As interviewed by Jason Euell, Class of 2017, Development Committee Member
Originally from Seattle, WA. Currently living in Bozeman, MT. Married with 2 daughters – one 10 years old and one 20 months. Husband is a finish carpenter. She is the Senior Director of Development (fundraising) for MontanaPBS. Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Loves outdoor opportunities in Montana including camping, hiking, golfing and mountain biking.
Being from the large city of Seattle, her strongest memories of LM class of 15 (Dream Team) came from visits to small rural Montana communities in Havre and Sidney. Havre included visits to the Rocky Boy Reservation, learning about the hi-line communities along the BNSF railway, and MSU-Northern’s diesel mechanics program. Sidney included information about the Bakken, the process of fracking and the effect of the oil boom in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota. She appreciated learning about these small communities and their unique struggles to survive and grow.
Leadership Montana came at a time of personal cross-roads for Crystal. She was just finishing up a divorce from a long-term difficult relationship. She had also met someone (now her husband), but was struggling with the decision of starting a new relationship so quickly. The classroom conversations provided a unique opportunity to open up and share very personal details of her life. The process created a strong bonding experience. She left feeling more confident in herself. She was empowered with a greater feeling of self-worth. This added feeling of “capability” stretched to both her personal and professional life.
The role of LM is education and awareness of the issues facing Montana (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and developing an engaged group of individuals with an “open mind and open heart”. LM prepares individuals for future leadership roles, both in the private and public sectors, with the ability to thoughtfully and purposely deeply listen to all parties involved (Gracious Space).
Crystal sees Montana as a “safe” place to live and raise a family. Montana is welcome. Montana is a small close knit community with a wealth of beauty and outdoor opportunities and a wonderful quality of life.