Lessons in Life
Co-Owner, McCall Homes and McCall Development
Community is the foundation on which Greg McCall and his family decided to build their business. Along with his dad, Jim; brother, Brad; and sister, Carolee, they started McCall Homes and McCall Development and have made it their mission to institute community into every home, street, park, sidewalk or porch.
“When community becomes a verb, we all benefit,” Greg says. “I have learned how important it is to build our environment so that you are able to know your neighbors.”
After college, Greg recalls not wanting to move home.
“I wished Billings could offer more of the cool connecting things and places that I saw in other communities, but at the time I didn’t know if Billings would be willing to make the investments necessary to keep my generation here and continue to keep the next generations from moving away.”
In starting his own company, he aspired to foster such changes.
“I hoped to make my home, Billings, a better place to live. We have been told to love our neighbors as ourselves. My life goal is to help shape our community in ways that make that just a little bit easier.”
“To the younger guys I know, the men who are my peers and the older, wiser men who have fathered me, I would tell you this: at the age of 43, I realize that God has new lessons for me every day. I think that is the beginning of the true life lesson. We walk out this life learning and growing more and more into what we were created to be, but we must be open to this process. When we believe we have it all figured out is when we truly fail. I would encourage you not to succumb to the temptation to be passive or to sit on the sidelines and watch your life go by. Do not buy into the lies in your head that you don’t have what it takes. You do, you can and you will if you keep trying.”
Owner/Chef, The Fieldhouse and The Annex
When gifted with a talent for creating and inventing, one needs to find an outlet through which they can express themselves. For Ben Harman, his restaurant is that outlet.
“I love producing results, tangible results, that you can hold, or touch or even eat,” Ben says. “But I can’t imagine anything more unfulfilling than never sharing these creations.”
He credits his ambition to the public he serves.
“It has continued to amaze me how much of this is about other people and how necessary their role is in my passion for what I do … I guess I was always destined to share myself with others one way or another. This restaurant has been that path.”
Along with his wife, Krystal, Ben has founded a business that is impacting the community in many diverse ways.
“This little business reaches farther than I could have ever known,” he says. “The connections we’ve made with customers and producers, to staff members and other like-minded chefs …The way in which we lessen our impact and waste by recycling and sourcing locally, to cooking honest food from simple ingredients. We really try to create a culture of positivity, respect, growth and accountability.”
Ben hopes the future will bring a chance for self-improvement, as well as more opportunities to help shape the local scene.
“My goals for the future are plenty,” he begins. “Learning how to be a better boss, continuing to grow in my communication with others and how to achieve those things by living a more balanced personal life are some of the more immediate goals. Long-term, I would like to continue to be a part of Billings’ growing culture and community. And I have some ideas…”
“It’s pretty cliche, but if I can do it, you can do it. I am my only roadblock to my dreams. I can do anything I want, so long as I am willing to do the work and trust.”
Owner/Photographer, Nathan Satran Photography
In the wake of a terrible tragedy, Nathan Satran felt himself slipping into the depths of despair.
“After dealing with the death of a younger brother back in 2011 from texting and driving, I found myself in a pretty bad depression,” he says. “It wasn’t until my parents bought me my first DSLR as a Christmas present in 2013 that I felt a drive and determination in my life since before the accident.”
The camera became a beacon, helping him lift the shroud of his darkest days.
He studied and researched with fervor, wishing to learn about all types of photography, from capturing movement to portraits to astrophotography.
“I was so infatuated with photography that my goal was to be the best all-around photographer that I could be,” he says.
As he began to share his work via social media, he noticed a dramatic response; soon he had a few thousand followers on Facebook.
“It was certainly amazing to feel a sort of gratification from other people about something I created.”
While Nathan had found a new passion, he was also working 50-hour weeks as a diesel mechanic.
“It was a good job, and the company treated me really well,” he says. “They actually were grooming me to eventually become a shop manager.”
Fate intervened, and Nathan met his future fiancee, who attended nursing school in Billings.
“When she graduated last spring, she got a job with Billings Clinic, so I decided that I should give up my job of 11 years and move to Billings … This was a prime opportunity for me to try being a full-time photographer.”
He focused all of his attention on finding a niche that would provide stable income yet also satisfy his desire for something complex and intriguing.
“Real estate photography was a form of photography hardly anyone was talking about, and I’m willing to bet it was because it was so technical and advanced,” he explains.
Since making the leap, he has pushed himself to fill his portfolio, join a networking group, earn his FAA certification to fly drones commercially, contract with AirBnB and become an affiliate with the Billings Association of Realtors.
Overall, Nathan hopes to bring evolution and innovation to the Billings community.
“I am not doing photography to be rich. I want to bring good, quality content that’s up to a national standard to my clients at a reasonable price. … I love how we’re seeing more pride in the downtown area and new businesses, especially in the craft, food and arts sectors, emerge and prosper. I want to be a part of that by not only showcasing these businesses but also by cataloging the history that’s in the making of Billings itself.”
“Slow down and enjoy where you are at, even if it’s not quite where you want to be. This entire life is a journey, and believe me, tomorrow could be your last, but enjoy the ups and downs, and learn from the curve balls life throws at you. Finding a passion, like I did, could potentially be life-changing.”