The most recent inductees to the Montana Business Hall of Fame were honored at a banquet on November 6 at the Northern Hotel.
MSU Billings Foundation and the College of Business MSU Billings named Marilyn Bartlett, George Selover and Larry Simkins to the Hall of Fame. They are business leaders who have been successful in private enterprise in Montana and are recognized for their contributions to the state.
Marilyn (Dauber) Bartlett received her first undergraduate degree from University of Nevada Reno in education, but she knew she hadn’t yet found her calling. After enrolling at Eastern Montana College in the early 1980s, Bartlett pursued a new educational endeavor – preparing for the Certified Public Accountant exam. She completed her second degree, in accounting, in 1984.
Bartlett served as administrator of the Health Care and Benefits Division of the state Department of Administration from September 2014 to June 2018. For her accomplishments turning the Montana state health plan from a trajectory toward bankruptcy, she appears in an article co-published by National Public Radio and ProPublica, and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2019. Bartlett is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Global Management Accountant, and Certified Financial Management Professional. She is now the special projects coordinator at the office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance in Helena, Montana.
George Selover is described as being a Billings leader who got things done. Not only is his career noted for his business savvy and success, he is a philanthropist and active community supporter.
Selover moved to Billings in 1955 to run his father-in-law’s Buick franchise. When he bought the dealership in 1965 and renamed it Selover Buick, he focused on expansion. Adding additional franchises, like Honda, Mercedes Benz, and Hyundai to the business, Selover Buick grew to include more than 50 employees, and new buildings under his leadership. The dealership was, once again, passed down in the family when Selover’s daughter and her husband, Mary and Bill Underriner, purchased the business from him in 2001.
The list of Selover’s accomplishments and contributions to Billings and Montana is lengthy. He has been involved with the Billings Jaycees, YMCA and the Downtown Billings Rotary Club, served on boards of trustees for Rocky Mountain College and the Billings Clinic Foundation, and even coached little guy football. Recipient of the Phillip F. Fortin Philanthropist of the Year Award, Selover is also recognized for his philanthropic support of organizations like Montana State University Billings, Billings Public Library, and the American Cancer Society.
As president and CEO of the Washington Companies, headquartered in Missoula. Larry Simkins has established himself as a Montana business leader. The Washington Companies are an international group of privately-owned companies, including Montana Rail Link and Modern Machinery, which represent core industries, such as mining, transportation, construction, and aviation products. Since joining the Washington Companies in 1988, Simkins has been involved in many of the Companies’ businesses.In 2015, Simkins was honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Only about one in every 1,000 Eagle Scouts ever receive the award, and only 10 honorees have been Montanans. Simkins also co-chaired Gov. Steve Bullock’s Main Street Montana program and served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.