The Speakers

Our lineup of speakers include industry and economic experts focused on the U.S. and the state of Montana.

Patrick Barkey

Patrick Barkey has served as director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research since 2008. He has been involved with economic forecasting and policy research for more than 30 years, in both the private and public sectors. Before moving to Montana, he served as director of the Bureau of Business Research at Ball State University in Indiana for 14 years. He holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Abigail St. Lawrence

Abigail St. Lawrence is an attorney practicing in water rights, natural resource, environmental and administrative law. A native of Great Falls, she holds a Juris Doctorate from Lewis and Clark College. She is a frequent lecturer for continuing legal education courses, presenting on topics of easements, land use and water law. She has significant experience in government relations work, representing both business organizations and nonprofit interests.

Todd Morgan

Todd Morgan is director of Forest Industry Research at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. He oversees research related to timber harvesting and primary wood products manufacturing throughout the Western United States. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and earned a master’s in forestry from the University of Montana. Prior to joining the bureau, he was a research silviculturist for the Texas Forest Service.

Christina Henderson

Christina Quick Henderson is the founding executive director of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit association of high-tech and manufacturing firms across Montana. Henderson is also an adjunct instructor of entrepreneurship, management and organizational behavior at the College of Business at the University of Montana. She holds an MBA from the University of Montana.

Kate Fuller

Kate Binzen Fuller is an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. She holds a masters and Ph.D. from the University of California-Davis. Her research focuses on economic farm management decision-making, including understanding and interpreting USDA programs and policies, responding to pests and diseases, and issues surrounding leasing and land values.

Robert Sonora

Robert “Tino” Sonora is associate director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research and director of health care research. He is the former director of the Office of Business and Economic Research at Fort Lewis College, where he also served as professor of economics. Sonora holds a master’s in international economics from the University of Essex, and a master’s and Ph.D. in economics from Ohio State University.

Jeremy Sage

Jeremy Sage is an associate research professor in the department of geography and the associate director of the Institute For Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana. He previously served as the assistant director of the Freight Policy Transportation Institute at Washington State University. He holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Washington State University in economics, geography and rural sociology, and earned a master’s degree from Utah State University.

Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher is an associate extension specialist and extension family and consumer science program leader at Montana State University. He holds a master’s degree in applied economics from Montana State University. His research and outreach programs focus on consumer economics, agricultural finance and rural economics. He has authored or co-authored more than two dozen educational guides and presented more than 300 educational outreach programs.