Past Pioneer in Industry Award Honorees

2004 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipients - Liz Claiborne, Art Ortenberg and Dennis Washington

Liz Claiborne and Art OrtenbergLiz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg turned a $225,000 investment into an apparel empire. Founded in 1976, their company, Liz Claiborne, Inc., was turning a profit in less than one year. Within 11 years, Liz Claiborne Inc. became one of the youngest companies in American business to make the Fortune 500, going public in 1981 in one of the most successful IPOs in Merrill Lynch history. With a total commitment to staying close to the customer, constant innovation to produce and deliver the highest quality product, and very hard work, Liz Claiborne has been called “a case history for success.”

Claiborne was the first woman CEO and chairperson of a Fortune 500 company, was named the fashion industry’s first Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year in 1980, and in that same year she was on Forbes Magazine List of 800 Most Powerful Business People. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design.

Art Ortenberg has served on the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board. He and his wife founded the Art Ortenberg/Liz Claiborne Foundation, an organization devoted to conservation of nature and the amelioration of human distress. In 1994, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg donated a major gift to The University of Montana Foundation to enable the formation of the Bolle Center for People and Forests. They received the Montana Historical Society’s Trustees Award in 2003. They have had a residence in Montana for more than 15 years.

Born in Spokane in 1934, Dennis R. Washington was raised in Washington and Montana. As a boy he earned money boxing groceries, delivering newspapers, shining shoes, and working in service stations. At 17 he took a construction job in Alaska and learned to operate heavy equipment. He returned to Montana to work for his uncle and at 26 became the vice president of the largest construction company in Montana. He started Washington Construction in 1964 with a $30,000 loan, a leased bulldozer, and three employees.

The company’s first job was constructing the parking lot at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. Other projects, including sections of interstate highway, allowed the aggressive company to grow rapidly. By 1974 Washington Construction owned one of the largest heavy equipment fleets in the U.S. With continued reinvestment Washington diversified into dam building, heavy equipment distribution, and mining, eventually purchasing a dormant copper mine in Butte and returning it to profitable production. The mine’s success fueled further diversification into railroads and international marine transportation.

Washington Construction Group Inc. merged with giant Morrison Knudsen Co. in 1996 to form Washington Group International, a global engineering, construction, and management company.

2006 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - Tom Siebel

Tom SiebelThomas Siebel was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Siebel Systems which merged with Oracle Corporation in January 2006. Founded in 1993, Siebel Systems rapidly became a global leader in application software with more than 8,000 employees in 32 countries, over 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion. Before founding Siebel Systems, Siebel served as CEO of Gain Technology, a multimedia software company that merged with Sybase in December 1992. From 1984 through 1990, he was an executive at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of senior management positions. Siebel received the David Packard Award from the Business Executives for National Security in 2002 and was named one of the Top 25 Managers in Global Business by BusinessWeek in 2000 and 2001.

Thomas Siebel is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in commercial real estate, agribusiness, global investment management and philanthropy. He is the chairman of the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, an active supporter of education, wildlife habitat preservation, environmental conservation and alleviating homelessness. He is also the chairman of the Montana Meth Project and the Siebel Scholars Foundation.

He is a graduate of the University of Illinois - Urbana, from which he earned a B.A. in history, an MBA, an M.S. in computer science. He received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 2006. He is a frequent industry spokesman and is the author of three books, Taking Care of eBusiness and Cyber Rules, published by Doubleday, and Virtual Selling, published by the Free Press.

Siebel has been a part-time Montana resident since 2006, operating the Dearborn Ranch in Wolf Creek, MT, and the N Bar Ranch in Grass Range, MT, both working cattle ranches. His early experiences paved the way for his continued commitment and dedication to Montana.

2006 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - William Allen

William AllenWilliam Allen was born on September 1, 1900 in Lolo, Montana, and later earned a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Montana and a Bachelor of Laws from Harvard University. Although Allen spent much of his career outside the state, he always maintained a strong connection to Montana.

Allen began his career with a Seattle, Washington law firm and provided legal services for Boeing Airplane Company. Acquiring interest in aircraft development and manufacturing, Allen was elected to the Board of Directors in 1931, served as Boeing's legal counsel, and helped make decisions that led to the 4-engine B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber, and the model 314 Flying Boat that made the first commercial transatlantic flight in 1939. On September 5, 1945 he was named President and CEO of Boeing, a position he held for 23 years. He was instrumental in leading Boeing to develop the 707, 727, and 737 jetliners.

Allen is largely credited with ushering in the era of commercial jet air travel after World War II. The company also became involved in military contracts (e.g., the Minuteman) and NASA projects (e.g., the Lunar Orbiter). Reflecting his illustrious career, Fortune Magazine named him the second-greatest CEO of all time.

Allen’s numerous awards include: 1958 National Society of Industrial Relations Industrialist of the Year, 1968 Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the United States Distinguished Citizens Award, 1969 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Special Group Achievement Award for contributions to the Apollo Moon-landing program, 1969 National Aeronautics Association Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, 1971 National Aeronautics Association Elder Statesman of Aviation Award, 1973 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Guggenheim Medal, and in 1975 he was named to Fortune Magazine's Business Hall of Fame. He served on The University of Montana Foundation Board of Trustees and was named to the Order of the Grizzly for outstanding achievement by an alumnus of The University of Montana.

2007 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - Stuart Evey

Stuart EveyStuart Evey was born in Havre, Montana. He developed an insatiable thirst for sports, both as a participant and as a fan, at a very young age. After serving in the Army in Germany he attended the University of Washington, where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and graduated in 1958.

Evey began his career with Getty Oil Company, starting at the bottom and working his way up to Vice President of Worldwide Non-oil Operations, a position he held after 26 years of service. His rise was accelerated due to his close relationship with George Getty, who was his mentor during this time. Evey’s responsibilities at Getty included commercial real estate, lumber and plywood mills in the U.S. and Africa, agribusiness holdings in California, and hotel and resort holdings in the U.S. and Mexico. In 1979, Evey was approached by an entrepreneur with a vision for launching a total sports cable television network. He was intrigued with the plan and recommended an investment to Getty management.

Following Getty’s investment in the launch of ESPN, Evey became the founding chairman. His vision and business sense helped make ESPN one of the most successful networks in broadcasting history. Not only did he direct and oversee the growth of ESPN, he also negotiated the sale to ABC Television in 1984 for nearly $300 million. Evey has served on the boards of many companies including Cyan, Mitsubishi Oil Company, GO Energy, Louisiana Gaming Company, Vadium Technology, and H.F. Ahmanson and Co. He has written a book about the early days of ESPN, titled, Creating an Empire. He currently lives in Spokane with his wife, Mary, and serves as a business development consultant and is a frequent guest speaker for a variety of charitable events and organizations.

2007 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - Warren Miller

Warren MillerWarren Miller was born and raised in Hollywood, California. Miller’s passion for skiing began at age 13 when he spent his first day on the slopes. Today, at age 82, Miller is recognized worldwide as “the most radical sports filmmaker of our time,” and “the king of sports movie makers.” He was recently credited in an ESPN program as being responsible for the athletic film genre.

Miller began his film making career with modest resources, namely a $100 investment in an 8mm camera. His first film, Deep and Light, was produced on a $500 budget and Miller himself traveled to show and narrate the film. As his films grew in popularity so did the number of locations at which he personally narrated and showed his film. By 1989 Miller had produced more than 350 films, including 100 ski films and 150 marketing films. Miller is also an accomplished author and cartoonist, having published his work in several books including, The Navy Goes to CollegeAre My Skis on Straight?Nice Try George, and Wine, Women, Warren, and Skis. His most recent book,Freedom Found: How old would you be if you didn’t know when you were born?, is scheduled for release very soon.

Miller currently serves as the Honorary Director of Skiing at the Yellowstone Club in Montana, writes the “Warren’s World” column for every issue of Ski Magazine, and publishes his “Ski Bums/Warren’s World” column in newspapers across the nation. In addition to being a member of the Ski Hall of Fame, Miller has received ten CINE Golden Eagle Awards, eight Industry Film Producers Association (IFPA) Awards, the Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award, and the US Ski Writers Association’s Gold Quill Award. Miller’s philanthropic activities include the Warren Miller Freedom Foundation, an organization that teaches ethical principles of business and entrepreneurship to young people.

2008 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - Mark Kvamme

Mark KvammeMark Kvamme is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital where he focuses on investments in enterprise data management software and consumer media and advertising services. He is currently a director of multiple institutions, including AdBrite, Cast Iron Systems, FON Wireless, Funny or Die, imeem, LinkedIn, Mark Logic, Mevio, MotoSport, Navigenics, PopularMedia,, Stardoll, and StrongMail Systems.

Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 1999, Kvamme was Chairman and CEO of CKS Group, an advertising agency that pioneered new advertising strategies by integrating marketing with technology. The agency had a market value of $550 million within four years. Earlier in his career, Kvamme was a Director of International Marketing for Wyse Technology, the President and CEO of International Solutions, and was a founding member of Apple France. Kvamme has a B.A. in French, Economics and Literature from University of California at Berkeley.

Born into an entrepreneurial family, Mark Kvamme has been engaged in entrepreneurial ventures since he was a teenager. He has a home in Whitefish and is involved in many philanthropic causes in Montana including serving on the Board of the Whitefish Community Foundation. An example of his generous contributions is his donation of a PLATO learning system to the Whitefish Independent High School. PLATO is a web-based learning system that is used to enhance opportunities for special needs and gifted/talented students. He is currently developing a luxury residential development, the Homestead, with Richard Fuld, the Chief Executive Officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., in Whitefish.

2008 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - Karen Puckett

Karen PuckettKaren Puckett is a telecommunications industry veteran and has 25 years of experience in the industry. She has held the position of Chief Operating Officer at CenturyTel since 2000 and she has directed all of the company’s operations including sales, marketing, field operations, engineering, call centers and other support functions. Upon arrival at CenturyTel, Puckett helped to integrate nearly 500,000 access lines acquired from GTE in Arkansas, Missouri and Wisconsin. She also led the 2001 company-wide realignment to a general manager structure, thus pushing decision making closer to the customer and making Century Tel more responsive to the marketplace.

Puckett was instrumental in the effective divestiture of CenturyTel’s wireless business, enabling the company’s execution of a pure-play rural wireline strategy. In addition, she led the effort to integrate CenturyTel’s largest single access line acquisition in its history, which grew the company by more than 600,000 access lines. CenturyTel’s stock is traded on the NYSE and the company is currently generating more than $500 million (more than $1 billion in EBITDA) in free cash flow annually.

Karen Puckett holds a B.S. from Indiana State University and an MBA from Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a board member of the United States Telecom Association, the Boy Scouts of America and St. Francis Medical Center. She was the keynote speaker at the Montana Telecommunications Conference in August 2008.

2010 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - Craig Barrett

Craig BarrettCraig R. Barrett, Ph.D., was Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation from May 2005 to May 2009. He became Intel’s fourth president in May of 1997 and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. He was elected to Intel’s Board of Directors in 1992 and served as Chief Operating Officer from 1993 to 1997. Barrett began his tenure at Intel as a Technology Development manager in 1974. Prior to joining Intel, Barrett was an Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Craig Barrett is a leading advocate for improving education in the U.S. and around the world. He is also a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards globally.

2010 Pioneer in Industry Award Recipient - Barbara Barrett

Barbara BarrettAmbassador Barbara Barrett is President and CEO of Triple Creek Guest Ranch, a Montana Hideaway near Darby, Montana. Until January 2009, Barbara was U.S. Ambassador to Finland. Prior to her service in Finland she served on the corporate boards of Raytheon, Exponent and The Mayo Clinic, and was a trustee of Aerospace Corporation and Thunderbird School of Global Management. She was a member of the boards of the Space Foundation, Horatio Alger Association, the Smithsonian and Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

An instrument-rated pilot, Barrett has flown internationally in civilian and military aircraft. She climbed Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro in August 2007 and bicycled 900 kilometers around Finland while ambassador. She and her husband, Craig, own Triple Creek Ranch in Montana.