Matt Ellis wins Downtowner of the Year – MDA Awards announced!

Matt EllisMatt Ellis, a committed Missoula businessman, has been named the 2012 Downtowner of the Year at the Missoula Downtown Association’s Annual Awards Banquet Wednesday night. Ellis was nominated for his insurmountable dedication to Downtown and his work implementing the Downtown Master Plan.

Ellis owns and runs two small businesses, the MSO Hub and Uptown Diner, and is also the Executive Vice-President for the Missoula Osprey Professional Baseball Team. In his various roles, he brings Missoula concerts, baseball and fireworks, and still manages to have enough time to be an active volunteer as chair of the Master Plan Committee. He is passionate about improving Downtown in the future, and serves on the board of Destination Missoula. He is invaluable as a member of the MDA Board.

“Matt Ellis is one of the most consistent, unselfish Downtown advocates we have,” said Rod Austin, director of the Downtown Business Improvement District. “From the original development of the BID all the way through to Master Plan Implementation, Matt has been there with practical solutions that have helped get our community where it is today.”

Originally from California, Ellis earned his Marketing Degree from Arizona State University. He is married to Shelly, and they have one son Michael. In his spare time, Ellis enjoys ice hockey, bowling, spending time with his family and traveling.

Three other individuals were also recognized by the MDA for their contributions to Downtown Missoula:

Downtown Employee of the Year: Colin Hickey, MDA/HB Enterprises/More
Hickey is known to serve so many roles downtown that it is hard to know where to start. However, each of his occupations benefits Downtown. Whether it’s organizing events at the MDA, booking music at the Badlander, keeping us all plugged in with MissoulaEvents.Net or acting as DJ for a roller derby bout, it’s always about Downtown. Our community is lucky to have Hickey’s energy and smiling face. He has been an employee at the MDA since 2011, co-owns HB Enterprises with Molly Bradford and has produced events at the Badlander and Palace since 2007. When it comes to Downtown life, Hickey is truly a jack of all trades.

Board Member of the Year: John Horner, First Interstate Bank
Horner served an unprecedented back-to-back two year term as President of the Board in 2011 and 2012. His commitment and service have given the MDA strong leadership and direction. Horner stepped in to serve a second year when the President-elect for 2012 was unable to assume the responsibilities due to work conflicts. He has been exceptional at representing the MDA, writing monthly newsletter columns without prompt, emceeing the membership

luncheons, attending multiple monthly meetings and socials, volunteering to staff events and much more. Horner helped guide the efforts to acquire the MDA’s first-ever financial practices audit, has been a key player in engaging others in the organization’s efforts across the board. Horner also serves the MDA as co-chairman of the city’s newly-created Economic Development Committee, and he has worked diligently to improve human resource management and benefits for the staff. Horner has been a steadfast and inspiring leader as chair of the MDA Board for the past two years. The MDA is a better organization as a result of Horner’s leadership and commitment.

Committee Member of the Year: Ellen Buchanan, BrewFests, Roots Fest, Master Plan & More
Despite being a non-voting member of the board, Buchanan serves as chair of MDA’s three largest community events: Winter BrewFest, Garden City BrewFest and River City Roots Fest. She gives a significant amount of time to each of these events, attending meetings, selecting entertainment, selling sponsorships, recruiting volunteers and more. The events Ellen heads up account for nearly $225,000 of MDA’s annual income, and her leadership is evident and appreciated. Additionally, Buchanan serves on the Master Plan Implementation Team and the Caras Park Improvements Committee, and her guidance and advocacy in both areas has been exceptional. She also serves as a watchdog for Downtown in meetings are unappealing to many: Long Range Transportation Planning, Transportation Policy Coordinating Committee and Transportation Technical Advisory Committee. She is undoubtedly one of the most engaged members of the MDA board.

The Missoula Downtown Association Annual Awards Banquet drew more than 200 guests to the Governor’s Room at the Florence Hotel on January 16, 2013.

Seventeen individuals were honored, and the general membership elected its officers and new board members for the 2013 year. Joining the Board of Directors are:
• Larry Brehm Architect Lawrence K. Brehm, A.I.A., Architect
• Anders Brooker Owner Runner’s Edge
• Lynda Brown Director of HR Tamarack Management, Inc.
• Wade Herbert Owner Black Knight Security
• Scott MacIntyre Co-Owner/Owner The Badlander/Missoula Mobile ATM

Elected to serve as officers for 2013 are:
• President: Todd Frank The Trail Head
• Past President: John Horner First Interstate Bank
• Vice President-Advocacy Brent Campbell WGM Group
• Vice President-Marketing & Events Heidi Starrett Computer Central
• Vice President-Master Plan Matt Ellis Osprey/MSO HUB/Uptown Diner
• Vice President-Membership Racquel Rausch R2 Distinctive Brand Management