Rural Economic Designs, LLC

Building A Stronger Future for Rural Communities



Build Your Network at the Montana Ambassadors’ Business Open

It is with great pleasure to be serving the State of Montana as a Montana Ambassador. When I received my appointment to the Ambassadors in 2013 I was unaware how vast of a network the Ambassador had, and how amazing being a part of them would really be. Now, being on the Board and having started my business, I couldn’t imagine not having this network supporting me.  I have made some incredible friends through my involvement with the Montana Ambassadors and I’m honored to be assisting in the hosting of the 12th Annual Business Open Golf Tournament at the Old Works Golf course in Anaconda Montana.

This event is so much more than a golf tournament- it is an opportunity to connect with friends, make new acquaintances, and build your network; which will continue to support you in your career.  Networks are a key to most peoples’ success  and this is where people come together to Better Montana.

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The Montana Business Open is a full day of golf and fun in the great outdoors of Montana on August 12th.  Anaconda is a wonderful community to spend some time shopping and exploring for those of you who want to be involved but don’t really enjoy golfing.   Though we encourage all to participate in the Awards BBQ around 1:30/2:00 as we fill the entire Club House with laughter and maybe a few shenanigans.

On August 11th, is the networking reception at Fairmont Hot-springs, with the Montana Ambassadors, Lt. Governor Mike Cooney, Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development, many members of the Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA), business leaders, government leaders, and community members from across the State.   This networking reception is well worth the trip and one I hope I will see many of you at.   If you are registered as a golfer the reception is part of your registration fee; if you are one (like me) that won’t necessarily being taking up a nine iron, it is $15 to join the reception.  Beyond worth it!

Montana is a wonderful place to work, live, and play in!  The Montana Business Open and Networking Reception is an event that showcases Montana at its finest.  You will make friends for a life time, learn about programs and possibly find assistance for your business or entity, and overall have a great time.

The Montana Ambassadors have also provided a series of sponsorship opportunities for businesses to showcase what they do.   Montana Ambassadors Sponsorship Incentives_Page_1Montana Ambassadors Sponsorship Incentives_Page_2SIGN UP TODAY

Take my advice,  this is something you don’t want to miss!

Join us at the Innovate Montana Symposium

It is with distinct pleasure that I can announce that I will be a panelist speaker for a Break out session on Succession Planning, at the Innovate Montana Symposium on July 13th and 14th.  I will also, with many of my fellow Montana Ambassadors  be part of the Solution Lounges; a place for individuals to seek one on one conversations with “subject experts who will offer the latest in tools and financing to support business growth and foster Montana’s entrepreneurial environment” (Innovate Montana Symposium).

I am thrilled to be part of this unique symposium and encourage everyone across Montana and those interested in “Choosing Montana” to become involved.  This will be a fantastic way to make new connections, learn business skills, and overall have a wonderful time in downtown Billings.   It is a venue for our vast State to interconnect with resources, potential partners and investors, learn from some of our State’s Leading businesses, and build lasting relationships with like minded individuals.

Innovate Montana Symposium, is lead by my friends and colleagues in the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).  To learn more about Innovate Montana visit their website at and register today for the Symposium.  You will not regret it!

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And, while you are exploring the Innovate Montana website, take a moment and connect to one of the best resources for business development in the State of Montana; Montana Business Navigator.  This is an excellent resource for any person who is considering starting a business or already in business.  As an entrepreneur, it can be challenging to figure out all the ends and outs of the starting a  business but again, thanks to our friends at the Montana GOED office, this challenge has become a whole lot easier to navigate.

Learning about all the resources available in your community, region, and state can make an incredible difference in the success of your business or community project.  At Rural Economic Designs, part of our role is to promote and provide connections to our clients.  It is pretty amazing how a little bit of networking can make such a HUGE impact on your future.

Create a Network of Friends

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Creating a business, running an organization, or being a community leader takes some stamina and it also takes some strong leadership skills. One of those leadership skills, that I think is probably the most important one is the ability to connect, and I mean really connect with people.

I have been so blessed in my career, especially now that I’m working as an independent contractor, to have these amazing colleagues, mentors and friends I can lean on from time to time.  And who can lean on me from time to time too. Having a network of business professionals is so much more than whose following you on Facebook or how many contacts are in your phone. It is really about who can you call to discuss a project with and trust that they are going to give you their best because at the end of the day your friendship and business success is important to them.  And it is key that this type of business relationship is a two way street.

So here is my advice today- take the time to get to know those you are working with! Get a cup of coffee and truly understand what people do as you never know when a connection will come in handy for you and for them. Join an association or a club of interest in the field you are working in, or go to a conference and challenge yourself to meet 10 new people.  It can be hard and uncomfortable, but trust me at the end of the day knowing that you have a team supporting you is worth the cost of a cup of coffee or a glass of beer.  Enjoy your time and make friends along the way.

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