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By Cari Kimball

Montana’s December days are short and the nights are long. Amidst the hustle and bustle, I hope we can all honor the reflective aspects of the season – taking stock of what the past year brought us and looking ahead at what we’d like to accomplish next. We’d be remiss to not reflect upon an immense loss MEIC sustained this past fall with the passing of Adam McLane, our long-time, outstanding colleague, and friend. I find myself reflecting with gratitude on the lessons Adam taught us. 


Leaving MEIC in a good place…  

Adam managed our finances with competence, integrity, and immense institutional knowledge. His financial reports to the board, payroll to our staff, and tax payments to the government were timely, accurate, and reliable. When my blood pressure would spike as we entered September with a deficit for the year he would soothe us with the reminder MEIC’s revenues reliably rebound in November. With hindsight being 20/20, I wish I’d sat down and learned the nitty-gritty of his bookkeeping processes earlier – partially because it would have made our bookkeeping transition smoother, but mostly because spending time with him and learning from him was entertaining and engaging. I miss him a lot. 

Adam gave me (and everyone at MEIC) space to focus our time and attention elsewhere for MEIC’s benefit, knowing that the finances were handled. In doing so, Adam allowed MEIC to flourish and make Montana a better place. I aspire to give that gift – the peace of mind that MEIC’s finances are thoughtfully, transparently managed – to our board, staff, and members so that we can sustainably fund the crucial work MEIC does for Montana communities.


We need everyone to bring their talents to the work…

MEIC is an effective organization, because people with a variety of professions, passions, and expertise join forces to advocate for Montana’s environment. We are lucky to have hydrologists, teachers, healthcare professionals, artists, attorneys, grassroots organizers, and communications specialists in our membership, staff, and board. Maybe if you’d looked at Adam’s credentials – MBA from Stanford? Bookkeeping and accounting wizard? – you might not expect him to be a passionate environmental advocate, but his contributions made MEIC’s work possible. It’s a reminder that there’s room (and need!) for people bringing a diversity of perspectives, wisdoms, and intelligences to our movement. It takes all of us.


Relationships enrich our lives…

Adam dedicated himself to deeply meaningful relationships – first and foremost to his wife Nancy and their family, and also to his friends and colleagues at MEIC. Adam showed up to relationships in a steadfast, reliable fashion with thoughtfulness and care. Most of us strive to be that sort of coworker, family member, and community member who consistently contributes with kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness.


This article was published in the Dec. 2022 issue of Down To Earth. 

Read the full issue here.


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