Congratulations to the 2011 Employers of Choice


Last week the Missoula Job Service Employers’ Council honored the winners of the 2011 Employer of Choice Awards. This annual award recognizes businesses that “create great workplaces, innovative work force solutions for training and who have employees who are engaged and motivated.”

In the large business category the 2011 Employer of Choice is Missoula Federal Credit Union. And this year’s small business category Employer of Choice is Mismo Gymnastics.

MFCU’s Gary Clark

Missoula Federal Credit Union–A Culture of Learning

Gary Clark, President and CEO, spoke of the vision MFCU determined 15 years ago. They wanted to create a learning culture, attract long-term employees, and develop leaders. They’ve done just that. Robert Smith, Senior VP of MFCU, also spoke about their brand new community training center, internal training and development in addition to training opportunities available to the community.

I’m so excited about their new full-training learning center, community contributions, and loyal employee culture that I’ll post a feature article on those details soon. This is one impressive employer. You’ll want to work for them, too. Stay tuned! Visit their site at

Mismo’s Kelly Durbin

More than a job, Mismo is family

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you: Kelley Durbin is a dynamo. Ask her employees and you’ll hear: “Mismo is more than just a job. Mismo is a family.” Ask Kelley about Mismo and her response is fast, fun, and off the cuff. Just try to keep up!

Mismo will turn 10 years old in October. In it, Kelley’s created a tight-knit “family” of coaches, a gym open to kids and athletes of all ages regardless of ability, and an environment where “when Mismo wins, we all win.”

After the ceremony, two of her employees, brimming with enthusiasm, shared some of the many programs, community support, and stories Kelley left out. Don’t worry, I’ll present a feature on Mismo soon! You won’t want to miss it! For now, visit to learn more about this employer.

What is an Employer of Choice?

Wolf Ametsbichler, Job Service Manager, said as he announced this year’s winners, “Both are examples of what great community employers can be. They are heavily involved in employee development and in their community.” In short, Employers of Choice are great places to work.

This year there were 14 nominations, almost all from loyal employees. The nomination forms cover four categories:

• Benefits to employees

• Leadership and workplace culture

• Employee development

• Community Orientation

About JSEC

JSEC is a nonprofit council composed of businesses representing a diverse selection of industries in Missoula. These employers volunteer to serve as advisors and liaisons to the local Job Service and the employer community, providing business education, resources, and scholarships to local high school students.

Past Employer of Choice Award Winners


Adventure Life


Adventure Life – Small Business Category

Good Food Store – Large Business Category


Western Montana Mental Health Center, Superior – Small Business Category

Montana Rail Link – Large Business Category

If you work for a great employer, watch for next year’s call JSEC announcement and nominate them! In the meantime, we’d love to hear about it! Please share your great employer stories by emailing me at or post a comment below. We hope to hear from you!


Jennifer Shryock is a resume writer and interview coach with Rainmaker Resumes. Her blog features Missoula job hunting tips, covering everything from the employer perspective to networking ideas to interview-winning resumes to keeping your sense of humor, whether you’re working or working to find work. For answers, send your work related questions to Make her blog a regular part of your job search.