Leadership Montana Classroom Reflection: Dusty Eaton, Class of 2018
A smiling woman with short red hair
Kris Carpenter
October 31, 2017
A smiling woman with blonde hair wearing a teal blouse and necklace poses in front of a stone wall
Cindy Trimp
January 31, 2018


Dusty Eaton, Class of 2018

After attending only three sessions of Leadership Montana, I am overwhelmed by the incredible power of this program. Leadership Montana possesses the rare ability to connect people – not just for the duration of the program, but for the entire span of a professional career.

Establishing lasting bonds between diverse individuals drives meaningful change and creates tangible impacts in our communities – large and small – ultimately strengthening our great state in countless, influential ways.

I experienced an intimate sense of this connectivity in subtle, but powerful interactions during my last stay in Bozeman for the program. As I walked downtown one morning in search of a good cup of coffee before Community Conversations started, I noticed a small sign in several storefronts stating, “Welcome Leadership Montana.” While small and inconspicuous, these signs created a lasting impact for me as a participant. In one quick moment, I was embraced for my professional efforts and appreciated for investing in myself, my community, and my state.

My search for coffee landed me at a local shop where I recognized a familiar face – a colleague who previously attended Leadership Montana. After applauding my participation in the program, he proceeded to introduce me to other alumni he happened to be with that morning. Each new acquaintance greeted me with a warm welcome and introduced themselves as “class of ’13, class of ’14, and class of ‘16”. There was instantly a sense of connection between us.

This feeling of connection, while almost indescribable, is what drives me as a participant in this amazing program. Leadership Montana facilitates this immeasurable connectivity, spreading from member to member, and ultimately overflowing into our neighborhoods and beyond.

I am honored to be a part of this incredible program. I look forward to the day I meet a new member in a local coffee shop with whom I can share my Leadership Montana story.