Jeanne Bennett Receives Founder’s Award at Mount St. Helens Institute Fundraiser


The Mount St. Helens Institute celebrated its 20th anniversary at its Boots & Bow Ties dinner and auction fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Hilton in Vancouver, Washington.

The gala, in its third year, raised $103,000 to support science, education and outdoor exploration at Mount St. Helens.

Along with celebrating the growth and success of its science education programs for youth, the Institute honored Jeanne Bennett, CEO of Workforce Southwest Washington, with its Founder’s Award for establishing and leading MSHI’s efforts to create a better connection between people and nature.

“As the Institute’s executive director from 2007 to 2012, Jeanne did everything, developing the organization virtually from scratch,” said John Bishop, MSHI board secretary and last year’s recipient of the Founders Award. He continued, “… in my opinion, (she) is more responsible than anyone else for bringing the Institute to where it is today.”

Bennett has maintained her involvement with MSHI by hosting events, leading hikes and as a board member from 2013 to 2015.

The Founder’s Award is presented to those whose achievements, accomplishments and leadership demonstrate a sustained commitment to Mount St. Helens Institute’s development and success. Past recipients include Bishop, Claire Lavendel and Christine Colasurdo.

More information about Mount St. Helens Institute’s mission to advance understanding and stewardship of the

Earth through science, education and exploration of volcanic landscapes can be found at