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2018 Ask-An-Expert

Ask-an-Expert is time to get one-on-one advice from nonprofit experts, consultants, and sector leaders. Take this opportunity to ask nonprofit management questions, get second opinions on ideas, or learn about new resources and tools.

Experts will be available for fifteen-minute consultations during the three breaks on Wednesday and Thursday of the Conference.

Wednesday, October 3 at 9:45-10:15 and 3:30-4:00
Thursday, October 4 at 10-10:30

Learn more about our Experts below and sign up for your free 15-minute consultation. Sign-ups are based on first come, first serve so be sure to sign-up for more than one Expert just in case they are already booked.

Meet Our Experts

  • Carolyn Valacich / Consultant, Non Profit Assistance

Areas of Expertise: Executive Leadership, Fundraising, Governance & Board Development, Planning

With current and past experience as a community board member, former member of the Montana Arts Council, and State Tourism Advisory Board member, I have worked with a variety of nonprofit issues and people. In my 28 year tenure as Executive of the Great Falls Symphony I worked closely with board, staff, and volunteers to grow the GFSA from a small one-person office to a thriving nonprofit organization. Having dealt with many people and process issues, I feel particularly comfortable consulting in areas of (1) fundraising- including event planning, annual campaigns, grants and endowment building/planned giving; (2) board development/effective meetings; (3) strategic planning and (4) effective executive leadership.


  • Megan Grotzke / Referral Coordinator, Helm Fine Photography

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Technology

Communication: background in journalism; experience in marketing/design, public speaking, interpersonal communications. Technology: web design/development, social media, blogging, design software, virtual meetings. I currently administer an electronic referral system that facilitates clinical-community linkages.


  • Omey Nandyal / Executive Director, Anonymously Yours Foundation

Areas of Expertise: Technology

Strategic implementation of technology into business practices to cost-effectively streamline your operations and reduce overhead by eliminating Islands of Automation - ultimately allowing you to direct more of your time, energy, and money towards your mission.


  • Shelli Bischoff / President/CEO, Yellowstone Boys & Girls Club Foundation

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Executive Leadership, Governance & Board Development, Planning

My approach is a holistic organizational one - with focus on identity (planning), constituents (marketing and communication), and capacity (leadership, governance, hr, funding), each a critical component to build a successful, potent, sustainable organization.


  • Shannon Stober / Verve Exchange Consulting, Verve Exchange

Areas of Expertise: Volunteerism

Volunteer program planning and implementation, volunteer recruitment and management, volunteer systems and structures.


  • Amy Falcione / Consultant, Big Picture Marketing

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Technology

Do you feel overwhelmed by the multitude of marketing options available and underwhelmed by your results? No matter what your goals are, you need a strong marketing plan and compelling content to increase engagement and awareness about your organization. Let's look at the big picture of your short- and long-term goals, what's been successful (or not) with your marketing and develop ways to get your communications working for you.


  • Brendan McDaniel / Director of Strategic Partnerships, Firespring

Areas of Expertise: Fundraising, Technology

Using your website to increase donations, Giving Day technologies, website solutions, online payment processing insights, marketing and branding. “I’ve been helping nonprofits successfully launch large-scale projects, custom websites and online donation tools for over six years. My knowledge of the online payment world and view from the processing industry provides unique insight into the world of fundraising.”


  • Joel Barker / Consultant, Great River Strategies

Areas of Expertise: Executive Leadership, Fundraising, Technology

Fundraising: major gifts, board giving, corporate sponsorship; Executive Leadership: process improvement, organization growth, change management; Technology: technology strategy, fundraising for technology.


  • Moses Lee / Program Director, Research & Science, Murdock Cheritable Trust

Areas of Expertise: Evaluation, Fundraising, Planning, Technology

Scientific research, commercialization and technology transfer, college STEM and health education, K-12 STEM education, health services (rural hospitals, clinics…etc), and conservation and environmental science. I am also happy to talk with someone interested to learn more about the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.


  • Tim Lockie / President, Founder & Janitor, Now it Matters

Areas of Expertise: Fundraising, Technology

I help nonprofits using Salesforce for fundraising (or anything else). Glad to talk about moves management, online donations, marketing automation, deploying a major gifts strategy, and using technology to advance causes. (But I'm not up for fixing computers.)

  • Christel Chvilicek / Fundraising Consultant

Areas of Expertise: Planning, Fundraising

Diversification of Funding Streams and Planning: Organizations that are dependent on just one source sometimes end up fighting for survival. Healthy non-profits diversify revenue by seeking a variety of resource steams. Seeking out, acquiring, and managing multiple revenue streams requires specific skills.


  • Drew Rieker / CPA, JCCS

Areas of Expertise: Financial Management, Planning

I specialize in accounting and financial reporting for nonprofit organization. This includes compliance with federal awards, internal controls, organizational risk assessment, Form 990 and IRS compliance, etc.


  • Breanna Polacik / Consultant, The Dotted i

Areas of Expertise: Fundraising

We can provide expertise in grant research, grant writing, budgets, developing comprehensive fundraising plans, and fundraising strategy for monthly giving programs, giving days, peer to peer campaigns, and more.


  • Hannah Cortez / Consultant, The Dotted i

Areas of Expertise: Fundraising

We can provide expertise in grant research, grant writing, budgets, developing comprehensive fundraising plans, and fundraising strategy for monthly giving programs, giving days, peer to peer campaigns, and more.


  • Jessica Peterson / Consultant, Inside Edge Strategies & Design

Areas of Expertise: Fundraising, Governance & Board Development

Finding the Right Fundraising Structure for Your Board: How does an organization choose a model for fundraising that is the best fit for their organization’s Board of Directors? My expertise centers around helping organizations find the model that will have the greatest impact given their particular characteristics and capacities, and helping them implement the model.


  • Katy Teson / Nonprofit Marketing Strategist, Wired Impact

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Technology

I specialize in nonprofit marketing, particularly the use of digital tools like websites, email marketing, blogging, Google Ads, social media, and SEO. I enjoy helping organizations with strategic marketing plans, including target audience development and reporting with measurement/analytics.


  • Mike Booth / Consultant, Beartooth Business Consulting

Areas of Expertise: Executive Leadership, Financial Management, Fundraising, Planning, Human Resources & Personnel

Consulting Topics for Nonprofit Executives Include: Enhancing Your Leadership Edge, Creating and Leading High Performing Teams, Creating Great Relationships between You and Your Board, Developing a Diverse and Sustainable Fundraising Effort, Strategic Thinking for Nonprofit Executives, and Developing an Operating Plan that Works.


  • Melanie Schell / Managing Principal, Bannack Group

Areas of Expertise: Ethics, Fundraising, Governance & Board Development

Available to discuss issues relating to conflicts of interest, workplace/board ethics, fundraising (including tactics, compliance, planned giving, tax credit, campaigns, etc.), and the full-spectrum of topics relating to board development and governance. Case-specific legal is not available.


  • Ned Cooney / Facilitator & Consultant

Areas of Expertise: Executive Leadership, Governance & Board Development, Planning

Board/staff relationships; best practices for building a more functional board; strategies & tactics for better meetings; executive leadership challenges & how to tap your strengths; strategic planning, & how to prepare the organization.


  • Steve Beck / Consultant, Beck Seminars

Areas of Expertise: Communication

In today’s world effective communication is essential so why do people, departments and companies still struggle? Steve will give several tips and suggestions to enhance communication at your nonprofit straight from his Motivational Leadership seminars.

  • Emily Allison / Development Coordinator, Bridgercare

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Fundraising, Technology

Online Grassroots Peer to Peer Fundraising, Millennial engagement


  • Jono MicKinney / President and CEO, Montana Conservation Corps

Areas of Expertise: Advocacy, Executive Leadership, Financial Management, Fundraising, Governance & Board Development, Planning

Working with members of congress to advocate for national policy; long-term/strategic planning for organizational transformation; leadership vs management.


  • Julie Rodda / Consultant, Rodda Consulting

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Fundraising, Planning

Fundraising: Grants, Major Gifts and Donor CommunicationsBet


  • Katie Deuel / Consultant, Home ReSource

Areas of Expertise: Executive Leadership, Ethics, Planning, HR & Personnel

Planning: Strategic Planning (process, conversations, outcome management), Visioning Sessions (the difference between setting vision and direction vs. Strategic Documents to achieve vision). When strategic plans are necessary, why they are critical for fund development.


  • Amy Sullivan / Director Montana Office of Gift Planning, Montana Community Foundation

Areas of Expertise: Executive Leadership, Fundraising, Governance & Board Development

I have the most to offer MNA attendees in the area of planned giving, executive leadership and governance/board development having spent 10 years as a CEO of a statewide nonprofit and 14 years in the planned giving arena.


  • Bethany Williamson / HR Business Partner, Associated Employers

Areas of Expertise: HR & Personnel

Any questions on Human Resources policies and procedures are welcome!


  • Josh Denny / Financial Advisor, SG Long Financial

Areas of Expertise: Financial Management, Governance & Board Development, Planning

Money management as it relates to foundations/endowments, investment strategies for non-profits, matching investments w/ organizational needs and missions, finance committee processes, and vetting prospective money managers.


  • Nick Dietzen / Planned Giving Officer, Montana Community Foundation

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Financial Management, Fundraising, Planning

Planned Giving, Fundraising and Endowment Development.  I also would be happy to discuss strategy within developing a planned giving program, working with donors and donor advised funds.


  • Peggy Bucholz / Chief Administrative Officer, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

Areas of Expertise: Ethics, Financial Management, Human Resources & Personnel

Ethics – how to handle financial management ethically. Financial Management – managing the operations and spending money according to donor wishes, budgeting, Preparing financial statements. Human Resources – Managing Montana hiring and firing policies, employee benefits.


  • Laura Brin / Development Director, The Traveling School

Areas of Expertise: Communication, Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising, online fundraising, engaging millennials.