Board Candidate 2019 / Voicing Our Values

Stephanie Baucus

June 14, 2019

Counsel, Moulton Bellingham PC

(Billings, MT)

incumbent board member

What is your experience with Forward Montana, or our sister organization Forward Montana Foundation, and why is our work important to you?

I’ve been involved with Forward Montana’s work for several years, and I’ve really enjoyed getting more involved over the past two years through my first term of board service. Before that, I got involved by helping to host fundraising events in Billings and in DC. Forward Montana’s work to help educate and engage young voters is crucial to making government work. The more people participate, the more government decisions reflect the real needs and preference of our communities. We don’t get civic education in schools, and we don’t always know what we don’t know, so it really helps to have an energized group of leaders to break down complicated election issues and public policy news for us.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

Not only does being on the Forward Montana board make me feel young :-), I like working closely with the organization to help maximize and increase our resources (time and money) and to make a difference by sharing my skills with the team. Board service has been a great way for me to have a more direct impact on the political process and to engage more young people in politics. Now more than ever, we need to keep Montana moving forward with progressive policies that reflect our values and that make sense in today’s economic and partisan political climate.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I’m your friendly neighborhood attorney :-), and I’ve worked on Capitol Hill, as part of the Obama Administration, on campaigns, as a volunteer, as a fundraiser, as a lawyer, and as an advocate for many different types of clients. I believe the skills and insight that I’ve gained through those positions are valuable to Forward Montana, and more importantly, I’m practical, passionate, energetic, and relentless in whatever I do, in working to help others, and in making Montana the best place to live for now and for the future.

What experience do you have fundraising, and what is your comfort level with asking for money?

I’ve been asking people for money (in addition to my parents) since I was a Girl Scout selling cookies in the 1980s! #gettingoldiscool. Since then, I’ve chaired numerous fundraising events, served as a bundler, raised money for organizations and candidates, and served on the board or committees of almost a dozen organizations. I don’t love asking for money, but I love getting others involved in causes I believe in and in making positive change in the world, and it takes all the resources we can muster to do that.

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?

I would be honored to continue attending these meetings and donating my time to the organization.

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?

By being even better than I am now. I am not planning on having any children during the next two years, like I did in my current term, so I should have more time to devote to the organization. Also, I give 110% to any meeting, call, or activity in which I participate. And, I usually have a different take on things, so I’ll continue to offer that unique perspective to the organization.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m originally from Texas (my parents were both Air Force Officers), grew up in Tennessee (the Volunteer State), and have lived in Boston, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Helena, and Billings. I hope to bring the best practices I’ve seen in all of these places to help Montana move forward. Oh, and while I may be a little older than your average Forward Montana volunteer, if you average my age with that of one-year-old and my three-year-old, I’m right in the ball park… 😉 And, I hope to share the “wisdom” I’ve gained over the (few extra) years with the organization as a mentor, advocate, and ambassador.