Mark Bretz

Mark Bretz, owner of Missoula, Mont.-based, Bretz RV & Marine, has been selected by the U.S Small Business Administration as the 2017 Montana State Small Business Person of the Year.

According to a press release, the award is given to individuals who “demonstrate hard work, innovative ideas and dedication to their employees and community and who play a driving role in stimulating the state and national economy.” Bretz RV & Marine is currently marking its 50th year of operation.

Bretz RV & Marine was founded in 1967 when Bretz’s parents, Frank and Vi, bought some Aloha Trailers and began renting them at their small service station in Missoula. Bretz and his brother Dave successfully grew the company into four dealerships in Missoula, Billings and Boise with over 330 year-round and seasonal employees.

In addition to their operations, Bretz RV & Marine is known for its active presence in the Missoula community. They frequently partner with outdoor retail stores such as Cabela’s and Bob Ward’s and sponsor local events such as Big Sky Film Festival, Downtown Tonight and Garden City River Rod Run. Each year, the dealership supports various groups such as high school athletic teams, local law enforcement and non-profit organizations throughout Montana, as a way to acknowledge the importance of giving back to the community.

During a special ceremony scheduled for the week of May 1, President Trump will issue a proclamation that celebrates the state winners in the nation’s capital. This has been an annual tradition since 1963 when President John F. Kennedy signed the first proclamation declaring National Small Business Week. It is a way to celebrate America’s entrepreneurial spirit and recognize the crucial role that small businesses have in contributing to economic growth by creating new private sector jobs within their communities.