63rd Annual Meeting of the Montana Council of Cooperatives

We are excited to invite you to the Council’s Annual Meeting and Conference on January 9th and 10th, 2023. The event will be held at the Great Northern Hotel- in Helena Montana. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Cooperative Community in Montana, engage with cooperative peers, build your cooperative network and discuss key issues facing our cooperative community. 

Sponsorships are available on the Registration Page! 

Schedule of Events - Updated on January 5th, 2023

Montana Council of Cooperatives

2023 Annual Meeting- Schedule (updates provided weekly)

January 9 to 10th, 2023

Celebrating the Montana Cooperative Community

January 9th, 2023


10 am to 12 pm                       Pre-Training Tracks


Track A: Employee-focused:


Do you know the Montana Cooperative Community:  An overview of what it means to work for a cooperative and the impacts that cooperatives have on local communities. This session is focused for those employed by cooperatives to learn all the ins and outs of the cooperative community in Montana, including a review of types of cooperatives, different structures, coordination opportunities, and future growth of the community. Lead by the MCDC/MCOC team.


Track B:   General Managers and Board Member Focused:


Value of Cooperatives- social, charitable, and services. This session will focus on how cooperatives of all makes and models in Montana can expand cooperation and have a more robust impact in Montana. The session will overview State, Regional, Nationally, and International activities and how Montana can better promote the cooperative community as a whole- thus making it stronger and more resilient. Lead by MCDC/MCOC Director Tracy McIntyre and National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) Project Director Teia Evans.


Conference Begins:

1:00 to 1:10 pm                Welcome by MCOC Vice President Heidi Borlaug

                                                Housing Keeping and What to expect


1:10 to 2:00 pm                The Impact of Montana Cooperatives-

  • Pat Barkey, Bureau of Business and Economic Research
  • Creating a Message for the Montana Cooperative Community
    • Introducing statewide all-sector graphics and information to share

2:00 to 2:20 pm                                Fireside Chat with Governor Greg Gianforte

2:20 to 3:30 pm                State of the Montana Cooperative Community: A cross-sector discussion on how Montana Cooperatives are faring in the post-     covid world

  • Moderator: Dave Kelsey- Yellowstone Valley Electric Co-op
  • Panel
    • Karen Smith, Montana Credit Unions
    • Gary Wiens, Montana Electrical Cooperatives’ Association
    • Geoff Feiss, Broadband Montana
    • Josh Starr, Town and Country Supply


3::45 to 4:45 pm               A review of Montana Cooperative Development Center

    • Sophie Nelson- Native American, Childcare, and Women’s Equity
    • Nicole Borner- Broadband Adoption and Partnerships, Investments
    • Davey Madison- General Projects- Emerging Cooperatives- Ag, Housing, and more
    • Shandy Petersen- Sustainability of MCDC- introducing the Montana Cooperative Legacy Endowment Fund
    • Tracy McIntyre- interview of Lyndsay Larson, Montana Food Hub, and Caitlin Jenson, Zero to Five Montana


4:45 to 5:00 pm:               Introduction/Brainstorm of creating a Montana Cooperative Investment Cooperative- Securing Capital for Cooperatives  with Nicole Borner and Shandy Petersen- MCDC Team


5:30 pm to 6:30 pm        Networking Hour 

6:30 pm                            The Montana Cooperative Community Legislative Dinner

  • Awarding Fritz Keller- Energized with Cooperative Spirit Award


January 10th, 2023

7:00 to 8:30 am                 Breakfast- On your own or at the Hotel

8:30 to 9:00 am                 MCOC Annual Meeting – MCOC Board of Directors

                       Welcome by Congressional Delegates (invited)

9:00 to10:00am                 Voices of Montana – Live Broadcast from the Cooperative Community

10:00 to 10:30 am            Building the Future of Montana Cooperatives

  • MCOC Legislative Agenda Discussion/Strategic Planning



10:45 -12:15 pm               Workforce and Cooperatives- Innovative Programing for Attracting and Retaining Employees in Montana

  • Moderated by: Julie Jaksha, Butte Food Co-op/Ascent Bank
  • Panel:
    • Montana Premium Processing Co-op partnership with MSU-Northern
      • Bill Jones, General Manager with Montana Premium Processing Co-op
    • CHS Pre-Apprenticeship Program with MCDC and MCOC
      • Tim Rask, CEO/President of Daniel-Sheridan Credit Union
    • MCDC’s Legacy the Unicorn Youth Outreach
      • Shandy Petersen, MCDC Sustainability Director
    • Veteran’s Workforce Placement- Introduction to Skillbridge
      • Leif Ibsen, Co-Founder/Owner of Montana Opportunities for Veterans Everywhere
    • Fergus Credit Union- Infant to Work Program
      • Jayme Durbin, President (invited)
    • Sheridan Electric Cooperative’s Youth Engagement
      • Josh Johnson, Member Services and Marketing Manager
    • Retaining employment
      • Andy Shirtliff, Business Engagement Specialist MT Dept. of Labor


12:15 – 1:45 pm                                Lunch –

Fireside Chat with Montana Legislative Leadership:  Stillwater County Commissioner and MCDC Board Member Tyrel Hamilton will lead a discussion with Majority Leader Senator Steve Fitzpatrick and Minority Leader Senator Pat Flowers.

    • Closing the Conference’s Silent Auction (all proceeds will benefit the cooperative education fund)
    • Closing Remarks and Door Prizes

Optional Afternoon activities:

2 to 4 pm                             MCDC/MCOC Board and Staff Office Hours- set up one-on-one discussions

2 to 3 pm                             Training Opportunity: How do you connect with Legislators. Mark Lambrecht, Director of Government Relations with the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association, will lead this training.

6:00 pm                                For those staying in town- a no-host dinner will be arrange



thank you sponsors

Sheridan Electric Cooperative
Flathead Electric Co-op
Hill County Electric Co-op
Vigilante Electric Coop
Triangle Communications


PO Box 3027
Great Falls, MT 59401

NOVEMBER 21, 2022


The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Montana Council of Cooperatives will be held Tuesday, Jan. 10th, 2023 beginning at 8:30 am in Helena, Montana, at the Helena Great Northern Hotel located at 835 Great Northern Boulevard for the purpose of the Election of Directors, and conducting such other business of the Association as may then be appropriate.

Heid Borlaug, Vice President

Montana Council of Cooperatives