The Speakers

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

Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He has been influential and pioneering in advancing ideas on economic growth, and has been a champion of cities as generators of ideas and wealth. He has served as director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. Glaeser holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and has been instrumental in the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute, whose mission is to ensure that world-class research helps improve the economic well-being of all Americans. Kashkari earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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.

Seth Bodnar

Seth Bodnar is president of the University of Montana. He previously served as a senior executive at the General Electric Company, leading GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions business. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, where he also served on faculty. Bodnar received both the Rhodes and Truman scholarships, and earned two master’s degrees from the University of Oxford. He served in the 101st Airborne Division and the U.S. Army’s First Special Forces Group.

Bob Rowe

Bob Rowe is president and CEO of NorthWestern Energy. He is co-chair of the Institute for Electric Innovation, a board member for the Edison Electric Institute and the American Gas Association. Rowe holds a bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College, as well as a juris doctorate from the University of Oregon. He has been active with a variety of university-based organizations, and is currently a senior fellow at the University of Florida Public Utility Research Center.

Sarah Walsh

Sarah Walsh is chief operating officer at PayneWest Insurance. She directs operations for 30 offices located throughout the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest regions, serving clients throughout the United States and internationally. She is a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and serves as vice-chair of the Carroll College Board of Trustees. Walsh earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Carroll College.

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.

Jocelyn Lane

Jocelyn Lane is regional president for First Interstate Bank in Montana. She has spent more than 30 years in the banking industry, having served on the executive teams of three banks. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida. Lane is also involved in a number of local and statewide organizations, including Five Valleys Land Trust and the Montana World Affairs Council.

Brandon Bridge

Brandon Bridge is an economist and director of forecasting at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana. He holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in economics from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University. Brandon’s research interests include econometric applications, regional economic modeling, natural resources economics and international development.

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.

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.

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.

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.