Gateway Economic Development Corporation picks new director- Welcome to Montana Sheldon Bartel

Members of Gateway Economic Development Corporation have chosen a new executive director to replace Lynn Robson, who
retired earlier this year.

By CHRISTINA QUINN, IR Business Writer

Sheldon Bartel, former executive director of Uptown Community Development Corporation in Sacramento, will begin work in
Helena July 1, earning $50,000 a year.
Bartel was executive director for the nonprofit, public benefit corporation for two years. He promoted North Sacramento as a place
to live, work, shop, invest and pursue cultural activities. During his tenure, the commercial vacancy rate decreased, Bartel said.

example of his efforts involved getting the Uptown to retain jobs at an employment agency through lobbying the city council and
providing grant assistance to the business.
“He just has a broad-based experience, more so than the other candidates,” said Gateway’s Board Chair Joe Bower, president of
U.S. Bank.

Bartel also worked for five years as a research specialist for the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural Economics. He
has a master’s degree in agricultural economics from New Mexico State University and a bachelor’s in economics and finance from
Houston Baptist University. He also completed coursework for a doctorate in design, management, and appraisal of development
projects and programs at New Mexico State University and has published three articles in academic journals.

Bartel, 38, will manage Gateway, which supports the retention of existing jobs and promotes the creation of new jobs in the region.
Among other tasks, the corporation provides training, counseling, technical assistance, and access to capital for startup or expansion
of qualified businesses.

As executive director, Bartel said he would move the organization closer to its goals by determining the economic needs of the
area, promoting sensible and practical growth, and retaining and attracting businesses.
“The biggest challenge for me will be the weather,” he said.
Bartel discovered Gateway’s position when looking on the Internet for a job in the Sheridan, Wyo., region where the family of his
wife, Sara, lives.

For the past three months, he interviewed for jobs in various towns, including Helena.
“We were looking forward to moving up there. We were looking for a place to call home,” Bartel said.

The search committee in Helena supported his decision to live in Helena, Bartel said.
“There was a lot of excitement, creativity and energy flowing from them,” he said. “They demonstrated commitment to
improvement in the community.”
Three candidates from a pool of more than 40 applicants were interviewed the first week of May. Louis Dix, the neighborhood
resource director for Medford, Ore., and City Planner Hal Fossum were the other top candidates.
“It was a tough decision. All three candidates narrowed out of about 30 were good candidates,” Bower said.

Bartel’s experience made the difference, according to Bower.

Members of the search committee besides Bower were: John Solheim, St. Peter’s Hospital president & CEO; Mike Dalton, Mountain
West Bank President; Thomas Trebon, Carroll College president; Tony Murnion, Anderson Zurmuehlen & Co. CPA; Jamie Doggett,
Meagher County Commissioner; and Pat Melby, Luxan & Murfitt Attorneys at Law.

Gateway formed as the region’s local development organization in 1998 through the merging of the Helena Area Chamber of
Commerce’s Advantage Helena Committee, the Helena Area Economic Development Corporation, and the Montana Women’s
Capital Fund. Since that time, the organization has financed and worked with about 500 businesses, lending more than $2 million.

Reporter Christina Quinn can be reached at 447-4075.

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