It’s that time of the year again! Time for Forward Montana Board Elections. We are filling six spots on our board and have 13 awesome candidates. If you are a member of Forward Montana (aka you have donated $10 or more or volunteered for two hours or more in the past year) you are able to cast six votes!

Check out more information below about each candidate and cast your ballot by July 13th, 2022. When you are ready to vote, head to the link below!

List of candidates

(option to scroll to each candidate or click the links to jump to their bios)

carl Anderson | Leah Berry | Aubrey Bertram | Gabriel Briano | Anna Couch | Tia Goebel | Alex Kim | caryn linde | Stephanie Lindsay | Zuri Moreno | Kaya Patten | Chandler Rowling | Sarah Tidd

To view each question below the candidates, click the black drop down arrow on the left of the question.

*=incumbent


Carl ANDERSON

(HE/HIM) | Bozeman, MT | Regional Organizer with MontPIRG and Proprietor of Wyrd Event Planning and Productions Llc

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

Their goals and mission are very much in line with the work I have been doing in the past 4 years and I am very passionate about that work.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

The next year is going to pivotal in Montana. The outcome of our elections in November and the results of the following legislative session and going to dictate the course of the history of the State that has raised me to the person I am today and which I love very much.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I am currently the interim Vice President for the Madison – Gallatin Chapter of Wild MT and have been involved with them for a year now. I also attend almost every single board meeting for MontPIRG as I have to present on my work for them.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I have spent the past four years injecting myself into every aspect of this community. I am very well connected and have a deep love for the people of this community and the State of Montana. I also have a great deal of experience with event planning. I have done weddings as well as larger festival-style events often for a cause or for charity.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Only that I would be very honored to serve on your board. I have worked alongside Forward MT since I began this chapter of my organization and I would love to bolster the efforts of your organization by offering my knowledge and connections. Thank you so much for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing back from you.


Leah Berry*

(she/her) | Laurel, mt | Regional Political Director- The Western Organization of Resource Councils

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

EVERYTHING!!!! But more specifically, Forward Montana and Forward Montana Foundation are movement leaders in Montana who authentically engage young people in our democracy. They are committed to ensuring marginalized communities are building power in our state and that our decision-makers reflect the diversity of our communities. FMT excites me because young people have the power to decide elections in Montana and FMT is consistently developing leaders who will ensure we all have a livable future. Growing up in rural central Montana I didn’t have opportunities to be a part of groups like FMT and I believe now more than ever we need to expand our reach. I’m excited the FMT believes that we won’t have a Montana we can all believe in if we leave rural Montana behind.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I have learned so much over the past four years serving on the FMT board and would be honored to be able to continue to develop my leadership skills. I believe I bring valuable experiences and skills to the organization.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I have served on the Forward Montana board and served as the chair of the Forward Montana Voter Fund for two terms. I have also worked closely with a board for three years while working with Western Native Voice and also during my three years with WORC. I have experience working alongside 501c3, 501c4, and 527 PAC boards.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

As a young person myself I believe I would be an asset to FMT. I have extensive experience running field campaigns, independent expenditure campaigns, deep canvassing efforts in rural and Indigenous communities, and legislative campaigns. I have deep connections to rural Montana: I grew up in Lewistown MT and have worked with Montana Rural Voters for a couple of election cycles. As Regional Political Director at WORC, I have a grasp of what’s happening across the western region and have valuable connections in a variety of states. During my time with Western Native Voice and WORC I’ve developed my fundraising skills including individual donor asks, grant writing and reporting, donor relations, and grants management.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for being so great! <3


aUBREY bERTRAM*

(SHE/HER) | bILLINGS/bUTTE, mt | Staff Attorney and Climate & Energy Program Director, Wild Montana

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

Civic processes – registering to vote, voting, communicating with elected officials to hold them accountable – is the lifeblood of functioning, flourishing democracy. We (America, Montana) have yet to really achieve a robust civil society because, for far too long, access to these processes has been allocated to the few and denied to the many, including young people, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, working-class people, etc, and FMT seeks to make these processes not just technically accessible, but fun and exciting. FMT and FMF are nationally recognized for the kick-ass, big, bold work we do in the Big Sky. How can I not be excited?!

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I am seeking re-election to the board, hoping to serve my third term. I love being on the board of FMT. Working with my fellow board members, the board of the Forward Montana Foundation, staff, and other partners is incredibly fulfilling. This big group of people who not just believes in this shared vision of Montana, but works every day to bring this Montana into existence is beyond inspiring. I truly look forward to FMT meetings and events and am always so proud to be a tiny part of this movement.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I’ve been on the Forward Montana board since 2018, serving as the secretary, vice chair, and am currently the chair of the board. I served on the board of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Foundation from January 2021 until May 2022.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I’ve been on the board for two terms and would love to serve for a third term. I’ve been a part of and witness to some tremendous growth at FMT as well as the strategic conversations that have helped guide us along the way. So, I have both the existing experience with the organization and the future vision for where we want to be and why.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you! 🙂


Gabriel Briano

(he/him) | bILLINGS, mt | IT Project Manager – Refrigeration Supplies Distributor

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

The coordinated work done across multiple communities has been inspiring. The youth focused and online supported approach are really cool to see in action.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I support the cause and goals of the foundation and if there’s a way for my time or skills to be used in the role of a board member, I’d love to offer them. The events I’ve participated in have also been great and would lover to offer more support to hard working younger people of Forward Montana.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I’m the current Co-Chair of the Supervisory Committee for Valley Credit Union and have been involved with them for nearly a year. Main Pryor experience was working with the board of my current employer.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

My current role is working between groups of people who have different perspectives in an organization and trying to move in the most overall beneficial direction while limiting liability. Proper documentation and oversight is something else I’ve been working in lately.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

My wife, Dr. Rachael De La Cruz, was hired by MSUB and we moved here just prior to Covid. Needless to say, this was a rough period to move to a new community. Billings has been our home these last 3 years and Forward Montana has been a great way for us to not only stay up to with local political issues, but inspiring to see the younger workers pull off events.


Anna Couch

(she/her) | Bozeman, mt | Patient Coordinator, Bridgercare

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

FMT engages, informs, and educates young people on how to use their voices to make a difference in democracy and enact change! How can you NOT get excited about that?!

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I want to help our generation enact change with civic engagement and increase our impact on public policy, especially with 469 seats up for election in Congress this November AND with Montana getting its second congressional district!

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I work closely with a board since I am an employee of the largest grassroots family planning clinic in Montana, Bridgercare. I understand that a board governs or acts as a check and balances system for a nonprofit. As a staff member at Bridgercare, I have interacted with our board members at social events for Bridgercare. It is great to meet and chat with others who have the same passion and dedication to our mission. Our board is another piece of the amazing puzzle of how Bridgercare runs! As a patient coordinator, I work towards the day-to-day operations while our board helps guide us with big picture ideas and ensures we are aligned in our mission.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I have lived in Montana for most of my young adult life-10 years! I am a first-generation college graduate who worked in the restaurant industry to financially support myself through school. I graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and a minor in women, gender and sexuality studies. My professional experiences come from working at Bridgercare and fighting for access to reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of the ability to pay, gender identity, race, ability, or age. I am trained in how to give trauma-informed care to our patients. I have developed superb communication skills. I have been trained on how to listen to someone’s message and help them articulate that message concisely while working at the Writing Center during my undergraduate career. I am fascinated by language and how we make meaning by the words we use or don’t use. I have public speaking skills, as I recently spoke at TEDxBozeman this spring about how Montana is in desperate need of a comprehensive sexual health curriculum. Did you know sex ed in Montana is not mandated to be medically accurate?! Yeah. We need to do something about that! My husband and I have been pushed out of Bozeman due to the housing crisis and choose to live “tiny” out in Manhattan. I believe it is with these experiences that I fight for policy change in what not only affects me but also those at the margins.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would be proud to be a board member of Forward Montana. I would love the opportunity to learn and dedicate my time to building political power with and for young Montanans.


Tia Goebel

(she/her) | Bozeman, mt | Executive Director, Compassion Project

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

Unfortunately, we don’t learn enough about our civic responsibilities in K-12 to show up prepared to vote and take action for the future we desire. I know I didn’t. I believe the work FMT does is crucial for a vibrant, functioning democracy and I would be excited to help strengthen the organization to empower current and future voters.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I’m excited to dedicate time and energy toward a mission I believe in. I aspire to be a sponge in all that I do by soaking up the lessons and knowledge that an organization with this scope can provide. I’m also interested in meeting new people, contributing a grassroots organizer lens, and contributing where I can to help create more equitable practices and policies.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

As a leader of a small grassroots organization, I help recruit, onboard, and mobilize our Board of Directors. I am excited to play a different role in an organization I believe in. I have empathy for staff doing the daily work required to realize a mission and vision, and I would bring that understanding and empathy to my role as a board member.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

The skills I’ve acquired as an Executive Director may be of use to the board. These include skills such as public speaking, fundraising, grant writing, event planning, social media, and planning and facilitating meetings. I bring the experience of growing up in a lower-middle class family in a small, rural town, as well as that of MSU graduate, renter, and grassroots organizer with Bozeman United for Racial Justice. I also have strong relationships with a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Gallatin Valley.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would be excited to learn more about this opportunity. Thank you!


Alex Kim*

(he/him) | Missoula, mt | Director of Here Montana

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

The amazing work Forward Montana does to elevate youth in our communities! As well as the work to support government by educating our communities!

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I am interested because it would be my honor to serve a second term with the board! I learned so much my first years and now feel like I know where and how I can be effective as a board member.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I am currently on the C-4 board for Forward Montana. I serve on the political committee

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I have worked in Social and Racial Justice for the past 6 years in Missoula! I can provide a lens of equity. I am also the director of Here Montana a Outdoor program serving Communities of Color in western Montana, looking to encourage our communities to be more engaged with local and state politics. I also have the insight from my current time on the c-4 board. A characteristic that I can bring is I am a very level headed person, I incorporate empathy and data in decision making processes.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would be honored to serve the Forward Montana organization and community for another term!


Caryn Linde

(she/her) | Kalispell, mt | Supervisory Health Technician, Veterans Health Affairs

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

Honestly, the status quo here in the Valley has to go. We need to amplify youth voices and perspectives. I’m excited this organization exists and want to support it any way I can.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I feel too old to be a member, but I want to support this mission.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I’ve never been on a board, but I do have lots of leadership experience, at work and in my volunteer life.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I am committed to anti-racism and equity for all. I have leadership experience and a graduate certificate in informatics (I’m great at analyzing data).

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to apply.


Stephanie Lindsay

(she/her) | Toston, MT | Montana State University bOZEMAN

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

I love that Forward Montana is led by young people with progressive ideas and lots of passion for the future of Montana and their future in it.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I direct and teach in the Leadership Fellows Program at Montana State University in Bozeman. Perhaps my knowledge of leadership, systems, and processes will be helpful to Forward Montana. I would like to provide workshops, advice, counseling wherever and whenever needed.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I have worked on many board in the past, primarily arts organizations such as Artist Trust in WA state, Spokane Arts Commission, Connoisseur Concerts in Spokane, WA, and the Tamalpa Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area. These were all some time ago, however. Currently, though, the only board I am serving on is the Madison/Gallatin Chapter of Wild MT.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

Lots of experience serving on working boards, years of teaching experience in leadership and followership studies.


Zuri Moreno

(they/them) | Missoula, mt | Sr Budget Strategist, Montana Budget & Policy Center

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

I believe that community engagement is essential to building power to change the systems and structures that do not support healthy and safe communities. Forward MT is one of the leaders in the state of engaging community members, providing so much important information to folks around issues that are impacting us in the state, and supporting meaningful action steps to make a damn difference!

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I want to join this board because I want to take on a greater role in supporting FMT work. I give a shit about Montana communities and making sure that community members know how essential they are in making change.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I am currently on the board of Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), where I engage in multiple subcommittees including investments and equity & justice.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I am a community organizer and policy specialist living in Missoula. My passion for community engagement focuses on issues from LGBTQIA2s+ rights, police and prison abolition, voting rights, and racial justice. I am committed to creating spaces that are equitable and accessible to all individuals, and implementing anti-racism values to make this happen.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for all the work you do! I hope I get the opportunity to be on the FMT board.


Kaya Patten

(she/her) | Livingston, mt | Local Food Procurement and Inventory Manager – Livingston Food Resource Center

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

I get excited about grassroots politics because it gives individuals a taste of success in local politics and gives them evidence that their engagement is valuable. Forward Montana’s unparalleled badass commitment to advocacy and young voters has long made me proud to be an alumnus of their internship program. I know the power of Forward Montana’s work because I am a product of their work, and I am excited to see the changes they will continue to make locally and statewide.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

My internship at Forward Montana in 2014 as a freshman in college was my introduction to Montana’s political landscape. Forward Montana’s youth engagement and dedication to empowerment gave me an experience that brought me lifelong friends and helped me find my voice. It was during this time that I found a passion in strengthening local food systems through community education and economic investment – leading me to study Sustainable Food Systems at MSU and then to my current position at the Livingston Food Resource Center as the Local Food Procurement and Inventory Manager. Joining the Forward Montana Board would be coming full circle and give me an opportunity to develop additional leadership skills while supporting the organization that helps young people find their own paths.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

The extent of my board experience is with my current position at a nonprofit, where professional staff works closely with the Board of Directors. Our board takes their jobs and altruism very seriously. They work beside us moving cases of food serving our community as well as help us develop programming. Their dedication to the organization is the type of board service that I would hope to emulate.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

Politics is in my blood, I started stuffing envelopes for electoral campaigns from the time I could read. It has informed who I am, and cemented my understanding about the tangible power of local and state government. I have been fortunate in my career to be taught by really good managers to be curious about things, a skill that has become invaluable to my professional development, particularly with program development and evaluation. One of my strongest personal and professional values is that all people deserve access to food with dignity, specifically high quality local food. Working in the realm of sustainability and food systems in a rural county with a majority low income population has been a valuable learning experience in my EIJ work. At the end of the day, I adore working alongside individuals who value good food, loud laughs, dogs, and helping young people advocate for the changes they want to see in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for the consideration and opportunity.


Chandler Rowling

(she/her) | Helena, mt | Program Specialist with Montana Department of Commerce

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation is a great stepping stone for people to become engaged with politics and are given education, tools, and the opportunity to engage in policies. I have worked and interacted with federal, state, and local government, and I would love to see more of our generation be part of important conversations and decision making. Montana has amazing, smart, and driven people who can make a difference, so let’s come together to move forward!

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

It would be an honor and great opportunity to be part of the Forward Montana Board. The board currently has so many great members, and I think I would be a great asset. I’m passionate for what is happening on the local government level with ARPA funds and what will be coming up for the legislative session. This board can help our communities big and small to have a voice which is what I want to achieve.

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I have been part of many boards along with local and state committees. Some examples, I have served on the Helena Young Professionals board has a Public Service Chair which has really engaged and connected people in Helena. Currently, I serve on the family selection committee for Helena Area Habitat for Humanity because housing is my passion. My main focuses for boards and committees are on affordable housing, homelessness, and healthy economic growth.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I’m very passionate in the work I do and love to help people in general which will be reflected as a board member. I have board and leadership experience that will help support Forward Montana and its members.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

If anyone has any further questions about my qualifications or about me in general, then please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you for your consideration.


Sarah Tidd

(she/her) | Bozeman, mt | Vice President – Engineering Programs, Oracle

What excites you about Forward Montana & Forward Montana Foundation?

I like fresh, forward-thinking ideas from a vibrant community. FMT has all that!

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I would like to pitch in to do what I can to help!

Please describe your board experience (whether being a board member or working closely with a board).

I was on the board of the Sweet Pea Festival for five years. First as a member of the merchandise committee and then as the chair of that committee.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I eat problems for breakfast. I thrive on getting things done. I care deeply about diversity and inclusion and understand how critical those things are to innovation. I see FMT as an innovative organization and would like to help!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for considering me 🙂


Ready to vote? Head to the link below to cast your ballot!