Chief Executive

Manufacturing pens and pride

In the shadow of the Rocky Mountains on the rolling terrain of Browning, Mont., sits a squat, 40,000-sq.-ft. powder-blue building that houses a most unusual factory. The clattering machines that each day churn out 600,000 pens, pencils and markers are ordinary enough, but the work force is special. The warehouse manager, for example, is Donald Little Bull, and the second-shift supervisor is Le-Roy Bullshoe. The chief executive is Chief Earl Old Person, 52, head of the Blackfeet tribe and chairman of the Blackfeet Indian Writing Co.

For millions of Americans,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!