The Gazette Editorial Board welcomes a new community board member this week. Lucinda “Cindy” Stearns Butler of Billings has generously agreed to serve on our board for the next six months. She will join the other board members – Publisher Michael Gulledge, Editor Steve Prosinski, Circulation Director Nathan Bekke, Managing Editor Dan Carter and myself – in discussing issues and in formulating editorials that encourage community betterment.

“My friends tell me I have an opinion on almost everything. I have been described as being ‘honest to a fault.’” Cindy says. “I am very interested in environmental/wildlife habitat issues, education issues, gardening, history, travel and encouraging our children to be the best human beings possible.”

Cindy is the busy mother of seven children, ages 7 to 20. With her husband, Steven Butler, she is raising three stepchildren and four children from a previous marriage. She volunteers regularly at Arrowhead Elementary School and has been a longtime Girl Scout volunteer. She has also been involved with local opera as a volunteer and student.

Cindy grew up in Wisconsin, went to college in Nebraska and lived all over the country before moving to Billings about six years ago. A registered nurse, she worked in critical care for 10 years and also worked in school nursing. More recently, she’s been a full-time mom.

Her interest in history and travel includes studying about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and making a trip to Monticello. She says the upcoming Lewis and Clark bicentennial will be important to the Billings region.

Cindy will add her viewpoint to our board that consists of a mix of longtime and newer Montana residents. I grew up in Missouri, but moved to Billings 19 years ago. Another Midwest native, Publisher Mike Gulledge, joined The Gazette in October 2000, coming here from Decatur, Ill., where he worked with community editorial board members. Editor Steve Prosinski, originally a Wyomingite, moved back to Billings nearly two years ago. Circulation Director Nathan Bekke grew up in Billings and has been with The Gazette for 11 years. Managing Editor Dan Carter, a Belgrade native, has been on the Gazette staff for 10 years.

We are fortunate (and amazed) that Cindy is fitting the editorial board into her active schedule. We look forward to the ideas and insight she will share. Dr. Joe Floyd, Montana State University-Billings professor of sociology, was our first-ever community board member last year and contributed greatly to our work.

We are grateful for Joe’s time and contributions. We also thank all of the Gazette readers who offered to join the board. We received many great letters of application. We expect to be calling on our readers again to find another volunteer later this year when Cindy’s term is completed.

Pat Bellinghausen can be reached at 657-1309 or pbelling@billingsgazette.com.

Get News Alerts delivered directly to you.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.