Commitment to Community

Think Piece

September 30, 2019

I had lunch this afternoon with the previous administrator of Worden Thane. Carol Williams was also my friend and mentor prior to me taking over her role as administrator when she transitioned into retirement. I’m jealous of her experiences in retirement, especially when my work and life seems overwhelming or unbearable.

Each time I meet with Carol, I get back to the office feeling grateful to be the legal administrator of such a wonderful firm. I never realize how lucky I am until I find myself rehashing funny stories with Carol about our employees and attorneys at the firm, or bringing her up to speed on all the new faces of Worden Thane since her retirement. Whatever we talk about, it always comes back to this great mix of personalities that continues to build on the legacy that Donovan Worden and Jeremy Thane created so many years ago. Whether it be in the ways we help one another during our workday, know how to care for one another in times of personal crisis, celebrate in moments of happiness, or support each other in our endeavors in the community, Worden Thane has always put their people, and the people of the Missoula community, first.

Worden Thane sponsors Rattlesnake Elementary’s Recycling program. Attorney Ross Keogh stands outside the school with his first-grade daughter, Anya Madeline Keogh, who attends Rattlesnake.

Today, Carol and I talked for a few moments about Jeremy Thane’s wife, Ginny, who recently passed away.  Jerry and Ginny Thane, as many people know, were great leaders and philanthropists in the Missoula community. After Jerry’s passing a few years ago, Ginny continued to live life to its fullest and found ways to help the community. They will both be missed, but their efforts will live on through the efforts of many in our law firm today.

Ron Bender and Jeremy Thane at a reception honoring Jerry’s 60 years of practicing law.

One of the standards that members of Worden Thane P.C. continue to uphold, is to be present in the community through service. This can be seen through every member of our Worden Thane team, in one form or another, by serving over thirty organizations within the community each year. Worden Thane employees serve the Missoula Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis, and various organizations which provide legal services to community members, like CASA and MLSA. Attorneys also provide legal service to nonprofits like Tough Enough to Wear Pink, and help organizations like Blackstone Launchpad and Accelerate Montana. Worden Thane encourages employees who are passionate about service work, to help organizations unrelated to the legal industry, but necessary for the positive growth of Missoula. Employees currently hold board positions for the YWCA, Child Care Resources, Fourth D Club, and Run Wild Missoula in addition to their legal service volunteer work. The important point that is stressed by the firm is to get involved where there is a need.

Holiday giving for Watson Children’s Shelter – Carl Mendenhall and Dawn Donham delivered Worden Thane donations for the 2018 Christmas season.

In-house, Worden Thane tries to contribute in various ways throughout the year by means of sponsorships and donations to nonprofits and special events. Employees enjoy participating in holiday giving for the children at Watson Children’s Shelter, sponsoring the Garden City Ballet, Missoula Youth Hockey, Five Valleys Land Trust, and participating in local events like the annual DIVA Day 5k Run, which raised funds this year for the YWCA. 

Most importantly, Worden Thane employees are able to give back to what they consider important to them in their personal lives.  Whether it is sitting on the board for Spirit at Play Early Childhood Development, the Irish Dance Association, Friends of Irish Studies in the West, Rattlesnake Elementary PTA, coaching their son’s baseball or football team, organizing a community event, or volunteering at a daughter’s school over the lunch hour, employees find satisfaction in doing community service work that is meaningful, with support from the firm.

Worden Thane employees participate in many local races each year. One of them is DIVA Day. The 2019 DIVA Day Run supported the YWCA and the end to domestic violence.

Reflecting on today’s lunch meeting with Carol, I am reminded that not only am I fortunate to have found a wonderful group of people to work with, but I am helping to carry on the legacy of Worden Thane in this community. Along with other members of my firm, our work family continues to put efforts where they matter— back into the community that is responsible for the positive, successful growth of our children, the care of our parents as they age and begin to need outside services, and the community members around us who are always impacted best through the service of others.

Thank you, Carol, for meeting me for lunch and thank you to our many amazing partners!

  1. Watson Children’s Shelter – Board
  2. YWCA  – Legal Counsel
  3. Kiwanis – Member
  4. Rotary Member
  5. Chamber of Commerce – Ambassadors
  6. Chamber of Commerce – Red Coats Chair
  7. Chamber of Commerce – Board 
  8. United Way – Board
  9. Fourth D Club – Board
  10. Rattlesnake Elementary – Volunteer
  11. Run Wild Missoula – Board
  12. Self Help Law Center
  13. Montana Legal Services Association – Family Law Advice Calls
  14. Montana Legal Services Association – Low Income Taxpayer Clinic
  15. Blackstone Launchpad Missoula
  16. Blackstone Launchpad Bozeman
  17. Blackfoot B2M Accelerator Program
  18. Accelerate Montana
  19. Montana World Trade Center
  20. Child Care Resources – Board
  21. Equal Access to Justice
  22. Friends of Irish Studies in the West – Volunteer
  23. Garden City Ballet – Sponsor
  24. Five Valleys Land Trust – Mount Dean Stone Project Committee
  25. Missoula Area Youth Hockey – Glacier Ice Rink Sponsor
  26. Tough Enough to Wear Pink – Legal Counsel
  27. Spirit at Play Early Childhood Program – Board
  28. Empower MT – Volunteer
  29. Irish Dance Association – Board
  30. CASA – Board
  31. Ancient Order of Hibernians
  32. Community Dispute Resolution Center – Mediator
  33. Upward Bound – Scholarship Committee Member
  34. Zootown Arts Community Center – Sponsor
Participants in the sponsored “Bike Rodeo” for Watson Children’s Shelter

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