Chronicles of a Montana County Road Warrior at the MACo Conference

by: David Morton, Customer Solutions Coordinator and Guest Blogger for the BMS County Traveling Road Show Series

These are the chronicles of one David Morton, road warrior on a mission to solve client problems for Black Mountain’s Governmental Accounting Software.  What you are about to read is real.

February 19, 2013 – Montana Association of Counties (MACo) Mid-winter Conference, Helena MT

A still shot from our 2013 video testimonial series shot at the MACo Conference.

I stopped by 1680 Aspen Street. It was my first stop at our Helena office since I started traveling around the state. After meeting relatively new BMS Utility Billing employees Mike, Mark, and Barbara for the first time, I was also able to say, “howdy-do” to Julia, Jen and Ian, followed by a 45 minute visit with Wayne. As you may know, Wayne is BMS’ President; he and I go back many years. After three-quarters of an hour sitting on his dog-friendly office sofa, we attacked my jacket with the sticky side of some package tape, which worked nicely to remove Daisy’s (Wayne’s beloved, but aging dog) flyaway hair.  It appears Daisy and I both agree on which part of the sofa looks most comfortable.

I needed to get the booth set up at the 2013 Mid-winter MACo Conference, so after a couple more miles in the car I was relieved to find my way to the Red Lion Colonial Inn located exactly where it had been the last time I stayed.

This was a great convention–successful for sure–because of the MACo staff, member counties, commissioners, clerks, recorders, and treasurers in attendance. The visits were valued, enjoyed, and very productive.

On Tuesday, as I left the buffet line, I walked past the Head table.  Harold Blattie stopped me for a moment. (And no I am not talking about a table in one of those shops.)  (And no I wasn’t in trouble even though I was definitely in “Big Shot” territory.)  Harold just needed to tell me something.  As I turned to go, I had the opportunity to speak to Montana’s newly elected Governor, Steve Bullock.  We met face-to-face, as all power meetings should be conducted.

Cordially, Governor Bullock said, “Excuse me.”

“No problem,” I replied, and he stepped to the side to let me pass. After all, I had a full plate.

David Tyler, Black Mountain’s Marketing Manager, met with five of our customers on Wednesday.  Each of them had graciously agreed to let us video them being interviewed about their experiences with Black Mountain staff, software and service.  My understanding is that all went well.  I will be looking forward to seeing the video spots on our website.

On Monday and Tuesday night, I exceeded my two-beer limit by one.  On Wednesday evening, Darlis and I spent a few minutes at the 2nd Annual MACo Health Care Trust “Pool” Party.  MACo Health Care Trust pools risk and provides cost-effective alternate health insurance to members. Since I was driving to Polson later, instead of beer I had a cola.  Darlis had the same, but I noticed the bartender added something from a bottle with the picture of a captain pirate-like dude on it.  It didn’t seem to bother her though.  Given my earlier lunch room table status, I was able to introduce Darlis to several tropical-shirted commissioners at the “Pool” party.  The first two were McGinley and Chilcott, which is how they (respectfully I think) refer to each other.  I wouldn’t mind seeing those two raise some money playing a little one-on-one basketball.

We tried a few hor derves, hor’durs, orduerves, hor  (I give up)…APPETIZERS, and visited a bit. Saw a lot of door prizes handed out all around us, then headed out.  At the door, a whiskered fella by the name of Russ was peddling pallet racks.  He said their county was so poor he needed to sell a few to get home.  No, not really, I just made that last part up.  But it was nice to visit with Commissioner Temple as Darlis and I left the festivities to head home.

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