Welcome to the New Year! This is always an exciting time at Leadership Montana as we enter a new fiscal and programming year and look ahead to new opportunities for connecting our work to communities across Montana.
The team is just back from our summer meeting, held in Sidney this year, and we have officially adopted a new strategic plan for the 2019-2021 biennium.
Thanks to the input of alumni, participants, sponsors, and founders, this new plan is equally aggressive and realistic. Over the next several months, I will include a newsletter feature highlighting the six primary plan components that include:
- Increase Organizational and Financial Stability
- Enhance the Class Program Experience
- Enhance the Alumni Experience
- Refine Existing Products
- Identify New Opportunities for Growth
- Broaden Marketing Efforts
We are grateful to those who helped us shape this plan through surveys, focus groups, and direct feedback. We know that for many of you the Leadership Montana experience is an important part of your story. Our vision is to ensure that we may continue to create exceptional experiences for you and future participants for years to come.
AGENDA HIGHLIGHT: Eduardo Garcia
Eduardo Garcia is an American celebrity chef and the co-founder of Montana Mex, a Mexican food company. He is known as the "bionic chef" because he cooks with a prosthetic left arm, the result of an accident while hiking in 2011.
An avid outdoorsman with an unmatched zest for life, Eduardo is a testament to the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
His remarkable story is told through 'Charged', an award-winning documentary, which we will screen. Eduardo takes the stage afterward for a presentation and discussion.
Karen Baumgart—Big Sky Economic Development
Cinda Burd-Meineke—Western Native Voice
Jeff Kanning—Collaborative Design Architects
Martha Stahl—Planned Parenthood of Montana
Daniel Zolnikov—Montana House of Representatives
Terri Cheff—Washington Corporations
Carlie Auger—Profitable Ideas Exchange
Steven Crawford—Bozeman Police Department
Brad Doll—A&E Architects
Sam Frederick—Crowley Fleck PLLP
Jon Herz—First Interstate Bank
Darrell Hirsch—First Interstate Bank
Kayte Kaminski—Montana State University
Lauren Patti—PayneWest Insurance, Inc.
Anna Rosenberry—City of Bozeman
Stephanie Uter—Eagle Mount
Kate Wiggins—Fork and Spoon
Kyle Waterman—World Spice Merchants
Carole Jones—Bure Bliss Cycle, Inc.
Llew Jones—Montana House of Representatives
Michael Eisenhauer – Benefis Healthcare System
Tristin Henke—First Interstate Bank
Billie LeDeau—MT Department of Commerce
Stacey Anderson—Montana Primary Care Association
Nik Griffith—Strategies 360 Montana
Shalon Hastings—Hub Coffee
Tim Meldrum—SMA Architects
Verena Mullins—Montana State Fund
Justin Murgel—PacificSource Health Plans
Will Trimbath—The Montana Land Reliance
Courtney Babcock—Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Clifford Kipp—Montana Conservation Corps
Keith Valentine—Mann Mortgage LLC
Noah Davis—NorthWestern Energy
Fran Albrecht—Providence Montana Health Foundation
Rachel Buswell—Montana Rail Link
Tyler Gernant—Missoula County
Scott Kesler—Northwest Farm Credit Services
Jeff Smith—WGM Group, Inc.
Katie Dasinger—Richland Economic Development
Jen Doty—Sidney Health Center
Kelsy Cooper—Cooper Hereford Ranch
Watch our social media channels for weekly features of our Class of 2020 members.
Jodi Smith, Class of 2010, Kalispell Interviewed by Jim Beal, Billings, Class of 2019
Jodi Smith most highly values Leadership Montana’s role in “developing a body of informed and engaged leaders across the state to civilly discuss and create common sense solutions”. She graduated with “The Perfect 10”, the Class of 2010.
Jodi and her husband, Stephen, enjoy a view into Glacier National Park from the home they built near West Glacier. It is a poetic reminder of a passion to return to the place where they first met during the summer of 1991 while working in the Park, and the place where they would raise their two boys.
A native Minnesotan and graduate of St. Olaf College, Jodi’s path back to Montana led her first through Tennessee. While in Nashville she received her Masters of Education in Human Resource Development from Vanderbilt University and served employees at Vanderbilt University & Medical Center. In 1998, Jodi and Stephen moved to the Flathead Valley, fulfilling the dream established during their summer in Glacier Park. And in 2000, Jodi fulfilled her personal goal to become the Workforce Training Director with the Continuing Education Center at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell. She organizes open enrollment and customized training sessions for businesses, and she specializes in building interpersonal skills.
Ten years later, traveling the backroads of Montana with Denise Smith, climbing the tower at Fort Peck Dam, and singing at her first visit to the Sip-n-Dip are experiences that standout to Jodi about her time in Leadership Montana. “Watching different classmates with widely different perspectives and different life experiences gain respect for one another”, however, is Jodi’s fondest memory from her class. The emphasis on “inviting the stranger” to broaden our perspectives on issues has made the strongest impact on Jodi’s life.
Imagining Jodi sitting in her home and gazing into Glacier National Park, it’s not hard to understand what she appreciates most about Montana, “the marvelous and enriching landscapes combined with the independence of the people”.
This month we showcase Silver Sponsor Crowley Fleck. One of the oldest and largest law firms in the region, the firm counts over 160 attorneys practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance defense litigation, natural resources, mining and energy law, healthcare, commercial transactions, banking and finance, creditors rights, real estate transactions and development, tax and estate planning and administration, intellectual property matters, employment law, and governmental affairs and lobbying.
We are honored to have several Crowley Fleck partners and attorneys participate in Leadership Montana and remain engaged alumni over many years. We deeply value this partnership.
Leadership Montana is a non-profit collaboration of leaders from business, labor, healthcare, higher education, non-profits and government coming together to form a strong partnership for the betterment of Montana.
Leadership Montana exists to develop leaders committed to building a better Montana through knowledge, collaboration and civility.