Tycoons Descend on Treasure State

By Beacon Staff

The clout Max Baucus carries after four decades of congressional service is on full display at the senator’s economic summit in Butte next week.

The lineup of 11 keynote speakers slated for the long-time U.S. Senator’s upcoming two-day symposium features some of the biggest names in the business world.

The headliners include many of America’s most recognizable tycoons, including Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Ford Motor Company’s Alan Mulally, Hewlett Packard’s Meg Whitman and Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk. The list goes on: former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr.; one of the top oil and gas executives in the world, Ryan Lance of ConocoPhillips; and the top executives at Boeing, Fedex, Oracle and Delta.

Baucus, who organizes the Economic Development Summit every three years as a booster for Montana businesses, envisioned his final conference as his biggest and best yet on the Montana Tech campus before retiring in 2014.

Indeed, this year’s event, Sept. 16-17, could rival any economic gathering in the world.

“Folks in Washington talk a lot of talk about creating jobs. We’re bringing the biggest names in business together with main-street entrepreneurs who walk the walk every day with dynamic panels designed specifically to meet the needs of Montana’s economy,” Baucus said.

“For two days we’ll transform Butte, Montana, into the capital of the international business world. I urge all Montanans to register today and stake their claim to a seat at the table during our biggest and best Summit yet.”

The event is touted as an opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs in Montana to learn from world-class executives and visionaries, while also networking and possibly landing deals with nationwide firms.

Along with keynote presentations, the busy agenda also features more than 40 breakout panels focusing on a wide range of subjects, including energy development, tourism and travel, manufacturing, the craft beer industry, the Bakken oil fields and “Boosting Montana’s economy through the great outdoors.” This year there is also workshops with experts from Google, who will help Montana businesses improve their online presence.

“Our summits have a proven track record of turning handshakes into Montana jobs,” Baucus said. “The more we get focused on jobs and work together, the closer we can get to the day when no Montanan is forced to leave the state to find a good-paying job.”

Registration for the event is free and open to the first 3,000 attendees. For more information, visit montanajobssummit.com.

Flathead Valley Community College is hosting a live simulcast of the 2013 summit in its Arts and Technology Building. The simulcast, free and open to the public, will run from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 16 and from 8:15 a.m. to noon on Sept. 17.

Following the conclusion of Sandberg’s presentation at 11 a.m., Sept. 16, FVCC will host an hour-long community discussion regarding the opportunities and challenges facing women who aspire to leadership roles. Lori Marin will facilitate a panel discussion featuring three local businesswomen: Jen Elden, founder of Amalgamated SOPE Company; Karen Witt, director of strategic operations and business development for NxGEN Payment Solutions; and Callie Schieffer, process development engineer for Applied Materials.

Eric Schmidt
Executive chairman, Google

Schmidt is considered one of the most visionary and influential technology leaders in the world. Since taking over Google in 2001, Schmidt has directed the company’s meteoric rise into a multibillion-dollar online conglomerate that has revolutionized the Internet. The company remains on the cutting edge of innovation. Next year Google plans to release its futuristic glasses that have translucent computer screens allowing users to take pictures and search online. While Google continues stretching the boundaries of technology, Schmidt’s interests have branched out to ocean research and a prospective asteroid mining company funded by a collective of billionaires. Along with delivering one of the keynote speeches in Butte, the 58-year-old is bringing experts from Google to help Montana businesses improve their web presence.
Keynote address: Sept. 16, 5:30 p.m.

Elon Musk
Serial entrepreneur/CEO of Spacex & Tesla Motors

When Robert Downey Jr. sought inspiration for his fictional role as Tony Stark – the brilliant yet bizarre billionaire in the “Iron Man” movie franchise – he studied Elon Musk. The 41-year-old serial entrepreneur from South Africa has drawn comparisons to such iconoclasts as Steve Jobs and been described as one of the most visionary men of his time. Since co-founding PayPal and changing the way users shop online, Musk has turned his attention to transforming the norms of transportation. He founded the electric car company, Tesla Motors, and the space exploration company SpaceX, which develops advanced rockets and successfully launched the first commercial spacecraft in 2012. Musk recently unveiled his latest grand ambition – a theoretical high-speed system called the Hyperloop that would send travelers almost 800 miles an hour through above-ground steel tubes.
Keynote address: Sept. 16, 10:30 a.m.

Sheryl Sandberg
Chief operating officer, Facebook

The No. 2 executive at the social networking giant is one of the most powerful and richest women in the world. She joined Facebook in 2008 after serving as vice president of global online sales and operations at Google and chief of staff for the U.S. secretary of the treasury. She remains on the board of directors for several prominent businesses and organizations, including Starbucks, The Walt Disney Company, Brookings Institute and the ONE Campaign. The 44-year-old has become a role model for women in the business world and heightened the national conversation about gender equality in the workplace with her best-selling book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.”
Keynote address: Sept. 16, 11 a.m.

James McNerney
CEO, Boeing

As Boeing’s top brass since 2005, McNerney has steered one of America’s most dominant corporations through the recession and to new heights. Boeing remains among the largest aircraft manufacturers and aerospace and defense contractors in the world. It’s also the nation’s largest exporter by value of goods sold abroad. McNerney, a former executive at Proctor & Gamble and General Electric, is credited with bringing a distinctive financial prowess to one of the original aerospace companies, which keeps exceeding analysts’ predictions with quarterly profits thanks to growing sales of commercial airplanes and military equipment.
Keynote address: Sept. 16, 9 a.m.

Ryan Lance
Chairman & CEO, ConocoPhillips

The top executive at the world’s largest independent exploration and production company graduated from Great Falls High School and studied petroleum engineering at Montana Tech. Lance held several management positions in the oil and natural gas industry for the last three decades, including a 17-year stint at ARCO, before taking over ConocoPhillips in mid-2012.
Keynote address: Sept. 17, 11:30 a.m.

Safra Catz
President & chief financial officer, Oracle

Larry Ellison, America’s third richest man, looks to his masterful No. 2 executive when it comes to guiding Oracle, the world’s third-largest software developer behind only Microsoft and IBM. Catz, a 51-year-old former investment banker, is credited with being the driving force behind the business-software giant that is Oracle. In her 14-year tenure, she has orchestrated several mega deals, including the $1.5 billion acquisition of Bozeman-based RightNow Technologies in 2011 and the $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2009.
Keynote address: Sept. 17, 9 a.m.

Fred Smith
Founder, chairman & CEO, Fedex

Smith returned from two tours of military service in Vietnam and founded Federal Express in 1971 using $4 million of inheritance money as a kickstarter. The delivery company evolved from an initial 25-city network into a global service that now handles roughly nine million shipments a day with more than 660 aircraft, 90,000 vehicles and 300,000 employees.
Keynote address: Sept. 16, 11:30 a.m.

Richard Anderson
CEO, Delta

Anderson floated around the airline industry for nearly 30 years, filling executive positions for several major carriers before landing with Delta in 2007. He guides the world’s largest airline in terms of fleet size. In two of the last three years, Fortune Magazine has dubbed Delta the “Most Admired Airline.” Anderson has garnered individual honors, earning the 2013 Tony Jannus Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Commercial Aviation.
Keynote address: Sept. 16, 9:30 a.m.

Jon Huntsman, Jr.
International businessman, former U.S. ambassador, 2012 Republican presidential nominee

Huntsman is perhaps best known as a
Republican presidential candidate in 2012. But before becoming a rising star in the GOP, he earned a strong reputation as an expert on overseas trade development and commerce. He’s served as an influential ambassador to China and Singapore and was deputy assistant secretary of commerce in the first Bush administration. The former governor of Utah is now a go-to source for diplomatic issues and trade negotiations. He also co-chairs “No Labels” – a growing bipartisan movement promoting a cooperative political model of problem solving.
Keynote address: Sept. 17, 8:30 a.m.

Alan Mulally
President & CEO, Ford Motor Company

After steering one of the “greatest comebacks in business history,” Mulally earned wide praise as Fortune Magazine’s “Businessperson of the Year” and one of “The World’s Most Influential People” by Time magazine. The 67-year-old executive left Boeing in 2006 to take over a struggling Ford Motor Company, which posted a record $12.7 billion net loss. On the brink of collapse, the iconic American automaker survived without federal help and pulled off a remarkable comeback. The thriving automaker has posted pretax profits for 14 consecutive quarters through the end of 2012 and reported last week that U.S. retail sales have spiked 12 percent this year. Ford plans a 7 percent increase in production for the fourth quarter, or 785,000 vehicles.
Keynote address: Sept. 17, 9:30 a.m.

Meg Whitman
CEO, Hewlett-Packard

A self-made billionaire and software magnate, Whitman has been called the “Queen of Silicon Valley.” The New York Times has also tabbed her as one of the most likely candidates to become the nation’s first female president. In other words, Whitman carries significant influence beyond the business world. The former eBay chief executive is currently trying to turn around the beleaguered computer giant HP that went through three different CEOs in 2010 alone.
Keynote address: Sept. 17, 10 a.m.


For details about this year’s Economic Development Summit, including a list of speakers and panels presented on the Montana Tech Campus, visit montanajobssummit.com. The keynote speakers will be telecast live online.

A free mobile application for smartphones is available with interactive maps of the Montana Tech Campus, real-time agenda updates and networking tools for individuals and businesses during and after the summit. The free app is hosted by Bizzabo and is available for both iOS and Android users. Visit www.bizzabo.com/download and search for “MTJobs.”