Billings' Outstanding Businessmen Tap into Success 3

Any good beer maker knows crafting quality brew takes hard work, acute attention to details and a focus on ingredients that work. Similarly, for some of Billings’ most impressive businessmen and entrepreneurs, success was made with key ingredients that were carefully refined and filtered with dedication. These Billings standouts have pinpointed some tips, tricks and recipes for their success.

Matt Bonner

Matt Bonner started as a sales associate at Riddle’s Jewelry and worked his way up the ladder of success. In a 12-year career with the corporation, he quickly rose to a position as floor manager, and now he serves as the sole general manager for both of Riddle’s Jewelry’s Billings locations, Rimrock Mall and Shilo Crossings.

Billings Lifestyle (BL): What key ingredients make up your success?

Matt: The first one is outside sources, mentors and leaders in my life. My wife has supported me, and, without her, it would have been hard to get anything done. Personally, coming from a place of humility, patience, and working hard are huge attributes for success.

BL: How do you find the right blend of work and family life?

Matt: I think the biggest thing is not letting work take time away from the commitments I’ve made to my family.

BL: How do you unwind after a stressful day?

Matt: One of my favorite things in the world is to go hang out on my deck with my wife and have some quiet time. I watch the stars and listen to some music.

Brian Lethert

With nearly two decades of experience as a financial adviser, Brian Lethert has earned a range of certifications, passed three financial services exams and earned a multitude of awards. After entering the financial services industry in 1998 as an independent contractor with Waddell & Reed, he has qualified for the company’s top adviser distinction, Circle of Excellence, 14 times.

BL: What key ingredients make up your success?

Brian: It comes down to hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. I learned that as a young kid, and it’s true.

BL: How do you find the right blend of work and family life?

Brian: Family is the most important thing, and you have to realize why you put the long hours in. It’s just a matter of, when you’re there with your family, be with them, don’t be somewhere else.

BL: How do you unwind after a stressful day?

Brian: I try and stay physically fit. I get up every morning at 5:30 and work out. That gets me set for the day.

Leif Welhaven

Leif Welhaven is currently the business development director at Eggart Engineering and Construction. With a more than 30-year career centered around customer care and business development, he has earned a number of accolades, including the Home Builders Association Rookie of the Year Award and Billings Chamber Business Excellence Award for Customer Service Excellence.

BL: What key ingredients make up your success?

Leif: I’ve learned and have been able to watch what leaders do. You have to lead by example and be a great communicator.

BL: How do you find the right blend of work and family life?

Leif: I think for me it’s been a matter of, when work is over, I don’t live on my phone. You really have to set some boundaries and say, “this is work time, and this is playtime or family time.”

BL: How do you unwind after a stressful day?

Leif: I like to work out. Working out has been a great stress reliever. I also like to ride my motorcycle and get away. And I’m active in my church.

Justin Ruegsegger

With more than 20 years of experience in the building industry, Justin Ruegsegger has spent the last decade establishing a successful career building homes as a general contractor. He used his experience to build Billings’ Granite Peak Builders LLC from the ground up into a company now known for excellence within the housing industry.

BL: What key ingredients make up your success?

Justin: It’s a lot of hard work. You have to be fully invested in what you do and what you want to do. Keep focused and keep blinders on.

BL: How do you find the right blend of work and family life?

Justin: I try my best to leave as much of my day at the job site when I go home for the day.

BL: How do you unwind after a stressful day?

Justin: Just try to get away as much as you can and make time for family time.