Biography: Jim Hollensteiner
My connections with Flathead Lake date back to the mid-1880s when my grandfather was the freight agent in Demersville loading and unloading boats that came up and down Flathead Lake and the Flathead River.
Although born in Chicago, I have spent a portion of every year of my life in the Flathead. In the early 1960s, my father purchased acreage in Rollins as his retirement "heaven" and for the use and enjoyment of his family. Since retirement over ten years ago, my wife, Wanda, and I have spent five to seven months a year in Rollins and the Flathead.
I received a B.A. degree from DePauw University in Indiana, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University in Illinois, and a J.D. from the Chicago Kent College of Law.
My professional career was with a national trade organization representing financial institutions. My primary focus was developing consumer savings and home loan products. I worked with Congress and federal regulatory agencies to develop such products as retail certificates of deposit, IRA retirement accounts, variable rate mortgages, etc.
I rely on Flathead River and Flathead Lake water for irrigation on a farm in the Flathead Valley, for drinking water in Rollins, to water a garden and orchard, and for the "basis" for the O Ben Sens Water Ski School for which I am Chief Instructor.
As a director of the Flathead Lakers, I view my role as follows: "We may classify ourselves as owners of the lake and lakeshore, but in reality, we are merely temporary custodians of a valuable piece of property that we should cherish and use, but also protect and preserve for the use and enjoyment of future generations."