Family Business Day Logo

Connecting Montana Family Businesses to the Global Market

The Montana State University College of Business is hosting the 14th Annual Family Business Day at the Holiday Inn on Friday, September 21.

Several family businesses, which ranged in size from fewer than 10 employees to more than 50, are in contention for a number of Family Business Day awards. This year's winners will receive their awards at the Family Business Day awards luncheon. The winning businesses will also be eligible to compete in the national MassMutual Family Business Awards.

This year's top family businesses in Montana are: Little Athens of Great Falls, in the very small business category (fewer than 10 employees); Falls Construction Co. of Great Falls, in the small business category (10 to 30 employees); Diversified Plastics, Inc. of Missoula and Cascade Electric of Great Falls, tied in the medium business category (30-50 employees), Mergenthaler Transfer & Storage Co. of Helena, in the large business category (more than 50 employees) and Honeyland of Wolf Point, in the old business category (operating at least 50 years as a family business). Sletten Construction Co. of Great Falls won the Judge's Special Recognition Award.

Gary Bishop, an adjunct instructor of management in the College of Business, will be the guest speaker for this event. His seminar, Out of Service, is an overview of customer service and how it has become a lost art in our society. A portion of this presentation will be a hands-on workshop focusing on delivering outstanding customer service and effectively responding to customer demands.

"It is wonderful to be able to recognize exemplary family businesses that have all shown a commitment to customer service, family values, and diversification to satisfy the needs of their markets, often in challenging situations," said Nancy Dodd, director of the Montana State University College of Business State Farm Insurance Family Business Program and an MSU professor of management. "Family businesses are central to the economic vitality of Montana, and the businesses that are honored are perfect examples of why and how family businesses contribute to our communities, our state, and our nation."

The MSU College of Business and State Farm Insurance, in honor of Robert Jaedicke, host the program. Stockman Bank underwrote the awards, with additional support for the program provided by Combs Law Firm and the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

The registration fee to attend the entire event is $25, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, the seminar and the seminar materials. Participants who wish to attend just the lunch and awards ceremony pay $20. The cost to attend the seminar only is $10. For more information or to make your reservations call Karen Beach 994-6796 or e-mail