Montana State University

Wheeler conference set for April 5, 6 to address state of Montana economy

March 2, 2010 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- A conference to address the state of Montana's economy will be held April 5 and 6 at the Grantree Inn in Bozeman.

Returning to a topic it first addressed 10 years ago, the Burton K. Wheeler Center of Montana State University organized the conference titled,"The ‛Next' Economy: A Public Discussion on Jobs and Innovation."

Craig Barrett from the Intel Corporation will give the opening keynote address. Paul Kedrosky from the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City will speak on "The Education/Entrepreneur Connection," in his evening keynote address. Gordon Brittan, Regents Professor of Philosophy and former director of the Wheeler Center, will speak on "Taking the Long View of Montana's Economy."

Among the other speakers are Tara Veazey from the Montana Budget and Policy Center, Lyle Knight of First Interstate Bank in Billings, Larry Simkins of the Washington Companies in Missoula and Greg Gianforte from RightNow Technologies in Bozeman. Entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as policy makers and business leaders from around the state will explore and debate the issues in several panel discussions.

Among the issues they will discuss are:
-- What should Montana's economy look like into the mid-21st century, and how can Montana achieve that vision?
-- Should Montana work alone or seek regional strategies and partnerships, international alliances and trade? Should the state build on traditional industries or branch out into new economy spheres?
-- Who is responsible for moving Montana forward? What should the role be for those in the private sector, industry, government, education and Montana communities?

The goal of the conference is to offer progressive and useful ideas for policymakers and planners across the state and region, according to conference organizers.

Cost of the conference is $48 if registration is received by 5 p.m. Thursday, April 1. Late registrants will be charged $75 on a space available basis. Students may attend for $35. Registration will cover two lunches, one dinner, one continental breakfast and all materials.

For a schedule and full list of speakers, go to
For information about registration, call

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or