Montana State University

MSU’s McSpadden to receive ATHENA leadership award on Oct. 24

October 20, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Carmen McSpadden, director of the Montana State University Leadership Institute, will receive the ATHENA Women’s Leadership Award at ceremonies to be held Monday, Oct. 24. McSpadden was selected for the award for her role in developing leaders at MSU and throughout Montana. Photo courtesy of Carmen McSpadden by Lockie Photography.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Carmen McSpadden, director of the Montana State University Leadership Institute, will receive the Southwest Montana ATHENA Women’s Leadership Award at ceremonies to be held Monday, Oct. 24.

McSpadden will receive the award at a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn. MSU President Waded Cruzado will deliver the keynote address.

Stephanie Pressly, publisher of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, which sponsors the award program, said the award supports, develops and acknowledges women leaders. She said one of McSpadden’s nominations perhaps best summarized why she was selected for the award: “We appreciate values, vision and strategy, but it is those who live these attributes that transform our community. That’s Carmen.”

McSpadden has been affiliated with MSU since 2003 when she became the director of the MSU Leadership Institute, an organization working to “inspire students to become leaders who serve as a catalyst for positive change.” She also served as an adjunct faculty member of the MSU College of Business, now the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship. During her time at MSU, she founded and taught MSU’s Leadership Fellows Certificate program.

A native of Vermont, McSpadden is also a former business owner. She and her husband, Doug, co-founded Backcountry Travels, an adventure travel company, which is now run by Xanterra Parks and Resorts. She is also a private management consultant. Considered one of the top leadership experts in the state, she is the trainer for Leadership Montana.

McSpadden is president of the board for Headwaters Economics and is a past president of the Montana School Board Association. She was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to the board of Humanities Montana in 2014. She received the 2012 Mentor of the Year from Prospera, the 2012 Mentor of the Year from the MSU College of Business and the 2006 Peacemakers Award from the Community Mediation Center.

“Winning the ATHENA Leadership Award is a tremendous honor, and it humbles me,” McSpadden said. “I will work to enthusiastically support the ethos of this award in my professional and volunteer roles."

Pressly said that McSpadden is the third woman to receive the Southwest Montana ATHENA award. Previous winners were Ris Higgins of Leadership Outfitters and Robyn Erlenbush of Bozeman’s ERA Landmark Realty. Pressly said the Bozeman Daily Chronicle secured licensing for the award program from ATHENA International. She said each year the local program receives numerous, high-quality nominations for this award. An internal selection committee reviews and discusses all nominations then selects finalists prior to further research and selection.

Tickets for the lunch, which range from $29.50-$57.50 depending on affiliation, are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/business-2-business-networking-luncheon-tickets-27108633653 or by calling Leslie McCleary at (406) 582-2699 or emailing her at lmccleary@dailychronicle.com.

Carmen McSpadden (406) 994-7667, cmspadden@montana.edu