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Governor Bullock Announces Montana Ambassador Awards

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February 5, 2016View for printing

Governor Steve Bullock today announced the 2015 Montana Ambassador Awards honoring individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to economic development in Montana.

"Montana's economy is strong and the state's ability to work collaboratively and forge new partnerships between businesses, educators, and economic development professionals has never been better," said Governor Bullock. "It is my honor to recognize the 2015 Montana Ambassador Award recipients, and I am thankful for their dedication, service, and efforts to ensure that Montana is one of the best places in the country to live, work, play, start a business, and raise a family."

The Montana Ambassadors is a volunteer, not-for-profit organization of leaders in business, education, and local and state government with a common dedication to living and doing business in Montana and to furthering the best interests of the state.


All Are Invited - 2016 MT Ambassador Annual Conference "Working Better Together For Montana", 3/10-11, Great Falls

Montana Ambassador Conference planners are working to assemble a dynamic two day conference dedicated to the theme: Working Better Together for Montana. Montana is a big state with wide open spaces and limited resources. It is essential that we make the connections to work better together to influence Montana's economy - now and in the future. Highlights of the agenda:

* 2015 Award Winner Presentations - Learn and network with the best and brightest and much more!


Montana Ambassador of the Year - Brent Campbell

2015 Montana Ambassador of the Year, Brent Campbell, President and CEO of WGM Group in Missoula; for his performance of exemplary service and leadership to the organization of Montana Ambassadors and the State of Montana.

Educator of the Year - Susan Wolff

Montana Ambassador 2015 Mike Malone Educator of the Year, Susan Wolff, CEO and Dean of Great Falls College MSU ; for her outstanding accomplishment and excellence in the field of education, and leadership in Workforce Development.

Entrepreneur of the Year - Tyann Hermes

Montana Ambassador Entrepreneur of the Year, Tyann Hermes, owner of Kootenai Drug and Hardware and Shakti Soul Yoga Studio in Troy, MT; for demonstrating leadership, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit in furthering economic development for the State of Montana.

Business of the Year - Sunburst Sensors - James Beck and Michael DeGrandpre

Montana Ambassador Business of the Year, Sunburst Sensors , James Beck and Michael DeGrandpre of Missoula, MT; for demonstrating extraordinary innovation and success in their field of business, improving the workforce, communities and economic development of the State of Montana.

Outreach Montana Ambassador of the Year - Russ Fletcher

Outreach Montana Ambassador of the Year, Russ Fletcher of Missoula, MT, Owner and Curator of the Montana Associated Technology Roundtable ; for his performance of exemplary service and leadership in building business bridges to strengthen economic development in Montana.

Montana Ambassador Plenipotentiary - Rick Edwards

Rick Edwards ... development of Butte, MT; is awarded Plenipotentiary in recognition of his especially meritorious service to Montana Ambassadors and economic development for the State of Montana.

Legislators of the Year - Sen. Ed Buttrey, Sen. Chaz Vincent, and Rep. Bryce Bennett

These three demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the State of Montana throughout the 2015 Legislature.

Sen. Ed Buttrey ... AWSID=12545 of Great Falls; for sponsoring the HELP act and expanding access to healthcare to 70,000 Montanans.

Sen. Chaz Vincent ... AWSID=13859 of Libby, MT; for sponsoring the Flathead Water Compact and protecting the rights of Native Americans in Montana and land owners.

Rep. Bryce Bennett ... AWSID=13032 of Missoula, MT; for sponsoring legislation to improve voter access by revising election laws, consolidating and standardizing certain dates, and deadlines for elections.

Award winners are determined by the Montana Ambassadors' Board. For more information about the Montana Ambassadors, visit

Reader Comments:

Congratulations to all of the Award Winners. Montana Ambassadors had an unprecedented list of award nominees; competition was tough. If you submitted a business or individual for an award and they did not win this year, be sure to submit them for next year's awards!

Many thanks to Gov. Bullock and the Ambassadors Board. I'm deeply honored for being recognized for my efforts to promote all that is great about Montana.

I especially want to thank those companies that have supported MATR over the years. It would not have been possible without


Northwestern Energy

Dorsey & Whitney

iConnect Montana

Montana Department of Commerce

Ticket Printing

Montana Office of Tourism


Great Falls Development Authority

Early Edge Montana

Big Sky Economic Development Authority


Arrow Solutions Group

Big Sky Commerce

Spika Welding & Manufacturing

Montana Technology Innovation Partnership (MTIP)

The MDT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

And a special thank you to John Masterson and Steven Sundheim who built the MATR website 15 years ago... and it's still going strong.

Congratulations to all, and particularly to Russ Fletcher for his Outreach Montana Ambassador of the Year. Your recognition for "leadership in building business bridges to strengthen economic development in Montana" is well deserved!!

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