Compete Smart 2012

Celebrating 100 Yrs at Northwestern EnergyCo-host NorthWestern Energy -- Celebrating 100 Years of Service to Montana in 2012! NorthWestern Energy is a major, regional provider of electricity, natural gas and related services to approximately 650,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The company also provides electric service to Yellowstone National Park. With 1350 employees, NorthWestern Energy serves 168 communities throughout its service territory. Montana operations based in Butte; corporate in Sioux Falls, SD.

MT Manufacturing Center
Co-host Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) – Your Strategic Business Partner brings this pre-eminent conference to you every other year to provide best practices and insights that can grow your business. Helping manufacturers to succeed, our statewide manufacturing outreach & assistance center is staffed by full-time professionals with degrees in engineering and extensive experience in manufacturing and business in a variety of industries. MMEC assistance is embellished by a great nationwide network of specialists in the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership to assist small & mid-size manufacturers to be more competitive & profitable. MMEC's home office is in the Montana State University College of Engineering with five field offices strategically placed around the state to bring you fast, affordable assistance when you need it.

Montana State Chamber of Commerce/Manufacturing Council/ Chamber Choices – within the Chamber is a developing group of manufacturing businesses joining together to improve the environment in which manufacturing conducts business and enhancing the economic viability of Montana. It is a cooperative effort of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Associated Employers and the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center. Chamber members with an interest in manufacturing can become members of the Council at no extra fee. The Chamber works to keep members informed and with local and national affiliates such as the US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers to develop unity and strength. NEW! Montana Chamber Choices, health insurance options, are now available to small employers with 2 to 99 employees who are members of the State Chamber and/or participating local chambers who are members.  Current Member or join by Sept 14 and SAVE on Conference Registration for Compete Smart!

For more than 25 years, S&K Electronics has delivered superior cable and wire harness assemblies, electromechanical box build assemblies and circuit card assemblies.  Located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana, S&K employs approximately 95 individuals.  The ability to respond quickly to customers' needs remains a top priority, while maintaining cutting-edge manufacturing of modern technology.

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Innovate Montana  is a public/private partnership led by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development working in collaboration with Montana’s business community. The goal is to promote and market opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in Montana’s growing economy.  Innovate Montana offers a unique web portal that highlights Montana’s emerging innovation community and provides information and resources to individuals about working, living and playing in Montana. Check it out!


 Montana Department of Agriculture and the Made in Montana Program at the Montana Department of Commerce have joined forces to bring you great Montana fare at the Compete Smart Closing Luncheon. Montana Department of Agriculture - offering marketing and business development assistance to agricultural businesses along with loans and grants for innovative agricultural businesses, products and marketing. Marketing and business development assistance is provided to producers of commodities, value-added agricultural products and livestock. Made in Montana also includes  Grown in Montana and Native American Made in Montana branding and services.  The goal is to build recognition for products that are "authentically" Montana.  Today, there are over 1,500 program participants producing Montana products.  The splendor of Montana is reflected in the products made and grown here from fine arts, crafts, foods, agricultural and wood products to tools, machinery, software, and high-tech materials. CHECK OUT THE 100 FT PRODUCT SHOWCASE at Compete Smart!

MT Department of Commerce

Montana Department of Commerce - Business Resources Division -- Offering resources and tools aimed at improving, enhancing, and diversifying Montana's economic and business climate. Working with its many partners, its primary objective is to enhance the economic base of Montana through business creation, expansion, and retention efforts by delivering information, technical assistance, and financial resources to businesses & communities in Montana, resulting in the development and prosperity of our state. 


Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) -- helping businesses understand how to tap into the profitable market of selling goods to federal, state and local governments. The counselors at PTAC help clients to learn the ins-and-outs of government contracting while learning to avoid potential pitfalls that plague many government contract holders. From understanding the market to the bidding process and how to conduct business online with government agencies, assistance is offered at no cost. Maureen Jewell, located in the Billings office of Big Sky EDA, is the statewide director.


Montana Hydraulics–Helena “Manufacturing at Its Best" – a high quality manufacturing and fabricating facility, specializing in CNC machining, turning and fabrication. Similar to the reputation of Montana, the beautiful state it calls home, Montana Hydraulics has been built on integrity, strength, ingenuity and quality work. Its customer base spans a variety of industries including mining, railroads, construction, timber processing machinery, Department of Defense contracting and aerospace tooling. Felco Industries, Missoula – a subsidiary of Montana Hydraulics LLC, is most noted for attachments for excavators and backfill equipment plus a full line of compactor wheels, compaction buckets, vibratory compaction buckets, bedding conveyors, backfill conveyors and other assorted attachments and heavy equipment parts. FELCO also has extensive welding and fabrication capability and an engineering department capable of producing custom designed projects ranging from simple buckets to highly complex aerospace support structures and compost equipment.


United Parcel Service

UPS -- Founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States, UPS has grown into a $49.7 billion corporation by clearly focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe. With one of the most recognized and admired brands around the world, UPS has become the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. Every day, UPS manages the flow of goods, funds, and information in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Ready when you are.  
InterDyn BMIInterDyn BMI, Inc -InterDyn BMI's mission is to enhance the lives of its customers and employees by working together to provide quality business solutions. Learn more about the InterDyn BMI 5 point performance promise and its world class consulting team  including industry specialists that have extensive experience implementing vertical market business intelligence solutions for media and publishing, public sector, financial services, and many other industries.


Montana State Fund – committed to the health and economic prosperity of Montana through superior service, leadership and caring individuals, working in an environment of teamwork, creativity and trust. Montana State Fund is the insurance carrier of choice and industry leader in service, providing competitively priced coverage and commitment to service no matter what challenges face the insurance industry. Also offering safety training and a complete safety resources website. 2012 Compete Smart Youth Activities Sponsor.


MSU College of Engineering

College of Engineering
at Montana State University – striving to be the college of choice for students seeking a learning experience that fosters innovation, discovery, and the opportunity to apply technical knowledge to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in Montana and beyond. The College of Engineering serves the State of Montana and the nation by fostering lifelong learning, integrating learning and discovery, developing and sharing technical expertise, & empowering students to be tomorrow’s leaders.
2012 Compete Smart Youth Activities Sponsor.

 Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C. is a full-service accounting and business consulting firm offering audit and accounting, tax, litigation support, human resources, and technology consulting services to a broad spectrum of business and individual clients throughout the United States.  Anderson ZurMuehlen was established in 1957 and has offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Great Falls and Missoula, Montana.  The firm employs over 200 individuals, 40 of whom are shareholders.
AlphaGraphics--BozemanFrom hot lead to offset to multi-color offset to a full scale digital center with every type of possible print technology, you can count on AlphaGraphics Bozeman to stay on the edge of the newest technologies and capabilities to serve our customers. AlphaGraphics  has since grown into a global leader in print and marketing communications. Expert design and marketing services and have a vast array of solutions to meet business’ needs, AlphaGraphics drive results for businesses of all sizes using an individualized approach to planning, executing and tracking each client’s communications. From Simple Roots to a Global Leader.

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Port of MontanaPort of Montana -- Your one-stop source for transload shipping and intermodal logistics services through Montana by rail and truck. Whether an import, export, or domestic move, we can arrange the door-to-door delivery and advise you on documentation, loading configurations and equipment requirements, and any combination of carriers needed to ensure the most economical transit time.  We are strategically located at the only rail interline of the BNSF and Union Pacific Railroads in Montana, and the intersection of two major interstates: I-15 North-South and I-90 East-West. The Port’s Intermodal Hub is ideally positioned to serve all shippers through the Montana corridor.


Western States Insurance AgencyPeace of Mind from People You Trust. Since its inception in 1981, Western States Insurance Agency has become a major regional agency. With over three hundred employees at over twenty-five branches across four states, and over $400 million in annual premium revenue, Western States Insurance is consistently one of the top 100 largest insurance agencies in the United States. This gives us the buying power and leverage to get some of the best deals in the market, and to negotiate unique solutions for our clients. We work with dozens of insurance carriers, carefully evaluating their products and benefits programs to bring you the best values... and the best rates.


Montana Environmental Quality

Montana Department of Environmental Quality -- Air, Energy & Pollution Prevention Bureau. AEPP programs bring information and technical assistance to Montana residents and businesses. A strong partnership with the US Department of Energy helps identify opportunities for Montana businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities and processes and develop alternative energy sources for heat and power. The Business and Community Assistance Program promotes the reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting of wastes, and works to expand business markets and opportunities to use these wastes productively. The Small Business Assistance Program provides confidential assistance to businesses to meet or exceed regulatory requirements.

Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) – providing electric and natural gas utility service and a wide range of other related products and services to the Northern Great Plains. MDU distributes natural gas and provides related value-added products and services. MDU also generates, transmits and distributes electricity and provides related value-added products and services. MDU has developed an Energy Center to provide customers with access to incentive plans and conservation tips for more efficient energy use.

Taking the “foreign” out of foreign banking, with a department dedicated to providing foreign
currency and trade finance services for its clients, Zions Bank
offers a platform for transforming currency exchange to cut significant costs for businesses with global financial needs and information about various types of letters of credit, including applications forms, government international finance programs, and foreign exchange services plus a World Business Watch newsletter. Zions Bank provides several services to facilitate international payments and exchanges including foreign wires, foreign drafts and currency banknotes.

SPECIAL APPRECIATION also to Montana Community Finance Corporation for providing tour bus snacks, to the MSU College of Business for supporting the Family Business presentation by Craig Ehlert, and to Montana Technology Innovation Partnership for providing commercialization and risk capital experts and other support.    

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