Kathleen Tarkalson hopes to sustain economic momentum in Anaconda


Kathleen Tarkalson’s office windows provide a clear view of Anaconda’s renewal.

The C-Hill and A-Hill are greening up, recovering from a century of flora-smiting emissions belched by copper smelters.

Recovery is evident elsewhere in Anaconda-Deer Lodge County, a community rebounding both aesthetically and economically from the tough times that followed the smelter’s shutdown in 1980.

In mid-April, Tarkalson, a Butte native married to an Anaconda native, took the helm of Discover Anaconda, an umbrella organization whose missions include economic development and tourism promotion.

“I’ve been on the job for not quite a month, but I’m loving it,” she said. “I have a lot to learn. I recognize that. But I definitely bring perspective and a lot of enthusiasm and I’m optimistic for what my role can be in this organization.”

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Tarkalson also brings a master’s in business administration from the University of Montana and years of work for the university in career development and as director of the Student Success Center at its College of Business.

She said she’s inspired by the progress Anaconda has made. She cited new businesses on Main Street, as well as The Forge Hotel,

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