Heather Cope ~ President
I grew up in rural Montana, just outside of Miles City, and moved to Billings to attend college in 1990. After graduating with a B.S. in Accounting from Montana State University Billings in 1994, I moved to Red Lodge and it has been home ever since. I worked for the Laurel Federal Credit Union for three years before starting with Beartooth Insurance in 2000. Beartooth Insurance sold to HUB International in 2012. I am currently a Commercial Lines Producer for HUB.
Throughout the years, I have been involved with the Parent Teacher Association, Troop Leader for Girls Scouts, coaching soccer, and BETA.
I love being involved with the Chamber as I know and work with many of the business owners and truly want to see them successful. It can be challenging for the business owners dealing with Covid, cyclical seasons, recruiting talented employees, and tapping into the surrounding areas to draw people here.
Chelsea Brajcich ~ Vice President
Born and raised locally, in this wonderful community, just west of town in Luther. I graduated from Red Lodge High School in 2008 and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA (Go Zags!). I received my BA in Public Relations and Communications.
My husband (Ryan Brajcich) and I moved back “home” to Red Lodge in 2017—it was a no-brainer for us, we get to live, work, and raise a family in this great community.
Upon returning home to Red Lodge, I opened a boutique on our beautiful main street, Hometown Sisters—what a fun venture! After 4 years of growing the business, we made the decision to sell the shop—allowing time to spend with our daughter and new son, before taking over my in-law’s business of 20+ years (Covering Broadway) at the beginning of the new year (2022). We are excited for this next venture!!
I am proud to sit on the Red Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce board and proud to promote this town and community.
Dominique Gruber ~ Secretary
I am a mother of three young children, a Certified Veterinary Technician, Practice Manager and part owner of Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic with my husband Dr. Casey Gruber. I am also a Certified Personal Trainer and fitness enthusiast. Growing up in a small town on the west coast of Canada allowed me to appreciate the closeness of a small community. At 15 years old, I landed my first job as a veterinary assistant on the Sunshine Coast of BC and fell in love with the veterinary industry. I moved to Calgary, Alberta in 2007 to follow my dream of working with horses. I then graduated from Thompson Rivers University in 2012 with a degree in Animal Health Technology. I continued my career as a Certified Veterinary Technician in Calgary before relocating to Red Lodge to purchase Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic with my husband in 2015. Since becoming a business owner, I have found a new passion for financial, personnel and practice management. Although stressful at times, the rewards of owning and running your own business are plentiful.
Kyle S. Peterson ~ Treasurer
I moved to Red Lodge in December 2020 and started employment with the Bank of Red Lodge on the 7th of that month. I started as a loan officer and am still in that position. I moved from Las Vegas and decided to move due to the effects covid was having on the city of Las Vegas and my employment there. I never considered living in Red Lodge until Bart asked me if I was interested in taking the position but have really enjoyed my time living here!
I’ve been in banking about 3 years and started working for a different community bank in Greybull, Wyoming after I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2018. While living there, I served on the Greybull Economic Development Council, which is now known as the Grow Greybull council. Their main goal was to stimulate economic development, encourage business growth and also attract new business.
Since I’ve moved here in December, I’ve wanted to figure out a better way to get involved in the community while also making new connections. I recently attended an Elks meeting and have agreed to join that group as well. My intentions of joining that group and hopefully this board are to be of more service to and become a more integral part of the community. Although I’m not currently a business owner, I’m hoping I can be of assistance to businesses here and also be a good reference once development and growth are pursued.
I grew up outside Spokane, WA and attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA where I received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Minor in Business Administration in 2009. I have lived in Red Lodge since the summer of 2013. During my time in Red Lodge I have worked for local businesses including Beartooth Mountain Guides, Red Lodge Mountain, Silver Run Ski Education Foundation and Red Lodge Pizza Co/Natali’s Front Bar. I have also been a volunteer with Red Lodge Search and Rescue since 2015. I am currently the General Manager of Red Lodge Pizza Co and Natali’s Front Bar as well as the head coach of the freeride program for Silver Run Ski Education Foundation.
Leadership and working with teams has become my passion. I have been a manager at two ski areas, a ski team, Natali’s Front Bar and now the Pizza Co, where I manage a staff of around 50 employees. I have strong interpersonal skills, I am well organized, responsible and reliable. I have always been passionate about the community of Red Lodge and would love to continue that with the Chamber of Commerce. Having worked in the Red Lodge hospitality/food service industry for years, I have been able to befriend many community members, hospitality staff, as well as develop an understanding of the broader business community. This experience has allowed me to gain an understanding of the needs of local businesses and how best to help them succeed. I have also had the pleasure of interacting with countless visitors to Red Lodge, and this has given me insight to why and how people visit us. I feel confident that this understanding, my involvement in the Red Lodge food service industry, along with my relationships within our community, would make me a valuable member of the Chamber of Commerce Board. Thank you again for your consideration, I look forward to the opportunity to work together.
Raised in Alabama, I spent most of my career in Development. I worked for a Birmingham developer selling real estate in Alabama, Texas and Florida. Then went to work as a retail developer for Colonial Properties before landing back in my hometown and becoming the Retail Developer for the Cullman Economic Development Agency. As an active Chamber member, I started a Retail Committee at the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce. I lived in Red Lodge in the 1990s and moved back in 2014 to become an active member of the non-profit world. I worked at RLACF and served on many committees there as well as the Carbon County Museum and Historical Society and Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. I also owned a boutique in AL and MT, Red Door Clothing, but am currently the owner/operator of Southern Dish Kitchen & Home Store.
My family roots run deep in the Red Lodge community. My grandparents moved here in 1972 and ran their own legacy as business owners, chamber members, city council members, and so much more, along with my parents following in their footsteps. Now, I feel it is my turn to help Red Lodge grow and develop into a beautiful and welcoming place to live and visit.
I graduated from Red Lodge High School in 2014 and currently hold the position of Marketing Director at Red Lodge Hospitality that represents six different downtown businesses in Red Lodge. My involvement also expands in to to coaching youth athletics, being secretary of TBID (Tourist Improvement Business District), mentoring through the DSVS (Domestic and Sexual Violence Services) program, a member of the Marketing Committee of BRTA (Beartooth Recreation Trails Association), Administrator of the Recycling Community, and volunteering with other non-profit organizations.
The Chamber is a great way to contribute to the community – Red Lodge has a unique challenge in combining both the tourism and the standard economies – this requires an everexpanding
outlook to branch the consideration to all local business growth. Marie is a wonderful addition to the board and has experience, such as: Past Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Past City Planning Board Member, Proprietor at Boyd’s Auto Bodyworks for the last 17 years, Member of the Chamber, Rotary, and Elks, Full-ride DECA scholarship & B.A. in Hospitality Marketing from University Wisconsin Stout, Past careers and experience with tourism event planning, Broad volunteer/philanthropy work within Red Lodge, Part-time Host & Commentary for Rev’n Television/Luken Communications & the SEMA Auto administration.
I have served on various boards in the past and have enjoyed the camaraderie of working together as a team and overseeing projects. I now enjoy being a Red Lodge Chamber Member and continue to encourage others to become involved as well. I am a strong community member and am thankful to once again be a part of Red Lodge. I grew up in North Dakota as a 4th Generation Norwegian. I was an honor student in High School, and later graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing/Advertising/Communications from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. I spent 10 years working in the advertising/marketing world. I later went back to college in Madison, WI and graduated with honors in Interior Design. I have run my own Interior Design business for 28 years. I raised my children in Hudson, WI with my youngest Britta Zietlow graduating from Red Lodge in 2012. She now lives in Bozeman, MT with her 7 year old son Liam.
Michelle is the Vice President/Branch Manager of the Flying S Title and Escrow branch here in Red Lodge Montana (formerly First American Title). She is a Montana Licensed Title Insurer and has worked for this company since February 1993. She started at the bottom level of the title insurance business searching at the Yellowstone County Courthouse daily, examining title records, and then having her own foreclosure office in that same Billings location. Being in the real estate business for over 30 years has shaped her business-friendly idea of what would be good for Red Lodge and Montana.
Michelle moved to Red Lodge to manage the Title/Escrow office there on the night of the 2000 Christmas Stroll, one of the Chambers biggest events, and she believes it to be the best move of her life. As a Montana native, she was born in Bozeman and grew up in Billings, Columbus and Sidney. She is a graduate of Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa, Georgia. Her interests include, skiing, hiking, gardening, watching all sports, and spending time with my family.
Her grandparents Paul and Monica Kroll, had a family beet farm in Bridger, and made a point to have family members join them in Red Lodge for the Festival of Nations for years and years. Those days in the Civic center in the 70’s and 80’s watching a community celebrate its heritage had a lasting effect on her and made her want to play a part in the future of Red Lodge.
As a native of South-Central Montana, it is a passion for Red Lodge that brought Brian Langeliers full-circle back to the Beartooth Mountains eight years ago. His life arch has witnessed a childhood in Billings, a higher education of fine arts in Missoula, and a 20-year career in the music industry built in Boulder, CO. Brian now works as the Digital Experience Administrator at Tippet Rise Art Center where he shares the world-class sculpture park and classical music venue with the world through the Tippet Rise website and social media channels. Brian’s interest in developing the arts and music scene in Red Lodge and greater Carbon County is paramount to his previous 4-years experience on the Board of Directors at the Red Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jody Ronning ~ City Council Liason
Born and raised in Southeastern Montana, my family moved to Red Lodge in 1987. I attended Montana State University in Bozeman, majoring in Business Finance and Computer Engineering. I have worked in many sectors of the Red Lodge economy, from serving at Bogarts Restaurant, to lending at what was Laurel Federal Credit Union to 24 years as an insurance agent for Beartooth Insurance/HUB Insurance. I recently changed careers and started a new business in Red Lodge highlighting our local cottage industries, Market 5555. Red Lodge has been a wonderful community to raise my two sons and giving back to Red Lodge through volunteerism has always been important to me. Currently, I am your Ward 3 city council representative. I also volunteer on the Red Lodge Proud & Beautiful committee planning the Christmas Stroll and raising money for both the downtown flower baskets and the 4th of July fireworks. Other than that, I volunteer to help put on the Red Lodge Car show and serve as a liason from the City Council to both the Chamber and the TBID boards.
Spencer Weimar is the Assistant General Manager at Red Lodge Mountain. He moved to Red Lodge in May 2018 from Angel Fire, New Mexico in an effort to find colder temps and more snow. Spencer is a veteran of the ski industry having worked at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon and Angel Fire Resort. He has served on several tourism boards as a representative for the ski areas he has worked at and currently serves on the Yellowstone Country tourism board. Spencer grew up in Oregon and has a Master’s of Business Administration from Washington State University.