Billings Depot chooses new executive director


Michelle Williams will take over as the new director of the Billings Depot on March 1.

The historic Billings Depot has announced that Michelle Williams will be taking over  as executive director of the community-owned venue, replacing Jennifer Mercer effective March 1.

Williams is currently with A.D. Creative Group where, over the past nine years, she has been responsible for strategy, account management and business development for businesses across Montana and the Rocky Mountain region.

She will make her debut as director the depot’s largest annual fundraiser, the Taste of Billings Black Tie Gala, on Saturday, Feb. 24.

“The Billings Depot Board of Directors is very excited to announce this appointment,” board President Steve Wahrlich said in a press release. “Michelle will bring leadership and creativity to the depot’s programs and a deep sense of commitment to the development of the downtown corridor. She has served nonprofits in program development, fundraising and brand leadership and has a breadth of perspective and experience in event planning.”

Williams’ resume, the release continued, includes more than 15 years of strategic planning, administration, communications and marketing experience across industries, countries and consumer segments.

She’s currently a board member and marketing chair for Arts Without Boundaries, a local nonprofit, and she has been recognized with several awards including one of Billings 2013 Top 40 Under 40 and Outstanding Volunteer for the DFW American Marketing Association.

“This is an opportunity for me to focus all my energy into bringing to life the stories and history of the Billings Depot for everyone in Billings to share,” Williams said. “There are so many amazing people in Billings creating great change and growth for our community and I’m excited to be a part of that. I look forward to new collaborations and continuing the positive momentum Jen has created for the depot and the development of our great downtown.”

Wahrlich expressed the board’s gratitude to Mercer, who has been at the depot for seven years.

“She has taken the depot from shaky ground to a place of financial and historical stability,” Wahrlich said. “We wish her the best and thank her for a job well done.”

Mercer, for her part, said, “I couldn’t be more thrilled. I asked the board to find someone that would do such a great job that they would make me look like mincemeat, and they did it. Michelle will be amazing.

The Billings Depot is a nonprofit, community-owned venue that serves the city of Billings and surrounding areas by providing discounted and donated venue space for fundraisers. The depot is best known for being the top wedding venue in the region, and offering free wedding planning consultations for newly engaged couples.

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