June 14, 2019
Development Officer, Planned Parenthood of Montana & Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana
incumbent board member
What is your experience with Forward Montana, or our sister organization Forward Montana Foundation, and why is our work important to you?
Thank goodness Kiah Abbey adopted me into the Forward Montana world in 2013. Since then, I have been involved with Forward Montana as a volunteer, a board member, and, most recently, as c4 board chair. As a student at Montana State University, I was ever impressed by Forward Montana’s commitment to our campus and to young people in our community. Volunteering with Kiah, I helped register voters both on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods. I also canvassed to successfully defeat a ballot initiative which would have ended same-day voter registration in our state. Forward Montana was my consistent resource for local happenings impacting my rights, values, and community. I appreciate all that FMT provided to me as a college student and, let’s be honest, I continue to use FMT voter guides in each election. Because of my admiration and appreciation of FMT I was excited to have the opportunity to apply for board membership in 2017. Serving as FMT’s Vice Chair and Political Committee Chair deepened my commitment to Forward Montana and further solidified my respect for the organization, its staff, and for my fellow board members. Now as c4 board chair, I am eager to continue to dig into meaningful change, grassroots power building, and growth for the organization more than ever before! No matter my relationship with Forward Montana, I am proud to be a part of the team, to have learned from the best, and to advocate in stride with such a devoted and thoughtful organization.
Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?
I’d be honored to continue working with Forward Montana to serve those the organization advocates for, to see the organization through the implementation of its latest Strategic Plan, and to help sustain state-wide expansion! Additionally, I cannot say enough about how much I have learned from the staff and board at FMT. While I hope to lend a hand as a board member, I must also admit I have found board membership to be incredibly beneficial to my personal and professional growth. But of course that is the case — Forward Montana defines itself by helping young folks learn, grow, and get involved.
What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?
I believe that my experience as an organizer, my two years of FMT board membership (especially since becoming c4 chair), and my new professional role in fundraising make me a strong candidate for continued board service. Whether it be organizing a phone bank for turn-out calls, or hosting a fundraising event, I am confident that my personal FMT story, paired with my grassroots organizing background, would allow me to be a strong advocate for FMT. As a young woman, and a life-long Montanan, it is my hope that my understanding of the state would be helpful in decision making. As a new(ish) member of the Eastern Montana Community, I appreciate the chance to discuss the needs of the state east of Bozeman. FMT board service is no light task. I believe I have proven my commitment to FMT as an active and eager to board participant. I believe my board experience through 2017 and 2018 elections will be helpful in 2020 electoral decision making and strategy. As board chair, I have had the opportunity to gain an understanding of administrative tasks involving board and staff evaluations, organizational practices, and budget planning. Finally, I am proud to be a positive and excited person. I hope my energy, friendliness, and sincere love of the work makes me a fun board member!
What experience do you have fundraising, and what is your comfort level with asking for money?
As a member of Planned Parenthood of Montana’s Development Team, I’ve become very comfortable asking for money. In fact, I have had the opportunity to make asks and hold donor meetings on behalf of FMT in collaboration with staff.
Being a board member requires a time commitment to meetings, phone calls, occasional events, etc. Will you be able to fulfill these time commitments? Does anything give you pause?
As a current board member, I have had perfect attendance to regular meetings and have attended most every committee meeting I committed to. I understand that showing up to participate matters and have no pause about continuing board service to FMT.
Good board members invest their time into Forward Montana, are ambassadors for the organization, are familiar with the work of the organization, and are responsive to other board members and staff. How will you go above and beyond being a good board member? How will you be a great board member?
In continued board service I would be eager to regularly attend meetings, advocate for FMT’s work, participate in volunteer opportunities with FMT staff, host/assist with fundraisers, learn from and listen to other board members’ suggestions, and remain involved & responsive to FMT conversations.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for the opportunity!