June 17, 2019
Interior Architect / Interior Designer, Abby Hetherington Interiors
What is your experience with Forward Montana, or our sister organization Forward Montana Foundation, and why is our work important to you?
I was first introduced to Forward Montana through friends when I moved back to the Bozeman area last October – right before the November elections. I made phone calls with Forward Montana Foundation to get out the vote. Since then, I have been to a Forward Montana event in Bozeman and am keeping up with the foundation’s work via social media and the website.
Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?
I know that young voters have strong voices and a drive to be active around issues they care about, especially when they see their peers doing the same. By serving on the Forward Montana board, I can help organize and advise from an outside perspective so the organization can be as effective as possible. So often the candidate or the cause with the most money and the most ‘mainstream’ power gets the media attention, the financial advantage, and the name recognition. There are so many people that do care but feel un-informed and un-empowered. As Steve Bullock said, “Everyone deserves a fair shot at a better life.” I’m not running for president anytime soon, but I do want to use my strengths as a strategic thinker and a problem solver to help Forward Montana level that playing field by providing information and a platform for those voices.
What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?
I love being an informed person. While I am not always the loudest voice in the room or the quickest to answer, I am a great consumer of information. My strengths as a creative and strategic thinker help me dive in and tackle abstract problems and issues – I also do my best work when I can build upon others’ great ideas – from both inside and outside an organization. My full-time job is not directly related to politics but I think this gives me a different vantage point – it’s a great learning opportunity.
What experience do you have fundraising, and what is your comfort level with asking for money?
I have some experience. With a well-considered pitch and a cause I care deeply about I don’t have any difficulties being an advocate and asking others to pitch in to a cause. That being said, I’m not always the loudest cheerleader or the most vocal and inspirational advocate. I am better at building trusting relationships over time.
Being a board member requires a time commitment to meetings, phone calls, occasional events, etc. Will you be able to fulfill these time commitments? Does anything give you pause?
No. This cause is a valuable use of my time – I’m looking forward to meeting other board members around the state!
Good board members invest their time into Forward Montana, are ambassadors for the organization, are familiar with the work of the organization, and are responsive to other board members and staff. How will you go above and beyond being a good board member? How will you be a great board member?
I am looking forward to learning more about how Forward Montana works on a day-to-day basis, and helping those that put in so much daily effort by being an outside sounding board, a long-term advocate and a strategic thinker. I want to help ensure the amazing Montana I grew up in is accessible to future generations and to those who feel they don’t have the advantages I was fortunate enough to have.
Anything else you want to add?
Thank you for taking the time to consider me as a board member! I wish there was a resource like this when I was in high school and college. I remember how in the dark I felt (and sometimes still do!) about the majority of political issues; even with the luxury of informed and active friends and family.