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Updates: Program Transition

Dear friends and supporters of Montana family-owned and small businesses,

After 25 years of celebrating Montana family businesses through the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship annual awards program, workshops, and networking socials, we have decided to redirect our Montana Family Business program funding and focus. While we have thoroughly enjoyed honoring deserving family businesses and building relationships across our great state, moving forward we plan to utilize program resources to re-invigorate student-business consulting opportunities. With this change, we believe we can more fully address the intent of the family business program and better serve you and our statewide communities.

Instead of having a one-day celebration of recognizing the accomplishments of Montana family businesses, we plan to come alongside and support families in their business goals all year long. This will take shape in the form of qualified students collaborating with you or others in a variety of accounting, finance, marketing, or management needs. Our hope is that this student to business partnership will lead to mutually beneficial results– hands-on experiential learning for our students – problem solving for our Montana businesses. This will include a deeper understanding of current day business issues, higher profitability and earning potential, and the exploration of Montana employment resources and job opportunities.

We invite you to join us in our college mission of “inspiring creativity, innovation, and growth” by partnering with us in this transition.  Do you know of or have a business that could benefit from a short or long-term student consultant? If so, we encourage you to visit our business consulting webpage.  Otherwise, please see our entrepreneurship and small business resources webpage or email us at [email protected].  Your ideas and input are vital to the future success of this program as well as the development of our students and their understanding of family owned and small businesses.

We sincerely thank you for your involvement throughout the past 25 years and we appreciate your support and engagement as we move forward in the spirit of Montana industry!


Mark Ranalli, Dean

General Information

Established in 1994 as an outreach program through Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE), The Family Business Program offers education and information to the backbone of many Montana businesses, those that are owned and managed by families of Montana. The annual seminar and awards luncheon, usually held in the fall, has reached out to hundreds of businesses and provided education and fact based information to thousands of participants. We encourage you to nominate a family business or your own business.

Find out more:

For more information, please contact us at:
Phone:  (406) 994-6195
Fax:        (406) 994-6206
E-mail:   [email protected]

Family Business Program "In the News"

All in the Family (Mountains & Minds Magazine)
MSU program honors family-run businesses