Editors note: This is the fourth in our series of profiles featuring candidates running for the two open seats on the Great Falls City Commission.
Recently retired as the CEO/dean of Great Falls College MSU, I came to Great Falls in 2012, continuing a career focused on education as a key driver for economic, workforce and community development. I will bring 45 years of leadership, management, budgeting and policy work to the City Commission. My service on various boards demonstrates my understanding of and responsibility for the role of governance and policy in providing direction of the work of the managers. I also owned my own business.
I am running for a seat on the Great Falls City Commission to continue supporting my community and the entities who work hard to grow Great Falls. I firmly believe Great Falls is an excellent place to do business, receive an education, raise a family, and recreate. Great Falls has it.
Serving on the volunteer boards of the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, including the Ag and Military Affairs Committees; the Great Falls Development Authority; United Way of Cascade County, serving as chair of the board and as the vice chair of the annual campaign this fall; the Montana Chamber of Commerce; the Montana Workforce Board; the Montana Ambassadors; and the Mountain Pacific Patient and Family Advisory Council demonstrates I work hard to bring results for others. I was named the 2015 Mike Malone Educator of the Year for the state by the Montana Ambassadors and I am a Rotarian believing strongly in “service before self.”
I have experience working with the Executive and Legislative branches of the State of Montana and the state’s Congressional Delegation. Through building partnerships with businesses and elected officials, I have secured resources to build workforce and the economy in the areas in which I lived. Local and Montana examples include $4.25 million to build the new dental education building at Great Falls College MSU, $1.5 million to expand welding facilities at the college and a $25 million RevUp Montana grant to reduce the skill gap for jobs across Montana and increase work-based learning and apprenticeships.
Generations of my family have served their communities through their work, various elected and civic positions, and through volunteerism. They and I hold pride in our responsibilities to the communities in which we lived and currently live.
I am a strong supporter of our military partners. My father was a pilot in the 7th Ferrying Command at Gore Field during WWII having completed his last 18 months of service in the Army Transport Command flying supplies across the Burma Hump. He and my mother were married in Great Falls, my sister was born here, and my brother worked in Great Falls for 32 years. My son and his family are living and giving to the community as well.
My five, interconnected areas of focus are: growing our community, workforce and economic development, affordable housing, quality/affordable child care, and robust, integrated safety services.
Being adaptable is key to building a future. Our entrepreneurs and investors are revitalizing downtown along with all the Downtown agencies. The agriculture industry and medical communities are shining examples of having to innovate, take risks, and keep moving forward. We are Better Together through inclusion and collaboration