Meet our 2017-2018 Panel of Judges

We are sincerely grateful that these outstanding Montanans have chosen to volunteer their time and expertise to select our state's most promising high school business innovators. We thank them for their service to our youth and to the future of Montana's rural and urban communities.


Don BeemanDON BEEMAN has over 35 years experience in the pharmaceutical and vaccine industry. Most recently he served as CEO of LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, a local biotech company, now known as Takeda Vaccines. He is Past President of the Montana BioScience Alliance. Don is a community member of the Bozeman Chronicle Editorial Board.


Dan Brunell

DAN BRUNELL is the Operations Director for the Montana Chamber of Commerce, where he manages financial planning, human resources, member programs, and the Chamber’s 10-year strategic plan – Envision 2026. Before joining the Chamber, Dan ran his own communications and strategic planning company, Brunell Creative, and spent 13 years as the New Media Manager for the Association of Washington Business, that state's Chamber.


Amy DardisAMY DARDIS is an entrepreneur, marketing strategist, website consultant and speaker. She, along with her husband Josh, own 406 Marketing & Design, a web design and digital marketing company based in Great Falls, MT. Amy is passionate about inspiring and encouraging others. She believes everyone is significant and has a fascinating story to tell. She loves to listen, learn and ask a ton of questions!


Jenni GraffJENNI GRAFF is  the Economic Development Director at Missoula Economic Partnership, an organization that connects high-growth businesses with the programs, resources, and people to accelerate their success. Jenni has an MBA from the University of Montana and experience in marketing, and communications, including a stint with a regional healthcare system with over fifty hospitals and 800 clinics.


Dr. Daniel JulianoDR. DANIEL JULIANO holds a Ph.D. in Physics and is currently Associate Director of Montana State University's TechLink Center. His previous experience includes 16 years of technology development in Silicon Valley, during which time he was granted more than 20 U.S. patents. Before joining MSU, Dr. Juliano served on the executive staff at MiaSolé, a manufacturer of flexible and lightweight thin film solar panels.


Lawrie LiebermanLAWRIE LIEBERMAN served as Dean of Admissions for Stanford University's Graduate School of Business before doing mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnering, venture and debt financing with Apple Computer. He also served as Senior Group Vice President of Business Objects, a software enterprise firm that was acquired by SAP. Lawrie volunteered as Chair of the Desert Research Institute Foundation in Nevada before moving to Bozeman.


Liz Marchi

LIZ MARCHI is founder of Frontier Angel Fund 2 and co-founder of Northfork Strategies. She has a background in legislative and policy issues concerning business development at state and federal levels. Liz served as President of Montana Ambassadors, Trustee of Hollins University and President and CEO of Montana West Economic Development and Flathead County Port Authority. She was named Woman to Woman Mentor of the Year by MSU and Prospera Business Network. She and her husband raise Wagyu and Angus cattle in Polson.


Will Price

WILL PRICE is Managing Partner of the venture capital firm Next Frontier Capital. Earlier in his career Will worked for Morgan Stanley in NYC, Hong Kong, and the ASEAN markets where he focused on the privatization of state-owned assets. Prior to Next Frontier Capital, Will served as CEO of a firm that wasacquired by the parent company of SnapChat. Will sits on the boards of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Gallatin Valley Land Trust.


Diane Smith

DIANE SMITH is Founder and CEO of Whitefish-based American Rural. She is an entrepreneur, attorney, policy expert, angel investor, and writer with extensive background in start-up companies and new industries. Diane left the Fortune 500 world to foster rural and small town opportunity and advises businesses and policymakers on matters relating to technology and entrepreneurship. Diane is active with the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs.


David ThompsonDAVID THOMPSON is Founder and Principal of Brickhouse Creative, a strategic graphic design and branding agency, based in Bozeman. For over 17 years, the team at Brickhouse has helped launch and grow numerous brands, specializing in communicating the unique attributes of the outdoors and related fields. Beyond Brickhouse, David is a published outdoor photographer, and has enjoyed past national recognition as a songwriter and musician.