70 tech leaders gathered at the DeSoto Grill in Kalispell for the August 28, 2018, Montana High Tech Business Alliance member reception, hosted by Bob Nystuen, Market President, and his team at Glacier Bank. Guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, local brews, and lively conversation at the Grill. CEOs met at Montana West Economic Development for a roundtable discussion about diversity and workforce prior to the reception. Photos by Katy Spence. View the photo album.
Connect: Members from varied communities share common challenges
New member Kristen Heck, owner of LC Staffing in Kalispell, spoke of the challenges her clients across Montana face in recruiting and retaining talent in a tight labor market. Heck’s peers included tech leaders from Polson, Columbia Falls, Helena, Missoula, Bozeman and Rocky Boy.
Promote: Oracle and Figure give lightning talks about their growing companies
Kelly Schwager, Vice President, Global Communications of Oracle, speaks about her experience telecommuting for the Silicon Valley-based giant from Columbia Falls. Schwager also spoke about “Oracle Class Of,” a multi-week program designed to teach new college graduates the skills they need for a career with Oracle at one of its hundreds of global offices. Schwager is one of the newest members of the Alliance Board of Directors.
Nate Lampert, People Operations for Figure, talks about the growing FinTech, which leverages blockchain to provide home equity solutions. Figure raised $50 million in Series A funding earlier this year. The company is developing its engineering team in Bozeman, and also has teams in Helena, Reno, and San Francisco.
Accelerate: CEOs discuss workforce and diversity challenges in Montana
Executives gathered from across the state to discuss the challenges companies face in employing and retaining a diverse workforce. Conor Smith, CEO of First Call Computer Solutions, said his company recently began working with the Missoula College IT apprenticeship program, which aims to help help gaps in workforce needs.