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Great Falls Development Authority presents 'Ally Awards'

Great Falls Development Authority presents 'Ally Awards'
Posted at 4:12 PM, Jun 18, 2024

The Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) presented their annual Ally Awards on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, to recognize some of their partners who are dedicated to helping Great Falls grow.

“It’s a way to kind of celebrate the end of our fiscal year,” said Jenn Gallmeier, an investment director for GFDA. “We like to recognize our partners, our stakeholders, our investors, board members, volunteers, countless entrepreneurs and businesses that we've worked with.”

According to Gallmeier, GFDA had a record-breaking year of success. They created their first Angel Investor Network and also established a cross-border partnership which will give Great Falls more opportunities to grow.

“We signed a cross-border partnership with Economic Development Lethbridge, which is going to open up tons of opportunities for Great Falls and Lethbridge,” said Gallmeier.

This is the second year that GFDA has handed out these awards and they believe it is important to show extra appreciation to their partners, investors, and stakeholders.

“I think our growth just has been so steadfast that the right companies are coming in at the right time, and obviously it's companies that's going to sustain for a long time within our community,” said David Smith, a business manager for Sletten Construction and one of the Ally Award recipients.

This year, GFDA handed out 15 Ally Awards to recognize the people who stepped up over the past year and showed their dedication to growing the community of Great Falls.

Great Falls Development Authority presents 'Ally Awards'
Great Falls Development Authority presents 'Ally Awards'

“We wanted to recognize and acknowledge the people that we worked really closely with, that kind of went above and beyond, you know, the ones that we really could rely on to get us through the tough times. If we ever had struggles, they would help us come up with solutions,” Gallmeier explained.

Smith added, “I think we need [more] people that are involved, especially within that younger type of folk. You know, some of these folks need to get out there and show people ’Hey, you actually do care about your community.’ I think that's kind of what this really means to me.”

GFDA has several things in the works for this next year, including strengthening and building their partnership with Economic Development Lethbridge and furthering their Angel Investor network.

Here are the Ally Award recipients:

  • Annie Banker of Stockman Bank
  • Keith Cron of Hygienix
  • Adrian Doucette of Stockman Bank
  • Amber Gerber of Legacy Title of MT
  • Herb Kulow Retired MT Board of Investment SSBCI Program
  • Daniel Layton of USDA- Rural Development
  • Karlee May of Urban Land Institute
  • Lea McGiboney of USDA- Rural Development
  • Matt McKamey of Opportunity Bank
  • Becky Nelson of Great Falls Public Schools
  • Claude Smith of Montana Manufacturing Extension Center
  • Dave Smith of Sletten Construction
  • Randy Williams of Stockman Bank
  • Jim Wingerter of Montana Department of Transportation
  • Spencer Woith of Woith Engineering

From the GFDA website:

The Ally Award is a distinguished recognition established in 2023, designed to honor exceptional individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and support to our team’s efforts. It celebrates those who have gone above and beyond in their contributions, showcasing dedication not only to our collective objectives and clients but also to the advancement of our mission and the overall enhancement of our work.

This award reflects our appreciation for the support and commitment that these outstanding members bring to our organization, helping to drive forward our initiatives and strengthen the core of our mission.

The creation of the Ally Award marks a commitment to acknowledging the remarkable efforts of those who play a pivotal role in our success, serving as a testament to the power of collaboration and support within our community.

Great Falls Development Authority presents 'Ally Awards'
Great Falls Development Authority presents 'Ally Awards'