President’s Article: February

Greetings, one and all! In this year of 2020, I couldn’t be more honored to hold the role of President of the Missoula Downtown Association Board of Directors. As such, I will endeavor to be the best ambassador and advocate I can for Downtown Missoula and all it offers to this fantastic community. I serve on this Board with an engaged and dedicated group of individuals who all share a passion for a healthy and vibrant downtown core. It’s an extremely exciting time in the “Heart of Missoula” and elsewhere across this beautiful city, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and involve myself in the goings-on that help make it great.

And as it will be the year of the anticipated Higgins Avenue Bridge expansion (or at least the beginning of it), I wanted to provide my own “20-20” visionary slant on the building of “bridges” in general. Bridges are integral structures in a town that prides itself as having “a river run through it” – literally. It’s why Missoula has so many of them! The city’s growth depended on them initially and continues to do so to this day. With growth comes expansion and our bridges must expand right along with it. With the eventual and eventful completion of the Higgins Bridge expansion, thanks to the Montana Department of Transportation, three of Missoula’s four major aging river bridges will have been completely upgraded within four years; that’s pretty remarkable!

Bridges can also serve as a metaphor for how we connect as a community. Whenever there is a misunderstanding of any sort, there often can be a corresponding gap in communication. In terms of organizations, this can happen both internally and externally. I see a major role of this organization (the MDA and the Downtown Missoula Partnership as a whole) serving as bridge for the smooth and constant flow of information to and from the entire community. This is easily represented by this very Downtown e’LowDown newsletter you’re reading right now. As the community landscape changes and expands, there can develop a need for a parallel expansion in bridging any communication gaps over time.

Personally, I can assure you, dear member, the entire Downtown Missoula Partnership is working hard to help bridge any gaps currently in existence. In the coming months, I will attempt to use this column to highlight the issues that may be challenging the community, celebrate the successes of Downtown, and put a spotlight on the individual folks who are working hard every day behind the scenes on your behalf and that of the community.

In the meantime, I would personally enjoy hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to get your input on any Downtown-related issues you care to discuss. What would interest you for future topics to be covered? It will be my privilege to engage with members from across the spectrum, so feel free to reach me at [email protected]. Thanks for your time, and here’s to a vision of prosperity and winning for all in 2020 – but don’t forget your glasses if you need them … like me!

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