The Montana Chamber of Commerce is thankful for all the wonderful members we have. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and every business plays a critical role in keeping Montana’s towns vibrant. The Treasure State consistently ranks among the top five in reports from the Kauffman Foundation in rates of business ownership and business sustainability.
Please take a few minutes to learn about one of our newest members, Nomad GCS!
Q: What is your name and title?
A: Mike Hahn, Marketing and Creative Lead
Q: What is the name of your business?
A: Nomad Global Communication Solutions (Nomad GCS)
Q: How long has your business been in operation?
A: 16 years
Q: What does your business do?
A: Nomad designs and manufactures vehicles, trailers, and other mobile solutions that keep organizations connected and operational anywhere on the globe. Moreover, we integrate all the technology that makes the communications magic happen. Historically, our core customers have come from the public safety, emergency management, and defense sectors. In the last decade, we have broadened our base significantly to include work for utilities, healthcare, telemetry, and private sector business.
Q: Why did you decide to join the Montana Chamber of Commerce?
A: We are excited to share what we’ve learned in nearly two decades of manufacturing in the high-tech space, and to also learn from our colleagues in the state.
Q: Why did you decide to start your business?
A: Nomad was founded by four friends (Will and Seth Schmautz, Clay Binford, and Shane Ackerly) who were guiding raft trips on the Flathead River. As the rafting season wound down, the wildfire season was typically ramping up. The guide company would use its buses to help transport firefighters to the line, and our owners often drove. What they noticed on remote fire lines was a distinct lack of communications capabilities. At this time, the Internet and satellite connectivity were becoming more accessible. The four saw an opportunity to serve, cobbled together some startup money, and built their first communications trailer in an old, dirt-floored barn with a leaky roof. The rest is history.
Q: What has surprised you about starting your own business?
A: The breadth of need for mobile connectivity. What started as a fairly narrow and local focus, has expanded to reveal a global demand, across agencies and industries. As our world increasingly becomes “always on,” this need will only increase.
Q: Why should someone start a business in Montana?
A: Surely owing to our roots, Montanans are known for resourcefulness, innovative thinking, and a tireless work ethic. This creates a talent pool just as well suited to 21st-century businesses as it is to traditional trades and crafts. In Montana, we also understand the importance of balance… That giving time to our families, communities, and recreational pursuits only makes our work stronger.
Q: Out of the four core objectives of Envision 2026, which objective are you most interested in?
A: A spirit of entrepreneurship is vital to keep Montana businesses at the forefront. Invent, iterate, repeat.