The Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) is a not-for-profit membership based organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and enhancing the vitality of downtown Missoula. Created in 1975, the MDA has grown to over 400 business and individual members. Managed by a volunteer board of directors and paid staff, the Missoula Downtown Association works to attract people Downtown through events such as Out to Lunch, Downtown Tonight and the River City Roots Festival; creates visual improvements such as flower baskets and banners; provides a voice for Downtown; builds a sense of community and acts as a clearinghouse and referral service among other things.
Linda McCarthyExecutive Director
Linda McCarthy began her tenure with Downtown Missoula in 1999 as the Executive Director of the Missoula Downtown Association (MDA). Under her leadership, Downtown Missoula has seen the creation of the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) in 2005, the creation of the Downtown Master Plan in 2008-09, and the creation of the Missoula Downtown Foundation (MDF) in 2010. The MDA, BID and MDF formalized their collaboration with the creation of the Downtown Missoula Partnership in 2014.
McCarthy has served on the Board of Directors of Destination Missoula - the Convention and Visitors Bureau - since 1999 and previously served on the First Night Missoula Board of Directors.
She is a double graduate of The University of Montana, receiving her B.A. in Communication Studies in 1991 and her M.A. in Public Administration in 1999. She was named the Montana Alumni of the Year in 2008. Prior to her tenure with Downtown Missoula McCarthy was a Sports Information Director for the University of Montana from 1989-99.
Originally from Dupuyer, Mont., Linda is married to Tom Gallagher, and their daughter, Madelyn, is a student at Washington Middle School.
Robert GiblinFinance & Administration Director
Robert is originally from Boston, MA and moved to Missoula a little over 14 years ago. He has a BA in Accountancy and Finance from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH and is currently working on an MBA degree at UM. He has been the bookkeeper for his brother’s company, JPR Roofing, for about 10 years and previously was a Registered Financial Representative/Market Analyst at McLaughlin, Piven & Vogel Securities and a high school calculus teacher.. He also served as a dog musher/tour guide in the Juneau ice field for one summer. Robert spends his leisure time outdoors and enjoys reading, golf and Boston sports teams.
Kristen SackettMarketing and Events Director
Kristen Sackett is the new Marketing & Events Director for the Downtown Missoula Partnership. Sackett is responsible for the comprehensive marketing and communications on behalf of Downtown Missoula and the Partnership organizations: the Missoula Downtown Association, the Downtown Business Improvement District and the Missoula Downtown Foundation. This includes image and program marketing; event planning, marketing and execution; communications; publications and more.
Originally from Williamson, New York, Sackett most recently served as the assistant marketing director for the University of Montana Athletic Department, where she was responsible for marketing and promotions for women’s basketball, soccer and volleyball and also staffed game-day promotions for football, men’s basketball and more. Prior to that, Sackett was the marketing coordinator for athletics at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Sackett has earned three college degrees: a B.S. in Exercise Science and an M.S. in Exercise Science with a Sport Psychology Concentration from Ithaca College and an M.S. in Management of Sports Industries from the University of New Haven. She relocated to Missoula, Montana in August 2013.
Topher WIlliamsMembership and Events Director
As the Membership and Events Director, Topher is responsible for communicating with all 500 members and coordinating all of the MDA's membership socials and events. He moved to Missoula from Boulder Colorado to attend the University of Montana where he studied Geography focusing in Community Planning. Outside of class, he became very involved in campus life including two years on student government a year on the Montana Public Interest Research Group (MontPIRG) Board of Directors and four years chair ASUM Transportation's Board.
Previously, Topher has served as the Membership and Fundraising Associate at Montana Conservation Voters organizing events, raising money and engaging with members across Montana. As the Assistant Director of the Student Involvement Network for two years, Topher organized events for University Center within the Student Affairs wing of UM. After leaving the Student Involvement Network, Topher joined Missoula's Mountain Line as their company spokesperson. While at Mountain Line, he helped launch a variety of new services including 15 minute Bolt! service as well as Zero-fare Transit. He is also a graduate of the New Leaders Council-Montana Fellowship program and now serves on their board as the Communications Director
In his free time Williams is an avid road cyclist, coffee addict, ski bum, rock climber, and aspiring kayaker.
Leidy WagenerOperations Coordinator
Leidy is originally from Teton Valley, Idaho and moved to Missoula in 2007 to attend the University of Montana. She received a BA in Photojournalism from UM in 2011 and has enjoyed living in Missoula ever since. Leidy enjoys doing all things Missoula, from shopping at the Farmer's Market to playing in the river with her dog. In addition to her work at the MDA, Leidy serves on the board of the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD). Leidy loves traveling, reading, and growing and eating delicious local food.
Aimee serves as Vice President of The Hip Strip Society and on the Leadership Committee for the Montana Small Business Alliance. She is concerned with promoting a sustainable, healthy, and vibrant community. Aimee is also affiliated with UM's Blackstone Launchpad, New Leadership Council, Le Kickball Missoula, Hellgate High School’s Community Mentor Program and the Main Street Alliance, and is a regular contributor to Mamalode Magazine
Originally from Portland, Aimee likes to watch birds, bake bread, fly down mountains on bikes and skis, camp in the woods, read voraciously, garden-eat-read about food, play kickball, and comb garage sales and junk stores for treasures.
Anders BrookerVice President of Advocacy
Anders is one of the founding members of the Missoula Marathon and served on the RWM board of directors prior to becoming race director. Anders is the owner of The Runners Edge and coaches the Hellgate High School cross-country and track teams.
Ellen BuchananVice President of Master Plan
Ellen Buchanan is the director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency and a member of the MDA board. Ellen came to Missoula over a decade ago from Johnson City, TN and has been active with the MDA since her arrival. Ellen is most concerned with sustainability, maintaining Downtown vitality, and promoting residential development Downtown. She is the chair of the River City Roots Festival and also chairs the Garden City and Winter Brewfest committees.
Ellen earned her Bachelor degree in Architecture. In addition to her MDA commitments, Ellen serves on the Board of Directors for the Downtown BID of Missoula, and is a member of the Downtown Master Plan Implementation Committee.
She has one son, Jason; a daughter, Keenan; and one granddaughter, Tess. In her free time, Ellen enjoys listening to live music, hiking and camping.
Julie McFarland TomasikVice President of Membership
Now Branch Manager at AAA MountainWest, Julie has been involved with the MDA for over eleven years. Julie is in her seventh year as a board member. She is a strong advocate for downtown and is most concerned with keeping Downtown as the heart of Missoula, family, environment and a strong, healthy economy.
Originally from the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area, Julie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Northern Kentucky University with a minor in French and International Politics. Julie has a seven year old daughter, Cameron and two dogs. In her spare time, Julie enjoys spending time with family and friends, volunteering at MDA events, running, biking and participating in MCT productions.
Mario SchulzkeVice President of Marketing & Events
Mario is UM's assistant vice president for marketing, overseeing marketing, branding, social media and website development for the University of Montana. He came to UM in January 2013.
Mario spent 10 years managing digital strategy teams at ad agencies WDCW and R2C Group, where he led digital campaigns for clients such as Chase, Vonage, P&G, Alaska Airlines and Philips. He is also the founder of IdeaMensch, a community of entrepreneurs who share stories of bringing their ideas to life. Mario has interviewed over 1,500 entrepreneurs, from the very famous to ones just getting started.
Mario is a first generation immigrant from Germany who came to America as an exchange student at the age of 16, landing on a cattle ranch in Hamilton, MT. He is an Ironman triathlete and a 2002 UM business graduate.
Rick Eneas is the Controller for Montana CDC.
A native of Polson, Mont., Eneas earned an accounting degree from The University of Montana and an MBA from Gonzaga University. He previously worked as an auditor for the State of Montana. A graduate of Leadership Missoula and a volunteer with United Way, Rick is married to Lynn, who worked at Litigation Abstract in Downtown Missoula.
Heidi StarrettPast President
Heidi is the Advertising Sales Manager at the Missoula Independent, a locally owned and operated business. She has been a board member since 2011 and has served as chair on the Out Lunch Committee since that time. Heidi has held 2 VP positions on the MDA board: VP of Marketing in 2013 and VP of Membership in 2014.
In the past, Heidi has served on several committees including business development, Parade of Lights, MDA Annual Banquet and MDA Member BBQ. Since becoming a member of the MDA in 2006, she has also volunteered for Downtown ToNight, Garden City Brew Fest, Winter Brew Fest and Garden City River Rod Run. Having previously owned a Downtown business from 2005 to 2014, Heidi recognizes the importance of "keeping it local" by attracting locally owned businesses to Downtown, ensuring it stays a diverse and vibrant gathering place for local residents and visitors alike.
Originally from Massachusetts, Heidi relocated to Missoula in 2004, following a 6 week summer journey across the US. When not involved in MDA committees & events Heidi dedicates her time and energies to fundraising for the Milltown Garden Patch – a charitable/educational non-profit she co-founded in the spring of 2009. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, cross country skiing and gardening.
Trent BakerWith emphases in business and real estate law and litigation, Trent Baker is an attorney and shareholder at Datsopoulos, MacDonald and Lind. A native of Pocatello, Idaho, he earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Utah in 1993 and then moved to the Garden City shortly thereafter. Baker is a 2001 double graduate of the University of Montana, earning both an M.S. in Environmental Studies and a J.D. from the UM Law School. A downtown employee for 11 years, Trent and his wife, Kimberly, have two daughters Elise (age 13) and Lucia (age 11). Baker was integral in the development of Brennan’s Wave, and he serves on the Board of Directors for both the Clark Fork Coalition and HomeWORD. An avid biker, skier and boater, Baker appreciates Downtown Missoula’s shopping, dining and entertainment and wants to attract and maintain a broad spectrum of quality businesses to the heart of Missoula.
Larry BrehmLarry is a senior project architect with OZ Architects, who as a member of the Caras Park Improvements Committee, designed a new automatic fabric wall system for the pavilion. A native Californian, Larry graduated from UC Berkeley and owned his own full-service architectural firm in Berkeley from 1974 to 2003. He moved to Missoula having been an annual Montana tourist since 1973 when his wife's twin sister and her family moved to Polson.
Larry is married to Laura, who is the former President/CEO of the University of Montana Foundation and currently consults with universities and colleges around the western United States. They have two grown children and one grandson. Larry, a Missoula Sunrise Rotarian, is also a member of the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium Board and is Chairman of the City Club Missoula Board.
Lynda BrownLynda Brown is the principle and owner of Lynda Brown Human Resource Management Consulting in Missoula. As an adjunct instructor in the School of Business at the University of Montana she teaches classes in the Management and Marketing Department and in the MBA program. She has over thirty years of HR management experience with employers in Missoula including the University of Montana, St. Patrick Hospital, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Western Montana Clinic. She has served on the MDA board since 2013 and is beginning her second year as a member of the board of the Downtown Missoula Partnership. Previously Lynda served on the United Way Board of Directors, and she volunteers with local government and other non-profit agencies assisting with human resource issues.
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Lynda has a Ph.D. from Florida State University, a M.Ed. from the University of Oklahoma, and a B.S. from the College of William and Mary. She is a regular bicycle commuter, an avid skier, endurance rider, sailor, and a spinning instructor. She is married to Bill Brown, DVM and owner of Western Montana Equine.
Dan CederbergThe longest-standing member of the MDA Board of Directors, Dan Cederberg is an attorney for Cederberg Law Offices, PC. A Missoula resident for more than 40 years, he has maintained his business downtown for close to 30 years and has been a member of the MDA Board for 27 years. He has been instrumental in the renovation of the Caras Park Pavilion, spearheading the fundraising, managing and marketing of the facility. Cederberg believes the pavilion, downtown retail and parking are some of the most important aspects of Downtown Missoula. He is involved in several other downtown groups serving as a Business Improvement District trustee, a member of the Mayor’s Downtown Advisory Commission, a director of the Missoula Downtown Foundation board and a director of the Downtown Missoula Partnership board.
Originally from Havre, MT, Cederberg has a BA in political science and history and a J.D. in Law from The University of Montana. Dan is married to Forey, a teacher at Lolo Middle School. They have four children: Brad, Jenna, Breland and Dac. Cederberg enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and continues to play an active role with that organization.
Emily CostelloHaving served on the Roots Fest Committee since 2009 and the Downtown ToNight Committee for the last two years, Emily Costello has agreed to increase her service to MDA as a board member. A loan officer for Treasure State Bank, Costello has been a Missoula resident for 10 years. A native of Marion, Kansas, she has a B.S. in Business Marketing & Accounting from Emporia State University. Costello is the consummate community volunteer, serving as PEO Chapter President, American Cancer Society Relay for Life Chair, and volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club, Missoula Medical Aid, Special Olympics, Run Wild Missoula, Celtic Fest, Sunday Streets, Adopt A Highway, and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. She has a wide variety of hobbies, including hiking, biking, reading, skiing, snowshoeing, floating, listening to live music and spending time in the great outdoors, all with her long-standing boyfriend Dax Kannady. She loves the sense of community and sense of pride that happens throughout Downtown as shown by the flower baskets, window displays and businesses. She is most interested in maintaining the quality of free, family-friendly events that offer culture and entertainment for all.
Matt EllisMatt is the Executive Vice-President for the Missoula Osprey Professional Baseball team and is serving as Vice President of the Master Plan Committee. He has been a partner of the Osprey in Missoula since the team relocated to Missoula in 1999. He also became an owner of the Uptown Diner in 2006. Matt is most concerned with preserving Downtown as a destination. He is active on the Advocacy committee and the Downtown Master Plan committee. In addition, Matt is involved with Rotary and the Missoula Convention and Visitors Bureau. Matt was behind the vision of the MSO Hub, along with his father, a visitors' facility promoting events and the Missoula Osprey, as well as serving as a incubator for tourism promotion organizations.
Originally from California, Matt earned his Marketing Degree from Arizona State University. In Matt's spare time he enjoys ice hockey, bowling, spending time with his family and traveling.
John HornerJohn is in his seventh year as an MDA board member and is the Vice-President and Commercial Banker at First Interstate Bank. John is on the Advocacy Committee and is also involved with Leadership Missoula as a facilitator and the City Council Subcommittee for Economic Development. He is most concerned with Downtown growth and how to manage it properly.
Originally from Missoula, John is a graduate of Loyola High School and Carroll College. John and his wife Judy have two children, Austin and Rachel. In his spare time John enjoys spending time with family, reading and golfing.
Anne GuestAnne is the Director of the Missoula Parking Commission and has been in this position for 20 years. Since 1993, she has served on the Missoula Downtown Association Board of Directors. She currently is a member of the Board of Directors for Destination Missoula and the Pacific Intermountain Parking & Transportation Association.
She is also a member of the St. Patrick Hospital & Health Sciences Center Board of Directors and is on the Board for the St. Patrick Hospital Foundation. She is a charter member of the Missoula Sunrise Rotary Club. She served on the Board for the Missoula Symphony Association, was President for two years and remains very involved in their fundraising and marketing activities.
Anne is a native of Missoula, received a BA degree from the University of Washington and has one daughter, Elise, who is a Principal of an elementary school in Portland, Oregon. Anne enjoys a wide variety of outdoor sports, cultural events, travelling and being close to her family and friends.
Diane LanningDiane has been actively engaged in the MDA for eleven years, and is currently serving as Past President. Diane has proved to be a valuable asset for a variety of downtown businesses, having worked at the Bon Marche and the Missoula Independent. She is now employed by both St. Patrick Hospital and J. Elaine's Boutique. Diane has been instrumental in the marketing committee and planning the Garden City River Rod Run, MDA Barbeque, MDA Annual Dinner and Parade of Lights as well as volunteering her time to help with River City Roots Festival and Downtown flower baskets. She has been deeply involved in fundraising for the Campaign for Caras Park and the development of the Downtown Foundation, a 501(c)3 focused on grant writing and fundraising for downtown projects. Diane is also involved Relay for Life.
A native of Helena, Diane enjoys spending time with her family, skiing, snowboarding and visiting her property near Townsend.
Brooke RedpathOriginally from Anaconda, Mont., Brooke Redpath earned a degree in business marketing from The University of Montana and has worked in sales at the Missoulian for the last six years. Primarily serving the downtown community, she was recently promoted to Advertising Director. Redpath has been extremely involved with a variety of community organizations and projects including River City Roots Festival, Team Up Montana, Special Olympics, Graduation Matters, St. Patrick Hospital and the Missoula Art Museum. A Missoula resident for 11 years, Brooke is married to Van Redpath, a native of Great Falls, Mont., who works for Sleep City. In her free time, she engages in golf, yoga, snowboarding and hiking.
Chad StricklandAs General Manager of Liquid Planet at 223 North Higgins for the last four years, Chad Strickland served on the Advocacy and Downtown ToNight committees in 2014. Originally from Columbus, Miss., Strickland has lived in Montana for 14 years, the last five of those in Missoula. He has a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Florida University, interned at Disney World, and served his country as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Chad is married to Amber, and they have two daughters: Serene (8) and Sawyer (6), both students at Hellgate Elementary. Strickland’s favorite things about Downtown Missoula are the people, the culture and the variety of live music performances. He is most concerned about aggressive panhandling.
Corey AldridgeEx Officio, Mountain Line
Shane StackEx Officio, Montana Dept. of Transportation
A native of Whitehall, Mont., Shane Stack has lived and worked in Missoula for 18 years, all as a preconstruction engineer with the Missoula office of the Montana Department of Transportation. He has been attending MDA board meetings since last spring and will be ratified as an ex officio (non-voting) board member. Stack earned a civil engineering degree from Montana State University in 1996 and immediately moved to Missoula. He loves the atmosphere of Downtown Missoula, and specifically enjoys Caras Park events, surfing on Brennan’s Wave, and having lunch at Worden’s Market. He is most interested in how downtown develops its transportation network over time. An avid runner and cyclist, Stack notes finishing the Missoula Marathon as another favorite of Downtown Missoula. Stack is a member of Team Stampede and serves on the Missoula Airport Authority Board of Directors. He and his wife, Shanna, are triathletes and enjoy flying.
James GrunkeEx Officio, Missoula Economic Partnership