Missionaries, trappers, loggers, American Indians, prospectors, and train builders were among the key players in Missoula’s recent past. Today, our modern city offers numerous cultural, educational, medical, and recreational amenities to both residents and visitors.

In 1805, Meriwether Lewis first visited the “hub of five great valleys” – Flathead to the north, Frenchtown to the west, Bitterroot to the south, Blackfoot to the northeast, and Hellgate to the east. Today, travelers fish and float the Clark Fork, the Bitterroot, and the Blackfoot rivers, made famous in the movie “A River Runs Through It.”

Fur traders stopped here in the early 19th century and settlers arrived in great numbers after the discovery of gold in Montana in the 1860s.

In 1833 the Northern Pacific Railroad helped to make Missoula a logging and marketing center. Then, in 1893, the University of Montana was founded, now  14,000 students strong, and, like the community, still growing.

Today, Missoula is a thriving city of about 69,000 people. Professional and financial services, retail trade, health care and other professions have supplemented the older resource-based economy. Missoulians love the scenic beauty of their surroundings, with its opportunities to ski, fish, golf, hike or simply enjoy the outdoors. Sporting events, concerts, museums, and fine restaurants are also bountiful in this beautiful city.

I’m not sure if it was the discovery of Dinosaur fossils making the news or reading way too many volumes of Outdoor Life with tales of adventure in Big Sky Country. Either way, Montana has had a hold on me for a long time.  I graduated from Oregon State University in June of 2003 and that same week I packed up my truck and headed for Montana.

Fast forward a few years and my wife, Tracey, and I made the transition from another Montana town to Missoula in the fall of 2008.  She was beginning law school at the University of Montana and I was set to launch my financial services firm.

From the beginning it was clear that Missoula would be our permanent home and the place where we would raise our family. The vibrancy of the community and the close proximity to endless recreation was the perfect pairing for our hobbies and leisure pursuits. As our family dynamic has evolved with our expectancy of baby #2, so too have our interests.

Nights and weekends spent enjoying the lively restaurants, symphony, and remote backcountry have transitioned to the Missoula Carousel, Family Friendly Friday at the Top Hat, Symphony in the Park and the local trail system for day hikes. 

The diverse and energetic business community, anchored by a strong Chamber, has provided us both with a rewarding and prosperous career path. It has proven to be a tremendous place to launch a business and grow as young professionals.

Missoula is well suited for all stages of life and I can’t imagine experiencing those life stages anywhere else!

Will Johnson- Farm Bureau Financial Services

Tracey Johnson- Boone Karlberg, PC