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Ellen Buchanan & Brent Campbell Named 2006 Missoula Downtowners of the Year

January 24, 2007View for printing

Ellen Buchanan, executive director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, and Brent Campbell, principle of WGM Group, collectively won the award of the 2006 Downtowner of the Year by the Missoula Downtown Association at the annual membership meeting and awards banquet on January 23. The two were nominated collectively after co-chairing the River City Roots Festival, which generated more than $50,000 in sponsorships and more than 4,000 attendees in its inaugural year.

The Downtowner of the Year award is presented each year to an individual who has made Downtown Missoula a better place due to his/her unselfish and extraordinary efforts, activities or contributions. Previous winners are: Rick Bice, Tom Kosena, Bill Buseman, Monte Turner, Rod Rosean, Dan Cederberg (twice), Marcia Pilgeram, John Roemer, Scott Sproull, Kim Murray, Geoff Badenoch, Mark Gorseth, Carroll Bardgett, Rod Austin, Dalene Withycombe and Jared Amoss.

Buchanan and Campbell went above and beyond to promote and enhance Downtown Missoula in 2006. They dedicated most of the year to developing the River City Roots Festival, a new event for Missoula that will have long-lasting impact on this community, and they continue to support Downtown in their individual occupations.

“Brent’s passion for Missoula and Downtown in particular is a gift. It is hard to imagine the amount of time and effort expended,” said Kim Klages-Johns, owner of J. Elaine’s Boutique. She continued, “In my years of doing business, I have not come across an individual who has had such a positive impact on our community, Downtown in particular, as Ellen. Her insight is priceless - she is knowledgeable, professional, fair and possesses an ability to see Missoula's future in a way few people have. It is obvious her heart is in Downtown Missoula and through that, we will all benefit.”

Also nominated for Downtowner of the Year were Ross Peterson, the driving force behind Missoula’s new MoBash skatepark, and Tom Swenson, president of Montana Business Capital in Downtown.

Three other individuals were also honored for their contributions to Downtown Missoula. Mark Thomsen of Worden’s Market & Deli was recognized as the Downtown Employee of the Year for 2006. Kim Murray of Joint Ventures and New Quest Distributing was awarded the MDA Board Member of the Year award, and the MDA Committee Member of the Year went to Jim Decker of Decker Architecture for his work with the Downtown ToNight series.

For more information on the Missoula Downtown Association or the award nominees, contact the MDA staff at 543-4238 or
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