WHO WE ARE
Leadership Montana is the premier leadership development program and alumni organization in our state.
About Leadership Montana
Through our unique educational programming, we gather some of the most accomplished minds to deeply discuss current issues facing Montana. At the same time, participants enhance their own leadership skills through our curriculum, Leading in Montana, designed specifically around our class members’ interests and needs.
Once participants complete the program, they join our esteemed alumni network consisting of the state’s most influential professionals. With an increased awareness and a commitment to service, our alumni shape Montana’s future with enhanced leadership skills and a deepened knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Montana.
Leadership Montana also provides training for the citizenry of our state through special programs and events like our annual signature event, The Confluence, and the Lessons in Leadership speakers series.
Honored and treasured alumna Barbara Braided Hair
Learning from alumni.
Learning from community leaders.
Leadership Montana exists to develop leaders committed to building a better Montana through knowledge, collaboration, and civility.
Our Leadership Team
As President & CEO, Chantel is the chief strategist and connection creator for Leadership Montana. “Work hard, do good, and be kind” has been her motto over the past two decades while making a career of building better communities through public service, private industry, and non-profit organizations.
A lifelong Montanan, Chantel knows the power of bringing folks together in collaboration to advance our treasured state. Chantel’s passion for community extends to her volunteer work as she serves many statewide and local organizations.
A student of leadership, Chantel is a graduate of Leadership Montana’s Class of 2010 and the inaugural Masters Class of 2019. She was honored internationally with the Alpha Omicron Pi Woman of Leadership Award in 2017 and in 2018 received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award. Chantel is a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, trained by Dr. Brené Brown in 2019 and also a certified Gracious Space facilitator.
For Chantel, her husband Dax and their son Dax Michael, adventure is a family value. The trio can often be found playing outside, especially along the trails in their hometown of Helena.
Anna serves as the program director for Leadership Montana, a role that has been a natural fit since day one. Having grown up in Montana, Anna has had a love and appreciation for this great state and her people for many years.
Working with Leadership Montana allows Anna to collaborate with our staff, program participants, board members, and professionals across the state to create a better Montana. As the Program Director, she gets to dream, create, and execute both the large and small details for our programs. If she says “So, theoretically…” everyone knows that there may be an idea in the works!
Anna is a graduate of the Masters Class of 2020, is a certified Gracious Space Trainer, volunteers as a mentor in the Red Ants Pants Girls Leadership Program, serves on two committees within the Montana Farm Bureau, and is the Assistant Coach for High School Volleyball with the Grass Range School District. During her spare time, you will find Anna playing in the mountains, working cows, volunteering, seeking out live music in hidden corners of the state, and creatively weaving together the paths of people together.
As a proud alumna of the Leadership Montana Flagship Program Class of 2016, and the first Master Class of 2019, Heather is thrilled to be working for an organization that has been instrumental in connecting her deeply with a state that she is proud to call home.
Her career has been focused on making an impact in her community. Working with several nonprofits during her twenty years in Montana, the people of Montana have become her passion. Connecting, listening and learning their stories inspires her to make sure that she is respectful of her role in helping to create positive change.
Family and friends are an important part of Heather’s life. She values time with her husband Zac and daughters, Campbell and Madison. They can be found most summer weekends fishing one of the many local rivers or playing in the snow during the winter. Year round, most weeks are spent traveling listening to good music while enjoying the company of friends.
Alumni Relations Director
Jen is a proud alumna of the Leadership Montana Class of 2009 and is excited to partner with nearly 700 Leadership Montana alumni across the state. She has left every interaction with Leadership Montana alumni inspired and hopeful for the future of our great state, and looks forward to harnessing that inspiration with alumni on a daily basis. Jen is a certified Gracious Space facilitator and is trained to lead our Masters Class curriculum, The Leadership Challenge.
The Idaho-born, Carroll College graduate chose Montana as her home for the big skies, open spaces, friendly people and community. Her career has focused on building partnerships that benefit the greater community.
Jen, husband Tim, and son Cameron enjoy experiencing all of the outdoor seasons of Montana. Most weeks they can be found with friends enjoying a Montana adventure of skiing, fishing, boating, or mountain biking. When not in the mountains, they enjoy the state’s vibrant music, arts and cultural opportunities.
Board of Governors
Chris Warden, Chair
Vice President, Technology, Washington Companies
Class of 2006, Masters 2020
Kelly Cresswell, Vice Chair
Executive Director, Reach Higher Montana
Class of 2006
Leslie Messer, Past Chair
Executive Director, Richland Economic Development Corp.
Class of 2008, Masters 2020
Leonard Malin, Treasurer
Class of 2014, Masters 2019
Director of Asset Management, NorthWestern Energy
Class of 2011, Masters 2019
Commercial Loan Manager. First Interstate Bank
Class of 2020
Chief Operating Officer, Missoula County
Class of 2012
Vice President, Montana State Fund
Class of 2015, Masters 2020
Attorney and Owner, Bluebird Law & Public Affairs
Class of 2013
Business Development Manager, Governor’s Office
Class of 2017, Masters 2020
Market President, Rocky Mountain Bank
Class of 2016, Masters 2019
Owner, Bonnie City Properties, LLC
Class of 2017
Class of 2005
A spirit and a setting where we invite the “stranger” and learn in public.
Gracious Space is an integral aspect of Leadership Montana curriculum. For Montana to move forward we need to know how to learn the perspective of all groups so we can all continue to live and thrive in the last best place. The Gracious Space curriculum developed by the Center for Ethical Leadership in Seattle, WA, is a framework to work better together around critical issues. Gracious Space creates a container that can hold your hardest conversations and most challenging issues. Gracious Space is most powerful and most needed when conflict is present.
Want to learn more about Gracious Space? Would you like to introduce Gracious Space to your business or organization? You can contact the Leadership Montana office or one of the Leadership Montana Alumni that have been certified as Gracious Space facilitators.