Board Director Candidate Bios

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Neihart Store Cooperative
Board Director Candidates

Larry Blazicevich

    Relevant Experience and Qualifications: I was a board member and president for the Great Falls Ski Club. Owned multiple rental properties for over 40 years. Had my own masonry business 20 years. Foreman for Anderson Tree Service 7 years. Volunteer for Eagle Mount Ski program over 20 years.

Statement of interest in the Position: It is very important to me that the co-op store in Neihart stays open. It has been an important  factor in bringing the people of Neihart together. I enjoy volunteering my time for the co-op and look forward to serving on the board if elected.


Joe Depuydt (current board member)

    Relevant Experience and Qualifications: Currently sit on board of Neihart Store Co-op. Boy Scouts of America

    Statement of interest in the Position: My interest are to keep the store open and to give back to our community.


George DeShaw (current board member)

    Relevant Experience and Qualifications: I have served on the Neihart Store Co-op’s board of directors for the first year of business. I have had a cabin in Neihart for over 30 years. I have served on the board of directors for the Great Falls Snowmobile Club for several years. I was on a committee that formed the King’s Hill Grooming Association which was a joint effort between Meagher County Little Belters and Great Falls Snowmobile clubs. I have served in the active and reserve military for 38 years.

    Statement of interest in the Position: After serving on the board during the first year of the co-op, we, the board, have gotten a lot accomplished, but there is still more to be done. I would like to continue to serve to establish a good foundation so our co-op will be lasting and serve the community. With my previous year’s experience, I would like to continue serving to help the continued success of the co-op.


Susan Jordan (current board member)

    Relevant Experience and Qualifications: Served on Great Falls Ski club boar since 1994, as secretary, treasurer, president and director. Have worked in and for various small businesses in inventory control, accounting, and business management. Current position is with the Catholic Diocese of Great Falls as a staff accountant.

    Statement of interest in the Position: I have been at the forefront of creating this cooperative and have a strong desire and commitment to see it succeed and thrive. There is still much work to do to keep the cooperative financially healthy and find a proper balance between what the locals want and how the cooperative will have to operate in order to achieve this goal. I have already donated a lot of my personal time and funds and am prepared to continue to into the near future. Thank you for your consideration.


Patrick Newton

            Relevant Experience and Qualifications: Malta High School class of 1979; 8 years Malta Volunteer Fire Dept.; V.P./Owner/Partner of Clausen and Sons Inc. General Contractors of Havre, Montana since 1991; board of directors Northern Lights Athletic Scholarship Foundation since 2015; Owner/Partner of Westside Storage, Havre, Montana; Owner/Partner Northern Border Development Co. Havre, Montana; Owner/Partner Sunrise Properties, Havre, Montana; Owner/Partner Rock Creek Properties Neihart, Montana.

            Statement of Interest in the Position: I have owned a cabin in Neihart since 2006. I have seen many changes in the general store over the years. I would like an opportunity to see and help guide in into the next chapter. I feel it is important to the community to have a business and service in the Neihart community, not only for the local residents of the area, but also for those travelling through during the year. I think with my business experience, ties to Neihart, and my interest in the community and the store itself, I would be an asset on the Neihart Store Cooperative board.


Robert Swartz

            Relevant Experience and Qualifications: I have been a commercial contractor from 1973 through today, my volunteer time in the 80’s as a big brother, a director with C.M.R. Backcountry Horsemen, in the 90’s a director-chairman of Dovan Park Youth and Community Center until the center was dissolved and donated assets to Eagle Mount at which time as a director for a year with Eagle Mount through transient, in the 2000’s through today chairman if the Monarch-Neihart Community and Senior Center.

            Statement of interest in the Position: My interest is to keep the store open, and past board experiences could be assets to the board.


Margie Willett

            Relevant Experience and Qualifications: Own my own business; personnel experience; 40 years bookkeeping; College education-taught high school before Showdown.

            Statement of interest in the Position: Neihart and thus “our grocery store” is very important to me. I have lived here 35+ years and I like our community. If I can be of any help, I would like to do that.

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