
2017: Beth Leathem, Bighorn Outdoor Specialists
2018: Dianne Meinhardt, Cogswell Insurance/MAA
2019: Kari Lane Johnson, My Viola Floral Studio
2020: Amber Hofstad, Windrift Hill; Erin Merchant, Schermele Films

ASPIRE Award Hall of Fame

2011: Cindy Ceiluch, Cindy Ceiluch Photorgraphy
2012: Kari Lane Johnson, My Viola Floral Studio
2013: Tracy Perry, The Blue Rose
2014: Janet Neil, Bert and Ernie’s
2015: Amber Fern, Fern Photography
2016: Heidi Reiste, Electric City Coffee
2017: Kattie Meyer, Motifs
2018: Yve Bardwell and Maggie Carr, Dropstone Outfitting
2019: Susan Crocker, The Good Wood Guys
2020: Ashley Wilkinson, Fetch Pet Boutique; Candice English, The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers; Hallie Thompson, Wholesome Hal’s; Melissa Dascoulias, Dascoulias Realty Group; Tara Beam, Roadhouse Diner; Vanessa Bucklin, Pondera County Insurance

Highlights from Fire Within 2022

Curious to see how these projects pencil out?For each of the vision projects we have project analysis that includes Project Descriptions, Cash Flow Projections, and Rent Roll Summaries.