Redli garners prestigious state museum award
Museum of the Beartooths Director Penny Redli was recently surprised at the 50th Annual Museums Association of Montana (MAM) Conference in Helena, when she became the recipient of the MAM President’s Award, an honor given to those who have gone above and beyond for the organization.
According to MAM president Amanda Trum, those who receive the President’s Award “show exceptional dedication, commitment, leadership, and/or service to the Museums Association of Montana or to the greater regional and/or national museum community in the service of MAM.”
The award is only given when an appropriate candidate becomes apparent, and while it is typically awarded to one person per year, this year was special. Also receiving the award was Susan Near, who has worked for the Montana Historical Society.
This year, Redli retired from the MAM Board of Directors after serving on it for 16 years. For a majority of that time, she held the position of treasurer.
“Penny has been a great role model and mentor for me over the past 10 years that I have been on the MAM Board of Directors,” Trum said.
About two decades ago, Redli began working with the Carbon County Museum in Red Lodge. She had no museum background experience, and Redli feels MAM has been invaluable for her professional development. All of the knowledge gained from MAM conferences and workshops over the years has helped Redli grow into the experienced museum director she is today.
“I served on the board because I wanted to give back,” Redli said. “I wanted to help all of Montana’s museums to be the best we can be.”
She praised the Montana museum community, saying all of the museums across the state are not trying to compete with one another, but rather are working together to preserve the artifacts that tell Montana’s story.
Redli mentioned that while she has visited regional and national museum conferences, she still believes the Montana conference is the best.
In addition to her hard work, Trum believes Redli “has always had the health and well-being of the MAM organization and its members at the forefront during our many meetings, conferences, and workshops together.”
While Redli credits MAM for much of her growth in the museum field, Redli, herself, has been instrumental in others’ development.
“Penny knows and has worked with so many members of the museum community across the state, and they all value her help and advice so much,” Trum said. “We will certainly miss her strong leadership and good advice as we move forward!”