37 • Marketing and events manager •
Boise Valley Economic Partnership • Boise
Stead lived in California for most of her school years and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder. After college, she worked as a director’s assistant in Los Angeles, getting the opportunity to work on independent films with big stars.
Following that, Stead’s first major accomplishment was successful execution of the first annual San Francisco Ski and Snowboard Festival, which drew in 20,000 attendees within the first weekend. Two years later, she expanded the annual festival to three cities and continued to run the company until her relocation to Boise at age 29.
“At the time, I went to visit my brother in Boise,” Stead said. “It was 70 degrees in town, we rode our bikes to the farmers market and there was snow on the mountains. I went home and said to my husband, ‘I think maybe we should think about Boise.’”
After relocating, Stead demonstrated her outstanding leadership skills as Ballet Idaho’s marketing director. She was there for five years and grew the company’s audience and sales by more than 20% each year.
Jenny Weaver, former executive director of Ballet Idaho, can attest. She wrote a letter recommending Stead for the Accomplished Under 40 award.
“Meredith continuously stepped up to the plate and accepted a variety of challenges, knocking each one out of the park,” Weaver writes. “She always wears a beaming smile, and gets to know each person in the room, making everyone feel included.”
Toward the end of her time at Ballet Idaho, Stead joined Leadership Boise. It opened up doors that fueled her involvement with various groups and organizations within the community.
Stead is actively involved in a variety of nonprofit organizations, serving on the Planning and Zoning Committee for the City of Boise, the Fundsy Board of Directors and the Boise Public Radio advisory board. She is also the president of Leadership Boise and recruits higher wage jobs for the employees of the Treasure Valley through her role as marketing director of Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP).
“Meredith not only impresses with her nonprofit experience, but also her community volunteerism,” says Boise City Council member, Holli Woodings. “I’ve also witnessed her ability to organize and inspire other young people to action, which is the true hallmark of a leader.”
Stead is always looking for new ways to immerse her herself and get involved in the community, and she plans to continue along that path for the next 20 years.
“For me, that’s the goal, to figure out how I can continue to serve my community,” she says. “I would like to continue public service, whether that is played out through the philanthropy work, nonprofit boards or getting more involved in government relations — I’ll certainly be continuing that path.”