Matt Mellott is the owner and lead commercial real estate advisor with the Sterling Group, which includes Sterling Commercial Real Estate Advisors, Sterling Commercial Management Group and Sterling Capital Investment Group. He is also a partner with Renewal Real Estate Services which builds modern, sustainable and affordable homes inside the city limits of Missoula. Mellott specializes in commercial realty and affordable housing development.
Originally from Lancaster, Penn., Mellott has a B.A. in Real Estate from Penn State University. After starting a career in commercial real estate in Atlanta, GA and Harrisburg, PA, he served with the United States Marine Corps. He spent twelve years on active duty flying F/A-18 Hornets and then moved with his family to Missoula where he returned to the world of commercial real estate.
Matt and his wife have five children. Together they have a deep appreciation for the Missoula lifestyle.
Zach Millar and his wife, Sarah, founded The Dram Shop – Montana’s first-ever, stand-alone growler fill station - in 2015. Prior to that, Millar was a member of the staff at Big Sky Brewing Company for 11 years, working his way up from tap room manager to distribution manager.
A native of Andover, New Hampshire, Millar earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana in 1999. As a talented musician, he also played music professionally for 15 years.
Zach and his wife, Sarah - who works at the Montana Natural History Center - have two daughters.
Heidi Starrett is an Advertising Executive at Missoula Broadcasting Company, a locally-owned and operated radio company. Prior to that she was the advertising sales manager at the Missoula Independent from 2014-2016, and she owned her own business, Computer Solutions, from 2005-2014.
Starrett has been a board member since 2011 and has served as chair on the Out Lunch Committee since that time. She was the Board President in 2015 and has held three vice president positions: VP of Marketing in 2013, VP of Membership in 2014, and VP of Advocacy in the latter half of 2017. Since getting involved with the MDA in 2006, Starrett has served a role on nearly every committee, plus she volunteers for almost every MDA event.
Originally from Massachusetts, Starrett has a B.A. in Interior Design from Endicott College. She moved to Missoula in 2004 after falling in love with the Garden City.
In addition to MDA, Starrett serves on the Arts Missoula and City Club Missoula boards. In her free time, she helps with the Milltown Garden Patch and enjoys hiking, biking, cross country skiing and attending a plethora of Downtown events.
Rod Austin has served as the Director of the Missoula Parking Commission since 2016. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Operations for the Downtown Business Improvement District from 2007-2013. He semi-retired from that position and relocated to Port Richey, Florida, but returned to Missoula to lead the parking commission.
With the exception of that three-year hiatus in South Florida, Austin has served on the MDA Board of Directors since 2001.
Originally from Vermont, Austin first moved to Montana in 1972 with the United States Air Force in Great Falls. A 1981 graduate of the University of Montana Business School, Austin has lived in Missoula four separate times over the years.
A lifelong community servant, Austin has previously served as a board member and volunteer with the following Missoula organizations: Mount Jumbo East Little League, American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald House, and the Heart of Missoula Neighborhood Council.
He is married to Tina and they have six children and 12 grandchildren. In his free time he enjoys fly fishing, gardening, coaching baseball, camping and spending time with his kids.
Corey Aldridge has been the General Manager of Mountain Line since February 2015. Prior to that he ran the River Cities Transit System in Longview, Wash., for four years and served as the Operations Manager for Link Public Transit in The Dalles, Ore., for four years.
Aldridge earned a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2003.
He is married to Brooke Cox, and they have seven children.
A native of Whitehall, Mont., Shane Stack has lived and worked in Missoula since 1996, all as a preconstruction engineer with the Missoula office of the Montana Department of Transportation
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.
As the President/CEO of the Missoula Economic Partnership, James Grunke has years of successful experience guiding economic development efforts across the Western United States. His involvement with economic development efforts in Missoula began in 2010 as a contracted project director with National Community Development Services. As a consultant with NCDS and through his previous work with economic development organizations, Grunke has worked with both nonprofit and local government economic development organizations.
Prior to joining NCDS, Grunke served as director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, where he managed all entrepreneur and venture capital efforts, attracting millions of dollars in capital investment to the state of Idaho. Grunke has been active in public policy and economic development at the local, state and federal levels throughout his career.
Grunke and his wife, Jenny, are the parents of three daughters, Tara, Jordan and Leah. They enjoy travel and outdoor activities, and are avid tennis players.