Outstanding Leaders Honored for Contributions to Midtown Missoula

April 25, 2024 – PRESS RELEASE

Three Recognized for Leading Nearly $50 Million in Midtown Development Projects

(Missoula, MT) – The Missoula Midtown Association recognized its annual award winners yesterday at the Association’s 2024 Annual Membership meeting held at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.  

  • Heather Foster, CEO of the Missoula YMCA, was awarded the prestigious Midtowner of the Year Award for leading the Missoula YMCA’s $20 million Russell Street campus revitalization project and for her incredible commitment to providing free and inclusive programming to Midtown families and seniors. The Y’s new Phyllis Washington Early Child Care Center opens this Summer with additional phases of construction to be completed through next year. Midtown widely considers the Y its community center and Heather was recognized for her hard work ensuring the Y will serve Missoula well for decades to come.

The award, co-presented by Jackson Contractor Group, recognizes a Missoulian who exemplifies the mission of the Association through their commitment to maintaining a healthy business community and enhancing the quality of life and quality of place for visitors and residents alike.

  • The Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium was awarded the Midtown Nonprofit of the Year Award for completion of their new facility at Missoula Fairgrounds, which is already drawing thousands of visitors to Midtown. Co-presented with Clearwater Credit Union, Butterfly House founders Jennifer & Glenn Marangelo were honored for achieving their decades-long dream to build a tropical butterfly house and insectarium in Missoula to teach entomology and foster an appreciation and respect for the smallest species we share the environment with. 

Nominees for the award also included Families First, Glacier Ice Rink, Missoula Economic Partnership and Mountain Home Montana.

  • First Security Bank was awarded the Business of the Year Award for investing over $24 million in redeveloping an underutilized property near Southgate Mall into their new world headquarters to better serve our growing city. The project will be a catalyst for new commercial projects in the Southgate Triangle and solidify First Security as a major Midtown employment anchor. The new building and plaza will be completed this Fall. 

Co-presented with Worden Thane, First Security was also recognized for recently leveraging funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines to quadruple its annual contributions to 45 local nonprofits. The Missoula Midtown Association received an incredibly generous capacity building grant from First Security Bank as a result that will allow Midtown to jump start a few Master Plan implementation projects and accelerate our work.

Nominees for the award also included Scheel’s and Diane Hellman Insurance Agency.

“Midtown is in an exciting phase of growth and revitalization,” said Missoula Midtown Association Executive Director Melanie Brock. “The leaders we recognized today showed us all that big dreams can be accomplished here and it’s really just the beginning of major investment into the district.”

Over 170 business leaders and Midtown residents attended the meeting and a new board member was elected to the Midtown Association Board of Directors:  Jan Schweitzer, Pinion Global.