Over the past few months, JG Research and Evaluation has added five new employees to our team: Lisa Curry, Logan Beskoon, Mike MacDonald, Stephanie Cole, and Steven Fuller. To learn more about our new coworkers as humans outside of the work space, we asked each new employee: What is your ideal [Montana] day off? And, Where would you be getting ice cream on this day off? To learn more about their degrees and career interests, follow this link to our team page.

Adding yet another avid mountain biker to our team, Lisa Curry joins JG as a Research Manager with a strong inclination toward research and a background in child care services and vulnerable populations.

 “My ideal Montana day off would be spent mountain biking followed by good food with friends. Ice cream: Sweet Peaks.” -Lisa Curry

Another Sweet Peaks fan, Logan Beskoon jumped in as a JG Data Quality Analyst after receiving his master’s degree in Business Analytics from the University of Montana in May 2022, and might be the most musical of our team.

“My ideal day off would start with a pour-over coffee and include getting outside– whether that’s going on a mountain bike ride, hiking up a mountain to see the view, or walking along the trail by the creek or river. An ideal day always includes the opportunity to play bassoon in the symphony with my friends! The photo above is seated at Symphony in the Park for a Missoula Symphony concert, holding my bassoon (called ezra).
If I had to choose the best ice cream around, it’s hands down Wustner Bro’S Honey Cinnamon ice cream from Sweet Peaks. All others can’t compare.”
-Logan Beskoon

Mike MacDonald, who has a background in water quality data and joins JG as a Data Engineer, might be the only JG team member to think of someone else when asked where he would be getting ice cream…

I’d awake before sunrise on a crisp spring morning, fill a thermos with piping hot coffee, and grab my
devoted canine companion, Annie. We’d jump in my old pickup and head east towards Paradise Valley
where we would walk the Northern Absaroka Range with a good set of binoculars in search of wolves,
bears, birds, and of course, freshly shed elk antlers! Once we had descended from the hills, I would take
my tired puppy to Sweet Peaks where she would enjoy a well-earned pup-c
one.” – Mike MacDonald

Adding another river-fanatic to our team, Stephanie Cole grew up in Yellowstone National Park, dodging bison on her way to and from elementary school. Her background in harm reduction and public health makes her a great fit as a Research Manger at JG.

“I have two versions of my ideal day off in Montana:
1) It’s a summer day and I’m on the North Fork of the Flathead river with my family and
dearest friends. We take our time, stopping often to let the kids play, fish, swim. We
eventually find the perfect spot to camp. We set up camp, cook a satisfying meal, drink
good drinks, play Bocce ball, and end the day sitting around the campfire. We’re all tired
and dirty and happy.
2) It’s shoulder season, spring or fall, I go to a hot springs all by myself. I take my favorite
Big Dipper is my go-to ice cream spot in Missoula. Espresso Heath or White Mint Oreo are my
favorite flavors.” – Stephanie Cole

Steven joins JG as our new Research and Communications Associate, and zooms in from North Carolina to give us a great understanding of what one does without access to Sweet Peaks or Genuine ice cream. His answer sounds a lot like a team trip to Goodberry’s!

“I’ve never had a Montana day off, but in the Old North State, my ideal day off would begin by waking up early to read with a good cup of coffee, then going for a long run with a friend, followed by a fun seasonal activity with my family, like hiking or going to the state fair or the pumpkin patch or whatever. Then, I’d either go out to dinner with my wife and some friends OR cook some soup for the family and end the evening with a bowl of popcorn and a bourbon on the couch with Chase. 
There is no great ice cream place in my current town of Gastonia. For ice cream, I think first of Yum Yum in Greensboro, NC. If you include frozen custards, then I’d go for Goodberry’s in Raleigh, NC. I’d get Oreo ice cream from Yum Yum if it’s below 85degrees, and I’d get peach if it’s above 85degrees. No matter the weather, I’d get chocolate custard with oreo and heath bar at Goodberry’s.” – Steven Fuller