Montana State University Billings

LARRY MAYER, Gazette Staff

Leaders in banking, finance and health insurance were named Wednesday to the Montana Business Hall of Fame.

The 2017 inductees will be honored at the fourth annual Montana Business Hall of Fame Banquet Sept. 29 at the Northern Hotel. The Montana Business Hall of Fame is located at the Montana State University College of Business. This year’s honorees are:

Bill Coffee, president and chief executive officer of Stockman Bank. Coffee was named CEO of the Montana banking company in 2009. Stockman Bank, founded in Miles City in 1953 with an emphasis on community banking, has expanded across the state and is recognized as one of Montana’s strongest banks, one of the state’s most active commercial lenders and the state’s largest agricultural lender.

Bill Johnstone, chairman of the board, D.A. Davidson Companies. D.A. Davidson has experienced tremendous growth under Johnstone’s guidance. The company’s employee base has doubled, and key measures such as revenues, the number of clients, client assets and the number of offices have tripled. Johnstone has served on numerous boards across the state and was tapped by Gov. Steve Bullock to co-chair the Main Street Montana Initiative. He has also served on the Montana Board of Regents.

Nicki and Rick Larson founded Billings-based Employee Benefit Management Services, one of the nation’s first and most successful third-party administrator companies for self-funded health insurance plans, in 1980.

The company designs strategies to transform the health and well-being of individuals, organizations and communities. A Billings manufacturing company for which the Larsons designed their first self-funded health insurance plan has remained a loyal customer for more than three decades. EBMS remains one of Montana’s greatest success stories in health care.

“The emphasis is to look at our business leaders that have provided so much to communities across the state, have also shown a real love for the communities,” said Bill Kennedy, president and CEO of the MSU Billings Foundation. This year’s honorees were announced at a Wednesday news conference.

Mercedes Eggleton-Garcia, vice president of MasterCard Worldwide, is the keynote speaker at the Montana Business Hall of Fame Banquet. Garcia joined MasterCard 1994 to open the Venezuela office. She moved the company’s headquarters to Purchase, N.Y., in 1998 to join the Global Product Group, supporting the development and global rollout of various MasterCard payment card programs.

Two days of community events and fundraisers will take place surrounding Garcia’s visit. On Sept. 28, she will join Montana State University Billings chancellor Ron Larsen and task forces for dinner and will discuss fraud and security.

On Sept. 29, she will host the MasterCard Women and Business Luncheon at noon at the Double Tree by Hilton. Proceeds from the luncheon and the Hall of Fame Banquet will go toward scholarships for MSUB College of Business students.



Editor of Billings Business, a publication of The Billings Gazette.