Helena Business Association partners with Brock School

Published 10:43 am Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Brock School's Clif Eason and HBA president Bob Van Loan will partner to promote the HBA. (Contributed)

The Brock School’s Clif Eason and HBA president Bob Van Loan will partner to promote the HBA. (Contributed)


This spring, students from Samford University’s Brock School of Business MBA program will be working with members of the Helena Business Association to explore new ways to market and promote the HBA to prospective new members and add value for the HBA’s current members.

Brock School of Business faculty member Clif Eason will be guiding the students through their work as part of Eason’s Marketing Strategy class at Samford.

Eason stated, “We are excited about the opportunity to tackle this very compelling, real-world problem,” said Eason. “I know that our students and the HBA will both benefit from the project.”

This is the second project the Brock School of business has worked on related to Helena. Chair of the Brock School’s Department of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Marketing Dr. Franz Lohrke recently supervised students as they worked with longtime Helena business METRO Goals to evaluate their social media marketing strategies and tactics.

“The students did a great job analyzing our needs and helping us with some new directions for our marketing efforts,” said METRO Goals president Ron Jones. “Their work will help give us new ways to reach our customers.”

The work with the HBA has the potential to be an ongoing relationship that could produce opportunities for HBA members. Helena businesses belonging to the HBA will have the opportunity to be a part of marketing research studies, strategy development, analysis, and implementation projects, just to name a few of the options.

The HBA Board met with Eason and associate dean of the Brock School of Business and Helena resident Dr. Chad Carson in December to outline the project and talk about what is expected to be a long-term partnership.

President of the HBA Bob Van Loan expressed his organization’s goals for the project.

“We are hopeful that the outcomes of this strategic partnership will be threefold: a more robust and effective HBA; greater visibility for member businesses, particularly among residents of Helena and bordering communities; and stronger ties between the business community and the city government,” said Van Loan. “We are honored to be working with a highly regarded business school such as Brock, and we can’t wait to see what will come out of this relationship.”