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The Class of 2024

An extraordinary group of Bozeman women who are making moves, taking leaps, dominating their fields and trades, and paving the way for others

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Bridget Cavanaugh
Business Coach

"What makes me feel empowered is transferring that empowerment to another person, whether that's teaching them a skill, bringing out their light, or giving them confidence. Empowering others is what empowers me."

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Jennifer Stevane
General Surgeon and Founder, Integrative Surgical Care.

"I feel most empowered when I feel grounded and connected to other human beings. If I need to ground myself or find empowerment then being with my kids or being with close friends where I can completely let my guard down, be myself and laugh. And that brings me back into a place where I can make better decisions and ultimately be a better person."

Amber Sartain
Owner and Manager, Apricot Lane Boutique 

"When your plate is full, don't grab a bigger plate. Say no. I think as women, mothers, entrepreneurs, we're used to saying yes to everyone and everything. Choose your best yes. And keep the same sized plate."

"I surround myself with a lot of other type A personalities. We bounce things off each other in a way that is loving, helpful, and guiding and never judgmental. It goes back to community  and connections with people."

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Blythe Beaubien 
Captain, Bigger Fish PR & Media Relations

"I feel empowered as a business owner knowing that I'm in control of my own destiny."

"This piece of advice came from my mom who's no longer with us but she was a very wise woman and in life and in business but she always told me never take your foot off the gas be persistent and sometimes no means not right now."

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Dennae Tirrell
Founder, Biome Slowcraft Collective

"The best advice that I got was find your tribe. Find the other women that are working really hard and hang out with them because they're learning. I think finding your tribe is really important."

"I had this little seed planted in 2015, and then it was really over COVID that pushed me into this step of taking the leap. I think having that moment to really sit and plan at home and kind of force myself to create that business plan was really the driving force."

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Jennifer White
Wine Director, J.W. Heist

"I feel empowered when I see other people happy. If I run a team and I see them succeed, that makes me feel empowered. If I have a guest come in and they have an incredible experience at the restaurant, that makes me feel empowered. Seeing other women and meeting other women that are in leadership roles is quite is empowering too--I would say that's how I got into what I do with wine is by watching other women succeed which made me realize what my purpose and my goal was."

"I go back to a class that I did recently at Zephyr Cycling where there and so many great people that lead these classes and one quote that stuck out to me was stop setting yourself on fire just to keep everybody else warm. That has resonated with me and I think as women we do that a lot. We sacrifice ourselves sometimes and we forget about ourselves."

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Sarah Brown
Head Cheesemaker, Almatheia Organic Dairy
Susan Brown
Owner, Almatheia Organic Dairy

"Women are logical thinkers and know how to solve problems without violence or without causing animosity or anger." -Susan Brown

"My favorite part about working with such amazing woman is that we all lift each other up. Women together are so strong and when we're able to take care of one another we can accomplish great things-so as long as we're all cheerleaders for each other it helps in a big way for us to be unified, supported, and feel like we can accomplish anything." -Sarah Brown

Stacie Zundel
Owner, Graze Craze Bozeman

"I just knew I'm not getting any younger. If I'm ever going to change it up it has to be now. So I decided to open a business. I'm still creating. I'm still getting satisfaction out of watching people love what I created, Graze Craze is just cool because I can watch people eat it as opposed to having someone get up out of my salon chair and smile at themselves in the mirror and love what I did. I took the leap--it wasn't because I hated what I was doing, it was just because life is short and I don't want to only do one thing my entire life."

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Francine Spang-Willis
Oral Historian, Founder, Appearing Flying Women Consulting

"I think it's important to center and amplify women's voices because that's a faction of our society that continues to be oppressed and marginalized. I just feel women have so much to offer they have so much knowledge and they're strong humans and they have a keen intellect to figure out things and look at things in a way that maybe somebody else is not able to see and come up with some solutions."

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Heather Hodapp
Co-Owner, Director of Operations, Bozeman Community Kiln
Ashleah Elias
Founder, Studio Director, Bozeman Community Kiln

"Self-care sometimes feels like something else to balance. It could be more stressful than it feels. That was one of my problems. It doesn't have to be just self-care. It could be get some sleep, take a nap. Or lay there and don't sleep. It doesn't have to be self-care in order to take care of yourself."

Kalli Ryti
CEO and President, First Security Bank

"My sister is my biggest inspiration. She's always really positive. If I feel like I'm in a situation where I need to have some great advice, I always look to her. She truly has been a mentor of mine and a great friend."

Businesses featured in this article