Montana State University College of Business Dean, Rich Semenik has been selected by the Montana Ambassadors as Educator of the Year.

According to Elizabeth Marchi, President of the Montana Ambassadors, "The Ambassadors are a statewide organization of leaders in business and education committed to living and working in Montana. Every Ambassador is appointed by the Governor."

Each year the Montana Ambassadors recognize exceptional businesses and individuals from around the State. Marchi said Semenik, who was nominated by John O'Donnell, Executive Director of Tech Ranch, was chosen because of his work at MSU in undergraduate entrepreneurship education, specifically for the collaboration he has helped to build between the University, Tech Ranch, investors and students.

According to O'Donnell, "Dean Semenik has been an instrumental force in developing Montana's entrepreneurial landscape through his role as Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West and visionary for the formation of the Alderson Program for Entrepreneurship. Since inception, the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Alderson Program have impacted more than 100 students and numerous entrepreneurs. Because of his dedication to Montana entrepreneurs and Montana education, Dean Semenik deserves this recognition for his commitment and hard work."

In response, Dean Semenik noted, "I am deeply honored to be recognized by such a prestigious organization. Like many of these awards, the achievements here in the MSU College of Business are the result of the hard work by faculty, staff and the students themselves. We are pleased and excited and to provide education and outreach through the Alderson Program in Entrepreneurship and The Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West."

Other Montana Ambassador winners include: Ambassador of the Year, Ken Richardson of Missoula; Entrepreneur of the Year, Don Cape of Bozeman; Business of the Year, Semitool, of Kalispell; Educator of the Year, President George Dennison of the University of Montana, Missoula; and Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Larry Gianchetta of Missoula. Winners will be presented their awards by Governor Brian Schweitzer at the annual meeting in Whitefish, to be held February 16th and 17th. The program will close with a presentation by John Connors, former CEO of Microsoft, who is now with Ignition of Seattle.

Semenik received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1970, an M.B.A from Michigan State University in 1971, and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Marketing in 1976. He has published over 50 articles and 11 books on marketing and advertising topics. His most recent co-authored book, Advertising and Integrated Brand Promotion, 4th Edition is one of the leading advertising books in the world and has been adopted by 500 universities in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe. Semenik became Dean of the College of Business at MSU in 2000. In 2001, he became the Executive Director of the College's newly established Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West, which works in collaboration with the College's Alderson Program in Entrepreneurship. The program was ranked as one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurship Emphasis Programs in the United States in 2004 and again in 2005 by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Semenik consults with both small organizations and multi-national corporations. He has provided services for IBM, SFX Entertainment, Ethos Marketing Research,, Premier Resorts, Harris & Love Advertising, the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), the Breakers Resort, and InfoGears,, and LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals in Montana.