Account Manager at First Call - Digital Agency
After making movies in Hollywood, a failed attempt at horse whispering, and working in Alaska during the salmon runs, Jacob's love of listening to and helping people truly blossomed in his marketing career. From consulting to project management, the real joy for Jacob is helping businesses understand where they want to be and how to get there.
Business Engagement Specialist at Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Andy's focus is to help Montana's innovators, entrepreneurs, and existing Montana small businesses start, operate, grow and recover their businesses, and create good-paying jobs.
He is a firm believer that our growth comes from within and that there is strength in our diversity of people as well as our industries. Andy takes pride in building and maintaining relationships and has traveled to all 56 counties to work with people of all walks of life to help keep Montana's economy growing and strong.
Andy has extensive experience in the private and public sectors as well as with nonprofit organizations, He has led teams and delivered award-winning and nationally recognized results. He is skilled in economic development, communications, fundraising, leadership, and collaborating.
Owner of The Free Spirited Coach
Nissa is a trained mindset and manifestation coach helping high performing female entrepreneurs expand their success in life and business. She believes our greatest success starts from the inside and work with her clients to move past limiting beliefs, fears, doubts, imposter syndrome and more so they can show up powerfully in their business.
Bonfire Brands Founder and Creative Director
Blake arrived in Missoula for the first time in 1995 and found herself working on the rivers and in the mountains and ended up crisscrossing the country several times pursuing her career. She found joy and passion while working for Outward Bound and later for Patagonia in sales and marketing.
That these beloved companies could find success while honoring the natural world inspired Blake to take a deeper look at the theories and practices behind sustainable and successful business. With this know-how in hand, she set off to create and grow brands in mindful, creative, and beautifully designed ways.
Blake loves working closely with clients to create the company they truly envision, through brand architecture, design, marketing and strategy. Blake empowers organizations to take their game to the next level and is dedicated to working with people interested in creating a just economy based on the success of people, planet and profit.
Animal Wonders - Co-Founder and Executive Director
Access to education and enjoyment in learning are the driving passions in all of Jessi's work. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Animal Wonders, a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 dedicated to rescuing displaced wild and exotic animals and providing educational programs to our local and online communities.
As the host of SciShow Kids, an online science channel for children, Jessi helps bring informal science education to the world where anyone with access to the internet can benefit from the free content.
On the home front, Jessi is a mother of three, a dabbler in artistic creation, and enjoys supporting local organizations, businesses, and community events.
Owner of Donation Warehouse, co-founder of 406 Families
Like most business owners, and as a mom to three boys, Laci juggles multiple job titles depending on the day. Born and raised in Missoula, Laci graduated from U of M with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Nonprofit Administration.
In 2011 her and her husband started Donation Warehouse, a local used furniture and appliance store that raises money for child abuse prevention. She is also a property manager, certified water operator, and co-founder of the local parenting website, 406 Families.
Senior Editor at Scary Mommy and Founder of Revival Comedy
Sarah Aswell is a writer and comedian living in Missoula, Montana. Currently a Senior Editor at Scary Mommy, her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, National Lampoon, MAD Magazine, Reductress, Forbes, and more. She’s also written for brands like Nike, Facebook, and Kitchenaid. An alum of the Big Sky Comedy Festival and HBO’s Women in Comedy Festival, she was recently named one of the best unknown comedians in America by Thrillist, which is one of those insults that sounds like a compliment.
Ascent Bank Butte Market President
Julie Jaksha, Butte Market President, joined the Ascent Bank team in early 2022 bringing over 32 years of work experience in economic development, leadership, financing, and bank operations. Julie assists small business owners, entrepreneurs, and public/private groups to find solutions and achieve success. Her extensive background with complex project execution and management help clients launch, manage, and grow their business.
In addition to receiving national and state awards for her outstanding work, Julie has earned several professional accreditations. In 2017 Julie was appointed as a Montana Ambassador by Governor Bullock. She is an active member of the Montana Economic Development Association (MEDA) and Leadership Montana. Julie serves on the Board of Directors for Our Lady of the Rockies, Butte Food Co-Op, Montana Youth Soccer, Montana Cooperative Development Center, C.A.M.P. Montana Tech, and the Butte Silver Bow Planning Department.
Outside of work, Julie loves to spend her time with her family, at a lake, on a river or sitting around a campfire.
Owner of BFK Presents
Meet Logan Foret, your Host and Moderator for Beast Your Biz! He's fun, creative and super intelligent and we promise there will not be a dull moment! He is no stranger to entrepreneurship and can be described as fearless and relentless when it comes to business.
Logan once turned an old department store in the mall into an escape for Missoulians. The Giggle Box was safe and accessible, providing an experience people may not be comfortable experiencing otherwise. Especially as people were practicing social distancing and trying to avoid cabin fever.
Logan also owns BFK Presents, a single solution agency for brand amplification, consumer immersion through experiential installation, and bespoke events. Ranging from complete turnkey music and cultural festivals to pop up speakeasy-style art galleries to from-scratch builds at mega-conventions and trade shows
Partner at Marketplace Events
Linda Baumann, is the founder and co-owner of Marketplace Events.
Linda has worked in the media world for 30+ years in management positions such as Publisher and General Manager at radio, television stations and newspapers for some of the largest media companies in the country. She has also worked with some of the largest advertising agencies such as McCan Ericson, BBDO and J Walter Thompson.
Linda received the 2012 Businesswoman of the Year award from the Missoula Businesswomen’s Network.
Linda has been a community volunteer in Missoula since 1993. She has served on the boards of the Missoula City/County Animal Control, March of Dimes, YWCA and American Cancer Society. Community and giving back are important to Linda and her business partner and daughter, Megan. Together, they were the 2015/16 Chairs of the Missoula County Relay for Life and are volunteers for countless community non-profit events.
Linda also received the 2020 Flying High award from the Missoula Businesswomen’s Network. This award celebrates women who have made significant contributions to the Missoula Businesswomen’s Network and the Missoula community.
Partner at Marketplace Events
Megan Pfaff is the co-owner of Marketplace Events.
Megan attended Hellgate High School and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Psychology. She began Rock Against Racism while in college as a community volunteer program, raising funds and awareness for the YWCA. She also did volunteer work in the Dominican Republic teaching English to children and building homes with Habitat for Humanity. She’s involved with the Missoula Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Association as well as numerous non-profit organizations.
Giving back are important to Megan and her business partner and mom, Linda. Together, they were the 2015/16 Chairs of the Missoula County Relay for Life and are volunteers for countless community non-profit events.
She received the 2019 Flying High award from the Missoula Businesswomen’s Network. This prestigious award celebrates two extraordinary women each year who have made significant contributions to the Missoula Businesswomen’s Network and society.
Each recipient has helped raise the standards and level of professionalism in business, while inspiring and mentoring future generations, laying the groundwork that encourages all women to strive for excellence.
Megan has been a Partner at Marketplace Events since 2006. Megan has lived in Missoula since 1993 and is raising two girls, Bailie and Charlie, with her husband Matt. They love living in Missoula and relaxing at their family cabin in Seeley Lake.
Beast Your Biz! is designed to be very interactive. We have 45-minute sessions of action packed training followed by 15-minutes of open questions as well as 30-minute breaks to be able to digest the information and visit with Exhibitors. There is also a one-hour wrap-up session at the end of day where all of your business questions get answered, followed by a social-hour.
Manifestation might sound like something that only happens in yoga studios, but the practice of creating intentions and then watching them appear can have a real place in business. Manifesting success is less about wishing and dreaming and more about defining your goals and setting the stage to make them happen with practices such as visualization and affirmations.
It seems so easy and clear when you say it aloud. It’s like, “Oh, yeah, duh. I need to market myself, my brand, and my company in a way that is effective.” So, we try and try, and see a touch of success, but never quite as much as we had hoped for, because the truth is, we’re business professionals, not marketers. Though we are creative, motivated, and dedicated to our brand, we cannot do it all. We hire an employee to do and branding in hopes of gaining traction and reaching more people, helping more people, being more attractive to our target audience just to realize we’ve hired wrong or the marketing talent we have isn’t enough and we need more. Now what?
Your ticket includes lunch at the ZACC provided by Biga Pizza.
An examination of the leadership in the Fortune 500 companies reveals that only 4.8% of CEOs are women. But many reports reveal that companies with more gender diversity among leadership saw greater financial gains. The same reports also revealed that there was a correlation between diversity and performance, with companies with diverse leadership experiencing higher performance and a more competitive advantage. With many notable advantages to diversity, what can you do to attract and retain female leadership?
Building a solid team is one of the best ways to ensure success and longevity for your business. However, finding the right people isn’t always easy. Small business hiring can be an especially daunting process, since you’re seeking qualified team members who are also aligned with your business’ vision and growth goals. That's why we asked Andy Shirtliff to share how you can be sure you’re hiring those who are going to help take your business to new heights.
An entrepreneur is someone who comes up with ideas, products or services to solve problems for the world. The path of entrepreneurship is built differently for every individual, but all successful entrepreneurs need to be prepared for failure and criticism, and they should constantly be learning and improving themselves. There is no secret recipe to becoming a successful entrepreneur, but thid panel will help you on the journey.
Wind down and spend time exchanging business cards, connecting with new friends and having a drink at the no-host bar at the ZACC Showroom.
Access a sneak preview of Beast Your Biz! the evening before with this networking event to kick-off the conference. We will have music, complimentary appetizers and a no-host bar while you mingle with speakers, panelists, sponsors and fellow attendees. This is a fabulous way to make personal contacts with entrepreneurs to help guide you on your way to success!