by Nathan Boddy
Liz Cook had to laugh when asked her official title at A2Z Personnel. “That’s a good question!” she responded. While Cook has been with A2Z since the summer of 2021, her engagement in the community is far-flung and goes beyond her specific duties at the valley staffing agency. It is on account of these many activities that the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce recently awarded Cook with the “Spark Plug” award, an award which, according to their criteria, is given to those, “who ‘spark’ the community by their enthusiastic deeds and actions.”
Cook serves as the A2Z ambassador to the Chamber, but is also the President of the Stevensville Civic Club, and serves on committees for the community Splash Pad, Stevensville Western Heritage Days, and the Chamber’s Brew Fest. Much of this involvement was initiated when she worked at the Bitterroot Star as a sales representative, where she learned that sincerely caring about one’s community and actively engaging in community service was key to her success, both personally and professionally. While her official title at A2Z is ‘Public Relations,’ her professional and community roles are somewhat blurred, yet all geared toward a common goal.
“I grew up in Stevensville and have pretty strong ties to the Stevensville community,” she says, “but I love the valley.”
Through the course of her many activities, Cook says that she is required to bounce back and forth between Hamilton and Stevensville often, but that all the local contact only fosters a greater appreciation of the valley. Her hope for the future of the Bitterroot is that it preserves and maintains its integrity. “It’s very important that we are not trying to change who we are,” she says, and “that we are only playing off our best strengths carrying that into the future with us.”
Liz Cook has a vested interest in the future integrity of the Bitterroot Valley since, in addition to all other titles, she is a mother of three children. “My kids have sacrificed for all that I’ve done,” she says, adding that she has pulled them along through many of her community activities, but that she hopes they see the positive impact it has upon the community they call home. Further acknowledging her family, Cook says that her partner, “should have gotten the award too.” That’s because he shows up for, and helps at, every event she puts on, she says, “every single one.”