RSVP for Jon's 17th Small Business Opportunity Workshop

Helping Vets and Business Connect

Senator Jon Tester will be hosting his 17th Small Business Opportunity Workshop on October 27th in Great Falls to bring veterans and businesses together.

The event, which takes place as we head into Veterans’ Small Business Week, will feature veteran-owned businesses and businesses that employee veterans, as well as those looking to hire veterans. 

Jon’s 17th Small Business Opportunity Workshop
Helping Vets and Business Connect
Thursday, October 27, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

City of Great Falls Civic Center
Missouri Room
2 South Park Drive

To register, please fill in form below.

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Major Jeff Gilmore – Emerging Services Operations Lead at Facebook, Air Force Pilot

  • As an Emerging Services Operations Lead at Facebook, Jeff and his team oversee the development of M, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence-powered Messenger assistant that can answer questions and complete tasks. Jeff is passionate about veteran causes and veteran employment. He leads the Veterans Employee Resource Group at Facebook. He is also a Major in the US Air Force Reserves as a C-17 pilot and liaison at DIUx. While on active duty, he served 10 years as a C-21 and C-17 instructor pilot. He deployed in support of OIF/OEF and Horn of Africa operations.

Anne Meree Craig – Co-Founder & Executive Director of The COMMIT Foundation

  • Anne Meree Craig is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The COMMIT Foundation, which aims to create opportunities for veterans by fostering mentorship, extending and growing networks, promoting familiar camaraderie, and inspiring and accelerating veterans into leadership roles as they move from military service to the professional civilian world. Anne Meree is also the wife of a US Army Ranger veteran and served as a civil servant deploying around the world giving direct strategic and operational support to the Department of Defense and Intelligence Agencies. She has also served as the Chief Administrative Officer at McChrystal Group and as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Berico Technologies. The COMMIT Foundation has also spent this year on-site at Facebook headquarters, helping the company understand the massive value to recruiting veterans and helping it revamp its approach to hiring and managing employees who have served.


Panel 1: How the Country You Served Can Serve You 

  • Sara Hudson – Region VIII Director, Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
  • Michelle Leshe – Small Business Technical Adviser, Government Services Administration (GSA) 
  • Rod Alne – President & CEO, The Peak, Inc.
  • Lillian Sunwall – Program Manager, The Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (MPTAC)

Panel 2: Hiring Our Nation’s Heroes

  • Elaine Stewart – Director of Staffing, BNSF Railway
  • Daniel Bernhardt – Director, Veteran’s Employment & Training Service (VETS) at the U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Joe Fletcher – Employment Coordinator, Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve

Panel 3: Starting Your Own Venture as a Veteran

  • Paul Kanning – Owner, TomTilda Farm
  • Heidi & Thad Reiste Owners, Electric City Coffee
  • Willie Blazer – Owner, Willie’s Distillery
  • Matt Gangloff – Owner, Enlyten Lab

If you have further questions please contact Cheryl Ulmer at 406.452.9585.

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