Tester’s latest small business workshop now online

Senator’s Missoula forum focused on business opportunities for women

(U.S. SENATE) – Montanans who weren’t able to attend Senator Jon Tester’s latest Small Business Opportunity Workshop can now watch the forum online.

Tester’s February 21 workshop in Missoula focused on expanding opportunities for Montana’s entrepreneurs, emphasizing opportunities for women. 

Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia, served as the event’s keynote speaker. Astia is an organization dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs succeed.

Small business owners and community leaders on Tester’s “Made in Montana Success Stories” panel spoke about their experiences starting businesses and shared personal tips for success.

“The speakers and panelists shared some important information that all Montanans should hear,” Tester said. “Having free access to all these experts in one location is incredibly valuable, and I think it can have a really positive impact for Montanans.”

Each component of Tester’s workshop is also online:

Welcoming Remarks  

  • Royce Engstrom, President, The University of Montana
  • John Engen, Mayor, City of Missoula
  • Jon Tester, United States Senator

The Essentials Behind Successful Marketing Strategies   

  • Jakki J. Mohr, Ph.D, Professor of Management and Marketing, The University of Montana

Panel 1: Made in Montana Success Stories  

  • Aimee McQuilkin, Owner, Betty's Divine (Missoula)
  • Christine Littig, Owner, Bernice's Bakery (Missoula)
  • Margaret Burns Vap, Owner, Big Sky Yoga Retreat (Bozeman)
  • Nicole Hagerman Miller, Owner, House Design Studio; Managing Director, Montana World Trade Center (Missoula)

Panel 2: Access to Capital  

  • Amanda Schultz and Julie Foster, Directors, Montana Women's Business Centers
  • Dave Glaser, President, Montana Community Development Corporation
  • John Guthmiller, Business & Cooperative Program Director, USDA Rural Development
  • Joe McClure, Montana District Director, United States Small Business Administration
  • Leslie Jensen, Vice President of Commercial Banking, First Interstate Bank
  • Liz Marchi, Fund Coordinator, Frontier Angel Fund

Keynote Address—Where Women Innovators Succeed  

  • Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia

Concluding Remarks  

  • Jon Tester, United States Senator

The event was Tester’s tenth Small Business Opportunity Workshop.

Tester’s next small business workshop will be held on March 12 in the Missouri Room of the Mansfield Civic Center and will focus on opportunities available to Montana’s farmers. Montanans interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP at tester.senate.gov/workshop.