The Leading Edge: What a Year! - a message from Chantel Schieffer
Snow dusts shrubs and trees on a rocky rim below blue sky
November 28, 2017
Snow-covered tree branches obscure a view of snow-covered park benches next to a steaming pond with rock walls
January 31, 2018


Message from president/CEO Chantel Schieffer

Of all 52 weeks of the year, this one is my very favorite – where we look fondly back at the year that was and dream about the year that will be. I am honored to share with you some of Leadership Montana’s favorite moments of 2017…

In March, the Board and Staff created a new strategic plan for the 2017-2019 Biennium.
Take a look here.

The Class of 2017 graduated 44 remarkable, fun-loving, intelligent professionals from 18 different communities across the state who are committed to building a better Montana. Read about their year together here.

Bruce Whittenberg (Original Director 2003-2011) was presented with the Tom Scott Award for Leadership Excellence at our annual Celebrate Montana dinner in April. Read more about Bruce here.

In June and October, twelve alumni became certified by Patricia Hughes and the Center for Ethical Leadership as Gracious Space trainers. Through them, our reach of civility is even broader. Read their names here.

September found us hosting The Confluence in eastern Montana for the first time and with record attendance. There, four outstanding alumni were honored with Alumni Awards: John Carmody (’11) – Alumni Service, Michael Sanderson (’06) – Alumni Leadership, Heather Collins (’16) and Jen Hensley (’16) – Rockstar Award. Read more about them here.

Our Training and Alumni Committees have put the finishing touches on the highly anticipated new alumni program – the Masters Class. Applications open in mid-January!

Our marketing team at The Wendt Agency designed and developed a new website for us which is getting rave reviews from alumni across the state. If you haven’t yet, update your profile today.

We end the year with an incredible surprise. As a non-profit organization, tuition and event fees alone do not completely cover our budget and we survive on the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporations across Montana to fund programming and operating expenses.

As we look ahead to what is next for Leadership Montana (and our aggressive strategic plan), it is clear that we need to prepare for a long and stable future for our organization. Our work is needed and we aren’t going anywhere.

To that end, we started an endowment with the Montana Community Foundation with the long-range goal of building a strong foundation of fundi ng to help navigate times when fundraising might be more lean.

This month, we learned that a very generous individual has made a planned gift of $25,000 to our endowment. The donor hopes their gift inspires others to support to Leadership Montana – now and into the future.

Friend, if you’re reading this…a chorus of hundreds echo our undying gratitude and appreciation for your dedication and confidence in Leadership Montana. Thank you.

To all, a Happy New Year.
May 2018 be gracious…