In this episode, Eric visits the E Bar L Ranch in Greenough to interview Juanita Vero – conservation champion, Missoula County Commissioner, and all around joyful person. Juanita tells us how working her family ranch has shaped her leadership style and why she jumped into elective politics with no previous experience. They also dig into the urban/rural divide in Montana and Juanita’s family history of reckoning with multiracial marriage in a time not long ago.
Eric, a graduate of Leadership Montana Class of 2016 and Masters Class 2019, leads this project with an unmatched curiosity and thirst for learning how each interviewee leans into leading. Eric magically brings to life the story underneath the words and weaves together a series that perfectly illustrates the meaning and value of listening deeply. Originally from Billings, Eric currently resides in Missoula where he serves as the Communications and Development Administrator for Partnership Health Center.
Juanita Vero is a fourth-generation partner of the E Bar L Ranch in Greenough. In addition to running her family business, she has served on numerous community conservation-focused boards and committees, including as chair of Montana Conservation Voters, Missoula County Open Lands Committee, Big Blackfoot Chapter Trout Unlimited, Swan Valley Connections and Sunset School Board.
Juanita has a bachelor’s degree in English from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys horses, snowboarding and backcountry wandering after game with her husband and his llamas. She used to play lacrosse, rugby and ultimate frisbee but is now relegated to spending more time on her yoga mat.
In June 2019, Juanita was appointed to the Missoula County Commission to fill a vacated seat and was elected to continue that service in November 2020.