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Our Staff

Meet the team behind Missoula Economic Partnership.

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Grant Kier


GRANT KIER, CEO brings a commitment to excellence and a balance of mission focus, analytical depth, and executive leadership to MEP. Prior to MEP, he provided a decade of executive leadership to Missoula’s Five Valleys Land Trust from 2007 to 2017, establishing it as one of the most respected and successful conservation organizations in the state and one of the most successful land trusts in the country. His work in conservation helped families expand their businesses and helped communities around Missoula County tap into the growing recreation and tourism economy. Grant demonstrated his commitment and passion to economic development in his service on the Missoula Economic Partnership Board, included serving as the Treasurer. He has a Master’s degree in Geology from the University of Colorado.

Julie Lacey

Economic Development Director

JULIE LACEY, Economic Development Director, brings to MEP a wealth of business acumen, technical assistance, and experience with Missoula’s economic landscape. Most recently, she served as Director of Client Relations for MoFi, where she worked with key partners to connect capital to people and projects just outside the financial mainstream. She also oversaw MoFi’s Community Facilities lending program. Prior to her 8 year tenure at MoFi, Julie worked as Director of Marketing at the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER). She holds an MBA from the University of Montana, and an undergraduate degree in economics and environmental studies from Bowdoin College.

Nicole Rush

Business Initiatives Director

NICOLE RUSH, Business Initiatives Director, writes grant proposals and is responsible for the administration of state and federal grants awarded to assist local businesses through Missoula Economic Partnership. Nicole joined MEP in 2016, bringing ten years’ experience in grant writing, fundraising and non-profit administration to the team. Nicole has worked for a variety of organizations in Montana’s philanthropic sector, including the University of Montana Foundation, where she served as Associate Director of Gift Planning, and the Montana Community Foundation. A Helena native, Nicole is a graduate of the University of Montana with a B.A. in English.

Leidy Wagener

Office Manager

LEIDY WAGENER, Office Manager supports the MEP team and oversees office operations.  Leidy moved to Missoula from southeast Idaho to study at the University of Montana, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis on photojournalism and multimedia.  Leidy has several years of nonprofit experience in Missoula, most recently as Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager for Montana Food Bank Network.  Leidy also served on the board of the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project for 5 years.  Leidy loves the Missoula community and can be found at Saturday Farmer’s Markets, at the Clark Fork with her dog, and enjoying Missoula’s local food and shopping scene.

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