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Rich Owens – Montana

2022 Alaska Business Hall of Fame

Road to Greatness

Rich Owens, Montana ’75, will be named to the 2022 Alaska Business Hall of Fame. Brother Owens owns the northernmost in Alaska Tastee Freez at Jewel Lake in Anchorage. Owens gives back to his community by offering mentorship for the area’s youth. Owens lives out his Catholic faith by means of community service. Mentorship programs have aided the community’s Catholic formation, employment opportunities, influencing an estimated 700 employees, usually teenagers.

Having developed a career in the retail business in Montana, he wanted to own his own business in Alaska and purchased the shop in 1994 (boasting sixty years of operation in total).

The shop is the largest Tastee Freez establishment in the country. The franchise recognized Owens as the Operator of the Year in 2006 and 2015.

Owens’ Tastee Freez has partnered with the National Guard to initiate Operation Santa Claus. During the Christmas season, the program delivers thousands of ice cream sundaes to nearly sixty villages nearby.

As a board member for the nonprofit group Catholic Camp and Conference Ministries of Alaska, Owens helped with the purchase of St. Therese’s Camp in Wasilla in 2012. The 57-acre summer camp allows children and teens to grow in the knowledge of the Church in the Alaskan wilderness.

Brother Owens served his Montana Alpha Chapter as its president, then as an alumnus in the mid-1980s served on his chapter advisory board, and then as Tau North province president.

Excerpts from https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/this-catholic-entrepreneur-uses-his-ice-cream-shop-to-live-the-faith-15418

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