People and Places: Gallatin and Park Chapter Board Member Jeanne Eggert

Jeanne Eggert has lived in Montana for 45 years. She grew up in Gary, Indiana, and received a BA in Elementary Education from DePaul University in Indiana. After teaching there for two years, she moved to Bozeman, where she earned her MS in Sociology and Early Childhood Development. Jeanne worked as Director for the ASMSU daycare until she retired in 1998.

Jeanne loves living in Montana and enjoys the natural beauty, especially the mountains. She grew up in an area of the country that was mostly flat, but when she moved to Montana the mountains quickly grew on her. In her time in Montana, Jeanne has enjoyed Nordic skiing, hiking, biking, backpacking, running, and canoeing. She has great love for the outdoors, and with it comes a strong desire for conservation, and to protect the natural environment of Montana.

Recently, Jeanne, and her husband, Norm, were honored by the Governor's Office of Community Service with the ReadyMontana Award for their volunteer work with the Montana Red Cross. Jeanne and Norm have worked for many years for Disaster Services of the Red Cross. Their work involves both disaster preparedness and response. On the disaster response side, they respond to many different emergencies, from single family house fires – which are the most common – to floods and large forest fires. Whatever the situation, the job of the Red Cross is to help those affected. This can mean helping them find a place to stay, food, clothes, and/or mental health assistance. The other side of the Eggerts’ Red Cross work is in disaster preparedness. There are only a few disaster preparedness trainers in the state, and Jeanne has traveled extensively throughout Montana as a training coordinator. Education in this field is critical, and disaster planning often involves partnering with local organizations whose buildings may serve as shelters, should the need arise.

Interest in conservation led Jeanne to join MCV. The number one environmental issue in Montana, according to Jeanne, is to make sure oil and gas recourses are developed in a responsible manner. In 2001, when J. M. Huber Corp. applied for a coal bed methane drilling permit near Bozeman pass, Jeanne served on the emergency zoning commission. The drilling project was eventually defeated due to pollution concerns.

Years ago, Jeanne was an active member of the League of Women voters. Now, she is looking forward to serving on the MCV board. She sees it as a great educational opportunity for her personally and hopefully for other members as well.