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Director's Report November, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update: Transition would be the most descriptive term to describe the Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign in November. Following much review and discussion, the decision was made to transition the campaign to a campaign with a much stronger regional focus. This new focus will allow the regional fundraising teams to concentrate their efforts on raising funds for key Lewis & Clark projects in their immediate area, something that fundraising teams and prospective donors will most likely find very appealing. As outlined in a newly created Transition Plan, the campaign office will remain open for business in Helena with a reduced staff. With this new shift in campaign focus, and with an eye for her professional future, Sara Groves submitted her letter of resignation in late October, noting that November 30th would be her last day as Campaign Manager. Sara will however continue on a part time contractual basis at least through December to assist in the many transitional details. Mary Asbach will continue in her position as Campaign Associate for the foreseeable future. Persons with questions, and/or with interest in contributing to the Legacy Campaign can still reach the campaign office at 406-457-9080.
We wish Sara the very best in her new professional career. Having worked closely with Sara these past two years, I can attest to the effort she invested in seeing the Legacy Campaign to where it is today. Thanks Sara, and we wish nothing but the best of everything!
- Much of my time this month was involved with outlining, reviewing and modifying a draft Transition Plan for the Legacy Campaign. With Sara’s leaving, Rita and I will assume more daily involvement with the campaign at the “state” level, facilitating the receipt and disbursement of existing and future campaign pledges earmarked for the overall Bicentennial in Montana.
- On November 4th, Rita and I met with representatives from the Wellness Program of the Montana Department of Administration to discuss how the Lewis & Clark Trail in Montana could provide a “progress map” for those state employees committed to walking to stay (or get into) shape in 2004, 2005 and maybe through 2006. Although many details are yet to be worked out, the concept would be for individuals or teams to register their daily walking distance onto a state map depicting the L&C trail in the state. With certain walking goals achieved, some pertinent L&C information would be made available (i.e. as walkers reached Pompeys Pillar, some information re: the signature could be accessed). A great way to walk and learn!
- Also on the 4th I met with key Bureau of Land Management staff to discuss public safety concerns. I joined Terry Sauer from Helena, Bart Fitzgerald from Billings, and Bill Woody, the Director of the “Office of Law Enforcement & Security” from Washington, DC. Mr. Woody expressed that requests should be made from the state BLM level, and further indicated some optimism that such requests should find funds as 2005 and 2006 approach.
- On November 5th I visited via a phone call with the Metropolitan Group re: the launch of the much anticipated National Ad Council Bicentennial publicity campaign. Specifically we discussed who in Montana could assist in getting maximum airtime for this new campaign in Montana. Tom Cook, the Publicity Manager for the Montana Historical Society will assist in this effort. However, we will also be relying on regional commissions to make local media contacts at the appropriate time. A mid-November launch date was projected, however as of December 1st I’ve seen no ads.
- In early November I spoke with Jeff Olson, the new PR person for the National Park Service’s Corps II program. Jeff promised that in early 2004 a short VHS promo tape would be forthcoming for use by myself, and Montana host communities. Also in early November I communicated with Patricia Jones, the Programming Coordinator for the Corps of Discovery II, and invited her to Montana in February to meet with the 18 host communities, Tribes, and the interagency Bicentennial Focus Team. Much work remains for these groups in planning programming for the Tent of Many Voices.
- On Saturday, November 8th, I spoke to an annual meeting of the Montana Bed & Breakfast Association held in Helena.
- The state Commission’s Conference Committee met via conference call on Monday, November 17th to discuss options for a sixth annual conference in 2004. A considerable amount of input was received from the regional commissions and Tribes during a joint meeting of those groups in Lewistown this past October. With that feedback in hand the Conference Committee convened to accept a proposal to have a “Showcase Forum” in June in conjunction with the state Commission’s Spring meeting. June 17-18 was selected; Livingston is the location. The Showcase Forum will feature Lewis & Clark speakers and performers that would like to be on stage in the Tent of Many Voices, as well as in various agency or community venues. The timing seemed appropriate as the Corps of Discovery will be in Montana in June 2005, leaving only one year to book talent. More details to be forthcoming very soon. The state Commission will still meet in the Fall; time and location tbd.
- Also on November 17th I, along with the Signature Event planners, met with Travel Montana staff to further the discussion about Lewis & Clark and Signature Event marketing. Numerous partnership options were discussed. Thanks Travel Montana for being such a key player in planning and marketing the Bicentennial!
NOTE: The topic of the state Commission’s new in-state publicity campaign was discussed. Again, in partnership with Travel Montana, Tom Cook and I will step-up efforts to create a top-notch PR/Publicity PSA for showing around Montana to generate awareness and excitement. Look for more on this in the near future.
- I participated in a “Falls of the Ohio Signature Event” debriefing hosted by Peggy Bourne in Great Falls on Wednesday, November 19th. We wanted to carefully review the strong and weak points of the just completed event in Louisville, KY and Clarksville, IN to enhance signature event planning in Montana. I also sat in on a meeting of the Explore! the Big Sky planning team……. believe me, they are leaving nothing to chance.
Following these two meetings I met Cheryl Hutchinson (Reaching the Rockies Chapter), and was treated to a personal tour of the Lewis & Clark Trail from Great Falls to the confluence of Dearborn and Missouri Rivers, parallel to I-15. This was a piece of the trail I had driven hundreds of times, but never knew. Cheryl updated me on their chapter’s plans for significant new interpretive signage along that corridor. Our state office also just received a Resolution of Support from the Lewis & Clark County Bicentennial Commission and the Upper Missouri Regional Commission expressing strong support for the future interpretation of Tower Rock (now owned by the State of Montana).
- On November 20th I participated in a meeting of the Working Group of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI). This group was key in forming the Bicentennial Focus Team with which I have worked on-going for the past few years, and has been central to keeping Lewis & Clark interagency projects moving forward.
- Linda Juneau sent me a “care package” the other day. In this package she enclosed copies of the Proceedings from the Confluence of Cultures Symposium that was held on the University of Montana campus this past May. The final product looks great! Our office would make a copy available to you if you would like to review it.
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