About Us

Founded in 2007 and based in historic downtown Kalispell, the Flathead Beacon is an award-winning newspaper devoted to delivering thought-provoking journalism and commentary to Northwest Montana. Printed weekly and updated daily at flatheadbeacon.com, the Beacon encourages its readers to participate in discussions about their valley.

The Montana Newspaper Association has named the Flathead Beacon the state’s best large weekly six times since 2009 and the best website four times while also frequently recognizing the publication’s advertising and design excellence. The Columbia Journalism Review highlighted the newspaper and its tradition of excellence in a 2016 feature titled, “Why a Weekly Tabloid Owned by Maury Povich Might Have ‘The Best Newsroom in Montana.'” In 2014, Outside Magazine named the Flathead Beacon one of the “Best Places to Work” in the U.S.

As an active member of the community, the Flathead Beacon sponsors local events, supports numerous nonprofits through its foundation and leads a running club that hosts group runs and helps organize races.

Flathead Beacon Productions also publishes Flathead Living, an award-winning quarterly lifestyle magazine and website. In 2016, the local media company debuted Glacier Journal, an annual magazine and guidebook devoted to the Crown Jewel of the Continent.

All stories and images are protected under copyright by Flathead Beacon Productions or affiliated persons and organizations.

Flathead Beacon Productions
17 Main Street
Kalispell, Montana 59901
(406) 257-9220

The founding editor of the Flathead Beacon, Kellyn has spent the last several years covering crime, government and social issues as a writer and editor in the Rocky Mountain region. A Spokane, Wash., native, he earned an associate’s degree in photography from Northwest College in Wyoming before graduating from the University of Montana in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Upon graduation, he covered the North Dakota Legislature for the Associated Press. He was then hired as a crime reporter at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and won two regional awards for investigative reporting. Kellyn was the city editor and a weekly columnist at the Chronicle before taking the job as editor in chief at the Flathead Beacon.

A native Montanan and a University of Montana graduate, Sammi Johnson is the Flathead Beacon’s marketing director. Sammi brings varied experience, energy and ideas to the Flathead Beacon brand and its products. With degrees in marketing and recreation management, her work experience led her to the Flathead Valley with her husband, Tyrel, and two small children, Savannah and Maddox.

  • Bob Hunt | Senior Account Executive & Distribution Manager

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Bob Hunt earned his communications degree from Muskingum College in Ohio. He then worked at several newspapers, including the Racine (Wisconsin) Journal Times, Kewanee (Illinois) Star Courier and the Helena Independent Record. In Helena, Bob met his wife and the couple moved to Kalispell to ski and enjoy the mountain lifestyle. Bob has worked at the Beacon before the first issue was printed. His focus is helping area businesses grow through advertising. The Hunts have a daughter who graduated early from Glacier High School in 2015. She is currently living in Seattle.

  • Myers Reece | Assistant Managing Editor

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Born and raised in Livingston, Montana, Myers is an original founding member of the Flathead Beacon, previously serving as senior writer and now as assistant managing editor. He is also managing editor of the Beacon’s quarterly magazine, Flathead Living. His writing has won numerous awards, including the top public service honor from the Montana Newspaper Association, and has been featured in two anthologies: “Montana: Warts and All,” a collection of the Montana Quarterly’s best writing of the decade, and "Unearthing Paradise: Montana Writers in Defense of Greater Yellowstone." His journalism, essays and fiction have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, including USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, The Drake, Flyfisher, Big Sky Journal, Montana Quarterly, Whitefish Review and more. He lives in Whitefish with his wife, son and dog.

Tristan Scott was raised in Minnesota and moved to Missoula in 2003 to pursue a degree in journalism at the University of Montana. In 2005 he began covering cops and courts for the daily Missoulian newspaper and in 2010 he moved to Whitefish as the Missoulian’s Flathead Valley bureau chief, covering enterprise stories throughout the region. In 2013, he joined the Flathead Beacon’s staff as senior writer. He has garnered numerous awards, including recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists for his coverage of prescription drug abuse in Montana. He has provided commentary and analysis on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Montana Public Radio and “Democracy Now!”

Molly grew up in Missoula, and loved camping trips with her mom, dad and four sisters throughout her childhood. She went to Carroll College, where she graduated in 2007 with a degree in communications and a degree in public relations. After interning at a weekly paper in Helena, she decided to go to journalism school, and graduated from the University of Montana in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism, and was hired at the Flathead Beacon later that year. Having worked for several newspapers around the state and at the 2009 state Legislature, Molly thinks reporting is a great way to get to know and connect with a community. If not in the office, you can find Molly in Glacier Park or on her porch reading a good book.

Justin Franz was born and raised in New England but has been wandering the West for the last few years, graduating from the University of Montana in 2011 with a degree in journalism. After graduating, he was an intern at the Flathead Beacon and just never left. Today he's a full-time staff writer covering a gamut of issues, particularly in Northwest Montana's rural communities. While Justin enjoys hiking, skiing and camping, he also loves to nerd out on history, especially transportation history, which is why the number of stories about Glacier's Red Buses and trains has increased 10-fold since his arrival at the Beacon.

An implant to the Big Sky Country from Portland, Ore., Greg Lindstrom graduated from the University of Montana's School of Journalism in 2011. He went on to work for newspapers in Michigan, New Hampshire and Colorado before returning to Montana in 2013 to shoot photos for the Beacon. When not on assignment, he can be found exploring Montana's mountains and rivers with his girlfriend, Sally, and their dog, Zula.

Clare is a New Hampshire native and recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied philosophy. She loves to write and explore, and it makes her especially happy to combine the two. Before moving to the Flathead to work for the paper as an intern, she cut her teeth as a writer for a ski magazine. Clare joined the Beacon in 2015, where she now splits her time between writing stories for Flathead Living magazine and expanding its web content, reporting for the newspaper, and copywriting.

  • Nic Headlee | Marketing & Productions

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Nic Headlee is a native Montanan and a University of Montana graduate. He began working with the Flathead Beacon with the desire to help local businesses successfully market themselves. He has extensive social media and online marketing knowledge as well as several years of traditional advertising experience. When he is not building websites he can be found hiking to the top of mountain peaks in Glacier National Park or skiing powder in the Hellroaring Basin at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

  • Connor Welles | Video Production Lead

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Connor was born and raised in California, where he grew up surfing, skateboarding, and building hot rods. He spent the last eight years working for an international skateboard company, where he wore many hats, excelling in marketing, product development and event management. An avid outdoorsman, Connor has been visiting Montana for over 20 years, and recently made the move to the Flathead Valley, with his beautiful wife, and their trusty mountain dog. Connor brings extensive marketing experience in all mediums with a diverse background and expertise in digital media, video production, social media and building internal, successful sales programs on a global scale.

Kristin was born and raised in Minnesota, spending time in Montana on annual family ski trips. She moved out west to attend college at the University of Montana. While attending U of M, she spent summers in Whitefish, moving to the Flathead full-time after graduating in 2008. Her journey north continued, as she moved to the ‘Last Frontier’ in 2009. After spending the last five years in Alaska, Kristin is back in the Flathead, excited to call it home. With a passion for the outdoors, Kristin and her husband look forward to winters full of skiing and summers on the rivers and lakes.

Kelly is a Flathead Valley native with 12 years of experience in print advertising sales and more than 22 years of sales experience and training. She is an active member of the community through various local organizations, including Leadership Flathead's class of 2008, Biz to Biz Inc., Flathead Booster Club and Lakeside/Somers PTA. In addition to supporting the athletic exploits of her kids, she enjoys golfing, skiing and all the great outdoor activities the Flathead Valley has to offer.

David Clawson was raised in the Flathead Valley and graduated from the University of Montana in 2011. After graduation, he spent time selling insurance in Denver, Colorado, before moving back to the valley. He is the newest member of our sales team at the Beacon, starting in July, 2015. When he is not at work, he can be found on the golf course or enjoying some sunshine on the lake.

Andrew is a native Montanan who grew up in and around the Flathead Valley. Having lived the last few years in the Pacific Northwest, he recently returned home with his wife Brittany and they are eagerly exploring and experiencing all that northwest Montana has to offer. With a long work history comprised of project management and sales, paired with a superhero level of determination, he is a perfect fit at the Flathead Beacon. He enjoys playing disc golf as often as possible, and getting together with friends and family for movies and board games

Art director Steve Larson brings more than a decade of experience to the Beacon Creative team. He has developed a wide range of skills designing branding packages, event promotional materials, business collateral, magazines, illustrations and websites. Steve is originally from Minnesota and his experiences visiting the Rocky Mountains as a kid inspired his move to Vail, Colo., where he lived for eight years. He has lived in Whitefish since 2010. When Steve isn’t working, you can find him exploring Glacier National Park or seeking fresh powder turns.

  • Sharilyn Fairweather | Graphic Designer

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Sharilyn Fairweather is a graphic designer and photographer who joined the Beacon Creative team in 2013. As a child, Sharilyn spent copious amounts of time painting, drawing and daydreaming. If you had asked her back then what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would have said she wanted to be “an artist.” In pursuit of her dream, Sharilyn went to college to earn a bachelor of fine arts. Halfway through, she realized that she had no idea what to do with a BFA to make a living. So she quit. Yes, she was a quitter. Fortunately, she did not remain a quitter and in 2008 began her love affair with digital photography. Digital photography led to a love affair with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop led to a romance with Adobe Lightroom, and pretty soon she was dating the entire Adobe Creative Suite. Soon all of her various affairs culminated into an associate of applied science degree in graphic design in 2012. Sharilyn is currently in a long-term relationship with graphic design, and she has not yet grown up.

Tyler Thorney, a graphic designer and illustrator, is the newest member of the Flathead Beacon Creative team. Tyler brings five years of industry experience to the Flathead Beacon team, three of which were spent successfully running his own freelance design business. Tyler has had the opportunity to work closely with brands all around the globe (including some big names such as Apple). When not sitting at a computer or sketching in a notepad, he can be found hanging out with his wife, Becky, and their dog, Junie.

Dwayne Harris has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and comic book artist for more than 20 years. After spending five years as a designer for the Kansas City Star, Dwayne embarked on a freelance career as an illustrator, working for several publishers on a wide variety of properties, including “Game of Thrones.” His first published comic appeared in Heavy Metal magazine. Next came “Warhammer: Crown of Destruction,” a miniseries he drew for Boom Comics. A writer as well, Dwayne wrote and drew “Black Powder” for Asylum Press, as well as “Amnesia” and “John Henry: The Steam Age,” both for Arcana. His latest graphic novel, “Head Smash,” drawn for Vladar Films and Arcana, is now in development to be released as a film in 2015. He now divides his time between the Flathead Beacon and his freelance projects.