Member Spotlight: Siri Smillie


 What is your name?

Siri Smillie

What do you do for work and what is your slash (aka what do you do in your free time)?

I am Governor Bullock's education and public safety policy advisor, so I cover everything from preschool, K-12 and postsecondary education to corrections and disasters/emergencies. No day is the same! I have the good fortune to work with great people all around the state to do things like improve access to affordable, high quality preschool and re-think our criminal justice system to save money and reduce recidivism. In my free time, I love to get out on Helena's trails with my  crazy dog (Ollie), cook, yoga-size, and hang out with the people of Helena at any of our awesome breweries.

How did you land in Helena? 

I moved to Helena in 2009 to work for then-Attorney General Steve Bullock in the Department of Justice as the prescription drug abuse prevention coordinator.

What is the best piece of advice that you ever received – career-related or otherwise? 

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it; because what the world needs is people who have come alive." I'm not sure who the original quote should be credited to, but I came across it in high school and it has always seemed to be a solid concept to come back to when making career moves, life changes, or just figuring out where to travel for my next adventure!

When do you feel the most yourself?

When I'm outside - hiking, running, camping or just taking a walk.

Where is the last place you explored and where do you want to explore next?

We spent a few days this summer in Tijuana and the Baja California wine country (Valle de Guadalupe). I can't say that Tijuana had been high on my list of places to go, but when presented with the opportunity, we took it, and now I can't wait to go back!

Tijuana is home to a delicious and sophisticated culinary culture. We stumbled upon a vegan "gastrofest," had a Caesar salad prepared tableside at the birthplace of the Caesar Salad, and ate some of the best tacos I've ever had at the hole-in-the-wall restaurant around the corner from our AirBnB.

Valle de Guadalupe has over 300 vineyards and wineries, making delicious and unique wine. It is definitely still under the radar, with super reasonable prices and few crowds.

Next up: Thailand!

Tell us something about yourself that we didn’t ask:

My favorite breakfast spot (that most people haven't been to) is Main Street Eats in East Helena. Worth the drive out there!