We will hold the May 11 forum digitally, using a Zoom webinar platform, courtesy of the University of Montana. The forum will feature County Board of Commissioners Chair Josh Slotnick, University of Montana President Seth Bodnar and Missoula Mayor John Engen. Jill Valley, KPAX anchor and assistant news director, is scheduled to serve as panel moderator.
Monday, May 11, 2020
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Stay tuned for instructions about the webinar platform and the link to attend the forum.
Josh Slotnick was elected to the Missoula County Commission in 2018. He has farmed in Missoula with his wife on their family farm since 1992. In 1996, he co-founded Garden City Harvest and the PEAS Program in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Montana.
(He originally moved to Missoula from Grand Forks, N.D., to earn a philosophy degree from UM. He then served in the Peace Corps in Thailand before receiving a certificate in ecological horticulture from the University of California-Santa Cruz and then a master’s degree in agricultural extension from Cornell University.)
Seth Bodnar is the 19th President for the University of Montana where he has rolled up his sleeves to move the university forward. Before coming to UM, he was a senior executive at the General Electric Company.
Bodnar graduated from West Point, received both the Rhodes and Truman scholarships, and earned two master’s degrees from the University of Oxford. Prior to his time on the faculty at West Point, he had a distinguished military career (, including serving in the U.S. Army’s First Special Forces Group. As a member of the Army’s elite Green Berets, he commanded a Special Forces detachment on multiple deployments around the world.)
John Engen is in his fourth term as Missoula’s 50th mayor. His years as mayor have been marked by accomplishments in economic development, including the founding of Missoula Economic Partnership; and preservation of and continuous improvements to Missoula’s quality-of-life amenities like trails and open space.
A graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism, Engen worked as a columnist and editor and on the business side at the Missoulian newspaper and owned an advertising agency. He served four years on the Missoula City Council before beginning his service as mayor.
(Missoula today is known as one of the country’s best places to live because of [Mayor Engen’s] efforts. He also made investments in Missoula’s Police and Fire departments to keep Missoula a safe community and increased downtown police presence to safeguard this important economic driver for residents and visitors. In June 2017, Mayor Engen completed a successful six-year effort to acquire Missoula’s water system for its people.)
Mayor Engen’s leadership was key in the development of Reaching Home: Missoula’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. He has established an Office of Housing & Community Development, which is working to establish public-private partnerships to improve Missoula’s housing affordability and availability for Missoulians of all incomes across the housing stock. He meets daily with Missoula residents from all walks of life and is proud to serve them as mayor of his home town.