What I do: I lead the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana and work directly with donors, pastors, parishioners, and the Foundation’s Board of Directors to fulfill the Foundation’s mission.
What I did: Until recently, I was also the Director of Stewardship for the Diocese. Before that, I spent 18 years in healthcare development, including roles as President of Benefis Healthcare Foundation in Great Falls, Director of Regional Philanthropy for Billings Clinic Foundation in Billings, and Executive Director of the Foundation for Community Care in Sidney. Before all of that, I worked in higher education administration at two colleges. I am a past board member and chair of the Montana Nonprofit Association (MNA) and continue to serve on its Public Policy Council. I also served on the Governor’s Task Force on Endowments and Philanthropy, which focused heavily on creating and sustaining the Montana Endowment Tax Credit, and as a member and president of the Montana Healthcare Communications and Development Association, the Montana AFP Chapter, and the MonDak Association of Nonprofits.
What The Fancy Stuff On My Wall Is: My Master’s degree is in Community College Teaching (concentration in Higher Education Administration) and my Bachelor degrees are in Broadcast Communications and History. A few years ago I also picked up the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP ®) designation from The American College. In 2014, I was honored with the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals – MT Chapter.
Favorite Place In Montana: Hard to choose – hiking trails are always my favorite spots no matter what part of Montana they are found! The most peaceful place for me would probably be “chalk hill” on the farm I grew up on near Peerless, in the northeast corner of Montana.
If I Had To Choose Another Profession: Most definitely I would want to be a Librarian or Motivational Speaker – or maybe a Motivational Librarian!
About Faith and Work: I was raised in a big, Catholic family on a farm and ranch near Peerless. When I was nine years old, during Mass at St. Ann Church in Peerless, I had an overwhelming feeling that I wanted to work for the Church. It only took me a few decades to get here! St. Ann Church closed several years ago, but I’ll always remember it fondly as where my seven older siblings and I received many of our Sacraments, where my mom and dad decorated the church with their beautiful home-grown flowers, and where I also met my husband (the union to which God has brought us four fantastic children). I want to work with my fellow Catholics to ensure no more closures of Catholic churches in our diocese, but rather building of additional ones.
My Favorite Part of My Job: Quite literally, seeing the joy people have in giving back to God! Helping them accomplish their giving plans for the Church is fun and an honor.
Fun Personal Fact: I’ve been to all 50 states – not just an airplane stop, but in each one for a visit. I love a good road trip, or train trip, but never a plane trip!