GFDA Update

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You might remember that I got into a little dust-up with some of the folks over at the Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) a few months ago. Here’s a recap: the GFDA website is in dire need of a makeover. Back in October, it had outdated information, was difficult to use, and had bad links. I offered to provide assistance (at no cost – duh), based on my experience in blogging – you know, creating simple, functional websites that are easily maintained. Unfortunately, my offer was misinterpreted, and nothing ever really changed with the GFDA site. But…!

I received an e-mail on Thursday from a new GFDA staffer named Stephanie Mattocks; she has been hired as the new Marketing Director, and it sounds like she is ready to take some action – and she wants help from YOU! Check out this e-mail she sent me:

As I know you are aware, GFDA’s website has been outdated for a while now. I’m happy to announce that we are now in the process of getting a new website up and running! Having an accurate, user-friendly website is a very important tool for us as we continue to focus on our efforts in business attraction and development.
Our goal is to create a site that, once it’s up and running, can be updated by GFDA staff from our own workstations with little or no actual programming needed (most likely using a web-based content management system). We’ll need the services of a consultant/web designer to establish the new site and hand it off to us, but once it’s up and running, keeping the site up to date should be a much more manageable task that I am excited to take on.
Here’s where I could use your help. We’d like as many local people as possible to have the opportunity to respond to our Request for Proposals for web design consulting services. The RFP is available by contacting me and proposals need to be returned to GFDA by Monday, June 18.
If any of your blog readers or anyone else you know would like to receive a copy of the RFP so that they may submit a proposal, they can contact me directly at: 406-771-9023 or [email protected] Questions or need more info, give me a call!

OK, let’s all tip our collective blog-hat to Stephanie! It’s clear that she understands the problem, is ready to fix it, and is engaging the local online/blog community. Stephanie, thank you for taking this approach – I appreciate it, and would wager that my fellow bloggers and readers do, too. I suspect that Brett Doney, the relatively new GFDA chief, also had a hand in getting this conversation started. By the way: I’d like to emphasize that I very much appreciate what the GFDA does, and have no doubt that the people of the GFDA are loyal, dedicated, and professional – it’s just that they didn’t “get” what I was saying – they seemed to be sort of stuck in “Web Site circa 1997” mentality (like so many others).

OK, team: I know that there are some way-talented people reading this (you – yes, you!) who would enjoy tackling this challenge and would be able to kick the GFDA site into high-gear – go for it!



  1. A simple cms solution would do the trick.
    Thousands of free cms templates online to choose from, a logo or similar header graphic, and a designated database and that’s it…… not real difficult actually.
    They can get all of what they need in…oh…let’s say….20 minutes.

  2. David, I am pleased to read this post! I have been working with Brett and can vouch for his energy, sincerity, and vision. Recently, I met Stephanie, and she is a treasure and a great hire! Tomorrow, I am flying out to DC with a delegation from GFDA to work on a project. (Wish I could share the details, because it is very exciting!)
    Maybe the next time we have lunch, if this deal goes through:)

  3. still don’t see a change in the web site, still refernces apr 06 newsletter, what ever happened to the big changeover?

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