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Brian’s Rivertop Milestone

Today, we have another exciting milestone to share—and an exact one at that. Brian Furey, the Technical Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Consumer Products here at Rivertop, has been with us for more than 5 years. More accurately, Brian calculated that he has been with us for 5 years, 4 months and 11 days (at the time of the interview, of course; the data has been routinely updated since).

Brian’s attention to detail and exactness has been integral to our team. He steers the regulatory ship including securing new chemical registrations and green chemical labels, ensuring official recognition of our innovation and sustainability. He also works on the consumer products team developing new household dish and laundry formulations.

Not surprisingly, Brian’s favorite Rivertop celebration was when his and the Rivertop team’s hard work payed off: Rivertop’s grand party to celebrate our Series B funding. “We chartered a bus, drove to Salmon Lake and enjoyed a day of swimming, games, good and fun.”

When asked what piece of advice he would have given himself on his first day 5 years, 4 months and 11 days ago, Brian responded in seasoned start-up veteran form: “Embrace change and have fun going outside your comfort zone.”

Brian’s time with Rivertop has also had an (awesome) unintended consequence: “Three years ago, Rivertop sponsored me to take a Kauffman Institute entrepreneurial class held in Missoula. I was strongly encouraged by a coworker to take the class and I am happy that I did because I met my future wife!”

Congratulations, Brian. We are excited to see what another 5 years (or rather 5 years, 4 months and 11 days) will bring!

Two Wins This Year for the 115th Brawl of the Wild

Every year the University of Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats faceoff for the “Brawl of the Wild,” the battle for the Great Divide Trophy. Additionally, both towns compete for the Can the Cats/Can the Grizzly Food Drive, an off-field friendly competition between Missoula and Bozeman, to see which community can collect the most donations for their local food banks. Missoula has lost 10+ years in a row to Bozeman, and this year we successfully Canned the Bobcats, on and off the field!

Rivertop and Edulog/Logisys helped Missoula take the lead in this competition. Last year Edulog/Logisys CEO Jason Corbally challenged Rivertop in the Can the Cats food drive and won by donating a whopping 815 pounds (6.8lbs. per person). This year, Rivertop fought for the winning spot with 14.45 lbs. per Rivertop employee to their 6 lbs. per Edulog employee.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in for the Rivertop vs. Edulog/Logisys Annual Can the Cats, competition this year. It’s great to see our companies coming together for this great cause!

Now with our 1-1 record we will need to double our efforts next year to come out the true winners!

Montana is the Place to Be for Women in STEM Careers

We really enjoyed this recent article on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, an organization dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves (as opposed to simply “fitting in”). Despite the fact that STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers are dominated by men, Montana is paving the way towards a more equitable future in STEM careers that is going to make a huge difference for girls across the state.

Although we’re still experiencing a great tech boom, women haven’t seen employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000 and only one in seven engineers are female. But a study conducted by Dr. Jessi Smith, a psychology professor at Montana State University (MSU), shows that a change for the better has begun in Montana. There is now a new proven hiring standard that—when applied to employment practices—drastically increases the rate of female hires in STEM departments at Smith’s educational institution. Women who applied for jobs that were a part of the study were 22% more likely to be interviewed and 56% more likely to receive an offer of employment. Dr. Smith’s other extensive work proves that leadership diversity creates an environment where female students are likely to thrive.

Furthermore, with programs extending from the Montana Stem Girls Collaborative Project, Women for the Web, and the Montana Code School, the opportunities for girls and women to gain the skills necessary to succeed in STEM jobs are increasingly more accessible. Let’s hear it for Montana!

To read the full article, click here.

Montanans are Highly Motivated!

Guess what state has the most highly-motivated employees? That’s right, it’s Montana! A new Gallup study found that workers in Montana had the highest levels of employee engagement. This means that they’re committed to their employer’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to its success, and dedicated to enhancing their own sense of well-being.

Engaged workers tend to be more productive and innovative, have greater job satisfaction and fewer accidents, and call in sick less often, among many other things (according to

So basically…we are the chaaaaaampions!

Check out the full article about this study here:

Notorious P.I.G. Makes Infamously Good BBQ

One of the R&D’s favorite spots to go out to lunch together is the Notorious P.I.G., where BBQ is serious business!

Using techniques and recipes learned from the world famous pit masters of Saint Louis, Notorious P.I.G. cooks Missoula BBQ they way it’s meant to be. With sustainable approach to the restaurant industry, they begin cooking every morning at 4am and only cook enough to get them through the day. This is great for the environment and great for foodies, since you can be sure you’re eating fresh food, made with love.

Notorious P.I.G. has the classics; ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket. If you’re feeling adventurous, try something you probably won’t find anywhere else, like their pastrami, tri-tip or smoked cranberry-cayenne chicken wings. Everything is smoked over local Cherry and Apple wood on site. Best of all, the sauce always comes on the side!

Check out the menu on their site:

“Country Fare with a City Flair.” Missoula Restaurant Review: Pearl Cafe

Pearl Cafe is a French restaurant and wine bar on Front Street, just two blocks from the Milwaukee Trail and Clark Fork River. Though rather unassuming from the outside, Pearl Cafe boasts a decadent menu, an excellent wine list, and knowledgeable wait staff. It’s a great spot for a romantic dinner or a celebration. And their slogan of Country Fare with a City Flair is absolutely spot on. You get the best of both worlds here.

It’s hard to go wrong with a menu this good! Our recommendations include the daily special cheese plate, quickly followed by the crab cakes and the escargot stuffed mushrooms. For dinner, the filet in port reduction sauce and the seafood Provençal never fail. But really you can’t go wrong—even the bread is delicious.

As a small café with a big following, Pearl Cafe tends to be very busy on the weekends, so we always go with reservations. Add this spot to the ever-growing list of places to take friends, customers in town for the evening, or an employee get together for a special celebration.

13.1 – A Milestone for Brian Crego

Rivertop’s very own Brian Crego just completed his first ½ marathon, the Missoula Half Marathon, and did amazing — clocking in at 8:19 per mile. He is planning to do a triathlon later this year and a marathon this year or next. We are very proud of Brian! It’s also a nice reminder that the work we do here — developing novel chemicals from sustainable sources — is a marathon rather than a sprint.

“Become a Locavore.”Missoula Restaurant Review: Biga Pizza

Biga Pizza is not your father’s pizza parlor. And frankly that’s why we keep going back. Biga’s owner Bob Marshall goes to lengths to make his pies from the best locally sourced, organic ingredients. More than just a good marketing ploy, Bob’s homegrown ingredients create unmatched flavor, freshness, and creativity on a crust. Finding food within 100 miles of Missoula makes for some creative toppings like cherry-based chutney sauce, homemade sausage and smoked gouda to name a few. Biga also has a nice selection of local beers and wines, which can hit the spot after a long day in the lab.

Rivertopians can be found diving into the Caramelized Goat – a simple but delightful house specialty with caramelized onions, goat cheese, fresh herbs and mozzarella. For a true local flavor, the Meatball Verde is made of local beef, broccoli rabe (think a bit more leafy than traditional broccoli), herbed mascarpone and a house made cilantro-jalapeno sauce. While pizza may be the lead menu item, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the fresh (and again local) salads you can order. For example, this week’s special is made with organic raspberries, toasted pecans, herbed goat cheese, organic mixed greens, champagne-basil vinaigrette & toast points. Yum! Biga makes it easy to become a “Locavore” and support your local farmers and your growling stomach.

The chefs also offer a gluten-free pizza dough option, so everyone in your crowd can enjoy these unique pies. True to its Italian roots, Biga has a lovely selection of local desserts from Margaret Ambrose-Barton; including our favorite, the Tiramisu, which tastes like it was made that morning in Rome.

Fire up the Barbecue – It’s Friday!

Lisa Mueller (Rivertop’s IP attorney), along with her husband John, kicked off Rivertop’s first Fire It Up Friday with sausages from Uncle Bill’s Sausages – a local Missoula icon!

Fire It Up Fridays happen every other Friday at lunchtime. It gives the Rivertop team the perfect mid-day excuse to go outside, grab some awesome food and have a great time catching up with coworkers.

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