As summertime gets underway, the warm weather and sweet aromas of the mountain air remind us that there remains to be a great deal of promise to look forward to over the second half of 2020. While some may want to forget about the challenges brought on by various obstacles we’ve all faced over the first six months of the year, let us look back on the bright spots and recap the progress that was made during that time.
To kick off the new year, the Board of Directors held a Strategic Planning Session, where goals for the coming one year, three years, and five years were developed. Some of the goals for the current year included: bringing on 50 new members, creating an additional revenue source, establishing a relationship with the Western Montana Fair, hiring a college intern, and developing a plan for a Midtown Master Plan. Some of those goals have been made more difficult due to certain circumstances; but, thanks to hard work by many of our volunteers, we have continued to make good strides and remain optimistic about continued advancements.
In February, the Annual Membership Meeting was held, where President Mark Bellon, and a number of additional speakers from around Midtown provided updates and discussed upcoming objectives. As part of that event, a working session was held where attendees provided direct feedback – those suggestions were collected, organized, and appropriately assigned to the association’s various committees based on the topic.
Building on the growing success of the “Midtown Mixers” becoming one of Missoula’s premier business networking events in 2019, the association held a gathering each of the first three months of 2020 thanks to gracious hosts: Keller Williams (co-hosted by First Interstate Bank), Community Medical Center, and Opportunity Resources. Additional Mixers were scheduled for nearly the rest of the year before social-distancing measures were put in place due to COVID. In order to gain momentum back and provide an outlet for members to voice ideas and give updates, we plan to hold virtual Mixers the first Tuesday of each month for the foreseeable future (more info below).
Following the resignation of a Director, the Board voted to bring on Marion Alley of Berkshire Hathaway to fill the open seat and serve the remainder of the vacated term. The Board also voted to bring on two Advisory Board Members to provide input on Midtown objectives: Corey Aldridge with Mountain Line, and Jessica Yandell with AlphaGraphics.
Finally, one of the most recent – as well as most exciting – projects the group has undertaken is getting the initial process underway for what will eventually become a Midtown Master Plan. A committee, chaired by Director Emily Brock of the Fairgrounds, received approval to hire a consultant and has begun preparing a “white paper” that will help develop the road map to a Master Plan.
As we navigate through the current situation over the remaining months of 2020, we will aim to maintain a connection with our membership and ensure that continued efforts will be made towards our mission to promote and enhance the Midtown community.