BOZEMAN FIBER

Bozeman Fiber is a community-owned nonprofit network offering gigabit fiber and a choice of providers and services.

OUR STORY

Bozeman Fiber Incorporated began development in 2015 after a City-led broadband planning study recommended that the city needed a modern gigabit fiber network to support local businesses, attract new businesses, and help ensure economic growth. 

Bozeman Fiber is led by a board of community leaders dedicated to the idea that businesses and residents should have access to world class broadband and Internet, and should be able to choose from a variety of service providers offering a wide variety of services at competitive prices.

In addition to our bank partners, Bozeman Fiber would not have been possible without the generous support of many community focused organizations including the City of Bozeman, Bozeman Public Schools, Gallatin County, and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership.

OUR CURRENT NETWORK

Our current network is capable of providing gigabit service at any point on the fiber in our system. The system is expandable at any time, and within a couple of weeks we could grow from our current 30 gigabit system to a 100 gigabit system! If the demand was there, we have a nearly infinite ability to expand.

 Even more so than your mobile phone or tablet, the electronics which drive the worlds, and our network, continue to double in capability every 18 or so months. A single strand of fiber has the capability to circle the globe and carry the entire worlds communications! Of course, the limitations of the system in reality are affected by splices, routers and end user's electronic devices. This system is something that we can all be very proud of and can, without hesitation say, is world class, opening our valley to any business exist today. We, Bozeman, are no longer an island, but are on the leading edge of the superhighway of communications technology.

MEET THE BOARD

Jim Ness
Board Chairman

Jim Ness was born and raised in Havre Montana. I graduated from Havre High School in 1982 and from Northern Montana College in 1987. I received a Bachelors degree in Business and a minor in Information Technology.

I started my banking career at US Bank in Havre while I was a freshman at Northern Montana College. In 1987, I began working at Three Rivers Bank in Kalispell as a junior lender. In 1990, I moved to Glacier Bank where I served in several production and management roles.

In September, 2013, I began working at Big Sky Western Bank in Bozeman as the Executive Vice President. I assumed the position of President in March of 2014 and currently hold that position.

While in Kalispell, I chaired the Board of the Kalispell area Chamber of Commerce and served as President of the Kalispell Downtown Association. I served on the board of the Gateway Community Center and also served on the Kalispell Police Commission where I held the position of secretary. I was on the board of the Samaritan House, the local homeless shelter, for 6 years where I served as board chair for two years. My involvement in the Bozeman community includes serving on the Board of the Bozeman Health Foundation where I serve as Secretary and chair the finance committee. I serve on Finance Committee of the YMCA and I am a member of the Gallatin College Advisory Board. I also serve on the boards of Prospera and Bozeman Fiber and I am a member of the Sunrise Rotary club.

I am married to my wonderful wife, Lori, and we have one daughter named Jaymie. Jaymie is married and lives in Kalispell.

I enjoy golfing, skiing, racquetball, running, biking, ping pong, playing guitar and spending time with my family.


Brit Fontenot
Secretary

Brit is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Bozeman, Montana. He has worked for the Bozeman community for over a decade in various capacities – from City Clerk to Assistant to the City Manager.

Currently he is responsible for implementing the City’s economic development strategy of job creation and industry diversification. Brit engages both public and private sectors to collectively and creatively offer solutions to many of the pressing economic issues in and around Bozeman. Additionally, he provides support to local business by aiding in the navigation of various local regulatory processes.

Brit holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and earned an M.A. in History from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.


Steve Johnson

Steve has been employed at Bozeman Public Schools since 1986, he is currently the Deputy Superintendent Operations. He is a native Montanan and graduate of Montana State University. Steve has been involved with governmental accounting his entire professional career, with the Montana Legislative Auditor, Helena Public Schools and Bozeman Public Schools. Steve is a member of the Montana Association of School Business Officials and has served as its President. Steve is also a past President of the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a Green Coat Ambassador for the Bozeman Chamber. He received the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce Guy Sperry Award in 2009 for his service to the Chamber and the community of Bozeman.


Chris Naumann

Chris became the Executive Director of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership in May of 2007. As such, he directs the Downtown Business Improvement District and the Downtown Urban Renewal District. Previously, he served as a member of the Downtown Urban Renewal District board from 2005 to 2007. From 1995 to 2009, Chris and his wife, Laura, owned and operated Barrel Mountaineering, an outdoor store located on Main Street in historic downtown Bozeman. Born in Evanston, Illinois and raised in Jefferson City, Missouri, Chris received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geologic Sciences in 1991 from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. After several mountain adventures in Asia, Chris settled in Bozeman back in 1993.


Les Craig
Director

Les is a Partner at Next Frontier Capital (NFC), Montana's most active venture capital firm investing in mission-driven founders and high-growth potential companies of impact, utility, and value. Prior to joining NFC, Les served as the Executive Director of the Montana State University (MSU) Innovation Campus, a partnership between a private developer, the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development, and the MSU Alumni Foundation, to develop a 42-acre Research Park in Bozeman. Les moved to Montana as the result of MSU’s national search to hire a Director for the Blackstone LaunchPad, a campus based entrepreneurship program funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. In 2014, Les Co-founded The Twenty, a data science services company based in Bethesda, MD which operates a high-profile network of senior mathematicians and computer scientists focused on specialized project based work. Prior to The Twenty, Les Co-founded RedOwl Analytics, a software product company which built a platform for identifying trends and anomalies in the digital trail of corporations in order to combat insider threat and mitigate risk in financial services, cyber security, and US government spaces.  RedOwl was acquired by Forcepoint in August of 2017. Previously, Les served as a Technical Operations Officer for the US Government and he received specialized training in telecommunications and computer network operations. While on active duty, Les served on multiple special operations task forces, as well as an Aide-de-camp to a senior intelligence professional on General Stanley McChrystal’s staff at the Joint Special Operations Command.  Les received his undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics from the United States Military Academy at West Point.


Gordon Fowler
Director

Gordon is the Founder and CEO of YOUBIQ, an augmented and virtual reality imaging venture that he relocated to Bozeman in 2015.  

Gordon has been a founder and CEO of a number of venture-backed startups spanning: voice and data communications, Internet application services and enterprise software.  He has also led reorganization projects with a microwave subsidiary of Motorola, did similar work for Cray Communications in the UK, and with various other US companies.  His career started with Nortel Networks as an engineer and grew to the role of Division VP Operations before joining Bose Corporation as VP of their global operations.

For the last decade in Boston he was a volunteer with MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service and a founding mentor with the Canadian Consulate’s Technology Accelerator in Boston.  In addition to being involved in the Bozeman innovation community, he is on the Dean’s Advisory Committee of for the School of Applied Sciences at UBC in Vancouver, BC.  

Born in Canada, he received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and moved to the US in the mid ’70s.  Gordon lives with his wife in Bozeman.


Greg Metzger
General Manager

Greg Metzger was born in Bellingham, Washington and raised in Ferndale.  Greg graduated high school in 1974 and spent seven years in the US Navy as a weather forecaster.

Greg earned an Industrial Technology degree at Western Washington University in 1985 and worked at Boeing as an Industrial Engineer and a Composites Research Engineer.  While at Boeing, he achieved an MBA at City University in 1987.

The next step in his journey was Trigon Packaging, an international New Zealand based company.  He started as a planner and became the President in 1989.  Trigon were bought by WR Grace in 1995.  My family took this opportunity to move to Montana in 1996 and purchased Montana Furniture which we owned until June 2010.  Since then, I have worked in advertising, car sales and the fiber based communications industry.

Greg came to Bozeman Fiber in August 2017, and is focused on successful growth and future expansion.

Greg is married to Kim, and has two adult children. When he's taking a break from expanding Bozeman Fiber, he enjoys walking with his wife and dog, golf, and spending time with his family.