Alumna and executive director of the Museum of the Rockies
A native of Great Falls, Sheldon "Shelley" McKamey began a career with the Museum of the Rockies in 1987 as the museum's first marketing director. McKamey is a 1974 MSU graduate and returned to Montana in 1976. After holding several other positions around the state, she returned to the museum as head of operations, assistant director and in 2003, she was named interim dean and director. Under her leadership, the Museum of the Rockies has experienced a time of enormous change and innovation with numerous capital campaigns and visitation that has quadrupled. She directed the MOR when it added the Egg Mountain site, opened the Hall of Horns and Teeth, built the Lewis and Clark Challenge Course, renovated the Taylor Planetarium, kicked off the successful Wine and Culinary Classic and installed Big Mike on the front lawn of the museum. While one would expect to see the executive director sitting behind her desk, McKamey is more often likely to be helping with cleanup after a museum event or pitching in wherever needed. What inspires others about McKamey is that, although she could take credit for all of the museum’s successes, she instead chooses to give credit to her staff and board.
Shelley McKamey inspires me in many ways, from her humility to her excellent leadership. Her vision and her deep Montana roots have brought many transformative changes to the Museum of the Rockies -- not only in the physical expansion of the building but in the impact of the museum on a national and international level.