President’s Article: February

There are moments in an organization and in a community that end up being transformational in the impact, direction, and energy they bring and the path they take them on. We are at a point where we are experiencing a series of independent moments that are all converging together, and set to change the landscape of our Downtown. We physically see these changes to our Downtown in a big way through our skyline, but more importantly we will feel these changes as everything comes to completion. Through the new businesses that are created, the travelers and students brought in, the personalities that engage, a new molding in with old, and renewed sense of community that comes with these changes. As we all welcome these new additions and everything that comes along with them it is this renewed sense of community that we have to focus on and actively engage in its creation. It is our job as current business owners, customers, members, leaders, participants, employees, city officials, and Downtowners to lead it in a direction that we feel proud of and is even better than it is currently is. We need to drive the Downtown that sets a standard for propelling growth while maintaining its soul.

Missoula’s Downtown is a place where people create, thrive, grow, innovate, push boundaries, grow communities, and encourage each other. It is a special place that is unlike any other. It is driven by real people and incredible collaboration. It is a place where businesses support each other and work towards a greater good, knowing that a stronger neighbor means a stronger block, that a better block means a better downtown, and that an amazing downtown means a better business for you. People here look outward knowing it means that all will do well. It is this Downtown that we have to carry forward with us.

We are in a period of reshaping and it is an exciting time for all of us to be a part of this community.  The MDA staff, board, and most importantly its members, will play a huge role in continuing this collaborative and unique culture of Downtown Missoula. Being a quiet but persistent representation at municipal meetings and events around town. The consistent voice of who we are and where we want to be. This is what excites me the most about stepping into the role of President as we move into this year. With the construction and implementation of our new Downtown Master Plan, we will have a guide that focuses development inward for a more robust and vibrant downtown. A road-map for business retention, recruitment, business employment growth, Downtown housing and development, parking development, Clark Fork river corridor, and street design standards. Helping to create a voice that we at the MDA are able to tacitly and confidently carry with us in everything we do, a voice that helps support and encourage this incredible Downtown as it goes through a wonderful growth period.

We are so fortunate to have a phenomenal Executive Director and staff at the MDA that takes care of the needs of our Downtown. Because of their competent care it leaves us time to do the job of a board. To bring together bright, articulate, creative people to identify and set strategic goals that allow this organization to even better fulfill its mission. I hope all of you will help me in this process and share your thoughts, concerns, and hopes for our amazing Downtown moving forward. I am always available for a phone call or coffee and truly would welcome your participation because the more people we engage in this process the better and more representative it will be.

 

-Tom Snyder

Five on Black

MDA Board President

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