From the Missoula Independent:
When Greg Gianforte stepped onstage to deliver the first keynote—his highest-profile public appearance in Montana since assaulting a reporter in May—Daines introduced him not as a congressman, but as “putting back on his hat as an incredible entrepreneur.”
Daines inherited the biennial event from former Sen. Max Baucus, and has given it an explicitly high-tech theme. The message is that Montana’s tech sector can jump-start the state’s sluggish, low-wage economy. Panels featuring Missoula and Bozeman entrepreneurs served to underscore that potential, as did VMware COO Sanjay Poonen, who compared today’s tech field to the natural-resource extraction industries of yesteryear.
Poonen also pointed out the lack of diversity in the room. Gianforte likewise apologized for a photo of RightNow Technology’s first Christmas party that showed only men. “We did hire women,” he joked, “but they knew better than to show up for the Christmas party.”