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Director's Report June, 2001
- June commenced with a trip to Whitefish on the 4th to meet with the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) to solicit their interest in participating financially with the state Commission in the 2002 Lewis & Clark Grants Program. After some discussion regarding the types of projects being funded by the Commission in 2001, the TAC voted to approve a motion to invest $50,000 from Travel Montana's Tourism Infrastructure Investment Program (TIIP) in the Commission's 2002 L&C Grants Program. Additional potential funding partners will asked to invest as well.
- On June 5th I met with the MTRI Bicentennial Focus Team in Helena. Following a 'round-robin' to share what each agency was doing, the main point of discussion was again the project to develop prototype signs for both corridor and state gateways. The group also talked about coordinating with the newly formed MTRI River Recreation Focus Team on issues and projects along the trail.
- June 8th was the date for a second conference call with Lorraine Roach (The Hingston Roach Group) and the Commission's Licensing & Sponsorship Committee. The topic of discussion was a 'Fundraising Implementation Outline' report prepared by Lorraine that illustrated a suggested approach to initiate a fundraising program for the Commission.
- Four meetings were held in Missoula on June 11 and 12. Meeting on the 11th was the Confluence of Cultures Committee, the Education Committee and the combined groups of Regional Bicentennial Commissions (RBC's) and the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA). The state Commission met on June 12th. Key points: (access the Commission's website for full meeting notes)
- The Confluence of Cultures Committee agreed on a May 2003 date, and put in motion an effort to hire at least a part-time conference coordinator (the state Commission committed $5,000 toward this effort in FY'02)
- The Education Committee reviewed the status of the 'Lewis & Clark: Montana's Story' video which is now completed and being used in Superhost training sessions statewide. A distribution program will be created in the near future. The committee also decided to recommend that a Lewis & Clark Tour Guide Certification program be established in partnership with the Training Academy at the L&C Interpretive Center in Great Falls (the state Commission committed $5,000 for this program for this coming year)
- The RBC/MTTA meeting included updates on the NPS's Corps II (site location checklists were distributed to begin the process of identifying potential 'set-up' sites along the trail in Montana). The Commission's proposed fundraising strategies were also discussed at length.
- The state Commission:
- Adopted the proposed Bicentennial license plate design
- Voted to initiate a fundraising program, and to apply for a $250,000 loan from the Board of Investments to cover the costs of initiating that program and to enhance the Commission's 2002 grants program (to be repaid by future sales of the license plate)
- Agreed to combine the Organization & Planning Grant Program ($2,500 each), with the larger Lewis & Clark 2002 Grants Program. The deadline for application will be in December, and grant awards will be announced in February, NOT in June.
- During June I met with the Governor's Office to coordinate efforts to secure Congressional Appropriations.
- The July 2001 'journal notes' newsletter was drafted and sent to press. The newsletter will be mailed on July 2nd. (Newsletters are also posted on the Commission's web site: www.montanalewisandclark.org).
- On June 21st I was interviewed on the weekly 'Face the State' TV program to offer an overview of statewide and national planning efforts. Joining me on the half-hour show was Tom Cook, the Publicity Manager for the Montana Historical Society; Phil Scriver, Coordinator for the 'Discovering the Big Sky" Signature Event; and Jeffrey Dietz, Coordinator for the 'Clark on the Yellowstone" Signature Event. (Our office does have a tape of the show to lend out).
- Following the Commission's vote to initiate a fundraising program, I met with the Development Director of the Montana Historical Society's Foundation to work out logistical details (the Commission will work in partnership with the Society's Foundation). I have also drafted a Job Description for the hiring of a Fundraising Coordinator, and an RFP for the solicitation of expertise in designing Montana's fundraising "game plan." A target date of late August or early September has been set for a "kick-off" of this new program.
- On June 24th I met and visited with the Southern Indiana Clark-Floyd Counties Convention & Tourism Bureau, who were traveling the L&C trail in Montana. This group was from a small town just across the Missouri River from Louisville, KY. They were traveling in Montana to learn more about L&C because their community will host a National Signature Event in 2003, "The Falls of the Ohio."
- Also in June I worked with the Congressional Task Force sub-committee of COSA (the Circle of State Bicentennial Advisors), to review a proposed process to refine a list of projects for consideration by the House & Senate L&C Caucuses. More details to come soon.
- On June 26th Rita and I and MaryEtta Sodja (from H2O Advertising) met with the Department of Justice for review of the proposed license plate. The design was accepted with glowing compliments! Work on this project will now focus on creating some effective marketing; the plate goes on sale statewide in January 2002.
- And, Rita has been working feverishly to get grant contracts sent out to the grantees for signature prior to June 30th, and to facilitate the process of getting checks cut. Most, if not all, of the grant recipients can expect their funding by mid-July.
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