Front Street Capital’s Russ Piazza invests in culture

Front Street Capital Management’s Russ Piazza (UM ’77) knows exactly the sort of businesses he wants to invest in. As the portfolio manager of the hugely successful Tarkio Fund, Russ brings a focus and clarity to his work that’s inspiring. He also has a thing of two to say about the bond markets. This is an important conversation anyone with an interest in the markets should hear.

Holly Truitt: Community Creator, Coalition Builder, and Change Maker

“You gotta get Holly Truitt on the pod!” We’ve heard this countless times since we launched the show, and we finally got her to come on. Holly is the Director of University of Montana’s Broader Impacts Group. Her work ranges from directing spectrUM, a wonderful science museum for children, to leading innovateUM, a coalition of key innovators driving the future of Western Montana’s economy. Holly is inspirational and visionary and in this conversation we explore how her unique and challenging upbringing shaped her outlook on community and how she builds strong, creative coalitions of forward-thinking problem solvers. This episode is particularly inspired! Tune in…

Olympian Sam Schultz Rides For All the Right Reasons

The competitive pinnacle of Sam Schultz’s mountain biking career came during the 2012 Olympic games. In the years since, he’s faced health challenges, a limited capacity to train and race, and the reality that his relationship with his bike and livelihood must change. Today we talk about how Sam has met these challenges to build an inspiring, productive, and sustainable career in the cycling industry. Sure, he lives in a van down by the river, but it’s a damn nice van with some really sweet bikes in it. Not too bad!

Sam is particularly excited about his efforts to launch a high school bike racing league in Montana. For more information, visit:

Nick Triolo – Activist, Athlete, and Lifelong Student of Narrative

Nick Triolo is passionate about story and using the tools of narrative to make the world a better place. Through his work as an activist, writer, filmmaker, coach, guide, and mountain athlete Nick is deeply dedicated to making people care more about the natural world. He is a 2016 graduate of University of Montana’s Environmental Studies program and we have known each other for years through the trail running community. We were able to catch Nick on the tail end of a quick visit to Montana.

You can learn more about his work at:

Keila Szpaller Takes Her Turn in the Hot Seat

Keila Szpaller took over the University of Montana “beat” in 2015. This Missoulian reporter and UM Journalism graduate has covered both the city of Missoula and UM during tumultuous and controversial times. In this episode we discuss her approach to reporting, sourcing, background, and what sort of stories bring joy to her work.

You can find her tweets @KeilaSzpaller and her reporting at

MoFi’s Dave Glaser on Making People “Bankable”

MoFi is a non-profit organization with a mission to “provide financing and consulting services that transform the lives of individuals and strengthen communities.” Dave Glaser is president of this important organization and chats with us about the critical catalytic roll MoFi (formerly known as Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation)plays in the economic develop of five Northern Rockies states.

For more information on MoFi and to learn how the organization could help you, visit:

Montana Code School – a Case Study in Education Innovation

The Montana Code School launched in 2015 as a way to prepare students to walk in ready and able to the growing number of technology jobs available in Montana. In this episode we talk with Paul Gladen, Director of the Blackstone Launchpad and founder of the Code School, and Kelly Nash, graduate of the first Code School cohort and current director of admissions. We learn about how the Code School came to be, what sorts of students it targets, and what types of jobs its graduates are getting. We then speak with two of those graduates – Luke Walawander and Shannon Dooling. Luke is currently Director of Ad Operations at LumenAd and Shannon is working with Tribal Learning Aids. Both are great case studies in the power of coding skills to improve your life and open doors.

For more information, check out:

Black Coffee’s Matt McQuilkin on Coffee, Community & Creativity

Matt McQuilkin and Jim Chapman launched Black Coffee Roasting Company in 2010 and it quickly became a fixture of the Missoula scene. In this conversation, Matt and I discuss the series of experiences that uniquely prepared him for success as a coffee entrepreneur and how he has turned that success into deep support for the Missoula community.

To learn more about his great product, shop, and staff, visit:

Or stop by the shop at 525 E Spruce St in Missoula.

Pictionary Creator Rob Angel on Trusting the Process

Rob Angel invented the legendary game Pictionary in 1985. I got the chance to speak with this charismatic, inspired and dynamic creator during a quick visit with his children, both Missoula residents. Rob shares the Pictionary origin story, brings us up to date on his current endeavors, and outlines his philanthropic efforts…all subject to the entertaining commentary of his daughter Sam (UM 2017) and his son Ben (MT Code School 2018).