The MWED Mission

Montana West Economic Development (MWED) is a private, non-profit organization working throughout Northwest Montana and its communities to promote economic diversity, job growth, and healthy businesses.

Montana State Shape MWED

The Montana West Economic Development office is located in beautiful downtown Kalispell.

44 2nd Ave W | Kalispell, MT 59901

Our Staff

Christy Cummings
Christy Cummings Dawson

President & CEO

Christy has an MBA and a BA in Political Science. She brings years of experience in both the public and private sectors and has worked on a number of projects that bridged the two. Her experience includes wildland firefighting, local economic development, and planning/community development.

406.257.7711 Ext. 4

Jill Duval

Government Contracting Advisor

Jill was born in Lander, Wyoming and raised in the Front Range of Colorado. The entire Rocky Mountain region has always been where her heart lies. Jill earned her degree while attending college in Greeley, Colorado, before becoming a Navy wife. Over the next six years, the military took Jill from New Mexico to Nevada and onto California, before she chose to return to her beloved Rocky Mountains. She spent the next two decades in Wyoming, working at a local Chamber of Commerce for a time before moving on to American Cancer Society, and finally serving as the Director for an Educational Foundation. Most recently, she has been coordinating a drug-free communities grant for a small rural area in Washington State.

Jill has dedicated most of her professional career to working with non-profit organizations. With over three decades of service to the communities she has lived in, she is committed to utilizing her knowledge and experience to enrich the area in any way possible. When not working, Jill enjoys traveling (both domestically and abroad), spending time exploring the outdoors, reading, writing, photography and engaging in genealogy research.

406.257.7711 Ext. 5

Carrie Johnson

Forestry Assistance Program Manager

Carrie earned a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana and served on the front lines of wildland fire as both a hotshot and smokejumper for 20 years, she now manages the Forestry Assistance Program as a Community Forester. Carrie grew up in Alaska but has called Montana home for the last 2+ decades. She has a passion for fire/fuel mitigation practices and connecting with landowners throughout the valley.

406.257.7711 Ext. 7

Mark Johnson

Loan Officer

A Great Falls native and a Montana State University graduate, Mark brings a broad range of experience from nearly 30 years of experience in the financial industry. His skills are enhanced by his passion to serve his communities. Mark serves on the boards of the Columbia Falls Food Bank, Columbia Falls Lion’s Club, Columbia Falls Community Foundation, Columbia Falls City Board of adjustments and St. Richard’s Parish Finance Committee. He is excited to bring his skills and talents to help business grow in order to make our communities strong and resilient.

406.257.7711 Ext. 1

Ben Thiem
Ben Thiem

Director of Development and Partnerships

Ben brings two decades of non-profit experience to his role at Montana West Economic Development. Ben has Midwestern roots, growing up in the Red River Valley of northern Minnesota. Before joining MWED Ben served as the Director of Member Services at the League of Chicago Theatres for 17 years. He is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago. Ben is a board member of Code Girls United, the Board Treasurer for the Rotary Club of Kalispell Daybreak, and a member of the Leadership Montana Flagship Class of 2023 and Leadership Flathead Class of 2023.

406.257.7711 Ext. 2

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