Women's Circle of Excellence

Mentoring, Inspiring, Networking, and Educating...

The MSU Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE) Women’s Circle of Excellence mission is to enhance and enrich the lives of our women alumnae, associates and friends by opening doors for mentoring and networking while creating educating and inspiring opportunities for women by women.

Brief History

The MSU JJCBE Women’s Circle of Excellence (the Circle) was created in the fall of 2006 based on the vision of Jackie Sather and Micki Munro.  A group of alumnae and administrative employees of the CoB were brought together to form the Core Committee of the Circle. In the spring of 2007, the Core Committee hosted the Circle’s first event, a graduation celebration for the graduating seniors and masters women of the CoB where they were congratulated on this significant achievement by local JJCBE alumnae. 

The Core Committee brought the first annual Women’s Circle of Excellence conference, a two-day event held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, Montana on April 17th and 18th, 2008. This also coincided with the 115th anniversary of the College of Business. The theme of the conference was “Links of a Lifetime," which promoted the existing bonds between alumnae and friends and fostered opportunities to establish new ones.

This conference featured national and local speakers who presented inspirational and educational sessions and events, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.  These two days featured presentations capturing the true meaning of being a woman in today’s busy world, while sharing the pride that comes from being linked by the common thread of graduating from the same institute in business.

In 2011, the WCOE collaborated with Prospera Business Network and the Women’s Business Center to host the first W2 Conference, offered every other year, as a town and gown partnership.

2015 W2 Conference

May 28, 2015
Best Western GranTree Inn Plus
Bozeman, Montana

Presented by the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE), Women's Circle of Excellence (WCOE), Prospera Business Network, and the Montana Women's Business Center

2015 W2 Conference Save the Date


Conference Schedule:

  • 7:30 - 8:15 a.m. Breakfast and Registration
  • 8:15 - 8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • 8:30 - 9:45 a.m. Group Presentation with Ris Higgins, Leadership Outfitters
  • 9:45 - 10:00 a.m. Exhibitor Break and Networking
  • 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Breakout Presentations
  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Luncheon with Presentation by Carmen McSpadden, MSU Leadership Institute + Presentation of the 2015 Mentor Award
  • 12:45 - 1:00 p.m. Exhibitor Break and Networking
  • 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.  Group Presentation with Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Hopa Mountain
  • 2:30 - 2:45 p.m. Afternoon Exhibitor Break and Networking
  • 2:45 - 4: 00 p.m. Keynote Presentation with Karen Stewart Brown
  • 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Networking Reception

Discovering Your Passion and Leading the Way
Ris Higgins, Leadership Outfitters

Team Building - Breakout session Option 1 (click here: PPT presentation, Handout)
Managing Conflict: Your survival guide to successful negotiation and conflict resolution
Dr. Virginia Bratton, MSU Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship

Marketing - Breakout session Option 2 (click here: PPT presentation, Handout)
Creating a Strategy for Online Marketing Success
Amy Schumann and Marciela Ross, West Paw Design

Three Keys to Connecting, Cultivating, and Strengthening Relationships
Carmen McSpadden, MSU Leadership Institute

Productively Channeling Your Passion and Achieving Goals Together
Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Hopa Mountain

Keynote Presentation: Finding Passion, Staying Passionate and Being Inspired
Karen Stewart Brown

FEATURING KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Karen Stewart Brown, Designer and Entrepreneur, Stewart+Brown
Karen co-founded Stewart+Brown, along with her husband Howard Brown, in 2002 and oversees all design and production activities. Their company is a pioneer of modern ethical fashion that applies sustainable practices to create apparel that enables women to feel beautiful on the inside and out. In 2015, Karen co-founded FUTUREADI®–a next generation creative agency focused on engineering sustainable solutions for complex design problems. Prior to Stewart+Brown, Karen was Sr. Designer at Patagonia and J.Crew.

CPA CPE Credits available: 7.8

Click here for the Registration Brochure

2015 Conference Sponsors

Signature Sponsorship Level

Montana Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program logo

Hosting Sponsorship Level

MSU Blackstone LaunchPad logo


Blue Cross Blue Shield

CenturyLink logo

Northwestern Energy Community Works Logo

Advertising Sponsorship Level

 Distinctly Montana Logo

Montana Parent Magazine Logo


Printing Sponsorship Level

Networking Sponsorship Level

Bozeman Deaconess Logo


CTA Architects logo

First Security Bank logo

Tow Haul Logo

Breakout Sponsorship Level






Speaker Gift Sponsor


We are on LinkedIn and Facebook!

Women's Circle of Excellence Newsletter:
October 2009 - Issue I
December 2009 - Issue II
January 2010 - Issue III
February 2010 - Issue IV
March 2010 - Issue V
April 2010 - Issue VI


Previous Events Highlights and Pictures:
2008 Inaugural Women's Circle of Excellence Event
2009 Women's Circle of Excellence Event
2010 Women's Circle of Excellence Event
2011 Event: W2 The Women to Women Conference
2012 Women's Circle of Excellence Event
2013 Event: W2 The Women to Women Conference
2014 WCOE Conference