2018 Conference: Speakers
Amy Sample Ward
Preconference and Concurrent Session Speakers
Emily grew up in Bozeman, Montana and graduated from Middlebury College in 2010 with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. Shortly thereafter, she returned to Bozeman to coach the local competitive Nordic ski team and spent four consecutive summers leading backpacking trips for high school students in both the US and internationally. In 2015, she jumped head first into the world of marketing and design when she was brought on as a Project Manager for Brickhouse Creative. Emily is the Development Coordinator for Bridgercare, the local family planned clinic in Bozeman, and absolutely loves her job!
Through Incite! Consulting Group, Kari Anderson provides organizational leadership, fundraising strategies and systems audits to nonprofit organizations in the Rocky Mountain West. Her coaching with nonprofit leaders uses best practices, industry research, real-time stories and the school of hard knocks.
Prior to launching Incite!, Kari spent 20+ years in Executive Director and lead fundraising roles in organizations focused on healthcare, athletics and education.
You can find Kari working with nonprofit staff and board members via Washington Nonprofits and the Idaho Nonprofit Center, the Community Foundations of Jackson Hole and Teton Valley and the University of Idaho’s Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program.
Joel is Managing Partner at Great River Strategies. He has provided strategic counsel to over 100 nonprofit organizations in the areas of development, marketing, technology, and process improvement. Joel is also the co-founder of Brave North Technology, a Minnesota-based technology firm partnering with nonprofits to develop technology systems that support their missions. He has served as the Chief Development Officer for Fraser, a $70 million organization serving over 10,000 children and adults with special needs each year. Joel serves on the board for Missions Inc. and Minnesota Food Association, and is a frequent speaker at nonprofit events and conferences.
Erin administers the MTCC AmeriCorps VISTA program, providing leadership and support to campuses and communities across Montana. She served two terms as a Prevention Resource Center VISTA member with the YWCA Missoula building infrastructure for the GUTS! program. Community and national service have profoundly influenced Erin's career and she is excited to provide the tools for organizations, colleges and their communities to utilize the resources of AmeriCorps VISTA, and to shaping VISTA members into informed, engaged citizens.
Steve is recognized as an outstanding Keynote Speaker, Motivator, Instructor and Consultant. His seminars are lively, informative, funny and insightful. His knowledge stems from a 20-year career at Management and Vice President level. His core competencies are in: Customer Service, Leadership, Life-Work Balance, and Goal Setting.
Steve is the author of the book, ‘How to Have a Great Day Everyday!’ & ‘Leave Your Funk at the Door’ and has plenty of hands-on experience helping businesses, schools, associations and organizations reach and sustain excellence.
Shelli Bischoff, President and CEO, has 25 years’ experience in nonprofit marketing and organizational development. Shelli is passionate about creating stronger, more successful and sustainable nonprofits. She has completed strategic plans, marketing plans and organizational development plans with hundreds of land trusts, conservation, and public health organizations, associations and agencies. She completed marketing and communications plans for several land trusts, a globally rare preserve, and a national waterfowl habitat organization. She has taught nonprofit marketing at the graduate school level at Regis University and at College of the Atlantic. She has an undergraduate degree in environmental conservation and a master’s degree in public administration. Shelli’s presentation style is dynamic and engaging, and at times, irreverent and provocative. She will challenge people to think creatively and strategically.
Laura Brin, a Colorado native, holds a B.A. in Sociology from Pitzer College. Since landing in Bozeman her nonprofit career has aligned with her passion for education as a way to empower women and communities. Laura is the Development Director for The Traveling School, an international semester school for high school girls. Her prior professional pursuits have included working for Aware, Inc. and Central Asia Institute, and she served a six year board term with Bridgercare. In addition to engaging in the well-being of her community, Laura enjoys playing in Montana’s mountains and rivers with family
Peggy is a Certified Fraud Examiner and has done several investigations into misappropriation of funds by individuals. She have a BS in accounting with CPA track and has been in the accounting field for over 30 years. Peggy has set up internal controls for small business, written accounting manuals and set small companies and non-profits up on QuickBooks and other small business accounting software packages.
Sara is a facilitator, strategist and coach with 16 years of nonprofit, strategy and leadership experience. She specializes in creating spaces for people and organizations to discover and articulate new ideas that catalyze increased strategic understanding, creativity and capacity. In addition to her company, Hello Soul, that provides curated boutique retreats for women on a mission, her current projects include organizing The Athena Conference and an upcoming book on identity and motherhood. Past clients include Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, Subaru, Women’s Foundation of Montana, Biomimicry 3.8 and many others.
Ned Cooney, Facilitator/Consultant, an independent consulting practice, specializes in nonprofits, philanthropy and public agencies. Most of his career has been in the nonprofit sector, as executive director, program staff and board member. Now, Ned serves many organizations by helping people learn and make better decisions together. Ned specializes in organizational planning, board development, funding strategies, support for executives, and meetings/retreats. Ned is a former member and Chair of the Board of MNA and has served as a member of MNA’s Nonprofit Public Policy Council since its start in 2006.
Hannah worked in childcare and education for 5 years until she discovered her passion for fundraising and development while taking a graduate course at MSU Bozeman. She was inspired to change her career path and started working with The Dotted i in 2017. Using her background in human development and community health, she has been committed to helping nonprofit clients increase their fundraising potential by building meaningful relationships with their community.
Lulu discovered the alchemy of education, somatic practices, improvisation and art making as a force for social change in her first job, and she has been developing her work in that field for over 20 years. For her, happiness is guiding people to experience that makes them come alive. From this place, she believes, community health and social change will soar. Lulu holds an M.Ed, wherein her graduate work focused on embodied education. She is a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga teacher and SPARK arts integration teacher. Lulu is also the Co-Director of and a Facilitator for Turning the Wheel Missoula, an organization that gives youth and their mentors tools to "come as they are" and foster life skills to create unified, innovative communities and a new world.
Katie Deuel is the executive director at Home ReSource, where she combines her backgrounds in education, conservation and climate, conflict resolution and social work to address some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our day. Home ReSource is a successful triple bottom line business with programs in waste reduction, sustainability education and workforce development. She has a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies and Master’s of Social Work from the University of Montana and lives in Missoula with her husband and two children.
Dannette administers the MTCC AmeriCorps program, providing leadership and support to campuses and communities across Montana. She served two terms in AmeriCorps as a counseling Fellow and as a Campus Corps Team Leader. Dannette received her undergraduate degrees in counseling psychology and fine arts and her master's degree in managing organizations and human development from the University of Great Falls. She looks forward supporting community-driven initiatives which connect first generation and low-income Montanans with post-secondary education.
Amy takes the mystery out of marketing for small businesses and nonprofits. As Owner and Chief Creative at Big Picture Marketing, she uses her extensive experience in graphic design and marketing to increase brand awareness, customer loyalty, membership numbers and donor dollars. If you’re overwhelmed by where to spend your time and money on marketing and underwhelmed by your results, Amy will calm the chaos. She develops effective and realistic strategies that focus on her client’s short and long-term goals. Amy believes marketing doesn't have to be hard, and that it can even be fun.
Jim FitzGerald is CEO of Intermountain and ChildWise Institute. Jim has focused the agency upon improving society’s ability to provide prevention, protection, treatment, and permanency for all vulnerable youth. A dedicated leader in youth advocacy, he has played a vital role in the state and national forum of child welfare, mental health, and public policy. Working with a dynamic Board and staff, he is responsible for guiding the vision and mission of Intermountain, and transforming Intermountain into a nationally recognized children’s mental health agency. Jim holds a BA in Psychology; a MA in Public Administration and in Social Work."
Laura Hoehn provides clients the insight that comes from more than a decade of experience as a top-level nonprofit attorney offering practical solutions that protect her clients’ interests while achieving their mission and goals. She counsels clients on corporate, tax, intellectual property, lobbying, and election law matters at Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold, PLLC. She previously served as Sierra Club’s general counsel and has more than two decades of service in the nonprofit sector as a volunteer, senior manager, and public interest attorney. Laura is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law and Washington University in St. Louis. She is a member of the Public Policy Council of the Montana Nonprofit Association.
Sarah Howell serves as the executive director of Montana Women Vote, a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to educating and mobilizing low-income women and their allies to participate in the democratic process as informed voters, policy advocates, and community leaders.
Heather O’Loughlin and Tara Jensen serve as co-directors of the Montana Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues, in order to promote opportunity and fairness for all Montanans.
Dr. Lee, program director for Research and Science, handles proposals and directs enrichment programs in scientific research at universities, research institutes, and private colleges. He also often handles education and health-related proposals. Dr. Lee was professor of chemistry at Furman University for 16 years and Dean of Science at Hope College for eight years. Dr. Lee maintains an active research program at Georgia State University, where he develops potential treatments and vaccines for cancer and parasitic diseases. He has served in various capacities at the Trust, Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement, Petroleum Research Fund (PRF), National Science Foundation (NSF), and other scientific foundations. Lee holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.
Lizzi founded Turning the Wheel Missoula in 2001 after volunteering for years with the original branch in Boulder, CO. She has dedicated herself to the organization since as board president, fundraiser, Co-Director and Co-Facilitator of all programs and classes. She has over 30 years experience teaching improvisational movement classes and expressive arts groups. Lizzi is a mother, massage therapist, community organizer and musician, and she is passionate about providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to move, play and connect deeply with themselves and their creative spark.
A serial do-gooder and native Montanan, Tim Lockie founded Now IT Matters in 2010 as a way to help nonprofits further their missions using Salesforce. He and his remote team of 16 staff are thought leaders in nonprofit information consulting and technology execution. Tim travels speaking and helping nonprofits make strategic use of information, but never feels quite at home until wheels touch down back in Bozeman where his wife, kids, and dogs live.
Janna Lundquist helps leadership teams communicate, make decisions, and take action to drive long-term results. Following their work together, clients are clear about where they stand; committed to organizational direction; and decisive about focusing energy and resources. Janna began her career in advertising in the Twin Cities. Over nine years at First Security Bank, Division of Glacier Bank, she rose to serve as vice president of strategy & engagement on the senior management team. She volunteers as past president of the United Way of Missoula County board of directors and on the capital campaign for the new Missoula Public Library.
Ed Meece has twenty-six years experience in local government policy and operations, nineteen as a Chief Executive Officer. He enjoys doing the work to recruit, develop, and lead high performing teams to successful outcomes. Ed has developed successful partnerships with business, nonprofit, and government organizations to enhance the quality of life in the communities he served. He has been recognized by state and national organizations, and participated in writing several local government publications.
Mr. Meece earned his B.A. (Political Science) from Eastern Kentucky University in 1989, and a Master of Public Administration from Northern Kentucky University in 1994.
Liz joined the Montana Nonprofit Association as Executive Director in 2011. She previously worked for the Rocky Mountain Development Council, a community action agency serving south-central Montana, for 16 years. In that role, Liz worked with the Head Start program, Low Income Energy Assistance Program, Montana Youth Homes, Homelessness Prevention and Rehousing, and a variety of other human services programs. In her 25 years working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector, Liz was a founding board member for Family Promise of Greater Helena, served on the board of ExplorationWorks!, a museum of science and culture, and co-founded HATCH, the Helena Action Coalition on Homelessness. She served on the Region III Disability Services QIC Editorial Board, the Montana Continuum of Care Coalition, the Montana NAMIWalk Steering Committee, The Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI) Council, Montana Children’s Bill of Rights Task Force, and the Montana Office of Public Instruction Comprehensive System for Professional Development Council.
Chany Ockert, CFRE, assists nonprofits, donors and businesses transition their vision into reality through fund development consulting and customized, targeted implementation. She has worked in the nonprofit sector across various fields after graduating in 2000 from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She started her practice in 2007. In September 2016 she was awarded the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation based on demonstrated, measurable success in fundraising. She serves as CASA volunteer and a member of the Bigfork Land Use Advisory Committee.
Heather O’Loughlin and Tara Jensen serve as co-directors of the Montana Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues, in order to promote opportunity and fairness for all Montanans. Sarah Howell serves as the executive director of Montana Women Vote, a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to educating and mobilizing low-income women and their allies to participate in the democratic process as informed voters, policy advocates, and community leaders.
Peggy Owens has been a partner with Sage Solutions Nonprofit Consulting for nine years specializing in strategic planning, fundraising, board development, strategic planning and project management. She works as a facilitator, trainer, organizational development consultant and coach focusing on nonprofit organizations.
For more than 30 years, Peggy has supported nonprofits as a staff leader, volunteer and consultant. She has a wide range of nonprofit experience including fundraising and executive positions. Owens is the founding Chair of the MNA Board and is a former director of the AFP MT board. She received her certification as a fundraising executive in April, 2004.
For eight years, Mary served as executive director of Eagle Mount Bozeman, helping to strengthen the organization, to build new programs, and to retrofit Eagle Mount for sustainability. Prior to that, Mary was development director for Heart of the Valley, Museum of the Rockies, the MSU College of Nursing, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Mary is especially proud of having served as president of the Montana Nonprofit Association, serving the state's vibrant nonprofit sector. As a Woodstock-going sixties girl, Mary admits she will probably never stop trying to make the world a safer, fairer, more joyful, and generous place.
Bre is outgoing and driven when it comes to fundraising! Over the past ten years, she has worked with municipalities, non-profit and for-profit organizations to garner well over 1.5 million dollars in collective funds. After 7 years as a grant writer for municipalities, she started The Dotted i, a professional nonprofit fundraising firm, in 2014. At the heart of Breanna’s work is a desire to change the world, one nonprofit at a time, by helping her clients’ secure the funds they need to make their mission and goals become a reality.
Laura Rhodes is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and Certified Grant Writer who has 20+ years of experience working with – and for – nonprofits. She has worked in development and communications and served as an interim executive director. She's been a board member, board chair, marketing committee chair and resource development committee chair. Prior to starting her consulting business, Laura was a program officer with the American Express Foundation. Having been both a grantmaker and a fundraiser, Laura uses her unique perspective to help nonprofits find more funders, win more grants and raise more money for their cause."
With more than 30 years experience in the nonprofit sector, Julie Rodda's insightful fundraising assistance has helped organizations consistently raise more money and achieve greater mission impact. Over the past decade, Julie has coached many nonprofit leaders,raising more than $40 million dollars for her clients via grants, major gifts, and improved communication strategies.
Melanie Schell is a seasoned non-profit attorney and consultant. She works with nonprofits of all sizes, focusing on governance, strategic planning, fundraising, policies/procedures, PR and communications, board/staff roles and relations, and organizational transitions. She also maintains a non-profit law practice. Before forming Bannack Group, Melanie was general counsel and chief operating officer for the MSU Foundation, overseeing annual fund, communications, events, HR, planned giving, alumni relations, and real estate management. She previously practiced in estate planning, small business formation, and federal criminal defense. Melanie graduated from the University of Utah College of Law and MSU.
Shannon Stober, Verve Exchange Founder, is one of Montana’s premier facilitators and trainers. Each year she engages thousands of young leaders and emerging professionals through high-powered workshops, retreats, speaking engagements, and coaching activities. Shannon is also a skilled program strategist with an extensive background in community building, human resources, and the development of program theory and logic models. Shannon believes in the power of structure, self-awareness, group processing, and streamlined, forward-focused leadership.
Kevin Sylvester is the Executive Director at Family Promise of Gallatin, a board member with AFP-Montana, and a Certified Fund Raising Executive (pending Aug 1 exam date. At Family Promise, Kevin has built the structure for how the organization recognizes, cultivates, and celebrates donor involvement, which has led to a 45% increase in annual fund giving. Kevin is a proud UCONN alumni and is finishing his Masters in Public Administration from Montana State University this December. In 2017, Kevin was named a 20 Under 40 recipient, an honor that spotlights southwest Montana’s top young business professionals.
Heidi Wallace is the Executive Director of EmpowerMT, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more just and inclusive society by developing youth and adult leaders who work to end mistreatment, correct systemic inequalities and strengthen communities across Montana. For the past 18 years, Wallace’s focus has been on advancing youth leadership and creating just institutions by assisting organizations and communities to dismantle oppressive practices. Through her work with EmpowerMT, Wallace has influenced policy change and trained thousands of individuals to build safer and more inclusive schools, organizations and communities.
Cassidy Wendell is an online educator with a bit of a social media problem. After years of continuing her education, working with a vast array of clients, and growing her online presence, she discovered the one thing that everything had in common: That community plays a huge role in professional and personal success. She specializes in strengthening online communities for brands wanting to grow their social presence, build authentic audiences, and create online communities that matter.
Jay Wilkinson is the founder of Firespring—a Nebraska-based B Corporation featured by Inc. Magazine in 2016 as one of the Top 50 Places to Work in America. His TEDx talk on company culture has more than 1 million views. As a philanthropist, Jay has raised millions of dollars for nonprofits. A graduate of MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program, Jay appears on CNN and other news outlets discussing the important role nonprofits play in the U.S. economy.
Bethany has been with Associated Employers in the role of HR Business Partner since 2016. She has more than 20 years of Human Resources, sales and customer service experience in retail and hospitality management. Bethany has been in store management, district and regional management, and hospitality management with the responsibility for teams of up to 200. Bethany’s experiences include working with everything from small employers to large corporations. She has extensive experience in employee management, recruiting, staff training, succession planning, performance management, conflict resolution, and management training. Bethany provides member services in the areas of: training, HR hotline calls, and assisting members with projects such as handbooks, job descriptions and compensation surveys.