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Steve Daines - Home Grown Montanan Running For Congress

Author : Steve Daines


Steve’s Montana journey dates back to his great-great-grandmother Karine Dyrud, who immigrated from Norway in 1869. As a widow and mother of seven children, she moved westward from Minnesota and homesteaded on the northern plains of Montana 23 miles east of Conrad. She is buried in a small Montana country cemetery near the Golden West Lutheran Church, and her tombstone sums up her life in three short words — “Saved by Grace”. Six generations later, this legacy of faith, freedom, responsibility and opportunity still exists in Steve’s family.

Steve and daughter Caroline in Eastern MT

His mother and father grew up in Billings, and as Steve’s dad likes to put it, “I married the girl next door”. Steve’s father graduated from Billings Senior High School and enlisted in the Marines. After serving in the Marines, he moved to Missoula and graduated with a degree in Business from the University of Montana. In 1964, Steve’s parents moved to Bozeman where his dad worked as a salesman for a paper products company. With three children at home under the age of ten, Steve’s dad quit that job. With virtually no money in his pocket, he started a small home construction business with Steve’s mom.

Steve’s parents modeled hard work and personal responsibility to their children as they struggled to get the business going. Steve and his two younger sisters attended public schools in Bozeman from kindergarten through high school. During his senior year at Bozeman High, Steve was elected Student Body President and chosen “Most Likely to Succeed” by the senior class. Between scholarships and working summers in construction, Steve put himself through college at Montana State University and graduated in four years with Highest Honors with a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering. Following graduation from MSU, Steve left Montana to work for Procter & Gamble. During his thirteen year management career at P&G, he spent seven years managing operations in the United States, followed by a six-year assignment based in Hong Kong and China.

Steve and son David near Granite Peak

In 1997, Steve and Cindy decided it was time to move the family back to Montana. Steve left P&G and returned home to Bozeman and joined his mom and dad in the family construction business. In 2000, Steve joined RightNow Technologies, a start-up business founded and headquartered in Bozeman, which at that time had less than 100 employees. His first assignment was VP of Customer Service. The company experienced rapid growth and in 2004, became a publicly traded software company (Nasdaq: RNOW). RightNow currently employs over 1000 people and is the largest commercial employer in Bozeman. Steve’s most recent assignment was General Manager/ Vice President of RightNow’s Asia-Pacific business. RightNow Technologies has sixteen offices around the world, including New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, London, Tokyo, and Sydney.

Steve and daughter Caroline

Steve has been active in politics much of his life. He attended the 1984 GOP National Convention in Dallas as one of the youngest delegates for Ronald Reagan. Steve was also the founder of Giveitback.com, a non-profit organization advocating the return of Montana’s one billion dollar surplus to taxpayers. In 2007, Governor Mike Huckabee asked Steve to serve as the Montana chairman for his 2008 campaign for President. Steve served as Chairman of the Montana Delegation to the 2008 GOP National Convention in St. Paul and was Montana’s GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2008. More recently, Steve was a spokesperson for several groups in Montana to stop Obama’s health care plan.

Steve and Cindy have been married 24 years, and have four children: David (20), Anne (19), Michael (16), and Caroline (14). Backpacking, hunting, skiing, and fishing are family passions. Steve has served in numerous community volunteer capacities including the board of the local economic development non-profit Prospera and Rotary. They are members of Springhill Presbyterian Church in Bozeman.


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Steve’s Montana journey dates back to his great-great-grandmother Karine Dyrud, who immigrated from Norway in 1869. As a widow and mother of seven children, she moved westward from Minnesota and homesteaded on the northern plains of Montana 23 miles east of Conrad.

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Submitted : 2011-02-19    Word Count : 684    Times Viewed: 554