An interview with Jodi Smith, Kalispell, Class of 2010, as 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”.