Sheena Pate of Columbia Falls, MT, project coordinator for the Crown of the Continent Geotourim Council, works in and around the international transboundary region (Alberta, British Columbia & Montana) introducing the geotourism concept and how it can be a tool to build a sustainable tourism industry without sacrificing community values or identity, in partnership with National Geographic. It is her belief that geotourism can effectively sustain regional businesses, preserve community character and promote conservation.
This Texas born gal grew up and worked in the outdoor recreation industry before making a run for the captivating mountains of Colorado and Montana. Pate’s passion for bringing people together to work toward sustaining and enhancing the character of geographical places led her to earn a degree in watershed science from Colorado State University and a degree in environmental studies from University of Montana. She was drawn to the Crown of the Continent over 16 years ago because of its distinct communities and access to unspoiled landscapes. The last 18 years she has had the pleasure of working as a Program Coordinator, Outreach Consultant, Watershed Scientist, Environmental Technician and Conservation Educator for Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council, Flathead National Forest, Whitefish Legacy Partners, Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP/Curecanti NRA, City of Fort Collins- Utilities, Watershed Education Network and watershed restoration consultants.
When she’s not volunteering for local and state non-profits you can often find her with a camera in hand exploring the vast region and capturing family adventures with her fly fishing guide/hunting guide/ski patrol husband, outdoor obsessed toddler and trusty dog Bridger Merle. You can often catch her and crew on @crowngeotourism and @findyourwildcollective Instagram feeds enjoying the region’s “hidden gems”.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Region 2
In 1995, when Randy Arnold graduated from The University of Montana with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology, he was hired by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks as a Game Warden Trainee. For about the next 20 years, Randy continued working for the Enforcement Division as he and his family lived in several Montana communities, eventually landing back in Missoula. Randy has been the Regional Supervisor for FWP in Missoula for the past seven years. During that time he served as Incident Commander for the Montana response to the detection of invasive mussels, and more recently served on the FWP Incident Response Team coordinating agency response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Director of Emergency Management
Pincher Creek Regional Emergency Management Organization
Brett Wuth is the Director of the Pincher Creek Regional Emergency Management Organization (PCREMO), a partnership of three local governments in the south-west corner of Alberta, an area which includes forests, mountains, and major parks. In the last two decades, the area’s outdoor recreation community has faced wildfires, floods, multi-day blizzards, and industrial chemical releases. As part of his work for PCREMO, Brett coordinates first response agencies and community organizations during major emergencies and disasters. As well Brett has assisted with regional and national disasters, and been a exercise design specialist for the the United Nations. Brett began his involvement in 1997 through Search and Rescue and continues to serve on local and provincial organizations.
City of Missoula Parks & Recreation
As Director of Missoula Parks and Recreation, Donna has guided the Missoula community in the development and adoption of several land use and management plans, and improvements ranging from neighborhood parks to regional pathways, and conservation lands to water parks. Partnerships, empowerment, inclusion, and engagement are what Donna views as the keys to the Department’s success. Understanding the benefits Parks and Recreation brings to our individual residents, our community, and our place through stewardship, are critical to maximizing our shared potential. Donna notes her passion to be in the area of social science with an emphasis on engaging all populations in healthy lifestyles and outdoor play. Through play, we grow. In community, we thrive.
Tourism Matters to Montana
Racene Friede grew up in Ovando – an upbringing that helped establish her inherent love for Big Sky Country. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in communication from Montana State University. Racene has spent the majority of her professional career promoting travel and tourism to Montana. She has put her more than 27 years of marketing experience to work as the President CEO for Glacier Country Tourism. In addition to leading one of Montana’s largest DMOs (destination marketing organization), Racene is also actively involved with Tourism Matters to Montana and Voices of Montana Tourism. She served on the Blackfoot Challenge board for over 13 years.
Trail Head, Trail Head T9 and Trail Head River Sports
Retail Store owner from a family of retail store owners. I have owned and operated the Trail Head since 2000, but both my parents were in retail stores in Billings and Great Falls, Ranch Supplies and western Clothing, so I learned retail at the dinner table.
We have worked through wildfires, new competitors, the market disruption of the internet, recessions and now Covid. My background in school was not in business but in Geology and I credit that experience with giving me a fuller understanding of the world around me and a science based approach to problem solving and testing changes to my business operation. I also believe that having a non business background is an advantage in some respects, like the ability to be willing to not make all decisions based on some kind of financial analysis alone.
The business experiences I feel are the most valuable to my contribution to the local community come more from my support of causes and issues we face as a community, not what I offer in terms of how to run a business.