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AWARE Ink Newsletter

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Corporate Congress Brings Delegates to Helena


Heather Trent presents her bill to AWARE leadership and the board of directors the final day of Corporate Congress.
Heather Trent presents her bill to AWARE leadership and the board of directors the final day of Corporate Congress.

After a brief hiatus, Corporate Congress returned in full fashion June 16-18 at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena, MT. Delegates arrived with more than 30 bills geared toward improving AWARE’s services.


For those who don’t know, AWARE’s Corporate Congress is a unique and integral part of AWARE’s strategic planning process. It’s designed to solicit and use input from stakeholders, staff, management and the people we serve. The process helps with overall management of the organization and enlists the help of delegates representing each of AWARE’s services and communities.


This year, we were fortunate enough to have Senator Tom Jacobson from Great Falls serve as our Master of Ceremonies. He led delegates through a streamlined version of the very same legislative process that legislators take part in each biennium.


Upon arrival, delegates introduced themselves, their bills, and elected a Session President and Committee Chairs. Bills were debated heavily in committees. Most were amended and some were killed. Passed bills were presented during a floor debate among the entire caucus and prepared for a final reading to a panel consisting of AWARE Board Members and Leadership. The final bills then become incorporated into AWARE’s strategic plan.


The session moves fast, and a lot of work gets done during the two and a half days. Delegates representing all the different services and communities of AWARE come together to form creative solutions that keep us at the top of our field. It’s an opportunity to network with peers and leadership while learning about everything housed under AWARE’s umbrella. There’s even some time built into the schedule for some fun with an Awards Banquet that celebrates individuals representing AWARE’s UCC Principles.


It’s an important event, and we’re glad to have it back. This year’s slate of delegates accomplished an incredible amount of work and delivered outstanding final presentations. Thank you, delegates! Your commitment and dedication to the more than 4,000 people in our care is truly remarkable.


Corporate Congress Delegates


Below are the 2021 Corporate Congress Delegates.


Delegates with no photo: Stephanie Barrington, Lindsey Hurley and Patricia Kelleher.


Also, Faith Anderson, Jacquie Peterson, Sara Richardson, and Amy Sundstrom participated as committee secretaries. Rick Hamblin participated as a policy advisor.

Paul Abel
Rachael Boyle
Rachael Boyle
Sara Comp
Sara Comp
Mishelle Goodhart
Mishelle Goodhart
Julee Hunter
Julee Hunter
Janae Larson
Janae Larson, People Committee Chair
Shari Mattice
Shari Mattice, Access & Quality Committee Chair
Adam Pehl
Adam Pehl, Engagement Committee Chair
Jennifer Reed
Jennifer Reed
Heather Trent
Heather Trent
Amanda Wallace
Amanda Wallace, Sustainability Committee Chair
Kennar Ward
Kennar Ward
Deanne Wigen
Deanne Wigen
Eric Wolf
Eric Wolf

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