A Business Plan for Montana by Montanans

For Montana by Montanans
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 Steve Bullock, Governor, State of Montana

Steve Bullock, Montana's former attorney general, was elected Montana's 24th governor on November 6, 2012. Bullock, 48, has made better jobs, better education and a more effective government his top priorities. As part of his efforts to bring better jobs to the state, Bullock launched the Main Street Montana Project. Through this project he created the first ever business plan for Montana, by Montanans. This plan aims to leverage the state's strengths to help businesses expand and increase wages.  
Like Montanans, Bullock understands the importance of equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. This is why he created the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force to identify and fix the causes of pay inequity in the state.  As a father of three young children, Bullock recognizes that every Montana student should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential, and this starts with a quality public education. In his first legislative session, Bullock was able to secure a tuition freeze at Montana colleges and universities, preventing the tax of higher tuition from hitting working Montana families. In addition, Bullock has secured historic levels of funding for the state's elementary, middle and high schools. But Governor Bullock recognizes that learning doesn't start when a child enters kindergarten; it starts when they enter the world. This is why he is pushing for Montana to join the 42 other states that have made meaningful investments in early childhood programs. In his efforts to make state government more effective and transparent, during his first month in office, Bullock put the state's checkbook online, so Montana residents can see how their tax dollars are being spent. He also helped fix the state's ailing employee pension system, without raising taxes on Montanans. Bullock was born in Missoula and raised in Helena. He attended public schools in Helena and graduated from Helena High School in 1984. He received his undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and his law degree with honors from Columbia University Law School in New York. He and his wife have three children.

  Mike Cooney, Lieutenant Governor, State of Montana


Mike Cooney became Montana’s 32nd Lieutenant Governor in January 2016 when appointed by Governor Steve Bullock. Mike is a long time public servant and elected official, having served in both houses of the Montana legislative branch and three terms as Secretary of State prior to being selected as Lieutenant Governor.  Prior to his appointment to the Office of Lieutenant Governor, he served as Deputy Commissioner for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.  A committed public leader for Montana, Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney is Governor Bullock’s trusted partner as they work to advance the administration’s agenda of better jobs, better education and a more effective government. Over the course of his career, Mike has a proven track record of helping Montana’s small businesses grow and succeed while finding ways to increase wages. He is a strong champion of Montana’s public education system and continually seeks innovative ways to support educators and increase funding. He graduated from Butte High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1979 from the University of Montana. Mike and his wife DeeAnn have three grown children Ryan, Colin and Adan.



  Bill Johnstone, Chairman and CEO of D.A. Davidson Companies

Bill Johnstone was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to co-chair the Main Street Montana Project in May 2013. Mr. Johnstone joined D.A. Davidson & Co. as President in 2000. He was named President and CEO of D.A. Davidson & Cos. in 2004, and, in 2012, was elected Chairman while also serving as CEO. Before joining D.A. Davidson & Co., he was Managing Partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, a law firm with offices around the world and the same firm where he had begun his career as attorney. Earlier, he was Vice Chairman of investment firm Dain Rauscher Inc. and President and CEO of Rauscher, Pierce & Refsnes Inc., a Dain Rauscher subsidiary.  A native Montanan, Johnstone earned a bachelor's degree with honors from Montana State University and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, again with honors. Johnstone serves both as board member and as Chairman-Elect for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and also serves on the Montana Board of Regents. Additionally, he serves, and has an extensive history of serving, on other boards of directors at the national, state and local levels.

Larry Simkins, President and CEO of The Washington Companies

Larry Simkins was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to co-chair the Main Street Montana Project in May 2013. Larry Simkins has been the President of The Washington Companies since 2001. As President and CEO, Simkins provides leadership and direction to the enterprise by serving as a member of the Board of Directors for each individual company. The Washington Companies are an international group of privately owned companies and selected public company investments employing over 7,500 people worldwide, generating nearly $2 billion in annual revenue. Business is transacted in the sectors of rail transporation, marine transportation, shipyards, mining, environmental construction, heavy equipment sales and aviation products. Since joining The Washington Companies in 1988, Larry has been involved in operations of various individual companies.  He currently serves as a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.




Pam Bucy, Commissioner, Montana Department of Labor


Pam received her B.A. in Political Science/History and English from Rocky Mountain College in Billings and her Doctor of Law (J.D.) from the University of Montana School of Law in Missoula. Before her appointment by Governor Bullock to serve as the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, Pam worked as the Chief Legal Counsel and Administrative Counsel for the Department of Labor and Industry. In 2011, on behalf of the Department, Pam played an integral role in passing historic work comp reform that cut rates for businesses while maintaining protection and benefits for injured workers. Pam has practiced law in the private sector as an Associate Attorney for Luxan & Murfitt law firm. Pam started her professional career as a Deputy County Attorney for Lewis & Clark County and then moved on to work at the Montana Department of Justice as the Executive Assistant Attorney General.

Contact Pam Bucy

Meg O'Leary, Director, Montana Department of Commerce


Meg O'Leary was appointed as the Director of the Montana Department of Commerce by Governor Steve Bullock in January 2013. Since her appointment, she has dedicated herself to building Montana's economy and creating well-paying jobs for Montana citizens by promoting the state as a premier tourism destination and an unparalleled place to do business. She has supported the Main Street Montana Project by sharing her expertise and experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. Meg's work with Main Street and the Department of Commerce builds upon her 20 year tenure as Director of Sales and Marketing at Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana. During her time at Big Sky, she demonstrated her dedication to growing Montana's economy by strongly advocating for direct flight programs from major airport hubs and positioning Big Sky Resort as a world-class vacation destination. Meg was instrumental in securing flights from Newark, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Los Angeles to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

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John Rogers, Chief Business Officer, Governor's Office of Economic Development


John Rogers was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock as Montana's Chief Business Officer to head the Governor's Office of Economic Development in January 2013. Prior to his appointment, John served as the Economic Development Representative for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. He was appointed to that position in 1988 and served as EDA's field representative for the State of Montana for nearly 25 years. In 2000, he was also assigned to work with North Dakota; during his tenure, John was awarded the Silver Award by the Secretary of Commerce, the Department's second highest award. During his tenure with the EDA, John's work with the agency resulted in investments exceeding $150 million in infrastructure, revolving loan funds, and other economic development projects. A native of North Dakota, John came to Montana in 1986 when he was appointed as the Manager of the Helena Business Improvement District, the first such entity in the State.

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Mary Craigle, Senior Advisor, Governor's Office-Main Street Montana Project

Mary is the Bureau Chief of the Research and Information Bureau at the Montana Department of Commerce and is the Senior Advisor to Governor Bullock's Main Street Montana Project. Mary facilitates the 13 Key Industry Network (KIN) Groups – a network of 207 business professionals and assist the Administration in overall project management. She has been working in economics and research for more than 31 years. Her career includes several research manager positions with the state of Montana and running her own market research company for 14 years.

Contact Mary Craigle