Leading Out West Workshop for LBGTQ Students Returns to Missoula

UM’s Main Hall illuminated for Pride Month.

MISSOULA – The 2nd Annual Leading Out West Leadership Development Program kicks off April 14-16 at the University of Montana.

This first-of-its-kind program is designed for students in the Mountain West who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and is focused on building leadership skills, professional networks and personal brands. The program is open to all undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates.

“We are interested in helping young people from Montana and Mountain West communities leverage their authentic selves to become better leaders,” said Bob Boyce, co-founder of the program. “We want to empower participants through the Leading Out West Workshop to build their own table, rather than asking for a seat at someone else’s.”

Because Montana can be a tough place to grow up for someone who identifies as LGBTQIA+, the Leading Out West Workshop is designed with these students and communities in mind.

Photo of Seth Bodnar speaking before the 2022 lecture.
UM President Seth Bodnar spoke to the inaugural cohort of the Leading Out West Leadership Development Program in 2022.

“Leading Out West allows UM to leap forward in its commitment to provide a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ undergraduate and graduate students from across the region,” said Jason Triche, program coordinator and a UM associate professor of management information systems. “This intensive program will launch diverse and effective leaders who are confident in who they are.”

The program’s small cohort provides students with opportunities to learn directly from industry leaders and business professionals. The inaugural cohort in 2022 heard from Denise Juneau, chief government and community affairs officer on the Bozeman Health executive leadership team; Kelly Elder, the 2017 Montana Teacher of the Year; Mary Rezek, a leading global executive coach based in Silicon Valley and Shanghai; and founders Boyce, a Western business trailblazer in China, and Joe Whittinghill, a corporate vice president at Microsoft.

While learning to amplify strengths and personal leadership styles, students also will expand their network of business professionals and mentors who can share ideas and experiences.

Financial assistance and scholarships for fees and travel expenses are available for those who qualify.

The program has a March 1 priority deadline, and qualified candidates will be notified by March 13. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the Leading Out West webpage.

For all inquiries, please email Triche at jason.triche@umontana.edu.  


Contact: Jason Triche, Ruff Family MSBA Faculty Fellow, jason.triche@umontana.edu; Garrett Finke, UM College of Business director of marketing and communications, 406-243-4436, garrett.finke@umontana.edu.