Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy is retiring at the end of July to become the new president and CEO of the Montana State University Billings Foundation.
Kennedy will remain on the Yellowstone County Commission until July 30, 2016.
He says he is committed to helping craft “a solid budget” for Yellowstone County before he starts his new position.
“I think that’s my obligation,” Kennedy says. “I’ve got to finish out this fiscal year and make sure that’s taken care of.”
He adds he wants to make sure the county is ready for MontanaFair 2016 because the revenues generate contribute 25% of the budget.
“That’s been my life for 24 years,” he says. “I love the county and everything I’ve done in the county. I’ve had a great time.”
Kennedy says he hopes he has helped the county on issues such as roads, mental health, and childcare.
Kennedy is confident the Democratic party will find a suitable replacement to fill the remaining 2 years of his term.
“So it’s time for the next generation to come in,” he says.
Kennedy sees his retirement as opening a door.
“We’ll take that opportunity and we’ll give the next generation an opportunity to take my seat on the commission and move it to the next level,” he says.
Kennedy says he’s looking forward to returning to roots, education. He calls it his passion.
Foundation Board Chair Bobby Anner-Hughes says Kennedy was chosen after a national search. She says the search committee did approach Kennedy and asked him to consider applying for the position.
“We approached Bill because we knew he knew everyone in the community,” She says. “He had been so successful with the Honor Flight fundraising. And he’s just a good solid person from Billings who loves the university and that’s what we were looking for more than anything else.”
The MSUB Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that provides support to the students, faculty and campus community.
Besides raising money for scholarships, the Foundation is raising money for the new science building, Yellowstone Hall.
Kennedy will start as President and CEO of the Foundation August first.