Creating Careers in a Caring Community

Summit Career Center is a nonprofit organization fostering economic and spiritual empowerment by helping motivated people in Ravalli and Missoula Counties to grow personally and succeed professionally through career and community development.

Summit Career Center

OUR PURPOSE

Our belief is that there are no “ordinary people”. God makes each one of us “Extraordinary”. The Summit Career Center’s goal is to provide a helping hand to motivated individuals who have a passion to change the current direction of their lives. Through personal, economic and spiritual development our students will have the opportunity to become “extraordinary” leaders for their families and their community by abolishing relational, economic, and spiritual barriers through career and community development.

OUR STORY

The Summit Career Center story cannot begin without first telling the story of the Fort Owen Ranch; for it was the location of Montana’s first pioneer settlement. Nestled in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley, the ranch began in 1850 when John Owen, a former Army sutler (or trader), purchased property, settled by the Jesuit missionaries in 1841. They were invited to the valley by the Salish and Nez Perce Indians.

Mr. Owen, along with his beloved Shoshone wife Nancy, built Fort Owen as a trading post. During their stewardship, John and Nancy labored continuously to improve farming, ranching, logging and other industries, some of which are still in practice today. Because of John’s friendly and generous nature, the Fort Owen also served as a respite for weary travelers and a refuge to the nearby Salish and settlers from marauding Blackfeet Indians. While America’s history and culture has changed dramatically in the last 170+ years, the passions and innovations first begun by the Owens have not. The Fort Owen still serves as an historical respite for travelers, and the Fort Owen Ranch continues its agricultural heritage, adding innovation and now inspiration to others.

The Summit Career Center is that inspiration. While our Career Center is new, it’s concept is not. Our curriculum is fashioned after a school called CrossPurpose in Denver, Colorado. In 2008, it’s founders, Jason Janz and Juan Pena, set out to learn what it really meant to “love our neighbor”. The result is an educational system which doesn’t just provide a topical education in which you think you might be good. It provides down-to-the-bone personal coaching, evaluation and training so you can find and develop your best gifts. So you can do your best and be the best–for you, your family and your community. The CrossPurpose model has been duplicated in other cities across the country including Memphis, Nashville, Norfolk VA and now Stevensville.

OUR TEAM

Tamara Thomasson

For the past 20 years, Tamara has worked within the...

Personal Development Coach
 

Tamara Thomasson

Position: Personal Development Coach
Email: tamara.t@summitcareercenter.org

For the past 20 years, Tamara has worked within the counseling community. Within this realm, her greatest joy is helping, encouraging and providing tools to individuals and families as they discover their unique calling and gifts, as they grow in understanding their potential. Tamara has worked within four different non-profit organizations and has worked within the Military community helping soldiers and their families adjust from military life to civilian life. She has worn many different hats in her lifetime, from Mother, Housewife, Teacher, Summer Camp Cook to anything else she could do to help her family and others.

Tamara has been married to her husband Luke for 35 years. They came to Montana after he retired from the Military. They both love the mountains, hiking and people. Tamara says she has too many hobbies and not enough hours but will always find time for a good read or getting fresh dirt on her hands from gardening, when she is not visiting her three children, their spouses and four grandgirls!

Myla Yahraus

Myla Yahraus has been in family business for the past...

President & Founder
 

Myla Yahraus

Position: President & Founder
Email: Myla.y@summitcareercenter.org

Myla Yahraus has been in family business for the past 50 years.  Her first job was in the shipping and accounting departments at mom and dad’s small plastics manufacturing company in California.  After working at a private school in the Pacific islands for four years, Myla moved to Las Vegas.  She got married to her husband Norm, and spent the next 35 years operating a variety of small family businesses including a 20-person real estate brokerage and state-wide magazine publication. In 1997 she and her husband started an electrical contracting company specializing in portable power for trade shows and events.  Since her husband’s death in 2016, Myla remains active in the administrative operations of the company while pursuing a new career at the Summit Career Center.

Jacqueline Stevens

Jacqueline Stevens has been a small business entrepreneur...

Business Development
 

Jacqueline Stevens

Position: Business Development
Email: Jacqueline.s@summitcareercenter.org

Jacqueline Stevens has been a small business entrepreneur for 40 years. Her business career began as a general contractor in Scottsdale, Arizona followed by a successful 20-year career in Colorado and Nevada real estate.  She has been involved in several non-profit organizations including the Bridge Project in Denver, which provides access to learning centers, after school programs, mentors, tutors, and outward bound for low-income families.  She also worked with Pegasus, a program providing horse therapy for the handicapped, and remains a strong supporter of Project Cure which provides medical equipment to impoverished countries throughout the world. Jacqueline became involved in alternative health in 2008 and opened an Alternative Health & Accelerated Fitness Studio in 2011 in the Denver area. This became her passion and she is still involved in helping those in the Bitterroot Valley obtain optimal health.

Nancy Eckert

Nancy has served in various teaching roles for 25 years,...

Nancy Eckert
Personal Development Instructor
 
Nancy Eckert

Nancy Eckert

Position: Personal Development Instructor
Email: nancy.e@summitcareercenter.org

Nancy has served in various teaching roles for 25 years, developing curriculum and instructing both youth and adults. She has had the opportunity to work in more than two dozen educational, business, and nonprofit settings, so she understands both the blessings and challenges of working with different organizations, employers, and co-workers.

Among the varied jobs she’s had over the years including cook, custodian, substitute teacher, and puppeteer, she has also taught piano, guitar, art, and Latin. Because Nancy’s husband is a pastor, the family has relocated several times, giving her the opportunity to re-establish herself in a new community and career path.

She is the mother of four and grandmother of three. Her hobbies include pottery, music, cooking, and jogging with her husband.

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Steve Brown

Bio coming soon

Director
 

Steve Brown

Position: Director

Bio coming soon

Michelle Stainbrook

Michelle has been in the accounting and tax prep field...

Treasurer
 

Michelle Stainbrook

Position: Treasurer

Michelle has been in the accounting and tax prep field for over 23 years. Her detailed personality and desire to grow has propelled her into the accountant and tax preparer she is today. As a native Montanan, Michelle prides herself in her small-town roots to be able to relate to and communicate with all kinds of individuals and business owners.

As a mother of 2 daughters and a grandmother to 6 amazing grandchildren she credits her success in business and family life to her commitment to the following the Lord. Michelle thrives at living her authentic life and relishes spending time with friends and family.

Jacqueline Stevens

Jacqueline Stevens has been a small business entrepreneur for 40...

Secretary
 

Jacqueline Stevens

Position: Secretary

Jacqueline Stevens has been a small business entrepreneur for 40 years. Her business career began as a general contractor in Scottsdale, Arizona followed by a successful 20-year career in Colorado and Nevada real estate. She has been involved in several non-profit organizations including the Bridge Project in Denver, which provides access to learning centers, after school programs, mentors, tutors, and outward bound for low-income families. She also worked with Pegasus, a program providing horse therapy for the handicapped, and remains a strong supporter of Project Cure which provides medical equipment to impoverished countries throughout the world. Jacqueline became involved in alternative health in 2008 and opened an Alternative Health & Accelerated Fitness Studio in 2011 in the Denver area. This became her passion and she is still involved in helping those in the Bitterroot Valley obtain optimal health.

Steve Fournier

Steve Fournier is retired and resides in Paradise Valley, Az....

Director
 

Steve Fournier

Position: Director

Steve Fournier is retired and resides in Paradise Valley, Az. In 1973 he moved from Massachusetts to Arizona to begin his career at Discount Tire and, as with all of it’s operational executives, he began by selling and changing tires. In 1973 the company had 19 locations in Arizona and Michigan.

Through the years as the company added sales outlets in additional states, his responsibilities grew and in 2000 was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. At the time of his retirement in 2016 Discount Tire had 850+ locations and was the largest retailer of tires in the United States.

The company continues to grow and has upwards of 1150 locations in 30 states. Mr Fournier has an ongoing relationship with the company as a member of it’s Board of Directors.

William Schrock

William has been building dreams for over four decades. Diversified...

Director
 

William Schrock

Position: Director

William has been building dreams for over four decades. Diversified in his business ventures, he is ultimately in the “people” business.

Successful in business, family and faith, William enjoys the process of getting to know you and hearing your wants, needs and desires. He then works closely with you to turn them into a reality that lasts a lifetime!

William is very involved in the local community, supporting its growth and development, and is always there to donate his time and resources to serve those in need. He is passionate about his family and embraces a healthy living style encompassing mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing.

He enjoys deal making and mentoring, while finding relaxation in playing golf, traveling, hiking, and grilling meals to share with clients, family, and friends.

Paul (Bo) Brink

Bo is a retired pastor of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod,...

Director
 

Paul (Bo) Brink

Position: Director

Bo is a retired pastor of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, earning his B.A. in Biblical Studies and Philosophy, his M.Div. in Practical Theology and his Doctor of Missiology in Cross-Cultural Communication of the Gospel. His wisdom and knowledge of the Bible is a very important asset to our organization as we work to strengthen moral virtues and repair lives affected by suicide, drugs, abortion and domestic violence.

LET’S GET STARTED:

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