Title: Montana WBE Economic Summit
When: 04-19-2017
Where: Bozeman, Montana, USA
Category: Event
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Astra WBE Economic Development Summit – Montana

Montana: Untapped Frontier for Women Business Owners

April 19, 2017 | 11:00am – 7:00pm
Montana State University Stadium Club
Cost: $75.00, includes lunch, reception, and workshop materials

Join us at the Montana WBE Economic Development Summit and stake your ground in the new business frontier on April 19th at Montana State University Stadium Club. 
Montana, the untapped frontier for women-owned business, is an incredibly entrepreneurial state where small businesses thrive. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about one quarter of all Montana businesses are owned by women. The economy offers significant economic opportunities in oil, gas, coal and hard rock mining, lumber, and the fastest-growing sector, tourism. Health care services, and government sectors also are significant to the state’s economy.

Come and meet with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Payne West Insurance, Xanterra, Conduent, U.S. Bank, Enterprise Holdings, Malmstrom Airforce Base, Dept of Transportation, Dept of Commerce, SBA, and more.
Cost: $75 per person, includes lunch, reception and workshop materials.

Registration Deadline: April 12, 2017

Pre-summit Museum Tour for Crocs Exhibit

Join Astra for a pre-event tour of the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) and experience the world of crocodilians in tropical, naturalistic habitats! 

This family-friendly exhibit presents cutting-edge science where you will be immersed in the sights and sounds of this stealthy aquatic predator. Come eye-to-eye with living reptiles such as a Siamese crocodile and an African dwarf crocodile, three Central African slender nose crocodiles, and six American alligator hatchlings!

Pre-event option for $20 donation to the Museum of the Rockies. 20 slots only, register today!

Featured Speakers

Dr. Waded Cruzado

Dr. Waded Cruzado
Montana State University


Dr. Waded Cruzado | President, Montana State University

Since January of 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado has served as the 12th President of Montana State University, and during that time she has significantly reshaped the face and future of the state’s first land-grant institution.

An articulate and inspirational speaker on the role of the public university, President Cruzado has become well-known for her understanding of the Morrill Act, which created the land-grant university system 150 years ago. She is a passionate champion of the land-grant’s tripartite mission of education, research and public outreach, as well as the important role higher education plays in the development of individuals and the prosperity of the nation…Read More

Catherine Greener |

Catherine Greener
V.P. Sustainability
Xanterra Parks & Resorts


Catherine Greener  | V.P. Sustainability, Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Ms. Greener has significant experience in the implementation of sustainability, lean manufacturing, and industrial quality management systems. She has led sustainability and resource efficiency projects for companies and clients, from entrepreneurial start-ups to the industrial facilities of multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies. Her industry experience includes hospitality, food and beverage processing, automotive, chemical, semi-conductor, facility automation (robotics), and construction. She combines her sustainability, quality management, and lean manufacturing experience with acute problem solving skills and an exceptional ability to uncover process waste. Ms. Greener has given numerous talks, facilitated visioning sessions and conducted training classes in sustainability, continuous quality improvement and other disciplines, developed waste reduction programs, and led problem-solving groups for manufacturing strategy. Additionally, she has experience in ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and Six-Sigma.

LaTonya Fourte-Lyles |
LaTonya Fourte’-Lyles
Manager Supplier Diversity
Blue Cross Blue Shield


LaTonya Fourte’-Lyles | Manager Supplier Diversity, HCSC – Blue Cross Blue Shield

LaTonya Fourte’-Lyles is a strong proponent of the inclusion and promotion of diversity within the supply chain process. As the Manager of Corporate Supplier Diversity for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), LaTonya champions this effort by maximizing procurement opportunities for minority-owned, women-owned and other diverse-owned businesses. The mission of this program entails proactively seeking qualified and competitive suppliers, to partner in creating cost effective and efficient business solutions for HCSC.

Ken Fody
Kenneth Fody
Account Executive
Conduent Healthcare


Kenneth Fody | Account Executive, Conduent Healthcare

Ken Fody manages Conduent’s organization in Montana that is responsible for assisting the Department of Health and Human Services Normal with managing the Medicaid program.  Mr. Fody is an attorney with more than 30 years of experience.  He started with the Pennsylvania legislature assisting the Chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee.  Ken moved to Independence Blue Cross, first as an attorney and then as a Project Executive running major projects.  After that, Ken worked 15 years as a consultant for large companies like IBM and Dell, as well as smaller privately held organizations, where he supported both hospitals and health plans before moving to Montana for his current position.

Charles M. Weibel
United States Air Force


Charles M. Weibel | United States Air Force

Mr. Weibel serves as the Director of Business Operations and is responsible for planning, organizing, directing and controlling the functions of the 341st Contracting Squadron.  Provides necessary oversight and direction to the contracting unit to ensure successful market research, acquisition planning, contract award, contract performance management and interpretation of contract law. Assists the unit commander in the planning, organization and day-to-day operations of the unit. Advises the unit commander on all civilian personnel issues and represents the Wing Commander with other organizations (Federal, State, Local and Non Profit) as required. He additionally directs the small business and other socio-economic programs of the base.

Kath Williams
President and CEO
Kath Williams+Associates, Inc.
Anna Kazmierowski
A2Z Staffing Solutions, Inc
Adroit Employment Resources


Anna Kazmierowski | CEO, A2Z Staffing Solutions, Inc and Adroit Employment Resources

Anna Kazmierowski is currently the President/CEO of  A2Z Staffing Solutions, headquartered in Helena, and Adroit Employment Resources located in Bozeman, Montana.  Her first employment in the United States was offered by a temporary staffing firm, which not only provided vast career and gainful work experience opportunities, but also ignited her passion for the industry itself.  Over the following eight years, Kazmierowski accepted two contract offers which led to customer service career development and permanent gainful employment in the banking and radiology industries.  She has received recognitions for building opportunities throughout the state to engage women-owned diversity suppliers, by WBENC’s regional partner organization  ASTRA Women Business Alliance, Woman Business Enterprise Advocate of the Year in 2015 for her work in support of Montana women-owned businesses, SBA Montana Women-Owned Business of the Year 2017 , YWCA Woman of the Year 2017, a graduate of Small Business Administration e-200 Emerging Leaders Program, and  2014 scholar and an alumn of the national cochort of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, at Babson College Massachusetts.

Franjevic_Sharon_SBA photo
Sharon Franjevic
Economic Development Specialist
State of Montana, SBA


Sharon Franjevic | Economic Development Specialist – State of Montana, SBA

Sharon is a Montana native with more than 20 years of banking experience, including 9 years as an FDIC bank examiner and 8 years as an auditor and loan review specialist with a local bank.  She has been with SBA since 2010 and was promoted to the position of Economic Development Specialist in 2013 with responsibility for marketing SBA products and services throughout Montana.  She has lived in Helena for 19 years and is married with one daughter.

Shannon Hahn
Montana DBE
Jeff Cuskey, CPCM, CFCM, CSCM, CPP
Montana State University


Jeff Cuskey, CPCM, CFCM, CSCM, CPP | Montana State University

Jeff Cuskey, Senior Government Contracting and Technology Transition Advisor, helps TechLink clients market and sell their products and services to the Department of Defense and other government agencies. Jeff established and served as the initial government contracting advisor for the Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center’s (PTAC) Bozeman office. He has over 25 years of experience in federal and defense acquisition, contracting, program management, and business financial management.

Jeff is a Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM), Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM), Certified Schedules Contracts Manager (CSCM), and Certified Procurement Professional (CPP).

Julie McGrath
Julie McGrath
Operations Manager
Enterprise Holdings
Phillip Luebke
Government Contracting Advisor
Montana PTAC


Phillip Luebke | Government Contracting Advisor, Montana PTAC

Phillip provides assistance to businesses that want to do business with government through the Bozeman office of the Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC, www.montanaptac.org(link is external)). He is a Department of Veterans Affairs Certified Verification Counselor, making him specially equipped to help veterans apply for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) verification.

Phillip is the owner of Brilliant Swim, a manufacturer and specialty online retailer of products for swimmers. In addition to running his own company, Phillip has extensive business experience in such diverse industries as wireless telecommunications, craft brewing, marketing communications, and university-affiliated nonprofits. He has a BA degree in marketing from the University of Northern Iowa and an MBA from the Tippie School of Management at the University of Iowa. Phillip currently serves as president of the board of the Bozeman Masters Swim Club, the top ten recorder for the Montana Local Masters Swimming Committee, and is a member of the History and Archives Committee for US Masters Swimming.

Collette Hanson (2)
Collette Hanson
Divisional Vice President, Sales & Account Management


Collette Hanson | Divisional Vice President, Sales & Account Management, BCBSMT

Collette began her career with BCBSMT over 30 years ago, joining the

company in 1984. Located in Helena, MT Collette is responsible for sales

and account management in all market segments with a history of

supporting Montana health care provider plans. Collette’s experience

covers all aspects of the health care industry. She has served in a

number of leadership roles, including strategic marketing services,

membership, claims, customer service, and enrollment.

Collette serves as President of the Board for the Florence Crittenton Home and is a board member

of the Great Falls Development Council.

Event Agenda





































Registration, Stadium Club. MSU

Welcome Remarks

Diane McClelland, Astra President/CEO

Anna Kazmierowski, President A2Z Staffing Solutions, Inc.

Latonya Fourte-Lyles, Manager S.D Blue Cross Blue Shield

Dr. Kath Williams, President Kath Williams + Associates, Inc.

Speaker: Dr. Waded Cruzado, MSU President

Introduced by Dr. Kath Williams, Kath Williams + Associates, Inc.

Networking Lunch

Speaker: Catherine Greener, Vice President, Xanterra

Business Panel Best Practices of Becoming a Successful Supplier

Blue Cross Blue Shield: Latonya Fourte-Lyles, Manager Supplier Diversity

Conduent- Ken Fodey,

Malstrom Airforce Base- Charles Weibel, Director of Business Operations

Moderated by Dr. Kath Williams. Kath Williams + Associates, Inc.


Opening Doors Through Certification

Shannon Hahn, Support Services Coordinator, DBE Certification- DOT

Suzanne Lackman, VP. Program Manager, Certification, Astra

Wayne Gardella, District Director,  SBA

Moderated by Diane McClelland, President, Astra

Economic Trends for Small Business Pam Cote, Dept of Commerce

Roundtable Discussions

Payne-West Insurance

U.S. Bank

Malstrom  Airforce Base

Blue Cross Blue Shield


Montana Mfg. Extension



Networking Reception

Welcome Remarks- Diane McClelland, Astra President

Anna Kazmierowski- A2Z Staffing Solutions, Inc

Kath Williams, Kath Williams + Associates, Inc

Thank you for coming

Event Sponsor

Enterprise Logo FINAL

Event Supporters


Get Your Ticket Now

Hotel Information

Element Bozeman – Westin Property

Hotel Address: 25 East Mendenhall Street, Bozeman, MT, 59715, United States

Phone: 406-582-4972

Hotel Reservations: 877-782-0151

Rates: $169-$189

Bozeman , Montana


Venue: Montana State University Stadium Club
City: Bozeman
State: Montana
Register Now