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Old 09-06-2012, 10:00 AM
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Default Simms fishing products honored with governorís innovative business awards

Simms Fishing Products, the leader in technical fishing wear, was one of nine companies to win a Montana Governor’s Innovative Business Award. A ceremony, hosted by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer was held on the Montana State University campus on Aug. 28, just minutes away from Simms’ headquarters.


Designed to promote and market business opportunities, the award program was conceived by Innovate Montana, a public-private partnership led by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The awards highlight expanding and vibrant businesses in Montana, ones outside traditional resource- and tourism-based industries.


“We’ve been fortunate to have tremendous success here at Simms, here in Montana for the past several years,” said K.C. Walsh, president of Simms. “It certainly is flattering to be recognized for our efforts. Winning this award serves as great affirmation that we’re doing the right thing as a company.”

In announcing the awards earlier in August, Gov. Schweitzer said the winners represent key parts of the Treasure State’s economic engine.

“Montana’s innovation economy is on fire; companies across the state are growing and creating jobs in new, innovative ways,”’ said Schweitzer. “These are just a few companies that exemplify the opportunities businesses have in Montana. When you could be doing business anywhere in the world, why not do business in Montana?”


Simms focus on innovation has led to a 19 percent compounded annual growth rate and necessitated the need to expand its manufacturing capacity in Bozeman. Simms is remodeling a 60,000 square foot building into a state-of-the art manufacturing facility due to open in October. The only wader manufacturer in the United States, Simms currently employs more than 100 Montanans and 12 independent sales representatives in North America. The company distributes its products in 38 countries across the globe.

The Governor’s Innovative Business Award is the second major business award Simms has been bestowed in recent months. In June, Walsh was named the 2012 Small Business Association Small Business Person of the year for Montana.


In addition to Simms, other Montana companies honored by Gov. Schweitzer on Tuesday were CTA Group in Billings, Bridger Photonics in Bozeman, Enell Sports Bras in Havre, Rivertop Renewables in Missoula, Zinc Air, Inc. in Columbia Falls, Ticket River in Harlowton, TerraEchos in Missoula and Earl Fisher BioFuels in Chester.
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