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Administrator of the Year


Congratulations to Denise Thompson on being awarded the Administrator of the Year.

The following are the nomination essays for the top 3 administrators this year.


The top three very worthy candidates are:

Teresa Wilhelms, Denise Thompson, Carie Hess

Teresa Wilhelms has worked for the Judith Basin Conservation District since 2001.  From the start, she demonstrated a willingness to be open and honest with the people she worked with.  She has written many grants for local projects and administered many statewide grants through DNRC and MACDEO.  She has worked with administrators from surrounding districts to put on projects including range schools, supervisor education, 310 workshops, and cover crop workshops, and has worked with BLM on hazardous fuels reduction program.  She helps each year with the Envirothon and put in many hours working on the national Envirothon held in Bozeman a few years ago. Teresa is always willing to help out other administrators when asked, whether it is a new administrator just getting started or helping someone with a big project or filling in when an administrator is called away from her job.  She has worked to make the job better for all administrators through better training and better support and working conditions. Teresa is a valuable asset not only to the Judith Basin Conservation District, but to her area, as well as the state.  Her work ethic makes her an excellent administrator.  She can be relied on to complete her job without constant supervision and get it done correctly.  Her people skills have given her an extensive network of contacts, who she can call on when needed.  As the primary contact for the conservation district, she has built a good reputation for herself and the district.

Denise Thompson works for the Broadwater Conservation District.  When contemplating how to describe the work of such a dedicated and vibrant person, 500 words is barely enough to scratch the surface.  To those that work with her and know her, she is the epitome of grace and kindness, the soul of reason and integrity, and the embodiment of commitment.  Her exceptional work ethic and willingness to go above and beyond what is commonly accepted is largely based on her genuine desire to provide service to all people and to leave the world a better place than she found it. Because of these character traits, Denise generates an unusual level of trust between everyone she encounters.  This trust opens the doors to natural resource projects that would otherwise be exceedingly difficult to implement.  For example, she has worked tirelessly to foster and promote the Deep Creek Watershed Restoration plan and garner support and buy-in from local watershed landowners.  As a result, this project is expected to total over $3 million dollars of landowner, private business, and state contributions to conserve and enhance natural resources while meeting the landowner’s needs.  She has opened the door to a true community driven grass roots approach to watershed scale conservation. Denise uses her creativity and passion to create a host of community outreach events and outdoor education programs for people of all ages throughout the county.  She has been fundamental in the development and execution of a number of local events.  She works long, hard hours to provide support and guidance to others, including other conservation district administrators. In closing, Denise’s work is truly unique and wholly unmatched.  She provides something to Broadwater County that is 100 percent organic and because of that, we will likely be hard-pressed to find another like her in this lifetime.

Carie Hess works for the Petroleum County Conservation District.  All those that have the opportunity to work with her would agree that Carie’s organizational skills are an asset, not only to the Petroleum County Conservation District, but to conservation districts across the state and the agencies she work with.  Carie is professional, timely, and assists in more ways than can be counted.  From finding housing and helping with new employee orientation, to tracking budgets, and turning in reports on time, Carie makes sure that all of the details are in place for the groups she works with to operate successfully.  She is always willing to help other administrators – old or new, loves sharing her ideas, and techniques for being well organized.  Regarding her help with quickbooks conversion to the BARS chart of accounts, one administrator said: “ I know she had a thousand other things to do, but Carie was always willing to drop whatever she was working on to help me out.” Carie was nominated because she is truly dedicated to her job, believes in conservation districts and their mission, and keeps things operating smoothly and efficiently. She is considered a valuable asset to all the groups she works with.  Carie’s organizational skills and attention to detail are crucial to the Missouri River Conservation District Council’s success.  When something is forgotten, Carie can always be counted on to have remembered and taken care of the issue.  She does this quietly and unassumingly seeking no personal attention – just making sure things run smoothly. She is appreciated for her positive attitude and the way she treats Council members.  She is always thinking of them and their special needs when she is planning events, sending out paperwork, or just maintaining communications.  She happily assists wherever needed, whatever the task, and whatever the time of day.  She can be reached at any time of the day and regardless of the hour, she responds immediately. She assumed the day-to-day supervision (sometimes the care and feeding) of the big sky watershed corps member.  She handled issues with housing, pets, family, and just plain life-advice with a calm approach and caring attitude.  Her efforts helped with the member’s success.


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