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Top 12 for 8-4-2013

1) Met with a national technology company considering a possible expansion in Great Falls. Submitted a Big Sky Trust Fund grant application to the MT Department of Commerce to support further expansion by EMTEQ. EMTEQ's Great Falls operation has grown to 115 employees, far above the 60 employees originally projected.

2) Coached an Entrepreneur Elite company on growth decisions based on its individualized 360 growth plan. If you are interested in the powerful tools in our Entrepreneur Elite package, contact Rebecca Engum at or 781-6832.
3) Assisted a local business in analyzing options for permanent working capital. Worked with an entrepreneur on progress of their start-up. Discussed financing structures with an entrepreneur looking at buying a local company. Reviewed a business plan for a proposed company purchase in Great Falls.
4) Assisted a local business with updating their federal profile to reflect new services they offer. Researched changes in the downtown Great Falls Hub Zone for a business and counseled the client on other set-aside options for government contracting. Helped a large local operation with DUNS and certification issues to meet the requirement for NRCS award payments.
5) Five would be entrepreneurs participated in this week's Start-Up Spark! Our next session is this Monday, August 5th at noon at GFDA. Contact Rebecca Engum for more info, or 781-6832.
6) Made plans to exhibit at the annual meetings later this year of the Montana Grain Growers Association and the Montana Farmers Union in Great Falls. Our goal is to help connect agricultural producers with new agri-processing opportunities.
7) GFDA's Board unanimously approved our new draft strategic plan. The draft will be sent electronically to all of our investor members for their review and input, then come back to the Board for final approval this fall.
8) The strategic plan includes 3 new initiatives in addition to the Start-Up Spark! sessions for would-be entrepreneurs that have already proved to be popular. The first new initiative is Untamed!, an audacious celebration of Great Falls' entrepreneurial spirit. Untamed! will be a bold, inclusive annual event recognizing the creativity, risks and rewards of every entrepreneur in our region. Watch for more information about how to get engaged in Untamed!
9) CEO Forums, launching in January, will strengthen existing companies by sharing innovative, game-changing ideas that leading companies in the Great Falls trade area have put to work to grow their businesses.
10) Our GFDA investors have powerful connections throughout their global industries, connections that we don't often use to open doors for new Great Falls opportunities. Our third new initiative, Great Falls Innovators, will change that. We're going to give our investors the tools to actively network and promote our region as a great place to expand or start a business.
11) GFDA's Board elected new officers for FY 2014, as well as Executive Committee members. Our new officers are: Chair, Bob Butcher of US Bank; Vice Chair, Spencer Woith of Woith Engineering; Treasurer, Ted Lewis of First Interstate Bank; and, Secretary, Deb Evans of Embark Federal Credit Union. In addition to our officers, Executive Committee members include: Immediate Past Chair, Gene Thayer of Montana Milling; AgriTech Park Chair, Dexter Busby of Calumet Montana Refining Company; Business Development Chair, Al Frankl of Dick Anderson Construction; Business Strategy Chair, Jerry Hood of Edward Jones Investment Advisors; Investment Chair, Kreg Jones of Davidson Companies; Loan Chair, Allen Funderburk of Grabosky, Dale Heel & Funderburk; Public Policy Chair, Glenn Lambert of Cascade Farmers Mutual Insurance; City representative, Commissioner Bill Bronson; and, County representative, Commissioner Joe Briggs.
12) It's not too late to register for our GFDA Annual Meeting that will feature EMTEQ CEO Jerry Jendusa, but you need to register by end of business Monday so we can finalize the lunch count. The Annual Meeting is this Wednesday, 11:30 AM, at the Hilton Garden Inn. To register, contact Jana Williams at or 771-9020.

I'd like to recognize and thank two outstanding GFDA Board leaders for their support and counsel through the past two exciting and challenging years. John Koppelman, who just stepped down from our Board, served as Board Chair in FY 2012 and Immediate Past Chair in FY 2013. Gene Thayer served as Board Chair in FY 2013 and will continue on the Board for another year as Immediate Past Chair. 

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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