Workshop Agenda: How To Be A Community Catalyst


How To Be A Community Catalyst:
Creating Place-Based Solutions to Community Challenges in the High Divide

A Future West Capacity-Building Workshop
February 13th-14th | Fairmont Hot Springs


We believe that the path to a successful and sustainable community requires a solid understanding of New West challenges, and the options for dealing with them. Successful communities need smart, motivated people like you to help solve current problems and plan for a sustainable future. This workshop will provide you with the insight and tools to do just that!

Workshop Goal:
NGOs and others will be better equipped to successfully collaborate with other organizations, local governments, and citizens as they seek to overcome their community’s challenges while also meeting conservation goals.

Key questions to be explored:

  • What are the growth trends of cities and towns in the High Divide; where are we heading and what does that mean for the future of our communities?
  • How can you bring people together to generate solutions to vexing community problems and take advantage of real opportunities?
  • How do towns actually function; how are community decisions made?
  • How can we work more effectively with elected officials & community leaders?
  • How can we engage in community visioning and planning?
  • Are there sources of financial and technical assistance?
  • What is the nexus between community development and landscape conservation?


1:00 ~ Welcome, Introductions and Why Are We Here?
Dennis Glick - Future West, Heather Stokes - Facilitator
1:15 ~ Data on Growth and Change in the High Divide
How have High Divide communities changed? What are the trends for the future? Future West will share the economic, demographic, and land use data you need to help your community plan for the future.
Randy Carpenter - Future West
1:40 ~ Getting in The Game - Tabletop Discussions
Breakout groups will ground truth what people are observing in their own communities:  1) Top three community growth/change trends 2) Top three great things happening 3). Top three community challenges.  
Moderator and Workshop Participants
2:10 ~ Saving the Burg! A Remarkable Citizen and Community Effort to Revitalize Phillipsburg, MT.  
Jim Jenner - Film Director & Phillipsburg Resident
2:40 ~ Community Assessment & Visioning
Tools and Processes to Profile your Community’s Economic, Demographic, and Land Use Trends and Effectively Share It With Your Community.
Case Study: Gardiner, MT.
Randy Carpenter - Future West
3:10 ~ So You’ve Crafted a Community Vision. How Do You Make Sure It Doesn’t Gather Dust on a Shelf?
Maryvette Labrie - Beartooth Front Community Forum and Red Lodge City Commission

3:30 ~ Break

3:45 ~ Understanding Local Decision Making and Politics
Learn how to understand the local decision-making process and local government structure so you can effectively engage in your community.
Jerry Grebenc - Great West Engineering

4:10 ~ Collaborating With Local Officials - Elected Officials Share Their  Experiences Working With NGOs.
  • Lisa Roberts – Ennis City Commission
  • Kathy Rinaldi – Former Teton County Commissioner
  • Leonard Wortman – Jefferson County Commissioner
  • Joe Willauer – Twin Bridges City Commission
5:00 ~ Summarize the Day
6:00 ~ Reception & Workshop Dinner


8 ~ Breakfast Buffet

8:30 ~ Getting started – Overview of the Day 
Heather Stokes - Workshop Facilitator

8:45 ~ Increasing Community Development Success Through Campaign Organizing
Michelle Uberuaga - Park County Environmental Council
Skye Schell - Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance (Invited)

10:15 ~ Community Catalysts in Action
  • From Abandoned Hospital to Affordable Housing – Andrea Davis - Homeword Affordable Housing
  • An Open Space and Trail System For Dillon - Dan Downey – Beaverhead Trails (Invited)
  • A Farmers Market Brings a Community Together - Toni Ruth – Salmon Valley Stewardship
  • A Sculpture Park Inspires a Community Vision - TBA
11:15 ~ Break

11:30 ~ Where Can I Go for Technical and Financial Assistance?
  • Joe Willauer – Headwaters RC&D
  • USDA Rural Development Program
  • Rebecca Shaw - Montana Department of Commerce: Community Technical Assistance Program
  • Erin Farris-Olsen - Heart of the Rockies
  • Tash Wisemiller - Montana Department of Commerce: Montana Mainstreet Program
  • Andrea Davis -  Homeword Affordable Housing

12:30 ~ Lunch

1:15 ~ SHARK TANK!
Following a Suggested Template, Workshop participants will have the opportunity to share a community engagement project they are considering for feedback and kudos.

3:00 ~ Conclusion What have we learned? Where to from here?


Where: Fairmont Hot Springs (1500 Fairmont Rd - Fairmont, MT) 

When: February 13th – 14th, 2020 (beginning immediately after the High Divide Collaborative Meeting)

How to Register:  Registration for the workshop is FREE. Please email Hannah Jaicks at to register.

Additional Information: To reserve your room at the reduced rate, please contact Fairmont Hot Springs at 406-797-3241 or 800-332-3272. Use the block code: "High Divide Collaborative" when you make your reservation.


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