The College of Business Advisory Board is designed to foster a working relationship between the College and the community. The needs of business professionals in the community is a primary focus for the College of Business. We feel those individuals operating in local, national, and global markets will know best what business needs. The Business Advisory Board is a key asset in helping our students succeed in business.


Advisory Board Members 



Roy Brown

RLB Oil Co., Inc.; RL Brown Consulting

A retired oilman, Brown, owns and manages rental properties in Billings. He received a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering from Montana Tech in Butte in 1974. He served as State Representative (Majority Leader 5 years) and State Senator (Majority Whip 2 years) and was involved with many energy development and regulatory issues.  He has been a member of the Business Advisory Board of the Montana State University Billings College of Business since 2000. He has received the Guardian of Small Business Award- NFIB, the Champion of Business Award- MT Chamber of Commerce, and was appointed Commissioner of the MT Public Defender Commission.


John Burke


John is the Chief Financial Officer of Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA), a franchisor of a system of nearly 500 RV campgrounds throughout North America. John has more than 30 years of experience in public accounting and private industry including regulated utility operations, electric generation, coal mining, oil & gas exploration and marketing, telecommunications and outdoor hospitality. He currently works with the management team of KOA’s company operated properties evaluating capital investments, property acquisitions and divestitures and all aspects of finance, treasury and accounting.  He also works with the franchise system sharing the disciplines of finance, treasury and accounting within their individual operations. John came to KOA in 2004 after serving as controller for the Montana State Fund, and as Vice President and Controller of Touch America Inc. He previously had various finance and accounting positions with Montana Power Company, headquartered in Butte, Montana. John has been a member of the Business Advisory Board for the MSUB College of Business since 2006.  He previously served as a member of the Business Advisory Council for the School of Business Administration at the University of Montana from 1999 to 2002.


Chris M. Dimock

Co-Owner, Elation, Inc. Billings, Montana.

Chris has been involved in the intersection of technology and human performance for over three decades.  His initial work was done in information systems design when he worked at Boston College and Fidelity Investments in the 1980s. While at Digital Equipment Corporation, Chris was involved in artificial intelligence systems design, and coupling AI systems with leadership decision-making.  He participated in creating one of the first intranets in the world, which his team had up and running within months of the initial release of the WWW protocol. Chris and his wife started one of the first Internet Service Providers in Montana, and evolved that organization into OneEighty Communications, a full service Competitive Local Exchange carrier offering business phone service, internet bandwidth and hosting, and fiber capacity.  Once they sold they company in 2015, Chris briefly retired before founding Elation. Elation is a company focused on helping people to improve personal and organizational performance.  Rather than using the traditional methods of reinforcing new behavioral habits, Elation is pioneering a method to improve the way that participants think, so that they get consistently and sustainably better outcomes into the future. Elation has proven its method to be effective with clients in a variety of sectors including banking and finance, recreation, oil and gas production, retail and hospitality.


Trent Fuhrman

CFO, The Tire Guys, Inc. dba Tire Rama

Tire Rama operates 45 stores in Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming.  Trent graduated from MSU- Bozeman in 1990 with a degree in business.  Trent has been with Tire-Rama since 1990, and CFO since 2004.


Ed Garding

Executive Vice President and CEO

First Interstate BancSystem (retired, January 2016)

Ed Garding was former chairman of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. He has served on the boards of both the Billings and Sheridan, Wyoming, YMCA's, the Sheridan College Foundation board, and Ducks Unlimited in both Sheridan, WY and Hardin, MT (also chair). He was President of the Wyoming Bankers Association and has been a member of the American Bankers Association Government Relations Council. He also served as lobbyist for the Montana Bankers Association. Ed served on the MSUB Foundation Board of Trustees and since 1997 he serves on the College of Business Advisory Board. He received the award for the MSUB Outstanding Alumni in 2004.


Michael Gray  

G+G Advertising

Michael leads G&G’s communication practice, bringing to his work 19+ years of experience with communities of hard-to-reach populations. Michael has worked with some of the nation’s leading advocacy, education and media organizations. He has created and implemented hundreds of diversity programs, outreach and social marketing campaigns to increase participation and engagement of traditionally underserved communities. G&G located in Billings, Montana has received and been awarded many accolades by the American Advertising Federation, David Ogilvy Awards, EFFIES and International Summit Awards.  In 2010 Michael was recipient of the American Advertising Federations Diversity Achievement – Role Model of the year Award. Michael has served on the following boards; Laguna Pueblo Education Foundation, Albuquerque Mayor’s Art Board, Chairman of the Billings Business Improvement District,  Alberta Bair Theater Board, Montana Make-A-Wish Foundation, Board Chair of the AAF Billings Marketing and Advertising Club, Billings Catholic School Marketing Committee.


LynAnn Vogele Henderson

Executive Vice President Business Development, EBMS

LynAnn has more than 20 years of progressive business experience that ranges from higher education to a Fortune 100 company where she’s held positions in marketing, sales, operations, and general management. LynAnn was hired in 2005 to oversee EBMS’ corporate marketing initiatives, with a focus on building customer loyalty and a stronger brand identity for EBMS.  In 2012, LynAnn was promoted to her current executive leadership role, providing oversight of EBMS’ business development efforts, working with benefits consultants and leadership from employer organizations to effectively align EBMS’ services with the unique needs of each organization. LynAnn’s commitments to the industry and her community resulted in her recognition as “Volunteer of the Year” for Health Care Administrator’s Association (HCAA) in 2009, Magic City Magazine’s “Most Inspiring People in 2011,” and Billings’ YWCA Salute to Women award in 2013. LynAnn holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from Rocky Mountain College.


Luke Kobold

Billings Clinic, Director of Strategic Planning and Marketing

Luke holds a bachelor’s degree in Management of Information Systems from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MBA in Healthcare Management from Regis University.


Chad Lippert

D.A. Davidson & Co.; Lusin & Lippert Wealth Consultants, Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor

Chad is the Treasurer of the statewide Board of Governors for Leadership Montana.  He coaches youth sports through the YMCA and teaches Youth AWANA and Sunday School at Faith Chapel.  Chad is a frequent guest on the KTVQ Morning TV Show discussing financial planning topics. He is a graduate of Leadership Billings and Leadership Montana while also being recognized as one of Billings “Forty under 40.”


Greg McDonald

McDonald Land Development, Owner. Formerly President of Wendy’s of Montana.

Greg is a recognized leader in the community. He serves as President of the Sam and Judy McDonald Foundation and Chairman of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption/A Waiting Child golf tournament/auction. He has served on the board of directors for the University of Montana Business School, the Parmly Billings Library Foundation, Downtown Billings Partnership, Boys & Girls Club of Yellowstone County, Billings Family YMCA, Billings Chamber of Commerce, Rocky Mountain Bank, Montana Restaurant Association, and the Alberta Bair Theater. Greg currently serves on the Montana Restaurant Association, Boys and Girls Club Endowment Foundation and Rocky Mountain College Boards. He is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club, the Petroleum Club, the Yellowstone Country Club and the Montana Ambassadors. The YMCA presented him with the Philip Fortin Humanitarian Award in 2015.


Jennifer Mercer

The Billings Depot, Executive Director

Jennifer received a BSBA in Marketing and Management from MSU Billings in 2002 and received the “Outstanding Achievement in Management” award at 2002 Convocation. She was highlighted in the Billings Gazette’s “40 Under 40” in 2013. She serves on several boards including the Downtown Billings Exchange Club, Billings Preservation Society, Big Sky EDA’s Small Business Advisory Council, and Community Leadership Priorities Committee.


Lisa Perry

NorthWestern Energy, Manager-Community Relations

Lisa worked her way through college while working at the Billings airport, first as a bag loader and ending as Northwest Airlines Sales Manager for the states of Montana and Wyoming.  During this that time she held many statewide tourism leadership positions, which involved Legislative and state tax involvement.  Governor Racicot named her Tourism Person of the Year in 2000. She spent ten years working for PPL Montana as Manager, Community Affairs.  Her duties included lobbying at a state level and administering the charitable budget of about $350,000 per year.  Her current role at NorthWestern Energy involves being the face of the company in the community and issue resolution. Lisa is on the board of the Montana Association for Female Executives (MAFE) and also serves on the Billings Chamber of Commerce Board.


Billie Ruff

CEO, Travel Café

Billie has served Montana State University Billings is a number of capacities: Alumni Board Member (Vice President and President), Chair of the Golf Tournament, Outreach Committee, Wine Festival (Chair, Cooking Schools Co-chair, and volunteer), Outstanding Alumni Awards Final Selection Committee, Foundation Board member, Committee on Directors, Annual Fund Committee, and Committee on Trustees. She was awarded the Alumni Medallion in 2002 by the MSUB Alumni Association.


Dr. Michael Schaer

Founder, Computers Unlimited. Owner, McCormick Café, Café Italia, and Log Cabin Bakery

Computers Unlimited, founded in 1978, is an industry leader offering software solutions to Industrial Gas Business, Home Care Medical Distributors, and Audiology Office Management Software throughout the entire world. In 1995, Mike started Internet Montana, offering phone line hookups to the just-born World Wide Web. Mike owns many Montana Avenue properties between North 26th and 23th streets. Mike has been a generous supporter of the MSU Billings College of Business and the MSU Billings Foundation Wine Festival. He is a member of the First Interstate Bank Advisory Council, and past member of the Billings Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the Billings Clinic Board of Directors, and the Billings Business Improvement District board of directors. Among his awards and recognitions are the 2003 "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Montana Ambassadors, 2009 Roche Jaune Award for Business Excellence - Business Person of the Year, 2012 Roche Jaune Lifetime Achievement Award, and 2014 Montana Business Hall of Fame.


Toni Schneider

CTA Architects Engineers, Director of Marketing

Toni currently leads a team of 12 people with the common goal of driving value for CTA’s clients nationally and internationally in addition to assisting their 17 office, 400 employee organization.  Her past experience includes management for the Billings NBC affiliate (KULR). She serves the community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Billings Depot, is a graduate of Leadership Billings (2014) and Leadership Montana (2016).


Bill Simmons

MasterLube; Elation

Bill spent 15 years as sales manager of a radio station before he purchased Minit Lube on 24th St. West in 1981. He turned the business around and changed the name to MasterLube. The business expanded and now includes four lube centers and two car wash centers. Simmons is widely known for using his business to help people with few skills and little work history develop goals and then work toward them with the support of MasterLube. Many former staff members have gone on to realize their dreams as teachers, counselors, bank tellers, and more. As his staff rose to a level of excellence not considered possible, MasterLube gained national renown, receiving the National Operator of the Year, among other awards and recognitions.


Stephen Wahrlich

Owner, Wahrlich Enterprises Inc.; Best Western Clock Tower Plus Inn

Steve’s business career spans over 40 years of working in hospitality, publishing, and construction either at the ownership or senior management positions. He has served his community and industry as a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Technology & E-Business Committee, as Past President of the Downtown Billings Partnership and Downtown Business Improvement District, Chairperson of the Billings Tourism Business Improvement District, Board Member of the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association, Montana State University – Billings Foundation, Riverstone Health Foundation, and CO-Director of the Montana Special Olympics. He organized the College of Business Speakers Bureau. His greatest enjoyment is seeing young people progress in the world of business. Steve currently serves as the Chair of the College of Business Advisory Board at MSUB.


Dave Warne

Dave taught English and coached competitive speech at Billings West and Senior Highs for 8 years. He worked for 28 years in sales and then as District Manager for a chemical distribution company, Brentag Pacific, from which he retired in 2008.

Dave earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in mathematics from MSU Billings (EMC). He also worked on a Master's degree from Washington State University in Rhetoric and Communications. Dave was involved in a number of extra-curricular activities while a student at EMC, including student government officer, soccer team member and captain, and president of Intercollegiate Knights. He graduated as Outstanding Senior with high honors. In 2010 he was named an Outstanding Alumni Award winner, receiving the Alumni Merit Medallion. He has remained a loyal fan of the Yellowjackets and has continued to serve the university through his involvement with MSUB Foundation: MSUB Foundation Board of Trustees, Chair 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2016-2018; Vice Chair Board 2014-2016; Immediate Past Chair, 2007-2009; Annual Fund Committee 2005-09; Committee on Trustees 2004-06, 2013-2016; Fiscal Affairs 2001-09, 2013-2016; Real Estate 2005-07, 2013-2016; Executive Committee 2005-09. He was involved in all three MSUB Foundation campaigns: NCLC; People, Pride and Promise; and Opportunity Scholarship Campaign.