New Officers Elected To Lead Missoula Downtown Association Ashley Larkin of First Montana Bank: MDA’s New Board President

January 27, 2021

Local Media



Ashley Larkin of First Montana Bank: MDA’s New Board President


While the COVID pandemic has had an enormous impact on the Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) and its projects and programs, the MDA Board of Directors recently elected new officers for 2021. However, it won’t be introducing the new board members at the annual MDA Awards Banquet this month, due to the virus.


Stepping into the President’s position for 2021 is Ashley Larkin, Commercial Loan Officer at First Montana Bank. Bob Burns, Market President at Stockman Bank, will serve as Vice President of Advocacy. Jed Liston, Director of Admissions & Financial Aid at the University of Montana, will serve as Vice President of Marketing & Events. Ellen Buchanan, Director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, will continued to serve as Vice President of the Downtown Master Plan. Josh Eder, Financial Planner for S.G. Long, will serve as Vice President of Membership. Conor Newman, CPA at Boyle, Devany and Meyer, will serve as Treasurer. Bob McGowan, Student Services Director for the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, will move into the Past President’s role.


Joining the MDA Board as an ex-officio member will be Jacqueline Smith, a pre-construction engineer for the Montana Department of Transportation.


Rolling off the MDA Board are Brooke Redpath, owner of METTLE Marketing Solutions who served on the MDA Board since 2012, and Rachel McDonough of MOFI, who served as Treasurer since 2017.


“We have an incredible group of business leaders, owners and managers on the MDA Board, which represents nearly 550 Missoula-area businesses,” said Linda McCarthy, Executive Director of the Downtown Missoula Partnership, which supports the MDA, the Downtown BID and the Missoula Downtown Foundation. “It’s unfortunate we won’t be able to honor and recognize those leaders at the annual MDA Awards Banquet, but we want our community to know those who give their time, talent and treasure to serve our members and our Downtown community.


With service from 21 individuals, the MDA Board also includes Matt Ellis of the Missoula PaddleHeads, Katie Ghen Simpson of Bathing Beauties Beads, Mimi Hall Gustafson of the Holiday Inn Downtown, Kim Klages Johns of the Paddleheads, Paige Livingston of One Eleven Boutique, Aimee McQuikin of Betty’s Divine, Matt Mellott of Sterling Commercial Real Estate, Zachary Millar from The Dram Shop, Jeff Smith from Garlington, Lohn & Robinson, Tom Snyder of Five on Black and Heidi Starrett of Missoula Broadcasting. Ex-Officio Representatives include Corey Aldridge of Mountain Line, Tiffany Brander of the Missoula Parking Commission and Grant Kier of the Missoula Economic Partnership.


“We have a very diverse group of community members who represent a wide array of business types: accounting, banking, financial planning, arts and entertainment, economic development, education, food & beverage, legal, lodging, marketing, media, commercial real estate, retail, parking and transportation,” said Ashley Larkin, incoming Board President. “It’s an honor to serve alongside these folks, and we will continue to do all we can to support our members and rebuild the Downtown economy in 2021.”


The Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) was established in 1975 to promote, support and enhance the vitality of Downtown Missoula. As the longest-standing Downtown Association in Montana, the MDA serves nearly 550 Missoula-area businesses, manages Caras Park, typically produces nearly 60 community and member events, is responsible for the Downtown flowers, banners and holiday decorations, manages the Downtown Gift Card program, provides advocacy and support for the Downtown community and leads the efforts to implement the Downtown Master Plan.


For more information on the Missoula Downtown Association Board of Directors, visit or contact the Downtown Missoula Partnership office via phone (406-543-4238) or email ([email protected]).


Downtown Missoula: Connecting Our Community!

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