The Montana State University College of Business is hitting the road with another Family Business Program On the Road seminar serving the Missoula community and surrounding areas on Thursday, October 2.

The State Farm Family Business Program On the Road seminar, The Business of Customer Service, will be presented by adjunct instructor of management Gary Bishop. This event will be held in conjunction with the Compete Smart Manufacturing conference sponsored by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center and co-host NorthWestern Energy at the Hilton Garden Inn. Bishop's presentation will be from 2:25-3:25 pm.

This seminar will consist of a hands-on workshop and presentation focused on delivering outstanding customer service as well as effectively responding to customer demands. Businesses will be armed with a customer service survival kit and attendees will have a better understanding of the paradigm shift that has taken place in business, how to swim against the current, and emerge successfully.

This On the Road seminar is part of Montana State University's College of Business outreach effort to offer guest lectures and seminars on issues important to family-owned businesses in communities across the state through the State Farm Family Business Program, established by the college in 1994. This program received a boost in funding in March 2005, when State Farm Insurance Company representatives recognized Bozeman resident Robert Jaedicke for his many years of service on their Board of Directors with a significant gift to MSU's College of Business. The funds were placed in an endowment for the Family Business Program, to enhance the annual program and develop new outreach programs and seminars.

With additional support from Stockman Bank, the College of Business proudly introduced the Family Business Program On the Road. The first outreach program was held in Helena, January 2007.

"Because of the size of Montana, it is important to provide resources to people all over the state," said Nancy Dodd, Family Business Program coordinator and professor of management. "Family-owned businesses play an integral part in the health and vitality of the state's economy. We believe these education forums and recognition events help strengthen the tight-knit communities that make our state so special and unique."

This is the only state-wide family business program, which allows businesses to share ideas and concerns that are common to most family-owned businesses. The program also provides recognition to pioneering and successful family businesses through the Montana Family Business of the Year Awards Program held each fall in Bozeman.

For more information about this seminar and the Compete Smart conference, please call Deborah Nash at (406) 994-4507 or e-mail If you are interested in the Family Business Program, please call Audrey Lee at (406) 994-7026 or e-mail