From left to right: Brit Fontenot, Director of Economic Development, City of Bozeman; U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT); Greg Miller, President, Universal Athletic Services; Dave Glaser, President, Montana & Idaho CDC.
For the month of August, OFN is highlighting Members who have scheduled a site visit with a member of Congress. This week’s spotlight features a site visit coordinated by Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). If you have an upcoming congressional site visit or another advocacy related event planned for the month of August, please email Katie Havlovic at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature you. If you have not already, check out OFN’s Congressional Site Visit Toolkit, and request your site visit today!
Name: Dave Glaser, President
CDFI: Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation
City, State of Site Visit: Bozeman, MT
Borrower Visited: Universal Athletic Services (UAS), an athletic apparel company started by its founders out of the trunk of a car in 1971. Today, it operates in 12 U.S. states and is the largest independent team dealer in the country. UAS leveraged New Markets Tax Credit financing to purchase, rehabilitate, and consolidate its headquarters in a targeted redevelopment area of downtown Bozeman.
Which member(s) of Congress and staff attended?
U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT)
What does it take to have a successful site visit?
A clear understanding of what the member of Congress is looking to achieve (communicate a specific message, generate policy visibility, connect with constituents, etc.), so you can make it happen.
What was the highlight of the site visit?
That it held such personal significance to the Senator. A Bozeman native, Senator Daines was deeply familiar with the business and all it has done to create jobs and catalyze development in Bozeman. He knew the founders personally–one coached his son’s little league team many years ago! A highlight was hearing Senator Daines discuss what it meant to see this local business grow from a start-up that began out of the trunk of a car, and eventually skyrocket to become a national leader in the athletic apparel industry.
What is one piece of advice you have for a CDFI trying to schedule an upcoming site visit?
First, don’t be intimidated by the process. We’ve found that it’s easy and genuinely FUN to share our work with members of Congress. Second, this is a chance to show the impact of CDFI programs at the local level, so take every opportunity to personalize the visit. Build in opportunities for him/her to talk 1:1 with constituents who can speak firsthand to how decisions made in Washington can create benefits at the local level.
U.S. Senator Steve Daines tours the warehouse with UAS President Greg Miller.