After many years of living in the big cities of Seattle, Washington and Dallas, Texas, Steve and Bernita decided to get out of the rat race and move back toward North Dakota. During his many drives through Montana, western Montana always seemed like a great place, so in 2007, Steve decided to relocate to Missoula.
As an avid woodworker, he struck up a friendship with Kent Mahler, then owner of Montana Tool.
As retirement approached for Kent, the two of them began negotiating for Steve to buy Montana Tool.
While many things have stayed as they were, Steve began by doing a refresh of the inside of the store and broadening our selection of tools. If you haven’t been here in some time, you will notice a stronger emphasis on woodworking, appealing to both the pro and the hobbyist. Steve still sneaks away occasionally to work on his latest project in the shop.
Bernita was raised in North Dakota. Her father was a heavy equipment operator, so they spent summers living in the nearest town to the jobsite in North Dakota and Montana.
Bernita’s previous career was in the aerospace industry, in the administrative side of the business. She brings a wealth of experience to her role as office manager. She also keeps reins on the rest of us and makes sure we are doing it right.
When not at MTC, she can be found gardening, reading or watching sports!
Bob is a native of Rudyard, Montana, where he was raised on a farm. Bob has lived in Missoula for 30 years.
Bob brings many years of experience as a “counter man.” He has worked at several of the auto dealerships, part stores and even heavy truck part dealers.
While woodworking tools and equipment were a different business to him, growing up on a farm, he knew the business end of a saw. Since joining MTC in 2010, he has learned more about woodworking and now even tackles his own projects around his place. If we don’t know where a product is in the store, we ask Bob.
Mike has 25 years of experience in cabinet making and architectural woodworking. Not only does he have a love for fine woodworking, he is also an experienced and talented troubleshooter and tuner of power tools.
Mike works part-time here at Montana Tool. When not at work, you can find him in his home shop creating all sizes and shapes of projects. Mike uses his imagination and knowledge of a variety of hardwoods to add creative designs to his work.
Mike came to Montana from Illinois many years ago to study forestry and it’s been his home ever since. You’ll recognize Mike by his “signature mustache!”