Bozeman, Livingston women recognized as finalists in regional community business awards

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Three inspiring women leaders heading organizations in Bozeman and Livingston are up for the Prospera Business Network’s Leader of The Year award.

Becoming role models during the uncertain pandemic year wasn’t easy, but all three finalists recognize “silent leaders” in their community’s that stepped up to the challenge of virtual leaders.

One Valley Community Foundation Executive Director Bridget Wilkinson credits their success to the simple, but big acts from their organization in 2020.

“Maybe its creating a food pantry in their elementary schools cause they see a need, or dropping off groceries to an elderly neighbor who’s so isolated, we see these quiet leaders throughout our community and I would say that those quiet leaders are who are really inspiring me and our work,” Wilkinson said.

Ellie Staley works as the program director of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership who said their quiet leaders were all of the small businesses on Main Street who stressed shopping safe and shopping local during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We tried to really approach all of our events, programming, the way that we work with our businesses in just a totally different way, but still keep the traditions alive,” Staley said.

Kristen Galbraith works for Park County and the Livingston Business Improvement District and said the pandemic actually helped her engage more with the community.

“I do see a lot more public input and participation at these meetings that are held virtually, and we continue to push those efforts through social outreach promotion,” Galbraith said. “We have a big banner program that reminds people that we have great areas in the town of Livingston to shop locally.”

The winner of the Leader of The Year award will be decided at the Propsera Business Awards Luncheon on April 20.

More information and a list of the Business Awards Luncheon Finalists can be found here.

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