MWED & FCEDA
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.
The Montana West Economic Development office is located in beautiful downtown Kalispell.
44 2nd Ave W | Kalispell, MT 59901
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
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
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
Lara maintains the highest standard of accuracy and accountability in overseeing Montana West and Flathead County EDA funds. With degrees in Economics and Business Administration, a background in the brokerage industry as a fully licensed Financial Professional, and accreditation as a Certified Public Financial Officer through the Government Finance Officers Association, Lara brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in her role at Montana West.
• 406.257.7711 Ext. 6
Ben brings two decades of non-profit experience to his role of Membership Director 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. In that role, he was the point person for 250 companies overseeing their membership, communications, grant-writing, and professional development programming. 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
Montana native, Randee Wood, is excited to be back in the valley and be part of a team that brings new businesses to the Valley and help existing businesses succeed and grow. Randee brings years of experience managing all aspects of department administration and daily operational tasks including staff development and retention, community engagement and customer service support to her role as the Administrative Assistant at MWED.
• 406.257.7711 Ext. 3
Our Executive Committee
First Interstate Bank
Flathead Valley Community College
Flathead Electric Cooperative
Daily Inter Lake
Greenway Development Group
Dom Goble, PE
Elevated Accounting & Advisory
Logan Health Foundation
Bigfork Chamber of Commerce
City of Kalispell
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce
Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce
Whitefish Chamber of Commerce
Evergreen Chamber of Commerce
City of Columbia Falls
City of Whitefish
Our Relationship with Flathead County
Economic Development Authority
The Flathead County Economic Development Authority serves as Flathead County’s economic development arm. The Flathead County EDA responsibly invests public funds into local projects producing a strong return in job retention, creation, and infrastructure to attract and retain businesses. The seven Flathead County EDA Board of Directors are appointed by the county commissioners, these individuals possess years of business, entrepreneurial, public affairs, and real estate experience with track records of success. Montana West contracts with the Flathead County EDA to provide professional staffing, management, and the execution of economic development programs for Flathead County. By joining forces, the collaboration creates efficiencies for budgets, personnel, and communication. Find more information about FCEDA at their website, www.flatheadcountyeda.com