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Program Management

Organizational Profile

The Disability Services Division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has been designated as the State Licensing Agency by the U.S. Department of Education for the purposes of operating the Montana Business Enterprise Program for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Blind and Low Vision Services (BLVS) of the Disability Services Division is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the program. The SLA has contracted with Montana Business Enterprises, Inc . (MBEI), a not-for-profit corporation, to oversee the day-to-day operations of the blind vendors program and provide business and technical support to the vendors.

Board of Directors

MBEI/MBEP is governed by a Board of Directors, consist i ng of seven members, three of whom are selected by licensed vendors in the program. Two other members represent DPHHS and the Montana Association of the Blind, while the remaining two are elected as at large members.

Current members of the Board of Directors include:

  • Dan Burke, Missoula, Chair
  • John Collins, Missoula, Vice Chair (representing DPHHS)
  • Jerry Hutch, Helena (representing MAB)
  • Donna Harris, East Helena (representing Vending Operators)
  • Evelyn Pool, Columbia Falls (representing Vending Operators)
  • Sam Hubbard, Helena, President and CEO

Vending Operators Committee

The Vending Operators Committee, mandated by both Federal and State statutes, was established in FY 2003 for the purpose of providing vendors with a vehicle for participating in major policy, administrative, operations and program development decisions affecting the overall direction of MBEP. The committee consists of active licensed blind vendors who are employed in the program. Current members include:

  • Evelyn Pool, Chair
  • Donna Harris
  • One seat is currently vacant.

Management Team

MBEI functions as the umbrella business for the blind vendors program. As such, it provides an array of program management, administrative, and business development and support services for vending facility operators.  Included in the latter category are vending route and site development, accounting and bookkeeping, reporting, marketing and merchandising, and training. MBEI's management team consists of Sam Hubbard, President and CEO, Ted Robbins, Treasurer and CFO, and Donna Harris, Vending Operations Manager.

President and CEO. Sam Hubbard initially served as a consultant in the design and development of the MBEP and was named as its full-time Chief Executive Officer in October 2003. Prior to his involvement with MBEP, he was co-owner of a strategic planning consulting business, which worked with state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and entrepreneurial businesses. He has also held a series of management positions with state and local governments in Montana and Washington State.

Treasurer and CFO. Edward C. " Ted" Robbins actively participated in the early-stage planning of MBEP as an interested observer. He went to work for the program as an accounting consultant in 2003 and was named the program¹s full-time Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer in January 2004. Ted is a CPA and has extensive experience in working for both private sector and non-profit organizations in financial management positions.

Vending Operations Manager. Donna Harris joined MBEP in August 2003 as a licensed vending facility operator in the Helena area. After becoming one of MBEP¹s most accomplished and successful vendors, she was appointed to fill the Vending Operations Manager position in August 2004, which she performs on a part-time basis. Donna is a native of the Townsend and Helena areas and currently resides in East Helena.


Montana Business Enterprise Program
For the Blind and Visually Impaired

104 Riverview 5E
Great Falls, MT 59404
Voice: 406.546.8546 Fax: 406.453.6678


Copyright © Montana Business Enterprise Program, 2000-2012