In Montana, the Commission is housed in the Governor’s Office of Community Service (and established in statute by the 1993 Legislature), and I served as the second Executive Director from September 1997 – February 2001. It’s interesting that George was so personable, at least in our dealings it was usually on a first-name basis (which was certainly not the case in meeting with him at the university environment, such as Main Hall). We had a warm, yet professional working relationship. He was a decidedly strong leader of the Commission. George was passionate about national service, and quickly embraced the creation of the Corporation for National Service in 1992-93 (early in the Clinton years, though
initial grants I recall came out at the end of the George H.W. Bush term). He was appointed Chair by Gov. Racicot, who also embraced national service and created the Office under the Governor, and served as Chair through the Martz Administration.
George was a very direct, clear communicator, and a very engaged Chair of the Montana Commission, developed effective working relationships with a diverse commission membership, making sure everyone was engaged. He was also most supportive of the work our staff did to prepare and the protocols to award AmeriCorps grants, which included creation of the Montana Campus Corps, under Campus Compact, and other grants such as the Learn and Serve grants awarded in cooperation with the Office of Public Instruction. He was also committed to maintaining a positive working relationship with the Corporation’s State Office, under the leadership of Joe Lovelady, and then John Allen.