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Gianforte Announces Spirit of Montana Recipient: James Thompson of Billings

March 8, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Greg Gianforte recognized James Thompson of Billings with his Spirit of Montana commendation for helping build and grow programs to help Montanans and for his more than five decades of service to southeastern Montana.

The longest serving volunteer in the history of the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC), Jim helped secure funding in 1965 to create the Community Action Program of Billings and Yellowstone, which would become HRDC. Jim and his HRDC associates established programs to assist Montanans with a variety of needs, including housing, nutrition, employment, transportation, education, and child care. Many of those programs continue today.

Gianforte’s Spirit of Montana is a weekly recognition of Montanans for their accomplishments, dedication, or service. Gianforte highlights the recipient in the U.S. House of Representatives and personally contacts the honorees.

Gianforte encourages anyone to nominate Montanans for the Spirit of Montana award by contacting his office at 202-225-3211 or by e-mail at https://gianforte.house.gov/contact/email.

Gianforte’s statement in the Congressional Record follows:

RECOGNIZING JAMES THOMPSON OF BILLINGS

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor James Thompson of Billings who has served the District 7 Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) for more than 50 years and helped establish over two dozen community programs serving residents of southeastern Montana.

In 1965, Jim helped secure funding for the creation of the Community Action Program of Billings and Yellowstone County. A year later, that program became the District 7 HRDC with Jim cowriting the organization’s bylaws.

Through the years that followed, Jim and his HRDC associates addressed the needs of the community, establishing programs to assist with housing, nutrition, employment, transportation, education, and child care, among others. Many of those programs have developed such that they now stand on their own, including the Billings Food Bank, Energy Share of Montana, the Foster Grandparent Program, Montana Conservation Corps, and the South Park Senior Citizens Center.

According to HRDC CEO Denise Jordan, Jim is the longest serving volunteer in the history of HRDC.

“Jim Thompson will always be known as a man of vision. He has helped HRDC define its mission and establish programs that reflect its values,” Jordan said. “With his steadfast guidance and commitment, this agency has grown and evolved into the organization it is today offering 28 unique programs through 40 funding sources.”

A committed public servant, Jim has dedicated his time and energies to other organizations, including the United Way of Yellowstone County, the Downtown Billings Association, the Associated Employers of Montana, the MSU-Billings Foundation, and the Billings Kiwanis.

Madam Speaker, for helping build and grow programs to help Montanans and for his more than five decades of service to southeastern Montana, I recognize James Thompson for his spirit of Montana.