PRE-SUMMIT WORKSHOP SPEAKERS
Pre-Summit Workshop Session Speakers in Alphabetical Order by Last Name:
Marilyn Besich joined MCDC in January 2018. As Program Director, she assists the center in promoting and developing cooperatives to meet the economic and community needs of rural Montana though training, technical assistance, and support efforts. Marilyn was Program Manager for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration for Great Falls College for 26 years and has taught Entrepreneurship and Management courses and curriculum for over 30 years.
She has experience in both Management and Marketing positions in Great Falls. She is a graduate of the University of Montana in Business Administration and Montana State University in Adult Education. Marilyn has three sons and has been married to her husband, Al, for 43 years.
Janice Brown became executive director of MCDC in July 2015. She supervises a statewide network of cooperative development specialists who are trained to assist new co-op leaders across Montana and eastern Idaho.
Jan has 40 years of experience in the private, nonprofit and government sectors specializing in recreation/tourism enterprises, organizational development, and natural resource policy.
A graduate of the Oregon State University School of Forestry, Jan has spent her entire career in Idaho and Montana including 10 years of operating her own guest lodge near Yellowstone National Park.
Ewert started at LCCDC (Ronan, MT) in the Farm to Institution program working with producer cooperatives to serve institutions and expand markets for the region’s farmers and ranchers. Brianna has transitioned to work more broadly in LCCDC’s Cooperative Development Center. Brianna recently completed the final of three sessions in the Art and Science of Cooperative Development, a comprehensive training for cooperative developers through Cooperation Works! Brianna holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Montana and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Harvard University. She is personally a member of several cooperatives, co-manages a diversified farm, and spends as much time as she can enjoying the outdoors with her partner and their young son.
Wendy Green Lowe
Certified Professional Facilitator and Owner
Wendy has 30 years experience in group process facilitation and public participation support. She is a certified professional facilitator and has extensive experience bringing diverse perspectives together for collaborative conversations. Several long‐term projects brought stakeholders and participants together to reach consensus on contentious public policies.
She has successfully designed and facilitated group processes for a variety of public and private organizations. She has developed and implemented public involvement plans, managed public meetings of various formats, and moderated public hearings.
In addition, Ms. Lowe provides the IAP2 five‐day Foundations Program and facilitation training as a partner in The Participation Company.
George W. Haynes, Ph.D.
Professor and Extension Economist
Montana State University
Dr. Haynes is a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University.
Dr. Haynes’ primary line of research has been in family business finance, where he has examined the intermingling of family and business resources, explored changes in the financial structure of family business, examined the lending behavior of depository institutions and assessed the response of family businesses to disasters and disaster assistance.
His instructional responsibilities include teaching an introduction to cooperatives course, delivering the Montana agricultural outlook, conducting borrower training for Farm Service Agency borrowers, and educating farmers and ranchers on the agricultural policy issues.