News Alert, Press Release|

HELENA — The Montana Chamber of Commerce is recognizing 27 legislators with its “Champion of Business” award for their work during the 66th Montana Legislature. Senator Jeff Welborn of Dillon was named the Montana Chamber’s “Most Valuable Policymaker” (MVP) of the 2019 session.

“We are excited to recognize these lawmakers for going the extra mile to improve Montana’s business climate,” said Bridger Mahlum, government relations director of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. “In particular, Sen. Welborn led the charge on infrastructure legislation that was critical to the goals of the Montana Chamber and our strategic plan.”

The Champion of Business and MVP designations identify policymakers who stood up for job creation, free enterprise and economic development in 2019.

“Thanks to the Montana Chamber for working shoulder to shoulder with Montana business owners in the public policy arena,” Welborn said. “As an elected policy maker, it’s an honor to stand with business owners in creating sound economic policy in our state. I believe a common sense approach achieves measured results creating more jobs, and in turn, benefits hard working working families, schools, public infrastructure, and our overall economy.”

The 2019 Champions of Business will be featured during the 2019 Economic Update Series July 30-Aug. 1 in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Missoula and Kalispell.

The 27 Champions of Business are:

  • Rep. Fred Anderson, Great Falls
  • Sen. Duane Ankney, Colstrip
  • Rep. David Bedey, Hamilton
  • Rep. Edward Buttrey, Great Falls
  • Rep. Geraldine Custer, Forsyth
  • Rep. Julie Dooling, Helena
  • Rep. Ross Fitzgerald, Fairfield
  • Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, Great Falls
  • Sen. Pat Flowers, Belgrade
  • Rep. Frank Garner, Kalispell
  • Sen. Terry Gauthier, Helena
  • Sen. Bruce Gillespie, Ethridge
  • Sen. Jen Gross, Billings
  • Rep. Bruce Grubbs, Bozeman
  • Rep. Kenneth Holmlund, Miles City
  • Rep. Mike Hopkins, Missoula
  • Rep. Llew Jones, Conrad
  • Rep. Joel Krautter, Sidney
  • Sen. Nate McConnell, Missoula
  • Sen. Tom Richmond, Billings
  • Rep. Walt Sales, Manhattan
  • Sen. Dan Salomon, Ronan
  • Sen. Jon Sesso, Butte
  • Rep. Ray Shaw, Sheridan
  • Sen. Jason Small, Busby
  • Sen. Jeff Welborn, Dillon (MVP)
  • Rep. Tom Welch, Dillon

To be named a Champion of Business, a legislator must earn a score that meets or exceeds 90 percent in the Montana Chamber’s Voting Review, supported the Montana Chamber’s top six priority bills, and sponsored no anti-business legislation.

The Montana Chamber’s 2019 Voting Review of the Montana Legislature and governor will be released Aug. 5.


Since it’s formation in 1931, the Montana Chamber of Commerce has been the state’s leading business advocate, representing members from the state’s largest businesses, to Main Street “mom-and-pop’s.”

As the leading business advocate, the Montana Chamber of Commerce envisions a business climate that is optimal for Montana business prosperity.

To create and sustain an optimal business climate, business prosperity, and a strong Montana economy, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, through advocacy, education, and collaboration works to provide an empowered and educated workforce, reduce business growth obstacles, and advance positions that promote success for Montana businesses.

For Immediate Release
July 24, 2019
Media Contact: Communications Director Alexandria Klapmeier
(C) 406-437-4634 or [email protected]

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