Panel Discussions 2:30 – 3:45

Panel Discussions 4:00 – 5:15

Cultivating a Start-Up Ecosystem

Location: Mining/Geology Building 204
Description: Research shows that high-growth technology companies are important to growing the economy.  This session will explore what is being done and needs to be done to cultivate the thriving start-up culture in Montana.  Building blocks for this effort include mentorship, networking and access to early stage capital.
Moderator: Cameron Lawrence, Professor, UM School of Business Administration
Speakers:

  • Amy Stursberg, Executive Director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation
  • Joe Fanguy, President, MonTEC
  • Dawn McGee, President, Goodworks Ventures

The Many Bakken Plays: The Bakken as an Economic Driver

Location: Engineering Lab/Classroom 203
Description: A recent bright spot in the Montana economy, the astounding  growth of petroleum production from the Bakken Formation has generated diverse and sometimes surprising opportunities in Montana. This panel will focus on the array of economic activity from the oil and gas sector itself–upstream, midstream, and downstream–to the many secondary markets tied to it.
Moderator: David Goodin, President and CEO, MDU Resources Group, Inc.
Speakers:

  • Tim Sulser, Vice President, Tudor Pickering Holt
  • Duane Rae, President, Spectra Energy Liquids
  • Rehan Rashid, Managing Director, FBR Capital Markets & Co.
  • Jennifer Straumins, President, Calumet Specialty Products
  • Blu Hulsey, Director of Governmental Affairs, Continental Resources

Building a Workforce: Successful Approaches to Hiring and Retaining Skilled Workers

Location: Mining and Geology 103
Description: This session will focus on workforce training opportunities for Montanans.  The panel will emphasize partnerships between the education and business sectors to facilitate workforce development in Montana communities.
Moderator: Susan Wolff, Dean and CEO, MSU-Great Falls
Speakers:

  • Deanette Piesik, CEO, TrainND at Williston College
  • Steve Arveschoug, Executive Director, Big Sky Economic Development Authority
  • Greg Peterson, Program Administrator – Industrial & Technical Training, Lethbridge College
  • Don Malerk, Senior Manager of Human Relations, DIRECTV
  • Alice Pritchard, Executive Director, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund

Dive In! Starting Your Small Business

Location: Science and Engineering 106
Description: Every entrepreneur faces challenges in developing, growing, and sustaining their business idea.  This panel will use the perspective of three successful Montana business owners on their own tough decisions as a discussion point for best practices on growing new small businesses.
Moderator: Dave Glaser, President, Montana CDC
Speakers:

  • John McKee, Founder, Headframe Spirits
  • Jim Bliss, CEO and President, Tri-State Restaurant Supply
  • Serena Rundberg, Owner, The Nova Café
  • Linda McCoullough, Montana Secretary of State

Small Business Data & Communications Infrastructure

Location:  Health Sciences Building 202
Description: This panel will explore the policies, possibilities, and technologies involved in delivering the benefits of broadband and wireless telecommunications services and infrastructure to business and residential consumers in Montana and the nation.  Panelists will discuss broadband deployment to unserved and underserved areas, the use of broadband capabilities to deliver cutting-edge services, and the role of advanced backbone network faculties and back-office operations required to deliver broadband capabilities.
Moderator: Geoff Feiss, General Manager, Montana Telecommunications Association
Speakers:

  • Rob Ferris, CEO, Vision Net, Inc.
  • Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • Thelma McClosky Armstrong, Director, Eastern Montana Telemedicine Network
  • Peter Davidson, Senior Vice President of Federal Government Affairs, Verizon

Exporting 101

Location: Science and Engineering 113
Description: Montana businesses exported $1.6 billion worth of goods in 2012.  With the diversification of our economy, this number will continue to grow.  The panel will discuss best practices, opportunities in global market, and the numerous resources available through the National Export Initiative for the Montana exporters.
Moderator: Stuart Leidner, Executive Director, Prospera Business Network
Speakers:

  • Scott Mulhauser, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, Export-Import Bank of the United States
  • Wayne Gardella, Montana District Director, Small Business Administration
  • Carey Hester, Director, Montana U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Commerce

Bottoms Up – Exploring Growth in Montana’s Craft Beer Industry

Location: Natural Resource Building 128
Description: The craft brewing industry in Montana has experienced double-digit growth in the barrels of beer produced during the past few years.  There are currently 40 breweries operating in the state that produce over 110,000 barrels of beer annually, much of it using grain malted right here in Big Sky country.  This panel will feature brewery owners and representatives from the distributing industry discussing how to foster further opportunities for continued growth of Montana-made beers.
Moderator: Charlie Papazian, President, Brewers Association
Speakers:

  • Neal Leathers, President/Co-founder, Big Sky Brewing
  • Max Pigman, Owner, Lewis and Clark Brewing
  • Jim Devine, Owner, Beaver Creek Brewery
  • Ed Brandt, President/Owner, Cardinal Distributing
  • Mark Black, Western Barley Procurement Manager, Malteurop North America

Where the Wind Goes: Wind’s Future in Montana

Location: Natural Resources Building 123
Description: This panel will focus on the outlook for regional integration and demand for wind-generated electricity in a changing industry.
Moderator: Van Jamison, Vice President of Strategic Operations, Gaelectric North America
Speakers:

  • Tim Rosenzweig, CEO, Goldwind Americas
  • Dan Juhl, Chairman and CEO, Juhl Energy
  • Larry Bekkedahl, Senior Vice President of Transmission Services, Bonneville Power Administration
  • Jose Maria Sanchez Seara, President and CEO, NaturEner USA & Canada
  • Stuart Hemphill, Senior Vice President of Power Supply, Southern California Edison

Growing Fuels: A Look at Advanced Biofuels

Location: Natural Resources Building 122
Description: Montana entrepreneurs and agricultural producers are at the cusp of the growing market for advanced biofuels that are diversifying the U.S. transportation fuel supply and expanding opportunities in rural Montana. This panel will focus on the whole supply chain of advanced biofuels, from research and development to production and refining to aviation and federal procurement.
Moderator: Greg Kegel, Dean, College of Technical Sciences, Montana State University – Northern
Speakers:

  • Honorable Jim Greenwood, President and CEO, Biotechnology Industry Organization
  • Benjamin Salisbury, Senior Policy Analyst, Energy & Natural Resources Research, FBR Capital Markets & Co.
  • Richard Hess, Biomass Program Technology Manager, Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory

Chemistry Under the Big Sky: The Growth of Biochemicals in Montana

Location: Mining/Geology Building 104
Description: Emerging markets in biochemicals are rewarding high-tech entrepreneurs who are comfortable in a lab coat. This panel will focus on innovative chemical products and the surprising sectors using them.
Moderator: Suresh Daniel, CEO, Rocky Mountain Biologicals
Speakers:

  • Michael Knauf, CEO, Rivertop Renewables
  • James Stephens, CEO and CSO, Blue Marble Biomaterials
  • Sapphire Energy Representative
  • Dow Representative (Invited)

How Retirement Plans Can Help Attract and Retain Quality Employees

Location: Engineering Lab/Classroom 327
Description: This panel will focus on how small employers can use retirement plans to attract and retain quality employees.  The speakers will provide an overview of the different plan options available to employers today, including employee stock ownership plans.  Panelists also will provide information on the importance of saving for retirement from the employee perspective.
Speakers:

  • Judy Miller, Director of Retirement, American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries
  • Cindy Hounsell, President, Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement
  • Elizabeth Nedrow, Partner, Holland & Hart, Billings
  • Allen Huffman, Director of Retirement Security and Tax Policy, Investment Company Institute

Leveraging Service to Achieve Corporate Social Responsibility

Location: Student Union Building – Kelly Steward Room
Description: The session will focus on how large and small business can leverage corporate social responsibility strategies to increase economic development and strengthen our communities. Both large and small businesses will hear best practices for how to engage employees in service opportunities, improving employee’s satisfaction and appealing to Millennials while increasing corporate social responsibility beyond checkbook philanthropy that reflect business’ civic values. Panelists will share how their work increases economic opportunity and economic development via leadership and skill development training, supports academic achievement and increases access, loans, home ownership and other economic opportunities.
Moderator: Heather Margolis, Montana ServiceNation
Speakers:

  • Mike Halligan, Executive Director, Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation
  • Jono McKinney, President, Montana Conservation Corps
  • Dr. Dean McGovern, Executive Director, Montana Campus Compact
  • Deb Neuman, Executive Director, THRIVE
  • Sarah Calhoun, Owner, Red Ants Pants

Reinventing Health Care for the Next Generation

Location: Mining and Geology 127
Description: Panelists will discuss changes in health care delivery from rural, urban, and national perspectives.
Moderator: Tony Clapsis, Senate Finance Committee
Speakers:

  • Bren Lowe, President, Livingston Hospital
  • Jeff Fee, CEO, St. Patrick Hospital
  • Dr. Rob Blackman, Founding Partner of HealthCare Partners Medical Group, Davita
  • Karen Vandaveer, Dean, Montana Tech College of Nursing

Panel Discussions 2:30 – 3:45

Panel Discussions 4:00 – 5:15