Gov. Greg Gianforte on Jan. 11 announced his choice of Scott Osterman as head of the Montana Department of Commerce, citing the Kalispell business executive’s experience in high-tech manufacturing, including at the Flathead Valley’s Applied Materials, as key bona fides qualifying him for the top cabinet position.
“Getting our economy going again, getting Montana open for business, and getting Montanans back to work and thriving in good-paying jobs require a strong leader at the Department of Commerce,” Gianforte said in a prepared statement. “With his extensive experience in business development and management, Scott will be an outstanding leader for the department.”
A north-central Montana native, Osterman most recently served as senior director of business unit operations at Applied Materials in Kalispell. He has also served as a senior executive in Fortune 500 companies and venture startups, including in the semiconductor, automobile and high-tech hardware and software industries.
Osterman’s business experience includes strategic planning, rapid growth initiatives, operations, sales, market development, and turnaround execution.
“I’m honored to accept this opportunity to market, promote, and serve our great state and its people, and I look forward to responsibly and sustainably developing the tremendous potential of Montana,” Osterman stated in a press release. “We are at a unique inflection point to grow the Montana economy in new ways, as well as to build on our traditional industries.”
Other stakeholders welcomed Gianforte’s appointment of Osterman, including Joe Unterreiner, the former CEO of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce.
“With his background as a senior executive at Applied Materials in Kalispell and several other high-tech firms, Scott Osterman brings a wealth of experience in start-ups, advanced manufacturing, and business development to his position as the director for the Montana Department of Commerce,” Unterreiner stated. “Scott is innovative and has a keen understanding for how to advance Montana’s business environment.”