By HDN Staff
Last Saturday, MSUN's Hagener Science Center was the sight of a Hi-line economic summit. Bear Paw Development, Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and MSUN sponsored the event. Despite poor weather and normal holiday distractions, 65 people attended the event. Getting that many folks to give up a precious holiday Saturday speaks volumes to the planning and quality of the summit.
While the rest of the nation has experienced a boom economy, driven by technology, Montana has sat back and mostly played the part of spectator. There have been notable exceptions and a few ( Renelle Bratten, Aimee Hammond, Jim Erickson, Mark Aageson and Mark Hardy) took time out of their busy schedules to share their success stories with summit attendees last Saturday. The three breakout sessions brought together people who have an interest in using technology for new or present businesses, with Hi-Line entrepreneurs currently benefiting from technology. Susanne Tilleman, Craig Erickson and Paul Tuss each skillfully facilitated the sessions.
Keynote Speaker, Bill Patrie President of North Dakota Association of Telephone Cooperatives told the audience that it is the responsibility of Montanans to invest in Montana economic development. We have the most to gain or lose by controlling our own destiny. Community members must be willing to take risks, and invest in co-ops and business ventures before we can expect others to shell out monies. He lectured that venture capitalists, judge start up businesses by the percentage of local investment. Mr. Patrie concluded that he looked forward to returning to Havre 10 years from now, and celebrating the anniversary of this year's summit.
Everyone participating Saturday recognized that this summit was a starting point. The summit sponsors stressed, that this session was only part of a long term plan, to soon be followed by additional summits, seminars and networking. Attendees filled out a questioner seeking topics for future programs and networking information with each other. We at the Havre Daily News would like to thank the presenters and congratulate the sponsors for providing the leadership and the necessary labor to create this excellent first step to controlling our destiny.