Leadership Montana alumni in action, Carmen McSpadden class of 2006.
Bruce Whittenberg
July 5, 2017


Carmen McSpadden, class of 2006.

Leadership Montana alumni in action, Carmen McSpadden class of 2006.This month, we shine our spotlight on Alumna Carmen McSpadden from the Class of 2006.


First, tell about us you – what do you do, where to do you live, family life?

My work is leadership development and includes directing the MSU Leadership Institute, training for Leadership Montana, organizational consulting and serving nonprofits. I am on the board of Humanities Montana and board president of Headwaters Economics.

I am passionate about our state’s mountains and enjoy living in a university town. Bozeman is a natural fit for me and is the place that I intend to call home forever.

Married to a wonderful man for 31 years, I am grateful for my husband, Doug, and our two sons. Kevin is a journalist in Singapore. Sean is a teaching assistant and masters student at Seton Hall University. Both sons will be home for the holidays!


Name a favorite memory from 2006.

It was the little things in Havre. Road tripping together, small-town hospitality, meaningful conversations (both during the day and late into the night), high-quality learning and quality friendships that made it meaningful. There was one night of long laughs and life-changing insights from a true giant of a classmate (in every way) named Gordon McKerrow. We lost Gordon in December of 2013, which makes this memory especially important to me.


Describe the impact of LM on your life, personal or professional?

From Day 1 with the organizing committee, Leadership Montana uncovered my deep need to make a difference in our state. I fell in love with a vision of mobilizing myself and others to take personal responsibility to improve communities. I acquired insight, inspiration and concrete leadership skills that have supported the development of my own individual style and effectiveness. Leadership Montana has greatly influenced my decision to go “all in” on my profession and for that I am thankful.


What do you see as the role of LM in the state of Montana?

We are living during a time of stark contrasts that have imposed new demands on leaders. I think about Einstein’s quote that says “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” Leadership Montana provides outstanding understanding of public policy, economic, social issues and personal leadership development that is essential to solve our biggest challenges.

I also watch Leadership Montana develop bold, courageous leaders. Many have stepped up to engage in the important questions facing our state. I hope that our alums continue to create, and whatever that means for them personally, a better Montana.


What do you appreciate most about LM?

I appreciate Leadership Montana’s vision and focus on long-term efforts to develop excellence in leadership. I feel grateful for the great insight and forward thinking individuals who started it, and now others who are growing Leadership Montana. I’m proud to be part of an organization that creates positive collaborations and influence. And maybe best of all, I’m energized by seeing so many alumni working to solve Montana’s toughest challenges.