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2014 Businesswoman of the Year

Deirdre Flaherty Headshot PhotoCongratulations to Deirdre Flaherty, 2014 MBN Businesswoman of the Year.

Deirdre Flaherty is someone women can aspire to be like, both personally and professionally. Deirdre helps empower women and contributes to the community in so many ways, and she does it all without publicity and acknowledgment. She does it because she loves volunteering her time and contributing to the great community in which she lives and works.

MBN and the YWCA are two of Deirdre’s passions. Deirdre was MBN President in 2009-2010, and has chaired the MBN Women’s Symposium twice. She has been a volunteer board member in various positions and Symposium Committee member for more than 10 years. In 2008, MBN was approached by a member of the YWCA looking for assistance in preparing a meal for the YWCA Tuesday night groups, and Deirdre, personally, quickly jumped at the chance. She organized a group of women to start preparing a hot meal for the attendees, and she soon recruited others to help prepare dinners for other Tuesday nights. Now, because of Deirdre’s contagious passion for a worthy cause, women in the community are able to prepare meals each Tuesday night for the YWCA’s groups. In addition, she has been on the YWCA Board of Directors since 2010.

Deirdre holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Montana and is co-owner of Flaherty Financial Services. Flaherty Financial Services provides financial planning and investment opportunities to companies and individuals. Together with her partner and mom, Frankie Flaherty, she has developed a reputation for being a fair, honest, and caring adviser who helps her clients plan for their futures.

Deirdre also volunteers in the following ways:

  • Helps coordinate and participates in preparing dinner (at least once a month) for the YWCA’s Tuesday night classes held for the women and their families.
  • Volunteers for the Missoula Food Bank’s ROOTS (Recognizing Other Opportunities To Serve) Program. The ROOTS Program allows volunteers to deliver food from the Missoula Food Bank to elderly residents who are unable to pick up their own food.
  • Involved in the Fiesta for Flagship Event, as well as the Flagship Program. The mission of the Flagship program is to enhance the social, academic, and cultural achievement of Missoula’s young people by creating opportunities for skill development, both in and out of school. She has been on the planning committee for their annual fundraising dinner for several years and continues to help grow the program.
  • Box Office Volunteer for the Missoula Community Theatre.
  • Runs on the Missoula Youth Homes team and helps raise money for the organization.
  • Teaches Sunday School each week with her mom, Frankie, and her dad, Mike, at St. Anthony’s Church.
  • Volunteer for First Night Missoula
  • Volunteers annually to judge the High School Speech and Debate Competitions held in Missoula.
  • Volunteer at Big Sky Film Festival
  • Presenter at UM Ask an Alum at UM’s Business School

By Christine Tutty Johnson, Awards Committee Chair